In Which the Commenters Chant: Bust Darts, Bust Darts, Bust Darts!

Me and my hot Tomato in progress

I should have known you'd want to know about the bust darts. Your comments on last Friday's blog entry were a HOOT and I just about giggled myself to pieces reading them all. By the time I got to Susan's comment ("*chanting* BUST, DARTS, BUST, DARTS, BUST, DARTS!!") and Melissa's enthusiastic "All chesty women will rise up and call you blessed!" it was clear that a bust dart tutorial was in order.

But what kind of tutorial? Knitting Daily is only two weeks old, and we do not know each other very well. I don’t know if you want to know all the ins and outs of how I figured out how to do my darts, so you can figure them out for yourself, or if you want me to just hand over my own round-by-round instructions so you can knit a Tomato exactly like mine.

That's the problem, you see: If I just give you my own bust dart instructions, you won't be knitting a Hot Tomato for you, you'll be knitting one for ME. And while I think it would be tremendously kind (albeit a bit freaky) if each of you knitted me something, I think perhaps it would be better if I could explain enough about how to do bust darts so that you could knit your own customized Hot Tomato.

After all: We want to be Hot Tomato Nation, do we not? (All in favor, say "Aye.")

So, let's do this. I'm putting together a PDF of the step-by-step numbers for how to work the bust darts exactly like I did,
The now-infamous Bust Darts
and I'm working out the Bust Dart Math for all the existing sizes given in Wendy's Original Tomato. Since I really need to have a tech editor check my numbers so you don't all end up with knee darts, the PDF will not be ready for a teensy bit.

While you're waiting, I'm going to spend this week giving you some Basic Bust Dart Info that I hope will help you take the step-by-step numbers and adjust them to fit your own glorious curves. At week's end, I'll post a little poll, asking if the instructions I gave were too hard, too easy, too vague, whatever. That way, I can start learning what works and what doesn't—and I can customize our offerings here just for you! Feel free to ask questions along the way, and on Friday, I will do a Q&A based on your input.

Without further ado, I give you: Bust Darts 101: The Overview.

I started my darts when the piece measured about 5" from the underarm—a bit past where I needed the widest part of the top to be. Makes sense, right? Knit to the widest part, then make strategic decreases to take away the "bagginess" under the bustline. Voila—darts! Keep in mind that I was continuing to work the waist decreases as instructed in the original pattern. The bust darts were additional decreases worked over several rounds, in order to provide more shaping than waist decreases alone can provide. I worked two darts on each side, because my landscape is Extra Curvy. Each dart is simply a strategically-placed line of slanted
The Hot Tomato just before the darts begin
decreases. I worked enough decreases so that the final circumference of the top under my bust would be a wee bit larger than my actual underbust—larger, because I enjoy breathing, and because I knew that the colorwork in the waist stripe would pull things in just a bit more.

Next time: I’ll show you how to find out where to put your own bust darts for maximum hot salsa effects.

Annie Modesitt is someone who has given all of us knitters so much joy over the years with her wit, her technical savvy, and her patterns (one of which I am featuring on Knitting Daily this week, the Ballet Neck Twinset, in her honor). Annie and her family are facing a medical crisis right now, and our hearts and prayers go out to them. Find out how you can help in other ways, too.

Join the Knitting Daily KnitBlog Tour! Every day this week, I’ll be dropping by a different knitblog to answer questions and chat about all things knitting and Knitting Daily. Come on by and join the fun!

Monday, July 2: Ready, Set, Knit! Podcast, hosted by Kathy and Steve Elkins of WEBS Yarn Shop. Read about Kathy's life amongst the yarn and her podcast on Kathy's blog.

Tuesday, July 3: Crazy Aunt Purl, hosted by Aunt Purl herself, a.k.a. Laurie Perry.

Wednesday, July 4: Lolly Knitting Around, hosted by Lolly, a.k.a. Lauren Weinhold.

Thursday, July 5: Dogged, hosted by DoggedKnits, a.k.a Ashley Shannon.

Friday, July 6: CRAFT Blog, hosted by Natalie Zee Drieu.

See you in the blogosphere!

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