when good patterns go wrong

In the fall, I started to crave a cushy, cabled sweater. The kind you pull out on a snowy day to sit on the couch and knit. I scoured Ravelry and ultimately settled on Stonecutter. I wasn’t really clear what the shaping at the ribbing was going to do on me, since it clearly does nothing on the modeled shots (and I knew I did not have her body, but still). I looked at finished pieces, and I wasn’t finding any obvious issues.

But I’ve got issues with it.

Pepperknit | Brooklyn Tweed Stonecutter

The way the “peplum” hits me makes me look impossibly wide, or rounded in ways that my body is not. Now, I’ve gained some weight in the last year, it’s true—ever-slowing metabolism, working from home, all that fun stuff—but this shape is making me look different than I am! Also even though I knit a larger size, my own issues with rowing out (where my purls are ever-so-slightly looser than my knits) meant an overall tightening up from my swatch, so the whole thing got a little narrower, and thus fits more snugly across the bust than I’d hoped it would.

Pepperknit | Brooklyn Tweed Stonecutter

So much else is going for it: the cushiness of Manos, the lovely soft white color (a dye lot issue on the back is something I will just live with and not care; I’m sure when I’m wearing it no one can see where I changed skeins), the warmth! I even enjoyed knitting this quite a bit—even more than a normal knit, because I was knitting it along with my friendĀ Christy Not Hip, and that was fun. I’ve worn it out twice: It looks SO CUTE under a jacket, but if I take that off, I look frumpy.

Pepperknit | Brooklyn Tweed Stonecutter

I finished this on my birthday, nearly a month ago, and I haven’t made a peep about it since because I’ve been debating unseaming the entire thing and adding length to the body. (Which, let me note, I already did: I knit a solid extra inch more than what the pattern calls for.) I really, really don’t want to bother unseaming and reknitting anything on it (I’d have to frog to below the arms). But I also really don’t want to wear the sweater as is very much. I’ll give it a few more weeks to decide, I guess.

Pepperknit | Brooklyn Tweed Stonecutter

My mom says I should just give it to her; she doesn’t mind it exactly the way it is (though it widens her too). We’ll see.

10 Responses to when good patterns go wrong

  1. carolyn says:

    would knitting it oversized be better? maybe even go up two? then it wouldn’t give you that hip flare? I’m sorry dude this sounds SO FRUSTRATING. knitting projects gone wrong are just the worst. also: why I haven’t knit a sweater in FOREVER. I have this delusion that my new larger size is not forever (HAHAHAHAHA) so I keep not making them but I have so many sweater’s worths of yarn…

  2. Evonne says:

    I see what you’re saying about the fit. I’d give it to mom since she likes it and is likely to get some wear out of it? I liked the pattern before, but after reading your honest comments, I went back and looked through the other completed Stonecutter sweaters on Ravelry… some look flattering on the wearers but others seem to have similar issues as yours, the hip flare, or somehow looking a little unflattering. I think you expressed it well, “when good patterns go wrong”. Maybe it’s just flattering on select body types only? I know that cables add bulk and so does the light color. I feel sympathy as this has happened to me, having high hopes for a sweater, putting the work into it, and being disappointed with the fit and not wearing it much in the end. And the few times I wore it, I just felt “funny” and self-conscious.

  3. carolyn says:

    also when I relook at grainline studio’s version, I wonder if making it longer actually makes that peplum part look worse. maybe making it shorter is the way to go? I mean she’s obv taller and very lanky (her patterns are not made for people with boobs so a sweater is going to fit her differently also right) but when I see how much of her t-shirt sticks out underneath, I think maybe the peplum is avoided by having that part hit higher up?

  4. Ellen B. says:

    block, block, block. When a sweater that I have knit doesn’t fit me in certain spots, I just wet the whole thing, lay it out on some towels and start stretching. You can make the sweater longer; wider in the bust and more. It will take a while to dry, but also flattening the sweater may make it drape more. Try this first before re-knitting! Best of luck. You did a beautiful job with this intricate pattern.

  5. Maggie says:

    Hmmm…I know nothing about knitting, but I can brainstorm fit solutions.

    First, patterns with a looser bottom are always going to widen a curvy figure. I love those loose flowy tops they sell at Anthro, but almost always feel like an elephant when I try one on (because, to size for your bust, you have to add so much bulk to the rest of it).

    Would it be possible to either chop off some of the ribbing, along the side seams? Or even knit the ribbing so it’s a bit more snug? OR (this might be totally crazy) making the bottom ribbing in a darker color for some visual contract/trickery?

  6. Jocelyn says:

    I’m feeling a little mama-bear here because you look great in it! It’s a gorgeous sweater and I’m sorry you’re unsatisfied with it. . Cable-knits are beautiful but admittedly they’re always flattering, although I think this is perfect on you..

  7. grumperina says:

    It’s a lovely sweater, and I’m sorry it wasn’t 100% what you wanted it to be. I agree that making it longer in the body would resolve many of your concerns; it’s just a question of whether you want to go through the trouble or (ooh, shiny!) cast on something new :).

  8. Cynthia says:

    I’m a long time knitter who came upon your site quite by accident but I’m glad I did. For years I’ve been looking for the perfect woman’s fisherman pattern. First, let me say that to me, you look absolutely gorgeous in your sweater. I’m not sure why you think it makes you look “rounded”. At first glance, I thought the unique ribbing looked much more slimming and feminine than the typical fisherman’s sweater. I believe it gives your figure that ideal “hourglass” shape, especially as it shows just a trace of your bust line. I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. In fact, by stumbling upon your site I have found the ideal fisherman’s sweater! I can’t wait to buy the pattern and yarn and get started. I’ll be going for the fit that you have achieved. Thank’s for the inspiration!

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