Short row bust shaping for sweaters

I’ve always wondered why patterns call for flat knitting across the chest, when we gals are curvy. In my own sweaters, I’ve been using short rows to get a better fit.

I found this tutorial & thought I’d pass it along.

I make sweaters with about 2 or 3" of negative ease, which makes them stretch across the bust without looking like it’s too tight or too small, then that smaller measurement pulls in fine under it for my middle.

But many people do like more defined shaping and that’s a good article. Here’s another from knitty.

What is negative ease?

Abby to answer your question, I remake almost every pattern I ever use for myself. As guide I use an old Passap book with tons of basic patterns for every size and gauge. They list MY kind of pattern, for my body as for “stout” women. Boo Hoo. :waah:

It really amounts to short row darts for extra bust ease. That way I can avoid those HORRID dropped shoulders, or shoulders in which the shaping is too wide.

If the shaping is really weird, I try to give myself an extra 1" on each side & find someway to try and get that “dart” in there. I really hate it when I put all that work in a sweater and it is too short in front. :frog:

Good luck!

Negative ease is an item that’s smaller than the actual body measurement. Hats are generally knit with about 2" of negative ease so they stay on, as they’re very stretchy. So while I measure 44" at the bust, I knit my sweaters to about 42". They stretch a little without looking tight, but curve in under the bust to give shaping in my middle and don’t look boxy.

Yes, I’m stout, my dad’s mother and sisters were also. I have long legs, but a short tubby body. Even my skinny little aunt was thick in the middle.

Stout, you gals crack me up.

I’m only a A cup & I like my sweaters to have more shape. Otherwise, I look well, too flat. But if I make my sweater smaller, then it isn’t flattering either. If I’m gonna make a sweater, I want it to look as good as possible.

Like suzeeq said, negative ease is when you make something smaller to get a snugger fit. Like with socks, so they grip the foot.

My second pet peeve about sweater patterns, is dropped shoulders. Yes, they are easy to knit. And easy to set in the sleeves. But, they look sloppy on me. Raglan fits me better. But I need to learn how to draft a fitted sleeve. Or just come up with a master pattern that fits me well.

Thanks! I knew it had to be something to do with going inward with the pattern instead of adding to it. :slight_smile:

I too had too much trouble trying to knit to my measurments. After about the 3rd item that was too big, I started to stretch my test swatch a little bit and block it that way, then go from that. It was kind of nice because some knits stretch more than others, and this method factored that in. But simply using “negative ease” makes more sense!

It does work, especially if your gauge is a little looser. I don’t do waist shaping (because I don’t have one), so it works well for me having a little cling in the middle.