Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Coincidentally, I Found It!

Have you ever had those moments where you read or heard about something new, something you hadn't ever come across before, but then as soon as it entered your consciousness, it showed up in very obvious places? That sort of happy coincidence happened to me last month.

I was listening to old episodes of my favourite crochet-related podcast, Yarncraft.  Perhaps I should call it my former favourite since it is now out of production. Although, as far as I know, new episodes are not being recorded,  archived episodes are being re-released.

I liked it because it was professionally presented, with a regular format and it discussed issues relevant to crochet, knitting, weaving, spinning, general craftsanything to do with yarn. 

The presenters interviewed textile designers, yarn industry insiders and other influential people in the ‘yarniverse’ while sharing a little about their own crafting lives. Audience participation was encouraged.

The podcast and its community inspired me to try new things, and introduced me to new ideas and technical knowledge.  In general, a well-rounded  program, even if it was designed to support the marketing of Lion Brand Yarn. When I was too sick to crochet, I would listen to Yarncraft and let my mind wander across potential patterns, projects and crochet design ideas.

The final episode (#152) was on 29 October 2013. Presenters Zontee Hou and Michelle Urcoyo reviewed their favourite yarncrafting things and referred to a book called “Knit to Flatter” by Amy Herzog.

Amy Herzog is a designer of knitted sweaters and her book is based on a series of online tutorials called “Fit to Flatter”* You can hear an interview with Amy Herzog in Yarncraft Episode 150.

Zontee and Michelle described the usefulness of this book for finding the best styles of patterns for your body shape, and I made a mental note to keep an eye out for it.

Within a week of revisiting the Yarncraft episodes, during a brief trip to my local library, I arrived at the craft shelf (Dewey section 746) and there, on the tilted display shelf above, looking right at me, was Amy Herzog’s book “Knit To Flatter”. (It must have known I was coming!) You know what I did next.

Herzog, Amy, "Knit to Flatter", Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of ABRAMS,
115 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011,, 2013,
ISBN 978-1-61769-017-4 (paperback) 746.43'2

If you are a dedicated crocheter and non-knitter, do not dismiss this book as irrelevant to you because it has ‘knit’ in the title. 

The whole point of the book is to help you to identify specific features of your body shape and then use that information when choosing garment patterns in order to create the most flattering fit for your figure.  This information is relevant to any women interested in finding the most attractive clothing shapes for their figures; that would be most of us (whether we like to knit, crochet, sew or not), wouldn’t it?

The book is divided into introductory chapters and sections for each of 4 general body shapes, as categorised by Amy Herzog. Each section provides information on features to flatter that particular shape along with full knitting patterns as examples.  There is also a section about specific body features that might apply to any of the 4 general shape categories such as long legs, short waist etc. Amy Herzog describes ways to make the most of these features through choice of pattern and possible modifications.  She provides more knitting patterns which are constructed to make it easy to apply the modifications discussed in the book.

If you really like a garment which appears in the section for body shape A but you identify with body shape B, Amy Herzog provides advice about how to modify each pattern for your own needs, so it is not a case of having only a quarter of the patterns available to you.

If you are only interested in finding crochet patterns to follow, this is not the book for you.

If you have a general interest in garment construction, techniques for pattern modifications and theory behind finding the best fit for different figure types, this is an interesting and educational read.

If you are able to take the general concepts and apply them to your crochet, this is a very practical resource.

If you are a knitter, you have nothing to lose and expertise to gain with this book if you want to improve your skills at knitting garments.

After borrowing from the library, I have decided that I want “Knit to Flatter” on my shelf as a useful reference when I get back to crocheting garments.


Knit to Flatter book:

Girls Poop Rainbows is the latest podcast venture for former Yarncraft presenters Michelle and Zontee who are onwards and upwards in 2014:

Lion Brand Yarns:

Michelle Urcoyo:  (see also Girls Poop Rainbows)

Zontee Hou: (see also Girls Poop Rainbows)

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