Knitting Book Reviews

Knitting Plus: Mastering Fit + Plus-Size Style + 15 Projects
by Lisa Shroyer

The author begins this book by saying,

“I wrote this book because I’m a plus-size knitter, and I know some things about sweater construction. In these pages, I intend to give you the tools and information you need to knit sweaters that fit you, that achieve your knitting objectives, and are fun to make. This is a book about knitting–not about fashion, self-confidence, or ‘what not to wear.’ Whether you are new to making sweaters or just want to advance your understanding of the mechanics, Knitting Plus will give you the rules of sweater construction and insight into what the rules mean for the plus-size. And there are some lovely patterns too."

To me, the best part of this book is the information on how to fit a sweater, primarily for a plus-sized garment. There are plenty of books that explain how to calculate fit, but they tend to focus on model-sized people and don’t necessarily describe how to camouflage problem areas, or how to deal with curves in the wrong places. Here, the author begins with a chapter which addresses just those kind of fit problems, but she doesn’t stop with the advice there.

The book is divided into chapters based on specific sweater shapes–raglan, drop-shoulder, and so on. In each chapter you will not only find sweaters that fit the theme, but tips on WHY and HOW they fit the wearer.

Further, each design comes with tips you need to know if you want to make changes. For example, “The front neck shaping is tied to the position of the underarms, so you need to consider neck depth when changing the beginning of the armholes." “This cardigan is worked without body shaping but because the side sections are worked in a fairly simple rib pattern, you could easily incorporate body shaping into the pattern."

It’s refreshing to find a book which not only addresses plus-sized designs (there are others, but not many), but which also deals with the extra information you need to consider to fit a plus-sized sweater. I wouldn’t go so far as to call this a “design" book, but there is some very useful design information in that first chapter.

Reviewed by Deb Boyken

Deb has been knitting since 1987 and has accumulated quite a collection of knitting books over the years. Her website, Knitting Scholar, can be found at
http://knittingscholar.com .