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Knit to Flatter: The Only Instructions You'll Ever Need to Knit Sweaters that make You Look Good and Feel Great! Paperback – April 2, 2013
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About the Author
Amy Herzog is the creator of the Fit to Flatter online series (amyherzogdesigns.com), and teaches courses in yarn shops across the country. Her pattern designs have been published online at Twist Collective, in Knitscene magazine, and in the book Knitting It Old School. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.
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What would make this book really shine, though, would be close-ups of the actual knitted techniques, actually showing where the decreases, increases, and short rows are worked. The book includes line drawings of the theory, and the garment patterns do not offer a close up of the techniques used for shaping.
Ths is a worthwhile book for intermediate and advanced knitters. Beginning knitters will also be able to use the presented patterns and techniques to advance their skills.
READER BEWARE: there are numerous errors in the book. You need to go to the publisher's website, stccraft.com, and download the corrections by pattern name.
There is, potentially, a lot of good information in this. I absolutely LOVE (LOVE LOVE LOVE. Cannot emphasize that enough) that the illustrations tell what size the model is wearing and how much ease is in the sweater. I wish all knitting books did this!
I'm not sure, however, that I think a lot of the designs included are particularly flattering on the models. This shouldn't be a big deal because good information can always be applied to other knitting patterns, right? It does make me question the author's eye and judgment, though. There are some good ideas here but I don't think they're very effectively illustrated.
Also, as one Goodreads reviewer noted, there is no advice for women whose waists are the same circumference as, or larger than, their hips, and that excludes a whole lot of knitters. This is a group, too, who often have the hardest time finding flattering clothing, so skipping them entirely seems like a particularly egregious oversight.
I like that the models are different shapes and sizes. The bottom-heavy girl is not really that bottom-heavy (if you need a bottom-heavy model, just call me. I'm not pretty but if you can make something look good on my figure, you'll have knocked one out of the park).
The scoop neck on the Cypress cardigan (page 30) doesn't really look that great on the top-heavy model. Most top-heavy women I know don't want low necks that call even more attention to their chests; it would look better if it were a little higher and didn't give the impression that her bosom was pulling the sweater down.
The shapeless body on the Striper wrap cardigan (page 50) will make that poor girl's body look as wide as her hips all the way up, and that's not what we bottom-heavy types want. A lot of bottom-heavy women have relatively small waists and upper bodies and would rather a garment accentuated those instead of filling everything in to match our widest points. Also, when her arms are at her sides, the pattern on the sleeves falls right at the widest part of her hips, which is not flattering at all. A patterned yoke would have been much better. She looks like a big red square in the middle of the page.
Nothing in this book, actually, really emphasizes the waist. The author seems to struggle with the concept of waists in general.
The wide, bulky, cable pattern on the Classic pullover (page 76) for proportional shapes makes the girl look short-waisted and top-heavy because the scale of it is wrong for the slender, small-framed, model and the size of the sweater itself. This mistake happens again with the Minx tank (page 124): Vertical design elements can definitely lengthen the appearance of the torso, but not when they're wide, busy, cable patterns.
The Squared cardigan (page 88) for proportionals does nothing for the lovely girl wearing it. The huge open neck makes her look short-waisted and square, even though she's naturally very well-shaped. It actually looks as though she's wearing a sweater that's stretched out of shape.
I think the Holloway pullover (page 83) for proportionals would actually look great on a bottom-heavy because the boat neck and ornate collar would "widen" the shoulders, the plain hemline downplays hip width, and the length hits right at the high hip instead of at the waist or across the wide part of the hips.
The Dorica hoodie (page 106) says the lace hem accentuates the waist, except that it hits across the hip. So it accentuates the hip. The waist is obscured within the plain, square, part of the sweater. It looks fine on the model, but it doesn't do what it's supposed to do.
The Enrobed wrap (138, with illustrations throughout) apparently only works on tall, slender, models. The purple one shown on the top-heavy girl (page 108) just looks too big for her. This is basically the same sweater that didn't look good on the bottom-heavy girl (who was slender, just wide-hipped), either. It doesn't have enough shape.
With that great black cloud hanging over every sweater project attempted, I finally gave up and focused solely on knitting intricate lace patterns in shawls and scarfs. They always looked exactly as I envisioned them and were fairly rewarding. But when every yarn catalog and email arrived advertising beautiful fibers that would make stunning sweaters, I knew I was just fooling myself.
Early this year I lost my mind and tried to knit a sweater using some gorgeous Malabrigo kettle-dyed yarn I had in my stash, and just like the rest of them, it fit like a sweatshirt and was just as flattering. But this time instead of being sad and resigned, I was mad and ready to take action to figure out what I was doing wrong. After researching several books, I landed on Knit to Flatter. This book gave me the information I needed to understand why my sweaters never fit, and most importantly, what simple things I could do to fix them. Amy Herzog has a reassuring, yet matter-of-fact writing style, and several easy-to-follow patterns. Her book includes lots of pictures of everyday women with different body types who would never be considered as models for Vogue Knitting, but they all look beautiful in the sweaters they model in this book. Because of this book I can now say with pride when asked, "Where did I buy this sweater? Oh I didn't buy it. I made it myself."