Stitches West 2014

Posted February 13, 2014 by joanmm
Categories: Uncategorized

Looking for a discount card for this big yarn show?

Find it here.

Stitches show dates are Feb. 21 thru 23rd at the Santa Clara convention center.

See us (White Lies Designs) in booth 220 with some pretty new styles!

Hugshrug

Not able to make it to the show, but want this pretty knit shrug pattern?

Rockin’ the Stockings!!

Posted January 21, 2014 by joanmm
Categories: Uncategorized

Even though I’ve been a professional designer for going on 30 years (yes, really), I can’t help but have an eye-rolling moment every now and then over the looks I see on the runway and the absence of reality and/or common sense behind the look displayed.

Case in point: All of the shorts and minis seen on the runway for this, the winter of 2014, one of the coldest in recent memory.

However, some of the designers who showed this look were thinking realistically when they paired these tiny togs with lovely, long socks, over the knee and up to the thigh.

stockins

They’re preaching to the choir here, because I’ve designed several of these hosiery styles for White Lies Designs, and now knitters can make their own over-the-knee beauties at home.

Stockingsnewsletter

From left to right, Anastasia, Marlaina, Gina and Monica.

All are knitted from the toe up and can be tried on as you knit. I’ve used Cascade Fixation which contains 3% elastic so it hugs the leg and stays up nicely. They’re sexy and they’re also smart.

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Knit to Fit Part 5: Unifying Two Sizes

Posted January 10, 2014 by joanmm
Categories: knit to fit, shaping knits

Unifying two sizes

For those of us who are not perfectly proportioned, choosing what size to knit can be a conundrum.

Do you go with a size to fit the upper body and hope that it will fit around the tummy/hips, or the size that fits the hips and let your bust/shoulders fend for themselves?

Happily, there is no need to take a chance at all as you can simply choose both sizes and make them meet in the middle.

As an example we’ll use a woman with a smaller upper body and bountiful hips. She wears a medium on top and an XL on the bottom. She finds that for the size garment to fit her hips, she must cast on 100 stitches for the front working from the bottom up.  The size front that will fit her bust asks that she cast on 80 stitches. 

So she casts on her 100 stitches then begins to decrease at the side edges, 1 stitch at each end of her needle every 6th row 10 times, until the 80 stitches she needs remain.  So, what she has done is gently decreased away the material needed to cover her hips until she reaches the number for her upper body, then she continues working as for the smaller size.

   This can work the same way in reverse for those with a larger bust/shoulders and small hips. Simply cast on for the smaller size and increase gently until the number of stitches for the top half of the garment is reached and continue to work as for the larger size.

http://www.whiteliesdesigns.com features many beautiful styles that lend themselves to this technique.

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Classes at Yarnosphere! October 12-13th, 2013

Posted October 2, 2013 by joanmm
Categories: class workshop, Fashion, knit to fit, shaping knits, vintage

Tags: , ,

 

Join me at Yarnosphere!

Join me at Yarnosphere!

Join me, Joan McGowan Michael, at Yarnoshpere! Yarn show October 12-13, 2013.

I’ll be teaching my very popular Whip Your Knits into Shape workshops and my fun Bead Embroidery for Knits class!

-With Whip Your Knits  Part 1, students will work in teams to take complete measurements of your own bodies and I will show you how to apply that knowledge to getting the best fit possible in your knitted garments. Alterations, the application of short row shaping, ease, and marrying different sizes are all discussed in this class. We keep this class small enough for me to give everyone the personal attention they need, so sign up early to assure a spot.

-In Whip Your Knits Part 2, students will use the measurements taken in Part 1 and transfer them to brown paper to make a basic hard pattern of their body, then using this new pattern to easily design a custom sweater on graph paper. Again, small class size assures personal attention, so reserve early!

Bead Embroidery for Knits is where I get to pull out my small but fantastic collection of 50’s beaded sweaters and we re-create one of the beaded motifs on a swatch which we later turn into a fancy eyeglass case! This technique is great for more than just knits; decorate a tee shirt or jean jacket or even Christmas ornaments

It’s going to be a great knitter’s weekend in Orange County and I can’t wait to see you all there!

Knit to Fit- Part 4- Gaping Bust/Front

Posted August 13, 2013 by joanmm
Categories: Uncategorized

Fitsketchcolor4

4.- Gaping Bust/Front

  In the knitting industry it is common practice to draft the front and back of patterns the same width. If you are a difficult fit, some of that difficulty may come from your front and back being very different sizes.

   The stretch inherent in knit fabric accommodates some of the difference. However when we get into bigger cup sizes or protruding tummies it is simply asking too much of the stretch and the result is a cardigan whose buttons want to pop!

   The fix for this is to mark a point near each underarm at the level of the fullest part of the bust  and/or belly and take separate measurements across the front then across the back.

Now armed with those new measurements, chose the sizes from among those listed on your pattern’s schematics that most closely match yours. You may be choosing a Medium back and an XL front, but if you still go with the armhole depth and length of the smaller size it will assure that the front has enough width to close without gaping.

When knitting the length of the front and back, you will use the measurements for the smaller of the sizes, and you’ll still add short row shaping at the bust should you need it.

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Want to find out how to make this alteration in more detail?

I walk you through it in my Craftsy.com online class, “Feminine Fit”.

Here’s a discount code for 50% off. Come join me!

www.craftsy.com/feminine

 

 

Dress You Up at FashionKnit!–Saturday June 8th, 2013

Posted June 4, 2013 by joanmm
Categories: Uncategorized

 
 
 
Join me at FashionKnit in Walnut Creek, California on Saturday June 8th for my Dress You Up class!
 
Learn to combine fabric and knitting to make a pretty sundress like the one pictured as well as a baby dress and sexy nightie.
 
Call FashionKnit for details-(925)943-3994
 
Summer Getaway Sundress(resized)
 
 

Meet the New Girls!

Posted May 24, 2013 by joanmm
Categories: Fashion, knit, retro, sexy, shaping knits, vintage

They’re girly and pretty and ready for your Summer and Early Fall knitting!KateGillian

Kate and Gillian are my newest styles for WLD!  See both here and start knitting up a storm!

We also now have selected PDF patterns available in our Etsy Shop.

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Knit to Fit- Part 3

Posted May 13, 2013 by joanmm
Categories: knit to fit, shaping knits, Uncategorized

Fitsketchcolor3jpg

Fit problem number 3.- A Baggy Body

     I see a lot of beautifully curvy women walking around in sweaters or tee shirts cut for men, not realizing that instead of hiding the bits they want to cover up, it makes them look larger all up and down their torso.

Any time  a top hangs off the end of the bust as men’s cuts will do on a woman, it lets the mind’s eye of the onlooker assume that the bagginess of the top is filled in with the wearer’s body whether the case or not.

   Counter this  with a little shaping at the sides of the garment; just enough to suggest the waistline and remove some excess fabric.

My free  Shapely Tank pattern mentioned in a previous post  goes into specifics as to how to achieve this (print one out to keep in your knitting bag) but generally, beginning at the upper hip, you will decrease away about 1” worth of stitches at each seam edge prior to reaching the waist area, and add them back in after the waist.

This 4” of nipping is enough to make a huge difference in how your sweater will flatter your middle. Try it on the next garment you knit.

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Just FYI, many of my patterns are now available as digital downloads in my Etsy shop!

Coming Soon : My Craftsy Classes!

Posted April 10, 2013 by joanmm
Categories: class workshop, knit, knit to fit

I’m so pleased to announce that  I will soon be giving classes through Craftsy.com!

Even better, one of the classes entitled “Feminine Fit” will be based on the Knit to Fit series I’ve been running right here on my blog!

  I’ve hugely expanded the information for this class wherein I demonstrate how to acheive the fit you’ve always wanted in your sweaters but didn’t know how to get. I’ll show how to do this easily and without using a lot of intimidating math equations.

I’ll also be teaching a class on Continental Knitting, so if you’ve been wanting to learn this enormously useful technique,  join me on Craftsy.com for this excellent free class.

I’ll post links, a special discount offer and more information as soon as I have it.

Here I am on the Craftsy set:

 

Joan on the Craftsy set

Joan on the Craftsy set

 

 

Knit to Fit- Part 2

Posted March 4, 2013 by joanmm
Categories: Uncategorized

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: http://www.whiteliesdesigns.com/patterns/lpullovers/fbc.html , and keep a copy in your knitting bag for reference. Once this simple fix is mastered, it can be applied to almost any sweater.

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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.

Enjoy!