Friday, December 3, 2010

You can judge a book by its cover

There's been a lot of grumbling and grimmacing on Ravelry's Ample Knitters board about the upcoming release of Perfectly Plus, a new plus-size knitting book to be released this month by DRG Publishing and House of White Birches.

Much of the griping has to do with the cover photo, which features a chevron vest. As one woman writes,
Uh, are the patterns like the picture on the cover, which makes the model appear to have no boobs or waist? And also looks pretty much exactly like an afghan my mother crocheted in the 70s?
She has a point.

A few weeks later, on the same Ravelry board, someone again excitedly reported that a new plus-size knitting book will soon be published. This book's name? Perfectly Plus - the same damn book, but this one comes with a much more attractive cover.

Did the publisher suddenly change artwork because of all the negative Ravelry comments? Or did the editors decide they didn't like the chevron vest picture either? Regardless, I think they've made a better choice. 

Perfectly Plus includes nine designs. Most are pretty elementary sweaters, as shown below. These are my two favorite patterns, but I tend to like classic cardigans and pullovers. Many on Ravelry think the offerings are pretty lackluster, but I'm going to buy the book anyway. I want to support any company that supports ample knitters, plus I could see making either of these sweaters someday.

Interestingly, Interweave has also changed covers on its upcoming plus-size knitting book, aptly called Knitting Plus. Interweave released the original cover, shown on the left, but later replaced it with the blue sweater photo.

An earnest, hard-working MBA student could write a thesis on book cover selection for the plus-size market. That's a long, boring paper I'd actually like to read, but I'm in marketing and such things fascinate me anyway.

Therefore, I'd love to know: which of these covers do you prefer? Post a response here if you have opinions regarding these book covers.


  1. The blue sweater is more flattering I think, so I prefer the new cover. Interesting how they are giving this more thought, and about time too!
    Will see if I can get these in the UK, the patterns look nice, nothing to write home about, but if we don't support and encourage them to print plus size books, they'll stop. x

  2. The blue..the color is more attractive because it's brighter. But the collar looks like a bandit from the wild wild west.Yee Haw!
    (sorry..I'm in that kind of mood today)

    Thanks for the tip on the new Book.

    What are the sizes..I can't seem to find any specs.

    Also, Annie's Attic offers a pdf download which I will try to secure when the time comes.

    I am once again going back to the drawing board and working on the Blue Jack's Aran since I am a cable lover.

    Top downs are great,but the decorative options are limited if one follows that path.
    I have gotta get over this aversion to seaming if it takes me 50 years.

  3. I guess the blue one, although only by default. The one on the left looks like the things my mother wore when she was pregnant with my brother 55 years ago...ship ' n ' shore blouse under a maternity top with flare in the front. It's really wretched. Even the hairstyle shrieks "'50s". So, clearly the blue one.

    I hope some of these sweaters have raglan or dolman sleeves. Most of the plus-size knitters I know find set-in sleeves to be problematic because they are never really at the shoulder, or if they are, the upper arm of the sleeve is too narrow........

  4. I prefer the original one with the beige vest. That blue sweater just looks boring, though it is a pretty color.

  5. I like the vest, but it is dated. The wrap cardigan is a better choice, I think. Did you notice that both models are posed with their head tilted? Odd.

    I like the blue sweater on the second book. The vest could be pretty, but a tan vest against walls with a tan and white background? Blah!

    I came to the conclusion quite a while ago, that I'm large enough that I'm not going to be missed, so I wear colors I like. I feel better and I get a lot more compliments.

  6. Oh boy! That chevron vest looks horrible, the comment is right about it, looks like an old afghan from the 70's.

    As far as the two Interweave covers, they are both boring. But, at least the blue sweater does not look like it was made for a pregnant woman. I frankly do not find any of these appealing. Does plus size = boring in designer's mind?

  7. I think both covers on the Interweave book are awful--it annoys me that the word "plus" is in large, round letters. Coupled with the extraordinarily boring, bland covers--from Interweave, which normally has lovely, appealing covers--I somehow feel slighted.

    I like the red sweater from Perfectly Plus, but the way the model is standing hides the sweater. Is it a cardigan? Pullover? Impossible to tell. I remember reading an article in Vogue Knitting years ago that said to beware of patterns with models posed in such a way as to obscure the sweater because they probably are hiding something. Love what I can see of the sweater, but I'm wondering what they are hiding. Both covers on this book are really dark--another message? I don't know, and I'm probably reading more into it that the publishers intended.

  8. The beige vest on the Interweave cover definitely shouts PREGGO POLLY. I remember thinking that when I saw the pic somewhere else (Daily Knitting website maybe?) and seeing it on your blog doesn't change things!

    I must offer a different opinion, however, on sleeve styles. Personally, I avoid dolman sleeves and drop-shoulder designs because I find them unflattering on my particular type of figure.

    It can certainly take some tinkering to get raglan or set-in sleeves to fit properly, but it's a skill that's achievable by the dedicated knitter and will make worlds of difference in the fit of your finished garments!

    --Lynda in Oregon

  9. I prefer the orginal cover. That sweater would suit me more. It would have looked better with the shirt tucked in. Or is that my old fashion sense? The blue sweater, while pretty, doesn't work well on an almost no neck like me. As long as they don't photoshop them thin - then I will buy it.

  10. First Perfectly Plus cover = Bad '70s afghan. Second one is MUCH better! First IK cover = Blah beige Preggo Polly (thanks, Lynda in Oregon!). Second one isn't much better, but at least the sweater is a pretty shade of blue. I think both books need a better photo stylist - the lime green cardigan is too big for the model and looks schlumpy and makes her look bigger. The red sweater photo must be to show off the sleeves, but makes it impossible to tell if it's a cardi or a pullover. Or maybe it just doesn't fit the model, either.
    The blue sweater's neck needs some help. I'd have added a pretty pin or something - it looks like a droopy old bandana. The lighting on that photo could be better, too - notice the odd patch of sunlight on the model's right side?

  11. Hester from AtlantaDecember 6, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    Interweave - the blue sweater is much more flattering.

    Perfecting Plus - the black one - or navy or whatever it is - much more flattering than the Chevron one - plus chevron stripes with varigated yarn? How 70s - maybe it looks better in person - similar to the supposition that Donald Trump's hair looks better in person.

  12. The dark sweater is nicer looking. The chevron looks matronly.The bottom two sweaters make a plus size woman look even bigger. Why do designers think plus size means shapeless.

  13. I don't like either style and prefer the second cover only because I find the blue more attractive than the pale pink and beige combo.

  14. Most definitely the cover on the right!!!! The one on the left I would never knit for an ample! We really want to look bigger than normal? I don't think so.


  15. Prefer the blue one... It's not screaming "Hey, I'm fat!". The other one seems to be the costume for a play about shrinking yarn syndrome.

  16. FWIW..I just received a reply to my PDF inquiry over at Annies Attic and the PDF file of the book is available now for download..66 pgs.