Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Knit to Fit- Part 2

March 4, 2013

Fit problem#2:

Hem of garment rides up in the front.


Addition of short rows solves bust fitting issues.

Addition of short rows solves bust fitting issues.

 If you have a larger bust and have tried to fit it into ready-to-wear clothing, it is no surprise that sporting anything larger than a B cup bra size is going to be trouble when knitting as well. We most often notice this, of all places, at the hemline of the garment when it pulls upward.

  What is going on here is that there is not enough length to go over the breasts and keep the hemline even all the way around the body.

   The fix for this is short rows. Rows are worked across the width of the bust, but stopped short of the side seams, which creates more length within the fabric only where it is needed. 

I offer a free pattern called “The Shapely Tank” on my webpage which walks the knitter through the technique of adding short rows to a simple tank top for a perfect fit.

Find it here: , and keep a copy in your knitting bag for reference. Once this simple fix is mastered, it can be applied to almost any sweater.


By the way, I’ve just posted two new styles over at my website.

The lovely and dressy Kate Pullover, and Gillian, a floral embroidered Tee.


Intro and Knit to Fit – Part 1

January 14, 2013

The prospect of knitting your own sweater should be filled with potential and the anticipation of adding a beautiful knitted garment to your wardrobe.

However, the reality of this endeavor doesn’t always match dream. In spite of following instructions to the letter, even experienced knitters end up with common fit difficulties that can burst that bubble of promise.

Without knowing how to identify the problems, there is no clear way to fix or head them off .

With that, I would like to address that what I’ve seen over my years in teaching fitting classes are the five most common fitting problems when knitting a sweater.


Fit problem #1.- Large gaping neckline/ Drooping shoulders.

Though these seem like two problems, they very often boil down to one thing. The measurement of the cross shoulder in the back of the garment is too large for the wearer.

This can cause the neckline to gape and the shoulder seams to droop below where they should sit and now the sleeves seem too long when they actually may not be.  See how it snowballs?


Knit to Fit 1-Cross shoulder

Knit to Fit 1-Cross shoulder

To correct this, begin by measuring across the width of the shoulders in back as shown in my illustration. That measurement should be anywhere between 12” to 18” in an adult woman.

From your chosen pattern and size take the number of stitches that remain after binding off and decreasing for your armholes and divide by your stitch gauge to reveal the shoulder width of the pattern. If your upper shoulder measurement does not match this, continue the decreases at the armholes until the measurement does match yours.  Important: There should be no ease added to this measurement!

Also, some patterns will  have you put your back neck stitches on a holder, only to have you put them back on the needle when working your neckband. It’s a good idea in theory, but in reality this often causes a loose, stretchy back neck that can affect fit negatively. To correct, bind off your back neck, then pick up for the band to get a nice, firm line.

Next time: What to do when your hemline is on the rise.

Tainted Love

January 1, 2013

Did you know that there are over 50 versions of the song “Tainted Love” on You Tube?

Most of us are familiar with the 80’s version by Soft Cell, but it was originally recorded in 1964 by Gloria Jones.

Here’s one of my favorite renditions on ukulele:



Holiday Gifting!

December 18, 2012

Until Dec 23rd, buy a gift certificate from White Lies Designs in a $25 to $100 denomination and receive 1 free pattern with the $25 purchase, 2 free patterns with the $50 purchase and so on.
Free patterns can be sent on to your certificate recipient as an extra gift or sent directly to you as a little holiday reward for getting through all that shopping/knitting/cooking/cleaning that comes with the holiday season! Just write the names of the free patterns and to whom you’d like them sent in the message box upon checkout.giftcertsale!

More Bleach Pen Art Upcycling!

September 10, 2012

Here’s another bleach pen tee hot off the dining room table!
I feel so smart rescuing my stained tees this way. And it’s so much fun, I’m kind of hoping I’ll drop something oily on my rack just so I can work on a new bleach design.
I’ve thought of doing some other things with the idea this fall such as drawing designs on yardage, then cutting and sewing a dress out of it. The possiblities are endless!

Knitting Magazine Giveaway!

July 11, 2012

I’ve been fortunate enough to have several of my designs featured in recent knitting magazines, and I have several copies of Knitters’, Creative knitting, and Knit-n-Style to give away!

Email me at Whitelies at and put “Knitting Magazine Giveaway” in the subject line before July 20th, 2012 and you’ll be entered to win.

Below, a dress pattern I designed for Creative Knitting. The bodice is knitted and I’ve attached a simple sewn skirt to make a cool and comfy summer sundress.

Whippin’ the Knits in Walnut Creek, Ca!

June 8, 2012

Joan giving Jill van Houten a quick measuring

I’ll be teaching the 3 hour rendtition of Whip Your Knits into Shape on June 16th at Fashion-Knit in Walnut Creek.

Here’s the info from their webpage:

Whip Your Knits Into Shape!
3 hour workshop
presented by
Joan McGowan-Michael

We are pleased to announce that fabulous knitwear designer and author Joan McGowan-Michael is coming to Fashion-Knit! Joan McGowan-Michael will be teaching a 3-hour workshop – Whip Your Knits into Shape!

Date: Saturday, June 16, 2012

Time: 11am to 2pm

Followed by a free book signing

Special Registration Discount

To register visit the store or call us at 925-943-3994.

As Joan has said, “Adding designer shaping touches to your knitted garments is easy once you know a few simple rules and how to apply them. Flatter your figure by shaping any garment as you knit it. Darts, ease, and short row shaping are all important elements for a custom fit. Learn which ones to use to play up your specific body type to it’s best advantage.”


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