The Return of The Bust Darts

(I know you want to hear all about my adventures with the Yarn People at TNNA, but I am going to be out of the office this entire week. Thus, I have prepared several posts for you ahead of time which I think you will enjoy…)

Today, we begin a long-awaited journey into The Land of Bust Darts. Yes, I know it has been months and months since you first asked me to help you insert vertical bust darts into your sweaters, but what can I say. Knitting Daily has been a busy place this past year. Good things, like fine wine, take time…

Okay. Never mind the excuses. Let's get on with the Bust Darts.

For those of you who were not with us when we first peeked into Bust Dart Land, allow me to summarize our adventures-to-date:

  • Wendy Bernard made a Tomato. (See the photo at the bottom? Adorable!)
  • The Tomato was published in No Sheep For You.
  • Knitting Daily released the Tomato as a free pattern.
  • Sandi decided to make herself a Tomato.
  • Sandi did not, however, wish to have That Stripe go across her bustline, so Sandi moved That Stripe down, so it crossed just under her bust.
  • In the process of moving That Stripe, Sandi inserted vertical bust darts to make pockets for her, uh, assets, thereby giving her Tomato a little added fiery spice.
  • Sandi nicknamed her version the Hot Tomato Salsa.

And then all heck broke loose–in the comments, anyway. Everyone wanted to know how to put vertical bust darts into their own sweaters.

And here we are…

Why The Darts?

Let's stop for a moment to note that you don't NEED to work darts into any knitted garment. Not unless you want to. Wendy's original Tomato, for example, is a lovely, soft, drapey little knitted tee shirt that is quite lovely just exactly the way it came off of Wendy's needles. However, given my shape, I had doubts about That Stripe running across my bustline, so I decided to move it. (The stripe, not my bustline. I mean, there's only so much a knitter can do.)

This is where things got interesting.

If I moved the stripe down anywhere near my waist, I would run into the increases and decreases Wendy included as waist shaping. I really did not want to mess with increasing and decreasing in the colorwork pattern, as I figured I was fussing quite enough with the pattern, thankyouverymuch. I did not need to wrangle bright orange and teal herringbone houndstooth patterns into submission as well. So I charted out the waist shaping for my size on Excel, and realized that I could fit the colorwork band right into the "work even" section of the waist shaping. No muss, no colorwork fuss! Yay! (If you don't know what I am referring to when I say the "work even" section, there's info here.)

Once I had graphed that out, I realized I had a bit of a problem on my hands. If I just knitted the shoulders and neck as written, and then plopped in That Stripe near the waist shaping, I was going to have a whole lotta extra room for The Girls up top. There was going to be so much extra fabric, in fact, that the top would look silly: fitted shoulders, loose bust, fitted waist, fitted hips.

Not exactly a Hot Tomato.

That's when I realized I needed some darts to help shape things up a bit.

You won't want to miss the next few posts. I'm going to go over vertical darts, what they are, how to use them, and of course, The Math, so you can become a Master of Vertical Dartage. (And just a note to those who think that they can skip the next few posts since they don't need bust darts: Do you have a little round belly, or do you knit for someone who has one? Then I have two words for you: Belly Darts. Maybe you have junk in the trunk? Booty Darts. Yep. Trust me. Darts are a curvy person's best friend.)

Oh, and I may be out of the office, but I'm still reading comments from wherever I am. So leave a comment and let me know if you have any questions or feedback.

— Sandi

P.S. Some of you might be wondering why I constantly use cute little euphemisms like "The Girls" or "Booty." Well, sure it's fun, but it also helps keep these Knitting Daily emails out of your spam box; and it helps keep the whole Knitting Daily website from getting blacklisted by parental control software. Yep, I'm a silly gal, but sometimes there is also a method to my silliness.

Past Adventures of the Hot Tomato

You Asked For A Top, We Gave You A Tomato

On The Third Day, I Ripped

My Surreal Knitting Life and That Stripe

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

A Hot Tomato

Questions, Questions: The Darts and More

Increases and Decreases for Sweater Knitting


Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. She is now the author of the popular Knitting Daily blog: What's on Sandi's Needles.


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