Monday, August 29, 2011

Question and answer session

I've received a bevy of questions about my last few posts, so today I'm going to answer them all at once.

Questions about the Mighty Acorn:

Karen G. asks: One question: Do you think the sleeves as they are with the cuffs would make the bustline look larger? I need all the help I can get in that area.

Answer:  Karen, from what I've learned, elbow-length sleeves, especially ones with cuffs, highlight the waist. If you've got a waist, you might want to enhance it and thereby make your breasts look larger. I'm busty but my mighty derriere is still out of proportion so I do what I can to emphasize my bosoms (what an old word!). Some things I do include:
  • Minimize the bottom of any sweater by keeping it as plain as possible
  • Move all patterns to the top of the garment, including fair isle, cables, stripes, and the like
  • Wear a well-fitting bra - it's amazing what a difference a good bra can make
  • Consider putting patch pockets on the bustline. Here's a vintage pattern that shows the technique well. See how it make the breast look larger and draws the eye there, too? I'm too busty to try this, but it would work well for a less ample girl.

Joyce asks: This looks like a beautiful sweater and your mods are excellent. My only question is: why would you make such a warm sweater with short sleeves?

Answer:  I can think of several reasons why one might want to make elbow-length sleeves:
  • Sleeves that end at the elbow highlight a smaller waist as stated above
  • Shorter sleeves make for a lighterweight garment, something that those in more temperate climates appreciate, as well as the menopausal among us who are considering giving up sweaters forever!
  • If you're running short on yarn, shorter sleeves may be your only option.
  • Short sleeves are very trendy right now. One popular example is the Brigid Jacket from Vintage Modern Knits. I love this sweater and hope to make it one of these days.

Questions about widening hips on a sweater

The hilarious Heidi asks: I see this sweater is top-down, but if you were trying to make 'hip modifications' on a bottom-up sweater, would you need to put stitch markers on the extra purls so you can take them out later?

Answer:  Yes, if you were knitting from the bottom up, you could certainly keep markers on the ribs that have the extra purl stitches. You'd need to stagger the decreases similarly to the top-down version. Just use the same reasoning in reverse; all those lower-case Bs below are really purls. :-)

Dancing-girl asks: I am a total noob at trying to alter patterns to fit better so no, I have no idea what you’re talking about, lol! I don’t know for sure but I’m thinking I’ll probably need an extra 4-5” adding so that it doesn’t scream ‘look at mah belly!!’.

Answer: I wrote the post about one way to widen hips on a sweater, but Miniknits had another take. I quote her in full:

...another solution, especially in a sweater of this style, is to gradually increase the circumference of the sweater by increasing the needle size, and thus the gauge. The advantage to this is twofold: with all the ribbing maintaining its ratio of k’s and p’s, its a bit easier to knit. The other, more important one is that the slightly drapier fabric may sit better over the wider part of the body. If this route appeals to you, definitely swatch and experiment with needles. I have a vast selection of needles of various brands to choose from in most sizes,(some might say too many), and if you swatch with several different brands you can notice differences in gauge from one brand and or material (wood, metal,etc) to the next, so you can sometimes minimize a big or obvious jump in gauge by choosing a different brand of needle."
I've never tried this approach but my friend Loraine uses decreasing needle sizes to perform waist shaping. I'll give this a try the next time the opportunity permits.

Questions about Tom versus the hurricane

Jamy asks: Wait--why did he feel the need to be there? I love that you are trying to accept Tom the way he is, but I just don't understand!

Answer:  I have no earthly idea other than that he is testosterone addled. It's a trade-off. I love that he is a manly man and kind of macho in his gentle way - until there's a dangerous hurricane. Or until he buys a crotch rocket and wrecks it at night in a rain storm and breaks his shoulder, three ribs, and his foot (true story and amply covered in this blog). The dude longs for adventure but at 57 with a bad back and bad heart, his options are limited, thank God.

Tom told me once that learning to love is now his great adventure. Isn't that lovely? He's a great man when he's not driving me absolutely nuts.

Pat asks: What is Jersey Shore? Is it a TV program??? I have a cultural deficit, I think.

Answer: Yes, it is a show on MTV. Your IQ is at least 100 points higher because you've never seen this debacle. It's like fried Twinkies... someone might call it food but you shouldn't because it has zero nutrional value. I found the show after Obama was asked if Snooki should run as mayor of Wasilla (Sarah Palin's hometown) and he said he had never heard of her. I hadn't either. Anyway, my strong suggestion is that you go back to never hearing of it. You'll be a better woman in the long run.


  1. Ha ha...just found your blog. =o) This is such a funny post. I agree totally.

  2. Thanks for the bonk on the head, Julie! I needed that!!!