Nearing the end.

As I near the end of the fit to flatter series (just one more week until the next installment!), I find myself thinking about where I want to go from here. Your response to the tutorials has been overwhelmingly positive and touching, and to my delight people actually seem interested in what I have to say. Sadly, it couldn’t possibly be viable to make the combination of designing and fit to flatter my career. Even as a ‘hobby’, though, there seem to be lots of possibilities. Book? Class? Workshops?

The idea percolating around the top of my head at the moment is a class. One of the best parts about doing these tutorials was the chance to get all of my best knitting buds in the same room and analyze one another, trying a ton of stuff on in the process. We all learned so much about our shapes that day, and I would love to try and capture parts of that experience in a class. While the class would need to cover the basic tutorial material, I really want to figure out a way to incorporate personal analysis into the experience too. I began with two ideas for how to carry this out, and put them to the wonderful people who have joined the fit-to-flatter ravelry group:

I also have a specific question. I can think of two ways to go through serious shape analysis for class participants. The first is to tack up big sheets of paper, have us stand against them, and trace outlines. The second is to bring a digital camera, laptop, and projector? And do the photos as specified in the tutorials (sans workout gear).

Am I missing an option? Which would you rather do, if you took such a class?

The group not only answered my original question, but gave me loads of great ideas for how to make such a class rewarding and fun for everyone. So, I wonder if I could pose a broader request for feedback to all of you? I would have three major goals with a “Fit to Flatter” class:

  1. First, cover the class material in a more hands-on, personal setting. I think it’s easier, sometimes, to really “get” something if you’re forced to practice it and talk it out (instead of just reading it on a screen).
  2. Personalized shape analysis for class members, in a friendly setting.
  3. Application of (1) to (2) in the form of popular or attendee-brought knitting patterns.

Without going into all the notes I’ve generated so far, would you be interested in such a class if it were offered near you? Would you like to walk away from the experience with photos and measurements as described in Installment 4?

Or, if you like, a broader question: What do you think I should do next with fit to flatter?

(And before I sneak back to writing the next installment, which is quite possibly my favorite of the series by the way, can I share a quick snapshot of a sock-in-progress?)

Thanks in advance for your responses!

33 thoughts on “Nearing the end.

  1. I would definitely be interested in a fit to flatter class if it was in my area (somewhere near Roanoke VA?). I think you are right when you say that having hands on experience is important for cementing the information that you have read. And of course, meeting with knitting buds is always fun 🙂

  2. I’ve really enjoyed the Fit to Flatter series, and would definitely be interested in the type of class you’ve described if it was offered near me (Canada, near Toronto).

  3. I would also be really interested in a class like what you described. Let me know when you get to Princeton!

    That sock in progress is so pretty! Is that Malabrigo sock yarn?

  4. I would absolutely be interested in such a class, with the idea of either the tracing or doing the photo.

    I actually had a style consultation with that idea (along with colours) in mind. They did give me some nice ideas, but more specific to my clothes and less generalizable to why those combinations worked.

    As an enticement, Vancouver, BC is really lovely to visit most times of the year!

  5. I would definitely be interested in attending a class if you decide to visit Melbourne, Australia(!?!). I suspect there’s more than a few of us here that would really benefit from and enjoy a class like that!

    Thank you for the series – I’ve come across it late and so am still catching up on a couple of installments, but it’s been so very helpful in terms of thinking about my shape! And while my current shape is not likely to stay the same in the long term (3 months of growing to go, then some serious shrinking is expected!), the whole concept of curves interacting with basic body shape has been a real discovery. Thank you!!

  6. A Class is an awesome idea! Please come to St. Louis, MO! I’m wondering if the yarn shop I work at (or any yarn shops, for that matter) would be willing to work with you to set something like that up…

  7. I’m loving this series – I think you’ve save me from making a huge mistake. (I had this idea to make a specific sweater for a special event. I’ve now changed my mind. I see where I was wrong about overall length but absolutely right about sleeve length. (And everyone argued with me about that point. I feel quite smug 😉 )

    I’m waiting for the final (consolidated pdfs). I have not done the picture taking thing – but I should this week. From art class experience – I know that the projector/paper could produce a slightly distorted version. I’d love having a life-size model; otoh I’m not sure I’d ever look at it after class (no room). I’d make more references to pictures, I think.

    I would love a class on picking the pattern that goes with my shape. (Actually – I think you could expand on this – selling hour long sessions with people as you review their pictures/size and patterns they are thinking about. You could do this with an email exchange and the by phone – so you aren’t caught traveling all the time. One-on-one service …)

  8. Yes, I think this would be a great class! A couple of thought: seems to me what you are doing is less about knitting and more about dressing. As a sewing teacher I can say most of what you have to say about fit and flatter would be equally at home in one of my classes so I guess my advice would be to maybe think about this project more broadly than knitting – maybe making garments generally? Secondly there is absolutely no substitute for hands on, letting people try garments on see what you mean about fit is a very powerful experience. I find the simple act of pinning up a student’s garment, a small tuck here, a different hem line can completely surprise them. I think the other thing to keep in mind is how significant the interaction is between students – they learn an awful lot from each other. Finding a way to plan for and use that dynamic would be fantastic.

  9. I think a class is a great idea. I’ll admit that reading this stuff is sometimes overwhelming for me and I can’t always tell what my body type is so a class would be very helpful. I can offer you space at my library (for free) if you want to do something like this on the South Shore.

  10. That definitely sounds like a great class, yes! In terms of 3, would you also address handknit sweaters attendees brought — not just the patterns but the actual sweaters?

  11. A class would be wonderful. I would definitely go to a class in my area (Alexandria VA).

  12. I think this is a great idea! As a very-much beginning knitter, though, I’m not sure whether or not I’d end up taking the class. (Not so much to modify on scarves…)

    That said, there are a lot of non-knitters who I think would benefit greatly from this class if you offered a variant that had a little less emphasis on how to actually modify knitting patterns. I’m just as bad at figuring out which sewing patterns or online-only outfits would look good on me as I would be at knitting patterns. And I would expect– although I’d want a more experienced seamstress to confirm it– that at least some of those techniques would carry over. Or you might be able to do a joint class with someone with tailoring expertise.

  13. I would *love* to go to a class! (I’m in Annapolis, Maryland.) But there are obviously people spread over the world who would want to attend, so a book would probably reach more people. Or what about an online class? We could upload our pictures with our measurements, and if we use free patterns, we can also share our modifications/calculations. I’d sign up in a heartbeat!

    Thank you again for offering this series!!

  14. I would love it if you’d bring the class to Minneapolis, MN! This is definitely a topic that calls to my kinesthetic learner side. I’d even be willing to wear workout clothes under some sort of unflattering cover-up to get the most out of the analysis part.

  15. YES! Sign me up! And come to DC, please!

    Side note: I’ve taken an online course with related content and it didn’t work particularly well for me… would much prefer it in person.

  16. Laura’s idea speaks to me. I’m in Australia and would like an online class. I’ve had colour/style analysis but what you have shared re knitted garments has rounded things out well. I would like to see a class that not only helped with choosing the right pattern, but then went on to deal with how to change that pattern to achieve a personal fit. Some of us have issues that go a little beyond the obvious and an online class would work really well for individual mods. That said, you would need to structure the fee schedule to allow for the extra time you might need to put in to some of us. Great job!

  17. I’d take the Fit to Flatter class in a heartbeat! It sounds like a great idea! I would take it in person or online if you offered it as an online class.

    Thanks so much for this series!

  18. Oh Hell Yes! A class would be great. Even though I’ve learned a ton already from what you’ve written, I’d love to have the opportunity to have other kind and gentle knitters assess my body shape and help me understand whether, for example, my shoulders really are as slopey as I think they are — and have their body shapes there for an example for me to compare and contrast.

  19. I think this would be an invaluable class.

    As a Ravelry member I see many pictures of garments on knitters that could have used a little pre-analysis to look better. Since I spend a lot of time researching patterns before I knit I am hoping I will avoid spending all those dollars on yarn and hours knitting a garment that will sit in the closet until I frog it!

    The Seattle area would be a great place to have a class/workshop. Or the Olympic Peninsula – you’d pull knitters from the Seattle area, the Peninsula and Canada.

    About having the class include sewers: I think it best to keep these two crafts separate.

    Thanks for your series. And, BTW, your sweaters look great on you!

  20. first off, a resounding yes, if a class were offered near me, i’d sign up in a heartbeat. unfortunately, that’s a non-starter — absolutely nothing like that happens this far north. so the internet it is. i also agree with your point that having to actually practice something cements it more in your brain, as opposed to merely reading words on a screen. i’ll be practising in isolation, but enjoy that there are others doing the same thing in their own home spheres. thank you again for all this effort — i may finally do some knitting for myself!

  21. I would definitely be interested in a class and I’m in the Boston area, so hoping you will try it out close to home! I’ve been meaning to take pictures of myself and take all the measurements you suggested since I read your post, but haven’t brought myself to do it yet. I think it would be really helpful to do it in a group setting rather than puzzling out what would be best for me on my own.

  22. I love your series, they just make so much sense! I would LOVE to see a book, mostly because the chances of you ever holding classes her in NZ are very slim! But if I was to attend a class (and I would if it was close) I would definitely want to do the photos/measurements/analysis thing on myself, as well as looking at popular patterns.

  23. I would cross oceans for a class where I could have my evaluation of my own body shape “validated” (or not!) and come away with better ideas of what knitwear will flatter and what won’t. Please, a class like that would be marvelous!

  24. I would like to visit a class if it weren’t too expensive. I’m in the DC metro area in the summer and will be in Indiana during the school year.

  25. I would absolutely attend a class like that. I live near Seattle, WA. I would prefer the hands on of drawing, and would love to walk away with a set of measurements I could apply to my future knitting and blocking. Please put me on your class tour mailing list. Thank you so much. This series is wonderful.

  26. ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY!! (Midwest Masters Seminars presented by Yarns By Design, Neenah, WI — every spring.) I think it would be so wonderful to do that in a class/discussion setting. I like the photos/overhead idea — a little personalized photo album/notebook for each attendee to keep their own notes about what works, what doesn’t, possible mods and how to Make It Work (whatever it is)… sorry, I’m thinking out loud!! Love the series, Amy.

  27. A class would be great, and I think a good outlet for them could be the conventions, like Knitter’s Connection and the various STITCHES conventions. The tracing outlines on large sheets of paper idea will probably work better in a convention setting, because finding outlets and relying on technology at a con always seems a little spotty. Hosting the class at a local yarn store could also work, and in that setting the projector idea should be fine. It might just come down to trying it both ways and seeing what works better. From taking a similar class – more focused on measurements and drafting, though – I think having small classes, no more than 12 people at a time, will probably be key to having people come away satisfied.

    Classes could also be a way to get out and spread the word and drum up sales for a book, especially if you self-published it. I think there is a real opportunity for expanding this into a book, because the books I have been able to find on the subject, such as Montse Stanley’s and Ida Riley Duncan’s, are well out of print.

    I have totally loved the series so far, and look forward to reading the rest. Thank you such put for putting this together!

  28. I think a fit to flatter class would be a fantastic idea! Pictures, hands on measurements, and trying on flattering/non-flattering garments to get a ‘real’ picture of what fits and is flattering to each students body shapes would make a terrific class!

  29. One value of a class is that unless we are really good with a hand mirror and full length one, we really don’t study our own profiles and rear views. Jan Larkey’s book has a whole how to section on using a mirror, and so do the Palmer Pletch fitting series for sewing.

    Would I attend a class? I’m not the class taking type; I read stuff, no regular babysitter. But the idea is intriguing, and worthwhile! I’m tired of women giving up on stylish dress or creation just because they don’t have the figure of a 14 year old boy with a nominal bust.

    How will you inspire your students to gain courage to think about their figures without panic in the first place?

    -Christine

  30. I love this series and am finding it so helpful, and would especially love a class where people can assist me to determine my body shape/style. I am also near Boston and the South Shore. Definitely count me in!

  31. I hope you will learn us more on the internet.As you no I am a big fan of you, only I`m from Holland and can’t come to your class. Mayby you learn us some technics. I read installment 8 and it was Quit a translation for me to do. But a learn a lot, so, as you no.You made a gorgeous top Broyony, for me to bad that I don`t have paypal.I shall mis your intstallments and hope you can come whit a follow up.You left a lot out you said once, so may be good for a follow up.I thank you for it. Many people wil go to your classis, I see. You have many fans whom can learn from you, so think a bout it.

    Thanks for the installments on the internet.

    Kind regards

    Belle

  32. As a visual learner, I would love to take a class where someone shows me the exact body points to measure. (Never tell a doc to measure from her shoulder. I will ask you acronion? Coracoid? Humerus? Cervical vertebra?) Count me in.

  33. Coming upon this series far too late, I still have a little something to contribute! I used to be an “expert” on body image and many people found it confronting to have their photo or outline taken and displayed to a group on first name terms. I would get the requisite outlines/photos in private, allocate a random number that only the owner of the number knows. Then all the shapes can be discussed openly without fear or favour (except for the very tall or very short who MAY be revealed, but not necessarily- I’m very short!)I found that there is also another factor that comes into the fit and look of clothing which can’t be seen from the front or back; even measurements can be puzzling on their own. This is the side view/measurements. Some people are a long way “through” or quite “flat” though normally wide! I’m about the same “through” as wide!! These differences can be crucial for placement of armhole height and depth, feature cables or lace and making sure the bust points are in the right place! I’ve often ended up with wide sweaters with narrow sleeves because a pattern assumes I am a wide, flat person when I am narrow and “thick” with large upper arms and tiny wrists. It is very uncomfortable to have constricted upper arms and flappy wrists that dangle in the dishwater! lol. Maybe you’ve thought of all this, but this mathsy little mind likes to account for all the combinations and permutations of body bits!

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