One of my favorite knitting tools, after the obvious yarn and needles, has to be the MyBodyModel app. The worst thing is to spend hours and hours knitting a garment only to find out that the style didn’t suit my body. This was my story before I started using MyBodyModel. Drawing on my personal body croquis helps eliminate the disappointment of knitting a garment, only to have it not look good after finishing it.
When I first purchased my body model download, I only used it to draw clothes that I wanted to sew. Then one evening I decided to draw my husband’s sweater (the Gambier Jacket) on my croquis and instantly decided to make the same sweater for myself. I sketched it out on my croquis and finished knitting it in time for my husband and I to wear them on a trip to Europe last fall.
I am not a knitwear designer (yet) but I do like to audition yarn choices using my body model croquis to see how a particular garment might look knit up in a certain yarn texture and color. I also like to draw the pattern on my body croquis to see how the design will sit on my body. This helps for deciding on style, ease, sleeve length and body length for the garments. I also like to think about how I will style the finished garment before I make it.
I never thought I could wear a cropped sweater, but they are so popular right now and so versatile. I fell in love with the Soldotna Crop, a pattern by Caitlin Hunter. After sketching it on my croquis I was convinced to try knitting this beautiful colorwork sweater. I am thrilled with the final result and now I know I can wear a cropped sweater and feel comfortable and beautiful doing so.
Here are a few planning sketches for the sweater I am currently knitting. This is the Whitehorse sweater by Caitlin Hunter.
Because I want to be able to wear the sweater with pants and skirts I decided on the cropped version. I will make it in the red color using my own hand dyed yarn.
Another thing I like to do with my body model croquis is to style a garment after I knit it. I made the Paloma Cardigan, last year. I wanted to take it along on our European trip, too, because wearing hand knits everyday is so fun and I just love when people compliment me on what I’m wearing and I get to say, “Thanks, I made it!” I drew the cardigan with me wearing it over a striped Monroe Turtleneck, jeans and knee high boots. I got so much wear out of this outfit on our trip. Because we had a very cold winter (California style), I was able to wear this sweater all winter long and into the spring by pairing it with a silk top and jeans.
I like to use MyBodyModel together with my other favorite knitting tool: my Beatrice custom body form. I start by sketching my ideas on my body model croquis, and then put the garment on my Beatrice body form as I am knitting it to check the fit.
I used the Beatrice body form to check the neckline of my Weekender Sweater. After completely finishing the sweater I decided the neckline needed some adjusting to fit my small shoulders. I put the sweater on the body form and was able to close the neckline perfectly.
One last sweater in the planning stages is the Shifty by Andrea Mowry. Playing with color placement and sleeve and body length, I have decided on what yarns to use, and will be starting it soon; because one can never have enough works in progress. Ha! Ha!
I find sketching on my croquis very relaxing. It helps me calm down after a particularly stressful day. Using the MyBodyModel croquis app has also given me more confidence with my knitting. When choosing what to knit next, I can sketch it out first to avoid hours of wasted construction time. There is nothing worse that knitting a garment only to have it not sit right on my body or be the wrong style. That’s why MyBodyModel is one of my favorite knitting tools, as well as one of my favorite sewing tools.
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Diane has been sewing and creating since she was 12 years old. She started as a garment sewist and has dappled in cross stitch, scrapbooking and various crafts before discovering quilting in 2003. She spends long days in her sewing studio and has rediscovered her love of garment sewing and knitting in the last few years. She loves traveling with her husband of 47 years, large family get-togethers with her 4 sons, their wives and 10 grandchildren. She also enjoys photography and gardening. Diane recently started a business hand dyeing yarn. You can find her on Instagram @diane_stanley_sews_and_knits and @dyelotsstudio. Her yarn is available for purchase in her Etsy shop, Dye Lots Studio.