Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Half-assed Book Review: Fitted Knits

so you may well have noted that i don't really have any projects to blog about. that is because spicy jesse started a second job this past weekend and i did not see him at all. basically i went from being too all-alone-ish to accomplish anything on the weekend and then we made up for lost time on monday and tuesday. therefore not much has been done. i finished one jarrett sleeve, started a crochet ripple handtowel, ambled along on the anthropologie capelet, and started section 10 of babette's blanket. that last one is the only important thing. i realized that it has almost been a year since i started, which is pretty embarrassing. i would really like to finish it before i hit one year. ok, so that doesn't sound like i did nothing, but really--i did nothing. i knit a few rows, crocheted a square or two. that is all.

in the absence of other things to talk about, i will put in my two cents on Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel. This book has already been reviewed many times, hence the "half-assed" book review.

initially i was excited about the book. i have knitted a few glampyre patterns, and i like some of her styles. however, i feel like some of the things she designs are a little out there for most people, and that repeating peplum thing she does gets on my nerves after awhile. when the previews and book reviews started coming out, i decided it wasn't for me. many of the more popular designs just aren't to my taste, like the turtleneck tube vest and the puff-sleeved cardigan. i flipped through the book at borders and came away with a better opinion, but i still left it at the store.

i finally caved, however, when i did my yearly stash assessment and realized that i have a lot of worsted weight yarns in my stash that i don't know what to do with. the book has a lot of simple, yet stylish patterns that would work with yarns in my stash. the top-down raglan is my bread and butter, and there are certainly many patterns in that format to choose from. yes, that repeating peplum thing is annoying, but you know what? i don't have to make every single one of those designs. and some of them are pretty cute on a standalone basis. so i made a trade with knitmonkey from the knittyboards for the book.

one gripe: the picture that i see most of the time for the sideways tunic is uggggleeeee. this one is much more flattering, and it *almost* makes me want to knit it.
From Fitted Knits

there are quite a few designs that i like, but i am only including the pictures of the ones i am most likely to knit.
From Fitted Knits
i would like to use my yellow blue sky cotton, but i'm not sure that i have enough yarn. if i can pull it off, i have a bright green button-down that would be so cute with the vest.
From Fitted Knits
this one is bulkier than i thought, but i'm sure i can convert the pattern to use a worsted weight. i'm still debating yarn choice, but i am proving to be a horrible person, as i may use the red cascade 220 i bought to make the kitty pi bed. (i can always buy the kitties new feltable yarn, right?)
From Fitted Knits
i actually think that this one would be fabulous with my extra bag of noro silk garden that is not being used for my lizard ridge. i could also end up using it for the previous sweater if i decide i want a cardigan with the noro instead.
From Fitted Knits
i like this keyhole shoulder tee. i may try to incorporate my leftover debbie bliss cathay in 3 color stripes to make this one.

now some general observations: i noticed when scanning through the book that the yarn requirements seem a little extreme. i know that many of the designs have a lot of cabling and ribbing, which uses more yarn, but not THAT much more. one of the sweaters i was on the fence about, the elizabeth bennet cardigan requires something like 17 balls of cascade cloud 9. i was trying to figure out if the pattern would be a good match for the bag of indulgence that i don't know what to do with (it has the same yardage as cloud 9). but jeebus, 1853 yards for a 34" bust? even with the cabling, that sounds like a lot of yarn for such a close fitting sweater. so i read further and on the schematics the body length AFTER the bust is supposed to measure something like 20.75 inches. i whipped out a tape measure, and realized that if i knit to the proper length, the sweater would hit me about mid-thigh. so be forewarned. if you are short, you'll probably need substantial length adjustments. i had the same issues with the sleeves, but that is not at all unusual for me. also, i thought it was rather annoying that for the bennet cardigan, at least, she doesn't give knit to a certain length measurements, but gives instructions in rows or cable repeats. it's really not a big deal for me, especially with the "try it on as you go" mentality, but it is something to take into account.

upon further perusal, some of the summer patterns seem to give length measurements that look awfully short. i guess my overall point is that ymmv, but pay close attention to the schematics and be ready to make adjustments. my guess is that for me, many of the sweaters will not take nearly as much yarn as she specifies. at least i hope that they won't because otherwise my grand plan to knit from stash yarns is useless. another thing i forgot to note is that a lot of the smallest sweater sizing is 34" or 36" bust and it is likely that i would need a smaller size to fit me.

oh and thanks for the allergy advice. i have started on claritin again and i feel better. i don't really like having to take regular medication, but what can i do? the cats aren't going to stop shedding anytime soon.

Update: i stand corrected. in looking up the errata, several measurements on the schematics, including the elizabeth bennet cardi, are wrong. the length measurement was meant to be for the entire body, not just under the armholes. now i don't know what that means for yarn requirements. i'll just have to take a chance and figure it out.

3 comments:

  1. All the stuffs I've knitted from this book are stashbuster, so I agree that it's really good for that purpose. I never really care about measurement, usually I just use my very unscientific way by holding the piece against my body ;)
    Which one are you going to make first then?

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  2. Thanks for the review, half-assed and all! ;) I've been eyeing this book lately. Good tip on the yardage, what with being vertically challenged myself!

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  3. Hm, I've been eyeing this as well. Thanks for the links to all those pics. I hadn't seen a lot of those before. I guess I just need to get my butt to a bookstore.

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