Monday, February 13, 2012

Kim's crossback epiphany

From Ravelry, Kim31 writes:

So, I know you say all the time that the crossback is the important thing, because even if you’re plus sized, your crossback is probably not any bigger than a smaller woman. But I never really understood what you were talking about. Well, I’m in a bit of a laundry crisis around here (couldn’t lug the laundry around when my back was acting up), and since I was just hanging around the house, I went ahead and put on a thermal shirt that’s a size large that’s been at the bottom of my shirt drawer that I keep meaning to give to Goodwill and haven’t gotten around to (because I’m not a size large- although I think it was sized a bit big to begin with, because I haven’t been a large in well, ever). And you know what? It fits perfectly in the shoulders and the bust. It’s just too tight in the belly and too short.
So, I pulled out the tape measure and measured the top back of the shirt, from sleeve seam to sleeve seam (it’s a set in sleeve shirt), and it was 18 inches. I then pulled out some other shirts/sweaters that do fit me (mostly XXL, there was a 1X and a 2X, too) and that also have set in sleeves, and measured their top backs and you know what? They’re all 18 inches with the exception of one sweater that has ribbing in the bodice and that one was 17 (I figure it’s because the ribbing pulls in). The only difference between my 2X shirt and my L shirt is that the 2X is wider in the waist and hips (good thing, too, because I like fabric on my lower midriff. I think it’s a good look for me, you know? :o) ). Now, I’ve known forever that I’m not exactly large framed, even if I am a size 22- I have tiny hands and wrists and small feet and ankles, and while my shoulders aren’t narrow, precisely, they’re also not very wide (I’m mostly proportional, but a little more bottom heavy because I’ve got Eastern European peasant hips). But this really drove home what you were talking about with the cross back.

So, all this is to say that: 1) I get it now and also understand that if I’m knitting a sweater, I want to start with a much smaller size than I thought for the top because if I knit the size that’s going to fit my hips, it’s going to be insanely huge in the shoulders because my hips are 55 inches around, but my torso is only 43 inches around and more importantly, 2) to thank you for all your work in demonstrating fit and encouraging people to figure out how to fit their own bodies. Because if I hadn’t come across your blog or the Knitting at Large group here on Ravelry, I would have started knitting the size 56-58 sweater and never been able to figure out why it was so ridiculously big up top.
Another convert! I can't wait to see Kim's next sweater and how beautiful it looks because it actually fits. Thanks for writing, Kim, and for participate in our group, too.

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking forward to it, too! It's going to be my first adult sweater, so while it's *really* challenging, I also don't have anything to unlearn about making a sweater.

    I'm up to rewriting the pattern now that I've got a gauge swatch. I'm hoping to start actual knitting soonish, by March, probably.