How to become shapely in 23 days

6-IMG_8718How to become shapely in 23 days?  First, you pick up some knitting neeedles.  Then you add an amazing optical illusion of a knitting pattern, designed to showcase curves; a pattern so ingenious it does for the waistline what hours of crunches cannot acheive.

1-IMG_8771I have had less time to devote to blogging lately, but that doesn’t mean my hands have been idle.  In fact, I have just finished knitting a sweater that took only 23 days from start to finish.  (And this includes at least a week of no knitting at all while I prepared for a B-school presentation.)  This is the fastest I have been able to turn out a project in some time. 4-IMG_8732The pattern is the #11 Hourglass Top designed by Theresa Schabes for Noro Knitting Magazine, Spring 2013.  It has a very interesting construction, which accentuates the waist, resulting in an hourglass silhouette.

The sweater is knit in two quick pieces and then seamed together.  It is an especially effective construction technique for Noro yarn, which is known for its long colour sequences.  At the waist, the stitch count for the back (which wraps around the front of the sweater) is three times that of the front (approximately 150 stitches for the back and 50 stitches for the front).  This means that the stripes of any one colour will be deeper on the narrower knitted parts, and shallower on the wider knitted parts, which results in the mis-match of colour sequences along the seams.  I don’t think a monotoned yarn, or a yarn with shorter colour changes, would be as affective as the Noro in this design.

5-IMG_8720This is not only an extremely quick and easy knit, but is also a very cheap one.  I used 3 skeins of Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn for this sweater.  This makes it about the equivalent cost of two cinema tickets.  This is definitely a win-win project.

2-IMG_8767I do think the pattern runs a bit big.  I intended to add a lot of negative ease into the pattern, as I wanted to accentuate the waist.  To do this, I tailored a size between the small and medium, casting on 112 stitches and then for the most part following the directions for the second size with respect to increases and decreases.  The finished product actually has about zero ease.  In fact, when it’s not on the body it appears to have very little waist shaping at all.

3-IMG_8758Here lies the genious of the pattern.  It creates a very effective optical illusion:  it looks extremely shapely without being the least bit snug or binding.  Notice the rolling at the bottom of the sweater; this was even more problematic with the purled edging called for in the pattern.  I ripped out the waist and armhole edgings and redid them in ribbing.  This mostly solved the rolling problem, particularly on the armholes.  The bottom still rolls up when the sweater is off, but behaves itself when its being worn.

2-IMG_8755So, who needs dieting when you can knit?  Next time you think of doing crunches, pull out your knitting needles instead!

1-IMG_8752My thanks to Emma who took the photos.  Emma is home (yeah!) but only for the week (boo!).

14 thoughts on “How to become shapely in 23 days

  1. It looks fantastic – I remember seeing this pattern in the magazine. I have some Noro silk garden in my stash – must look up this pattern and give it a try. The construction looks really cool.

  2. You totally fooled me! I thought this was going to be you showing us how to use the thighmaster or something. It’s really cool and oh! look! I have that magazine!

  3. Thanks for the kind words on my design. I love working with Noro yarns, and try hard to find inventive ways to avoid their natural – and not very flattering – horizontal stripes. Check out my design on the cover of Knit Noro or my skirt designs in the Noro magazines (or just look up my designs on Ravelry) for other ways I’ve resolved the dilemma.

  4. Love your diet and exercise program! I’m going to share it with my knit group. We tend to go on yarn and pattern binges, so my guess is there will be a run on Noro at Apple Yarns in Bellingham!! Oh, wait, I have lots of Noro in my stash. I’ll bust my stash and my waistline at the same time!! Yahoo! Thanks!

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