IWK Fall 2008 Little Blue Sweater

Gallery: Little Blue Sweater by Simona Merchant-Dest

Interweave Knits Fall 2008Notes from Sandi: The key to this sweater’s success is to determine, for yourself, where you want the ribbing to end and the cabled section to begin. Do you want the ribbing to come right up under your bust? Or do you want it to fall somewhere in the vicinity of your waist? As you can see, the ribbing ended up in different places on all of us, so pick the look that you prefer, and customize it for your own measurements. To mimic the style shown in the magazine, have the ribbing end halfway between your underbust and your natural waist–this seemed to be the most attractive point on most of us Gallery Gals as well!

As you can see, the same sweater looks very different on different women! We give general suggestions for customization for your inspiration. Only you can choose how you want your sweaters to fit and which customizations will work best for you and your beautiful self!

Some links you  might find helpful:

Measuring yourself and your clothing

About positive and negative ease

Measuring tutorial with photos


Little Blue Sweater

Sample garment shown is 34.5″

Knitting Gallery - Little Blue Sweater Sandi Knitting Gallery - Little Blue Sweater Sandi


Her bust: 40″
5.5″ negative ease

Size: The yarn, the gauge, and the stitch pattern give this sweater quite a bit of stretch, so the 5.5″ of negative ease shown here really doesn’t seem too unreasonable. However, the beautiful stitch pattern is distorted just a bit too much! Also, and this is a personal thing: you can clearly see the beige cami I am wearing underneath. I’m not so happy with that look. (In the magazine, this sweater is shown worn over another top, so if that’s the look you’re going for, ignore this part!) Hence, this is too much negative ease as far as I am concerned, at least in the cabled section. The 43.5″ would be too big (3.5″ positive ease), so I could probably get away with knitting the 39″. If I wanted it just a little bigger, I might even consider going up a needle size. Note that I kind of like how the ribbed section fits–it doesn’t bag out at all. I could compromise: Knit the ribbed section smaller, as it is here, and then increase up so that the cabled section was the bigger size. Ribbing: I actually kind of like where the ribbing falls on me–about halfway between my natural waist and my underbust. If it fell at my waist, it might bag out a bit just above that, and if it fell exactly at my underbust, it might look funny on me. Sleeves: Not bad, but I can’t help wondering if they are just a bit too long. They seem to widen that entire top portion of me…

Knitting Gallery - Little Blue Sweater Erin Knitting Gallery - Little Blue Sweater Erin


Her bust: 38″
3.5″ negative ease

Size: Way. Too. Small. (Erin is such a trooper.) If Erin made the 39″, she might be able to breathe a bit better, and the stitch pattern would not be as distorted as it is here. Ribbing: I think the ribbing needs to be lower. Here, it overemphasizes her full bust, and visually widens her hips. If the break between the ribbing and the cables were at her waist, or even halfway between waist and underbust, the effect would be more balanced. Sleeves and hem: The sleeves are actually fine, in terms of length. Erin might want them a bit longer, maybe about an inch or so. The hem needs to be about 5″ longer.

Knitting Gallery - Little Blue Sweater Stefanie Knitting Gallery - Little Blue Sweater Stefanie


Her bust: 34″
0.5″ positive ease

Size: I think the size is great on her! Ribbing: I like where it falls on Stefanie–it emphasizes all the right curves. Sleeves and length: I think the hem could come down just a bit, about an inch. The sleeves are adorable on her.

Knitting Gallery - Little Blue Sweater Debbie


Her bust: 34.5″
Zero ease

Size: It fits well, as far as size goes…but that ribbing needs to be lower by about two inches. Notice that the ribbing is quite a bit higher in front than in back, because Debbie Is Not A Refrigerator—in other words, her front has curves that the sweater has to travel over before it gets to the ribbing, while her back is a straight shot down. Bringing the ribbing down will help to even things out a bit. For Debbie, who has such a long waist, I’m thinking she could even bring the ribbing down to her natural waist, instead of halfway between her waist and underbust. That would be a pretty look on her–the cables for her upper half, and the ribbing to lay smoothly over her hips. Sleeves and such: The hem should be longer, please, by about two or three inches. However, on Debbie’s delicate frame, I think the overall effect would be cuter if the sleeves were about two inches shorter.

Knitting Gallery - Little Blue Sweater Kat Knitting Gallery - Little Blue Sweater Kat


Her bust: 40″
5.5″ negative ease

Size: I think this has too much negative ease in the bust area (see how the pattern is distorted?), so for Kat, I’d recommend she go up to the the 39″ size. However, Kat has slender arms and a slender waist, so she might want to consider making the 39″ in the bust area, but make smaller sizes in the sleeves and ribbing sections. Example: Cast on for the smaller size at the hem, then increase for the cabled section; work the smaller sleeves and adjust the armholes accordingly. Or…there’s always needle size changes. Ribbing: Because of Kat’s slender waist, the high placement of the ribbing looks really cute on her. I think she could leave this as is, if that is the look she wanted. Length and sleeves: I think the hem could come down about an inch, not much more. The sleeves seem to be a bit long in proportion to the overall sweater on Kat.

Knitting Gallery - Little Blue Sweater Toni Knitting Gallery - Little Blue Sweater Toni


Her bust: 33.5″
1″ positive ease

Size: This looks a teensy bit big on Toni, unless she wants to knit it with a size smaller needles OR wear layers underneath. Guess what?! Toni is a layers kind of gal, so the size is actually just perfect for her. Ribbing: I think the ribbing is too high for her long torso–it kind of smushes her vertically (“smushes,” that’s a technical term, right?). I’d start the ribbing earlier so it falls halfway between her underbust and her natural waist. Length and sleeves: I’d like a slightly lower hemline on Toni, to show off her long and lovely frame. As for the sleeves, I’d like them to be a bit shorter, maybe about two inches shorter, so that they do not overwhelm her petite self.

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