“How to Knit Sweaters That Fit.” I’ll be damned if I know! But as my Grandma Mabel used to say, once in a while even a blind pig finds water.
This little piggy is taking a bath, because the sweater I knit for my friend Gael’s husband Stephen not only fits, it fits beautifully.
So now I’m a leading expert on knitting sweaters that fit. Not really. If I had to make a list of all the things a person should do to ensure a sweater that fits well, it would be:
1. Choose your pattern well, with reference to body shape and sweater shape.
2. Measure the person who is going to wear the sweater, accurately. Alternatively, and perhaps even better, measure a sweater of similar style that fits the recipient.
3. Write down the measurements (and don’t lose them by the time you are casting on the sweater).
4. Knit the size that most nearly matches the measurements.
5. Turn around three times.
6. Throw salt over your left shoulder.
7. Recite: “Jumperium Precisiosum.”
8. Make a gauge swatch.
9. Wash and block the swatch the same way you will wash and block the finished sweater.
10. Get right with God.
Here’s the thing. You could do all of these things and still not end up with a sweater that fits. That’s the plain truth. It’s my testimony anyway. Swatches change their minds and keep their secrets. Fit is an elusive son of a gun.
That is why I am overjoyed that Stephen’s sweater….
Bonus: it also works as a boyfriend sweater for Gael. (For a Saturday treat, go watch one of Gael’s beautiful Portraits in Creativity, luminous video studies of artists and makers, among them Maira Kalman, Rosanne Cash, and Natalie Chanin.)
Flush with victory over sweater fit, I am filled with the joys of Spring and enjoying my weekend in Nashville, among the People of Ann in their multitudes.
If you, dear Reader, are also in Nashville, look for us at Stitches South today. Stop us from buying all the things, especially the handspun things (Ann) and the gradient kit things (Kay), to which we are particularly sensitive at this moment. Say hi. Today at 2:00, look for us in the Craft South booth, where we will be joining illustrator Juliana Horner as she signs copies of A Coloring Book for Knitters.