I picked up a new book today, one that leaped out at me at the store and chased me down. I wasn’t planning to buy anything other than the Spanish phrase book I went in to get. A knitting book, of all things. It’s Big Girl Knits by Jillian Moreno and Amy R. Singer. It’s a collection of mostly sweaters designed for fat chicks, from a bunch of different designers. There’s even one from online SpinningFiber friend Emma Crew.

I’ve been thinking about making a sweater for a while. I haven’t really done knits with any kind of shaping, although I well understand the theory from sewing. And what I saw I really wasn’t liking: big rectangles. If I wanted to wear a garbage bag, I’d go get one from the kitchen. Boxy is not at all a good thing for a short fat chick with a big ass. Oh, and narrow shoulders. Anything dropped shoulder is just a bad idea, I don’t need the shoulder seams hanging around my elbows. I know it’s possible to knit in shape, I just wasn’t looking forward to the twenty-seven attempts it would take to figure it all out myself and develop a pattern. Remember I said I’m not all that much a knitter?

Here is a whole book without a single drop shoulder oversized box. They all have shaping and, more importantly, lots of directions on how to make things actually fit. No “Sweater in a Weekend” super chunky yarn, either. A lot of that stuff doesn’t even look good on skinny women. The authors are sassy and in-your-face and make no excuses about being fat, they just get on with it. My absolute favorite line in the whole book: “Black is not magic. Black does not make you look thin; black does not give you a shape. black makes you look like a fat girl wearing black.”

I’ve known about short rows, Lily Chin did an article for Threads a long time ago and I still have it someplace. And increases and decreases are a beginner basic. But getting it all together the right way takes trial and error. I expect it will take a couple tries to get something that is perfect, particularly when I start changing yarns and such, but this is a huge head start.

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