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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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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.
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.
In Knit to Flatter, Amy Herzog outlines her systematic understanding of body shape, and how to choose & modify sweater patterns that best fit and flatter your unique shape. Her tone is warm and empowering, and her body-positive message shines through on every page.
It covers the basics of identifying your own silhouette, and how and why elements of a sweater affect the appearance of your body's silhouette. It also gives clear, detailed instructions on how to modify and customize sweater patterns to include elements that flatter your shape, or create the appearance your desire.
Moreover, it includes approximately 20 classically beautiful and wearable sweater patterns, grouped into 3 parts: ones designed for top-heavy shapes, bottom-heavy shapes, and proportional shapes (the 3 basic silhouettes). Each sweater pattern also has customization suggestions for bodies with different silhouettes. (For me, a top-heavy shape with broad shoulders and a small bust, this means lengthening hemlines, deepening necklines, etc. It really opened my eyes to understanding why clothes look the way they do on me, and why I feel more comfortable in some of my tops than in others.)
There's also a chapter that specifically addresses the other parts of our bodies that require special shaping in our sweaters: our busts and tums, and how to modify a standard pattern so the reader can modify a pattern to perfectly fit their unique curves and bumps.
Knit to Flatter goes beyond "how to customize and design" and is truly a toolbox for taking control of our wardrobe and understanding our clothing. It was compelling reading - I couldn't put it down. I highly, highly recommend it.
Most recent customer reviews
I will say I have not made any of the actual patterns inside of the book, but that's not why I...Read more