Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Why Designers Don't Knit for Themselves

Have you ever scanned down a list of knitting event teachers bio photos and noticed that many of them are not wearing hand knit garments? Did you notice next, that the ones who are sporting something hand knit are often showing an accessory? 

Why do you think that happens?

I suspect the main reason is that the samples of the garments they design don't fit. Samples are knit in small sizes to fit tall models. Some publications request the samples to be produced with longer measurements than the pattern is written with. Most of us don't make much money so we move on to the next design before we can knit something for ourselves.

Very few women fit into those small sizes and often for the designer to have a garment to wear in public and properly showcase the design, further pattern customizations are required. In my case, I need more room on the front of a garment, shorter than average sleeves, a narrower shoulder and a shorter armhole depth which then requires sleeve cap changes.

I really enjoyed reading Amy Herzog's post here.

Amy says "Unfortunately, designers don’t actually get much time to knit sweaters for themselves… …and even less time to knit already-released sweaters for themselves." Further down in the post she shares the modifications to the pattern which make the garment flatter her specific shape. 

If I was a fairy godmother I would wave my magic wand and make every knitter understand that modifications are normal and are required. Everyone would pick their patterns and have the necessary knowledge to make the garment fit them. 


  1. My reply to why I wear so few hand knits is that I don't pay myself to knit. But last Nov I decided to knit my Twist Collective design Gwendolyn for myself. I have worked on it in between work knitting still isn't finished but I have cranked out lots of work projects in that same time.

    Looking forward to seeing your presentation at the DKC

  2. I did a sample in my size and after trying to model it at my photo shoot.. I realize why designers don't do this. I am learning the hard way. I either need to lose alittle weight.. or get used to how I look.

  3. I find this interesting, Robin. This is one of the reasons I like publishing with Knitty and self-publishing patterns, since it means I can produce things for myself. I like wearing what I knit and feel it is a form of marketing for me. And I've knit up some of the designs I've published with other magazines, sometimes as a KAL in my Ravelry group, so there's some more marketing.