I am a big fan of Craftsy’s online classes. I have picked up a new skill or two like quilting and sewing, but what I really looked forward to was picking up new techniques in knitting. As a sweater knitter, I was always afraid of knitting a sweater that won’t fit me. Even though most patterns come with helpful photos to judge the fit, I was always wary since bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. As a newbie pattern creator, I am even more terrified of putting something out for sale and knitters not being happy with it.
When Craftsy announced its new class Knit Lab Fit Your Knits, I knew I had to take it, irrespective of which side of the table I was sitting on, knitter or designer. My expectation from the class was pretty simple. As a knitter, I wanted to know how I can modify a pattern to suit my body and as a designer, I wanted to know what all information I need to include in my patterns so that a knitter can easily modify my pattern to suit her taste.
Knit Lab Fit Your Knits is series of classes by Stefanie Japel. Stefanie starts off with giving reasons why a knitter would want to modify a pattern. She then proceeds to tell us what are the important body measurements needed to make a sweater. The part where she measures the mannequin so that we know what exactly is bust, waist and high hip measurement is something I found very helpful. I did get bored in the next section (Real Women Have Curves) where she measures herself and her friend, I found this long drawn (26 minutes, eep!) and I wished it was edited out to make it shorter.
Stefanie has devoted a whole episode to modifying sleeves. She goes into all the little details about the gauge, wrist measurement and the armhole measurement. She covers one of the most complicated calculation in knitting: rate of decrease/increase. This lesson will apply to any kind of sleeves, top down or bottom up since the calculation can be easily mimicked for the other kind of sleeve. I was hoping she covers sleeve cap shaping, but that was too much to hope for as Stefanie herself admits, this is a complex topic which cannot be covered in this class. I hope Craftsy ropes in a designer to cover this topic of top down sleeves: sleeve cap shaping. Craftsy, are your listening?
Stefanie chooses two of her own patterns Money Penny and Mesilla and goes into all the details of modifying these patterns according to your bust and waist measurements. After the class on sleeve shaping, this was easy to follow.
As a bonus, Stefanie offers two episodes: bust darts and armholes. I knew what bust darts are, but have never knitted them. Steafnie’s detailed description makes it so easy to visualize how a bust dart is knitted into the sweater. This class is generic (not tied to any pattern), so I can apply this to any sweater I am knitting, top down or bottom up.
In the end, I am very happy to say I got exactly what I was expecting from the class and much more (read bust darts). Stefanie tries to keep the discussion as neutral as possible when it comes to construction, but since the patterns she chose happen to be top-down, the calculations happen to be for a top-down sweater. But, with this calculation as a guide, I am sure we can apply the same logic to any bottom-up sweater.
So, whether you are a designer or a sweater knitter who worries about how the sweater will fit you, this class will be a treasure trove of information. Craftsy is offering a 50% discount on this class for my blog readers. If you wanted to sign up for Craftsy’s Knit Lab Fit Your Knits class, and haven’t yet, then do it right away.