I was thrilled when Lisa Shroyer told me she was working on a book about plus-size knitting. I was really excited when she told me she chose two of my designs to include in the book. I have been amply proportioned my entire adult life. I know, first hand, the challenges of finding or making clothes that fit well and are comfortable to wear.
Lisa's final product, Knitting Plus, is an amazing resource for knitters who want to understand how various styles and knitting techniques work to cover the body and how to combine those styles and techniques to achieve a flattering and comfortable fit.
One of the hardest parts of designing a sweater or knitted top to fit my plus sized body is figuring out how to transition from the lower half of the garment to the upper half. It's fairly simple to create enough knitted fabric to cover my hips and tummy. It's labor intensive but not complicated. The difficulty is figuring out what to do with all those stitches so the armholes, sleeves, bust and shoulders fit comfortably and are esthetically pleasing.
Although the Cleveland Shell is designed for warmer weather it can be worn over a blouse or t-shirt to expand its seasonal options.
I prefer my tops to be looser over my tummy and hips but have a closer fit across the shoulders.
I love set in sleeves, or in this case set in armholes, because the shaping of the armholes offers a great opportunity to reduce the width of the top in order to achieve a closer fit in the bust and shoulders. The A-line shape of the top allowed me to include even more ease at the hips. The extra width at the hips is gradually decreased along the side edges of the front and back.
A lace gusset added to the front of the top gives even more width at the hem while tapering away to flow into the textured stitch pattern at the bust line. The gusset hangs closed providing just a peek at the lace. Movement of the body reveals the gusset as the gusset provides ease.
The sweetheart neckline gives the Cleveland Shell a pretty, classic look.
The Seagirt Pullover is another warm weather top. The dolman sleeved, v-neck, bamboo top is particularly well suited for the larger plus-sizes and those with larger busts. The stitching at the neckline and back of this top is functional as well as decorative. The twisted and ribbed stitches draw the fabric in to create an A-line shape. Additionally, decreases at the beginning of each column of twisted stitches reduces the total number of stitches and contributes further to the shaping.
The dolman sleeves are knit with the front and back pieces by casting on stitches on either side of the body.