Knit to Flatter – episode 2


Ok…so you’ll remember in my last post that I waxed lyrical about the Craftsy platform.

Today I thought I’d walk you through the lessons I’ve completed so far and share a little of what I’ve actually learned.  I know that some of you are contemplating signing up for this course, so hopefully, this will help you decide whether or not this is the right course for you.

Lesson 1 – Introduction

There’s not a lot to say about this, except I really warmed to Amy very early on.  I like her approach, which is a very personal thing, but makes the whole course that little more enjoyable.

Lesson 2 – Body shape

During this lesson you take singularly the most unflattering photograph of yourself that you will ever take.  And no….I’m not sharing it with you here.  It’ll be on the interwebs for forever.  Shiver!

However, what I will say is that this section was a complete revelation.  Amy helps you analyse the picture, which is setting the scene for working out just what style of sweater will flatter you, and what adjustments you’ll need to make to your garment.

I always focus on my middle, because that’s where I hold my weight. But, these pictures show me that, when you look at me from the front, I’m actually more top heavy, a slightly inverted triangle if you will.  And, it’s my boobs that you’re seeing first, not necessarily my waist, or lack thereof!

At this point envisage my husband looking at me sheepishly and muttering “doh!”.

The photo also showed a slightly long torso…which is why, if I fit a dress to my ‘natural’ waist it looks and feels slightly odd.  If I raise it a little, I look to have much better proportions.

Which leads quite nicely into the next couple of lessons:

Lesson 3 – The visual impact of clothing


Lesson 4 – Flattering recommendations

In both of these lessons Amy shows different garments on different body shapes and highlights what it is about each combination that works or doesn’t.

Don’t expect any Trinny and Suzannah histrionics at this point…or Gok Wan and his bangers.  Amy is kind and thoughtful and points out that if you like a style that doesn’t necessarily conform to “the rules”…well, go ahead and wear it anyway.  The rules are really just guidelines and you can pick and choose.

What’s important is that the finished item fits as well as possible and that you feel great in it.

All very refreshing, no?

Lesson 5 – Your next favourite sweater

Here we start to get into the (k)nitty gritty of choosing your pattern and thinking about how you’re going to shape it to best flatter your shape.

As you know I’m going to knit Bud by Kim Hargreaves.


The key to this lesson is choosing a sweater that is knit in pieces – fronts, back, sleeves – rather than in the round.  This allows for easier alterations as you learn this new skill.

I was delighted to pick a cardigan constructed in this way…especially as current trends are towards sweaters knit in the round, like Audrey.  You’ll remember it was the fit problems I had with that pattern that started this journey! I’m looking forward to knitting on good old fashioned straight needles.

This lesson also discusses swatching.  Normally when knitting a swatch I do the absolute bare minimum to figure out that I’ve got the right sized needles to knit to the given tension, then away I go.

All very gungho!

This is the swatch I’ve done for this garment.


Yep – it’s a monster swatch!

For scale you have the end of my sewing machine (pink arrow) and an A4 notebook (blue arrow).

The section on the left is knitted on 4mm needles, the section on the right is 4.5mm needles.  The given size needles for this yarn is 5mm…but I know from experience that 5mm needles give a very loose and drapey fabric. And a fabric that sags easily under it’s own weight.

The 4.5mm needles give a better fabric; but the 4mms give a fabric that I’m really happy with. So I’m going with the 4s. I wouldn’t have learned that from the usual 10 rows on a couple of inches of stitches that I normally use. So I’m ahead of the game before I’ve even started.

So, as you can see, I’ve learned quite a bit so far.  And that’s from just an hour and 17 minutes of lessons.

I’m really pleased with how this is going.

Next up is Lesson 6 – Measure, measure, measure.  I’ll let you know how I get on.

16 Responses to Knit to Flatter – episode 2

  1. K-Line says:

    I’ve heard this course is excellent. If I didn’t already have a zillion unwatched Craftsy courses in my queue, I’d buy it right now! And I also appreciate knitting flat, though some people feel it takes much more time and effort. It’s way easier to alter the pattern and it’s nice to create it at the end (like sewing). You’re doing a great job!

    • I am enjoying this course and looking forward to getting into the next lesson. You’re knitting fitting skills are exceptional…I don’t think you’re missing out! My Craftsy queue is building too…

  2. Sophie O. says:

    A few years ago I purchased her series of tutorials on this theme (maybe her Craftsy course derives from them) and I do remember this ugly photo of me in clingy underwear 🙂 very educational though! I really enjoyed reading her tutorials so I can imagine how much you will gain from this course.

    • You’re right…this does build on the tutorials and there’s now a book of patterns to support the course too. The picture is grim…you could curdle milk with it! 😉 But, as you say, very educational so worth it.

  3. I had my shape analysed during a workshop at my local college… very embarrassing. I had a fitted bodice, bubble skirted- dress on and the tutor stood behind me holding all the gathered fabric from the skirt to reveal my shape to the group. The class know-it-all yelled out “pear” as loudly as she could. Then the tutor let go of the skirt and said “but she hides it well”. *ground please swallow me up!*

  4. Andrea says:

    All that in less than two hours? This is sounding like a great class. It would never have occurred to me to knit a swatch that large (I’m lazy!) but it so makes sense if you also want to make sure that the fabric you produce is right for the garment. I may just have to add this course to my “wish list”. Thanks for another great review.

    • I have always avoided swatching like the plague, and am now somewhat sheepish about the whole thing because suddenly it makes so much sense to do a large one. And I’m starting to see knitting in very much the same way as sewing (and wondering why it’s taken me so long to make the shift)…I wouldn’t expect to sew a dress straight out of the envelope and have the thing fit, so why would I expect that to happen with a knitting pattern.
      Cue slapping self on head repeatedly!

  5. Susan says:

    Yep, this one’s a must-buy. Love that cardigan you’re making! Sounds like a great teaching style and philosophy. 🙂

    • Cool…I do hope you enjoy it. I’m about to start the maths bit so that will be interesting. But I do like Amy’s style. Very inclusive about different body shapes and lovely patterns to boot!

  6. dokucug says:

    Fascinating! I don’t tend to think of how flattering my knits will be in the same way as I do my sewn garments – perhaps it’s time to start! Thanks for the review!

  7. Jane G says:

    Sounds like you’re having a ball,can’t wait to hear about the next installment

  8. Clio says:

    Great post! Very helpful! I really need to do better with knit fitting. The only part of me that I can competently knit for at the moment is my feet. LOL

    • I’ll admit that the sock that is currently on the needles started life a size too small…so I can’t even get that right all the time! 😉 I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

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