half-assed knit blog
half-assed knit blog
half-assed knit blog

Mad Sweater Science, Part I

I am a bad blogger. I haven’t been updating often, I’ve been flaking on replying to comments, and also my head is all over the internets with a monster on it. That last bit has nothing to do with being a bad blogger, I just wanted to bring it up. Brainmonster got linked all over the fucking place and it’s freaking me out. I guess more hits are a good thing, and more Brainmonsters are definitely a good thing, but I was all squishy and comfortable with semi-obscurity. Oh well. I’m sure nobody clicked through to the blog anyway.

I am a bad, bad blogger. I will try to rectify that.

This is a bad, bad sweater. I will definitely rectify that. BY FROGGING IT. BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAA! SUCK ON THAT, SWEATER OF HATE. And yes, it’s going to become this:


Now, I skimmed that pattern and complained about it. Blah blah no waist shaping, but you folks offered some perfectly logical explanations for why that might be. Maybe negative ease would take care of it. Maybe the box stitch pattern stretched more than the stockinette. Maybe bits of it were knit on smaller needles. Maybe the shaping wasn’t immediately obvious in a quick skim of the pattern.

So I read through the pattern more carefully, and as it turns out, I was wrong to complain about it the way I did. Yup, all wrong. I should have complained much, much more. I should have written a novel about how this pattern is a blight on nature and on books called Fitted Knits. There should have been cursing and lots of it.

There is no concealed shaping. There are no smaller needles. There is no negative ease.

THE SMALLEST SIZE IS 34.5″. That’s actual size, not “to fit a 34.5″ bust”. That’s 34.5″ all the way around. 34.5″ at the waist. I am not a tiny girl. Maybe slightly on the small side of average. And the smallest size would be a potato sack on me. This pattern wants me to spend hours and hours knitting a potato sack. This is so wrong. SO WRONG.

So it’s pattern-rewriting time, and just when I had sworn off thinking, too.


First there’s the matter of waist shaping, of course. This one’s easy. I’m stealing the shaping I used in Maddy, because it fit me so perfectly. I had to rework all the stitch counts anyway since I’ll be using worsted yarn instead of bulky, so I just went all the way and ignored the pattern’s numbers completely. I’m shooting for a 32″ bust and 27″ waist. Negative ease, yea! Then rapid increases to a 37″ hip.

Can I rant? I’m going to rant. What the hell is wrong with my demented body that I have to design a sweater with a 27″ waist and 37″ hip to fit it properly?! How is that even possible? Did someone slice off my bottom half and replace it with someone else’s? I think I would have noticed if that had happened, but it seems the only reasonable explanation.

Okay. So. The next issue is this:


It seems like a sketchy idea to put a textured panel at exactly the fattest point on one’s arms (and by “one’s arms” I mean “MY out-of-shape, slightly flabby arms”). It’s not a problem on the model because a) she probably weighs 97 pounds and b) her sweater is clothes-pinned and photoshopped into impossible dimensions anyway. But is it a problem on a Real Person?

I looked up some finished ones on Ravelry. And, surprisingly, none of them seem to cause any Phantom Arm Fat. So the fat panel stays. Congrats, you wretched pattern, there’s one thing that you maybe didn’t get wrong.

Issue #3: The buttony bits at the bottom. It took forever to figure out how they are even constructed, thanks to the useless pattern that doesn’t show a picture of that section. Ravelry to the rescue again, and I also learned that there is often a GIANT GAPING HOLE between the beginning of the side slit and the first button.

Hmm, I thought, how can I rewrite that bit so that there’s no hole? And then I thought some more. Thinking is always dangerous. But yeah. If I put black buttons there, they’d barely be visible, so it would be a whole bunch of effort for nothing. And if I put red buttons there, they would act as signposts to the widest part of my body. “Hey look everyone! Giant hips! Right here! Just follow the handy red buttons!” Hrm.

So that whole section is going to turn into some simple, non-buttoned side slits, surrounded by a triangular section of seed stitch like in the pattern.

Is that all? That might be all. Oh, and I’m taking out the slit at the top. I like it, but it ain’t practical. Imagine that, something about this pattern not being practical. The shock! The horror!

So I’m ready to go, except that I haven’t frogged the bad sweater yet. I can’t quite do it. I’m going to remake it later with a lighter weight yarn and some mods, so someday there will be a non-hateful version and I really need to frog the hateful one. I just have to get good and mad at it first. Maybe I’ll try it on again; that should do it.

Stay tuned for Part II of Mad Sweater Science, when I’ll deconstruct a perfectly good pattern and rewrite it for absolutely no legitimate reason. Yay!


  1. Heather B says:

    You’re not alone in the crazy 10 inch difference between waist and hip world. My waist 30, hips 40 and I also have 36″ boobs and a short waist. So much fun decreasing 10 inches of width in something like 3 inches of length.
    Good luck with the pattern rewrite. I think the sweater will look really good with the two tone colors and no weird shoulder gap.

  2. Cathy says:

    I find it really interesting that the book is called Fitted Knits and people still have issues with sweaters that have no waist shaping. Why must we spend money good money on pattern books only to turn around and re-write the patterns. So irritating! I feel your pain. Good luck with the re-write

    And you know, I kind of like the shoulder slit. From my perspective it doesn’t look like a bra would show. :)

  3. Holly of HollYarns says:

    I knit this one up through the chest only to find out it was way tooooo big in the chest despite my gauge being on and using the right size, etc. It is currently hidden somewhere in the closet and I am quite angry with it!

  4. Rebecca says:

    I finished the whole damn sweater and then frogged it back to the chest, it looked so wretched on me! This really is the sweater from hell….I never thought about getting rid of the phantom-arm-fat spot..there’s some wierd decreases during that part of the pattern as written that I just ignored and it looked acceptable.

    Also, don’t worry about hips being 10″ bigger than waist–I worked for a while in a costume studio and that’s totally normal–bust w/in 2-4″ of hips (usually smaller), and hips somewhere between 8-10-12″ larger than waist. I just wish that someone had been thinking of curves when they wrote this pattern!

  5. Nikki says:

    Yeah, “Fitted Knits” my 10-inches-bigger-than-my-waist hips! Wait, does “hips” incl the measurement around the booty?