I've been knitting a long time, but the truth is, I hardly ever wear anything I knit. I like to think I'm a process knitter, and to a large extent that's true, but in all honesty I wouldn't mind wearing some of my hand knits, like so many of my friends do.
One of the main reasons that I don't wear what I make boils down to me not being happy with my shape. But I won't really talk about that because it's self-pitying and boring.
Another reason is poor project choice. Take for example the Autumn Rose pullover. I wanted to knit a Fair Isle, but I knew even before I knit a jumper that was miles too big around the waist, not long enough and had way too much scoop in the scooped neckline that I would never wear it. Just not my style.
Ditto the Ivel Coat. Won first prize in the Royal Easter Show in 8 ply knitting. Have I ever worn it? Maybe once. It's too long, and just isn't me.
Then, this year, I made a conscious effort to knit things that I would definitely want to wear, so I made a conscious effort to choose only flattering knits. So, out went the complicated lace, and intricate stitchwork, and in came simple lines and good detailing.
I thought the results so far were pretty good, certainly an improvement anyway. I have worn my featherweight, and I wear the Summer Solstice and the Sage Remedy all the time.
Then I saw this:
And I vowed NEVER to wear that top in public again. It's so not flattering. And that's putting it mildly.
But last week sometime, I came across something from Ingrid's blog that has changed the way I look at my knitting forever.
What a revelation! Something I'd never considered, but often considered - if that makes any sense. I've talked about it so many times with people - why does the fls look hideous on some people and good on others - why masking bulges in swathes of floaty fabric works a treat for some people but not for others - why a cropped cardi works so well for her but not for her - so may conversations had about this kind of thing, but I've never really thought much more about it.
Then I had a look at Fit to Flatter, over at Stash, Knit, Repeat. Suddenly - it became a little clearer - I'm still not positive I've assessed myself properly - but what a great little e-book!
I learned two things straight off - what I think is going to suit me and what actually suits me are two different things. And that clothes that I like are usually not the clothes that are going to suit me. I've had it pretty much all wrong all along ..
The mistake I made on the Sage Remedy was leaving the bottom rib off my version, leaving it to swing around my widest part, making it look like I'm bigger than I really am! (and who needs that when they're not small to start with??!) I want to go back and do another one now, not so oversized, and with the rib on the bottom - I can see it will look much better..
I have knitted two vests - I've really wanted to wear them to work over white shirts - but even though I thought they'd look crisp and neat, they make my top half look so shapeless, even though I have a waist .. and looking at this book, I can now see why, and how I might fix it.
I think I'll have to re-think my re-think - and learn to knit all over again ...