I have just started knitting again after many years - I learnt to knit when I was about 8 or 9, it seemed to come naturally to me and even now there is a beautiful state of meditation and calm as I pass the wool round the needles and see the gentle progression of my garment.
Jumpers these days are not made in the traditional sense, look at any jumper and you will discover that it is made in a similar way to a dress would be, only using a fine knitted material to make up its jumper like appearance.
For years, I have had a sense of disillusionment, most knits are shapeless, despite their delightful elasticity - it appears the trend is for mostly shapeless garments that do not flatter anyone's figure.
Take this one for example, it bulges at the hips, cuts across the widest part of the body (which in this model is tiny) and does nothing for her at all apart from hide her body away. In an ordinary woman this would be a disaster, the stripes running across the body would accentuate and make anyone look wider than they are, and the drooping shoulder would make her look as if she was slouching. Now I am not a prig, this is a nice bright jumper for days when you want to curl up on a sofa, with a cup of tea, an open fire and good book, but it could do both - it could flatter the body rather than fattening it!
You would imagine Chanel would get things right, but look at the hip line, with that very chunky rib, the model is tiny but it makes her look bigger than she is. While the lace insert detail at the back is lovely, this could have been made to fit closer to the body, the black hole at the bottom indicates that there is a gap - and the folds you can see at the back would be resting on the rise of the bottom..... not flattering at all!
This is from this season, and a knitting magazine so it should get things right, but in this case it doesn't - she looks absolutely enormous, there is no shape and the short length makes her look as if she has outgrown it. Now I can understand the lovely sixties vibe that comes out of this but what is it doing for this girl? It doesn't flatter at all.
Doesn't she look lovely? That gorgeous neckline accentuates her collarbone, and you can see she is a woman - the style is making her neck look long, the delicate sleeves enhance the curve of her chest and out to her arms. This flatters her shape and makes her look feminine, she is not disappearing under a shapeless jumper.
This makes stunning use of the stitch and the properties of knitting, I love the structure the rib gives and the way it reflects the bias cut style of the 1930's. Notice too that it finishes just below the waist, not at the hip, this is kinder to body and gives rise to curves without distorting the size of the hip. The upright direction of the rib on the lower half has a slimming effect, and while the shaping enhances the bust, it does it subtly.
Vintage patters make knitwear sexy, yes you read that right, sexy. Imagine you can be warm and sexy how good would that be!
Look at the complexity of the patterns created, how they used the knitting to create puff sleeves, frills and curves. Thank goodness for the current Vintage trend, it has allowed us all to re-claim the lost art of knitting, to be inventive and use it to enhance our bodies.
This was a next jumper that was in the shops last year, and it shows that the current desire for more fitted styles are in demand. No matter what shape you were, this little jumper would have made you beautiful, as the lovely ribbing enhances the waist, the lines would draw the waist in so that it would appear smaller.
This pretty cardigan is from Primark, it is still a little longer - ending at the hip line, but the pretty crochet collar is a nice touch. If you intend to buy knitwear then my advice is to buy one size smaller you will find your body shape won't disappear.