Last week I talked about the ugly sweater. The link was wonky, so in case you missed that article, you can see it here. This week I want to talk about beautiful sweaters. Have you ever picked out a beautiful pattern to knit, worked it up perfectly, then when it was all done, it looked terrible and you never wore it? Or maybe this is exactly the fear that's keeping you from knitting a sweater. I totally get it. A sweater is a big commitment of both time and money. A failed sweater is not only a waste, it's a blow to our ego as well. When a sweater doesn't look good on us, we look in the mirror and think, "What's wrong with my body that this sweater doesn't look good?" But here's the truth. There is NOTHING wrong with your body. You need to look at that sweater and thing, "What's wrong with this sweater that it doesn't look good on me?"
There are objective characteristics with which we can evaluate whether or not a sweater is inherently beautiful, but none of that matters here. The only thing that matters is whether a sweater looks good on you. I know, those images in the magazine or on Ravelry are so compelling. They're not trying to mislead you, but they want to make the pattern look great. Stylists get paid lots of money to find just the right outfit to show off a sweater. They stage just the right setting that's ever so glamorous, and pull that sweater just the right way to fit the toothpick model wearing it. So we come along all unsuspecting and fall head over heels with that perfect image. We jump right into which yarn and what gauge without considering our shape and our preferences. Sometimes it works, but lots of times it doesn't, and you're left with a beautifully knit sweater you never wear. Ask me how I know this. But it doesn't have to be that way. We just need to take some time to consider the right factors. Here's what I believe makes a beautiful for you sweater.
- It flatters your shape: For a sweater to be beautiful, it has to suit the wearer. It has to look good on you. A beautiful sweater flatters your body type and your body silhouette. There are flattering styles out there for every body type and silhouette. You just have to find them. And you have to know what you're looking for.
- It feels like you. Are you a sporty natural? Back away from the bell-sleeved lace bed jacket. Are you an artistic free spirit? That linen stitch Chanel-style jacket is probably not for you. Remember that what you like to knit may or may not coincide with what you like to wear. We're talking about sweaters that you want to wear. Wild and funky may be fun to knit, but If you're a classic conservative type you'll just never wear it.
- It fits your body - This is where the rubber meets the road on sweaters you love to wear. They have to fit your body correctly. If it's too short or too long or too tight or too baggy, it won't flatter your shape. Refer to item 1 above.
- It stays in shape for a long time. A beautiful sweater that's a pilled mess after a couple of wearings is not a happy thing. If the fabric of your beautiful sweater doesn't stand up to actually being worn, then what's the point. You might as well frame it. A beautiful sweater is meant to be worn and enjoyed for a long time.
In our Custom Fit Discovery Workshop we'll help you figure out all this stuff. It's going to be fun - how often do you get to indulge in thinking about what your like and what you want? Check out the details here, and sign up to get started knitting a beautiful sweater just for you.
I look forward to seeing you at the workshop and around the table. You are always welcome here.