One Question For You, and Two More Questions For Eunny

Kim Werker getting a hip fit!

Your comments on Monday's post–particularly your questions for Eunny about pattern sizing in Knits–have sparked some lively debates amongst all of us editorial types here at Interweave. In email and in the hallways, Eunny Jang, Kim Werker, Lisa Shroyer, Katie Himmelberg, Laura Rintala, and myself have been going around and around on the issues you brought up–and I gotta say: Folks, we're all downright puzzled.

We're puzzled because we thought that we WERE providing "plus sizing" for many of our knitting and crochet designs. So when we started reading all the comments asking for plus sizes, it made us do a bit of a double-take. (It also caused Kim and I to have a little impromptu Measuring Tape Party in the Interweave lobby. Kim wanted me to tell you that it's press day for the Fall issue of Interweave Crochet, as if that explained everything. Maybe it does!)

Obviously, something's missing here. Either our definition of "plus sizes" is not meeting your needs, or else maybe we're not communicating our size information clearly.

Look, Ma! It's a waist!

After talking back and forth all day, we came to the conclusion that we editors need to know more about you, our readers. Here's the deal: It's our job to write patterns for you, but perhaps we don't know what sizes you really are! Seems like kind of a basic question to ask readers of a knitting magazine, doesn't it? But I don't think we've ever really asked it before. Soooo….

What size are you?

That link will take you to a short survey that asks you for your bust/chest circumference, which is the measurement most sweater patterns are based upon. (I've provided both inch and centimeter ranges, because one-quarter of you are international folk!)

As for what sizes we have in the magazines…given your feedback and our puzzlement, I decided to do a little reality check investigation. I looked at three issues of Interweave Knits: the new Fall 2007, Fall 2006 from a year ago, and Fall 2005 from two years ago, just to see what the size range really was. Here's how we measure up:

How to measure your bust, demonstrated by Yours Truly

Fall Knits 2007:

  • 16 sweaters total.
  • 14 are sized up to a 48" bust or above.
  • 6 are sized above 50".
  • 11 are sized at 34" or below.

Fall Knits 2006:

  • 13 sweaters total.
  • 9 are sized up to a 48" bust or above.
  • 3 are sized above 50".
  • 6 are sized at 34" or below.

Fall Knits 2005:

  • 14 sweaters total.
  • 10 are sized up to a 48" bust or above.
  • 5 are sized above 50".
  • 5 are sized at 34" or below.

So…the question is: Do those size ranges meet your needs? I'll keep the link to the Size Survey up for a week, to give everyone a chance to see it, and then we'll have a better idea of what size range you are all asking for!

The Eunny Interview: Part 2 (as promised!)

And now…more from Eunny:

Eunny Jang

Has there been anything that really surprised you about putting together a major knitting magazine–you know, something that made you say, Wow, I had no idea that that was how they did that!

I had no idea how hard everyone works! Okay, maybe that's a cop-out, but really, we all do wear a lot of different hats and we all have a hand in every single piece of the magazine. Otherwise, a lot of what I was (pleasantly) surprised by had to do with how honest the magazine is about knitwear, which I found out at the shoots.

Tell us about the photoshoot for the magazine–where did you go? What was it like?

Well, we just shot the Gifts issue last week. We worked in Denver, on location in an amazing historic house and also in the photographer's studio. We tend to work with "real" people as models, and we like for the magazine to have a sense of time and place – a real person wearing a real handknit sweater in real life. In that spirit, we try to give the reader an honest picture, so there are no unpleasant surprises – as a rule, we don't pin or tape to create shape or fit where it doesn't exist; we ask the models to move around and get comfortable in the sweaters; we really rely on the garments being strong all by themselves. In the very, very rare cases where we do need to alter something for a photo, we rewrite the pattern instructions so that the image is an accurate representation of what the knitter can produce from the pattern. Of course we want to show the sweater to its best advantage, but never in a way that isn't doable in real life. The shoots are a lot of fun – they're a lot of work, too, but we have a really good time.

Friday: Part Three, where I ask Eunny what her favorite pattern in the Fall issue is….

Do you have a question for Eunny? Leave a comment with your question, and Eunny and I will choose a few for her to answer in upcoming issues of Knitting Daily!

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles today? The front of the Bonsai Tunic by Norah Gaughan. The front is done and on the blocking board! Hooray!

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