My husband’s away so after reading Dawn’s comment on my previous post there was no one to remind me of time passing as I tried to remember where I’d seen a (relatively) simple explanation of short row shaping for those who have, er, bosoms. It wasn’t much past 11pm that I found this at Knitty. I need it because I made this resolution, see, and she’s called me on it :-)
Let me explain in more detail, first warning any males reading that the following paragraph might contain Too Much Information. Skip down to the one with the picture.
Cast your mind back to last Friday, when after several years (when did they screen that TV program on the designers who tried to invent a more comfortable and effective bra?) I decided to (hang the expense) visit Rigby & Peller in Conduit Street (London) and find out my bra size. A nice lady at a John Lewis store once told me I was a 36D, which was larger than I wanted anyway so for years I’ve disregarded this nagging feeling that it didn’t fit. The nice lady at R&P was appalled. Horrified. Turns out I’m (gulp) a 32F. Let me make clear that any bust is a damned nuisance as far as I’m concerned. Perhaps this view is influenced by bust size, as most females with what I regard as appropriate, er, figures feel they’re under-endowed. But most of them aren’t trying to do the full mat in Pilates.
Anyway. This information, combined with my new-found interest in clothes that actually fit instead of the XL t-shirts I’ve hidden in for decades (Pilates and the gym pays off in the end), explains why those XL shirts hang like tents in what is (as the R&P lady said and my friend the costume maker has pointed out time and again) a really unflattering way. SO. I’m going to try to make a t-shirt that fits. Here you see some Colinette Enigma and Mercury in the shade ‘Venezia’, (which has slightly more red and yellow in it than I’d like, but we’ll see what happens when it becomes fabric) and the pattern ‘Cadiz’ (worn by a model who really needs to do something about her attitude. And her shoulders. I can hear my Pilates instructor from here…). Raglan sleeves, which apparently flatter the fuller figure (why? how?). The fit seems comfortably loose. Now, I can’t get my head around the idea of knitting a size 32 and using short row shaping to make it fit over the bust. That would be far too much, too soon, and besides which (below which?) I have hips. So, what to do? My tape measure tells me the actual, er, circumference is 38″. The pattern says a 36 is 37.5″ at the underarm, and there is some narrowing between the hips and that point. A 34 is 35.5″ at the underarm… but I bet the hem is too small for my hips. OK. Gauge is 14st/4″. *WHEN I get gauge* the 34 would be 134 stitches around the hem, which gives 38″. My hips in jeans are 41″. 38 would stretch, but I hate tight hems and I think they’re unflattering, and I’m a bit frightened by the thought of a really fitted top. 36 would be 40.5″ at the hips, which is much better. I go with the 36. Knitted on circulars, TWO circulars if necessary so I can try it when I get to the region in which I’d do short row shaping for the bust and see if it’s necessary. Perhaps I’ll want to make more decreases before I get there, too? The Knitty article makes it look relatively straightforward (I’ll practice one with some waste yarn on the weekend). I CAN do this. You can do this (probably better than me. If so, and you have some advice I’d love to hear it!). It just means a bit of planning in advance, a little thought instead of just falling in love with some yarn and/or a pattern and going for it. And, probably, the willingness to sacrifice an hour’s worth of knitting if I have to frog back to get something that fits. It’s not the end of the world, practice makes perfect, and all that.
The other things that happened on Friday made it a perfect day. It was sunny, for one thing. By sheer good fortune we saw most of The Sultan’s Elephant, the most astonishing, marvellous bit of street theatre. We were there when they opened the rocket to reveal a 5m marionette that walked! (suspended from a tractor, worked by a crew of about 30, all in red velvet jackets and breeches and accompanied by a live band) to Horse Guards Parade where she encountered a 15m? elephant animated by hydraulics and yet more people clad in red velvet. It was utterly, completely fabulous. I’ll post photos (sadly only from our mobiles) when I can access them. And THEN, having decided to stay in town for dinner, we found Ten Ten Tai which is a ‘real’ Japanese restaurant with real food including gyoza (which is Korean, and delicious). Bliss, sheer bliss. Bar the blisters — I shouldn’t have worn those Birkenstock sandals, but never mind.