My ohhh so perfectly-imperfect body and the relevance of this for hand knitting!
I still remember when being a teenager, and how I learned (the hard way) that I’m not standard – at all. I grew up in a smaller town outside of Copenhagen with the local stores centred close by the train station.
You would not find haute couture in this place and my problem was that I was both tall, had wide shoulders, a slim waist and wide hips. In addition my arms and legs continued growing when other body parts stopped….AND my boobs were really tiny......!
Looking at standard sizes I conclude that my shoulders are now L, my chest circumference is M, my waist is S and my behind is XL. Furthermore, I always need to add some extra length to the back and arms…….sigh!
At that time, my only option was to buy trouser that would fit my buttocks but were too short. And every time I would get up from a chair, I had to put all the extra fabric from the waistline to hide below the belt, as otherwise I would be walking around with layers of jeans fabric on the lower part of my back.
My self-perception obviously suffered as I clearly got the impression that something was wrong with my body shape - and it really did have an enormous negative influence on my youth that I would spend unreasonable amounts of time to find clothes, which never really made me feel comfortable in the end anyway.
At that stage of my life I would play soccer 3 times a week, swim 2 times a week, go for a run 2-3 times a week and ride my bike many, many kilometres per week. I never felt pain, and to be honest my body served me very well. It didn’t change the fact, however, that I felt really insecure about my physical appearance.
Eventually, I discovered the release in making my own clothes, and later on, someone very clever started producing jeans with stretch and a low waistline – and at the same time, it became fashion for teenagers to wear high heels. Hence, the pants had longer legs, which fitted me better….as long as I didn’t wear high heels.
Now, why is this important?
Because my experiences as a youngster are guiding me in my work as a designer:
1. The standard is that nobody is standard
As a designer, I take point of departure in standard sizes but I will always do my best to provide you with sufficient guidance to fit the pattern to you measurements and liking!
I’m honoured that you bought the pattern in order to spend hours on knitting afterwards, and I’ll do my outmost to support you in obtaining a garment that you will be happy with for years to come.
2. The importance of working with several body shapes
I have wide shoulders, but my breasts are relatively small and I find it difficult to fit a blouse the size of my shoulders. Add those cases where the length of a sweater stops exactly where those thighs look their worse …. you get the feeling…..?
For some odd reason, I’m okay with my upper arms, so tight sleeves, or no sleeve at all, is not an issue. Often, my choice is size S or M with extra length added for sleeves and back. However, I tend to fall in love with beautiful designs that I know from harsh experience will never make me feel comfortable. Adding extra length to a garment is not always sufficient.
So, I work to offer patterns for all kinds of body shapes. Please, do not hesitate to get in touch if you find that I do not fulfil that goal.
3. I work independently of fashion
This is in relation to body shape trends, designs and colour choices. I’ll tell you a secret. I look like worn out porridge in the colour beige, and that beautiful gentle pink….. surely puts focus on those (continuously growing) bags under my eyes.
My point is that we should work with colours, shapes, and details that we like, independently of mainstream fashion. To me, this means spending a little extra time on adapting the pattern to fit our body shape, measurements and daily use of the garment!