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European Knitting Patterns

Yesterday, I taught my class on how to make a commercial pattern fit your body. Had a blast, thanks to Debbie, Julie, and Lynda. Part of this class is looking at current magazines for schematics.

I took in a copy of Burda’s Verena knitting mag. This has been out for a while, but the earlier issues didn’t really interest me. This one has a bunch of plus size patterns which I hoped would help me in writing some larger sizes of a new pattern.


Charlotte Yarn has the latest Katia mag which has great graphs to go with some of the patterns. That precipitated a discussion of US vs other patterns.

I hear many people complain about British patterns. Part of the problem there is that the are written in English, just not our English. We want you to call it a “yo,” not a “yfd.” We want a translation. It’s obvious that we need a German pattern translated; less obvious about that British to American bit.

The patterns or pattern magazines that I like best come from the continent. (Doesn’t that sound so sophisticated?) Thanks to yesterday’s class, I had to define why I like them better.

1. The patterns tend to have a more womanly fit. They are shaped. You see very few straight lines, and I dare you to show me a straight line on your natural body. Shaping doesn’t require more skill or even really more work. Just a bit of attention.

2. There are always schematics (photographs lie!!!!) and usually include more data than US patterns, excepting Vogue. Makes fitting me much easier.

3. Most patterns have set in sleeves. This was more important ten years ago when pattern mags here thought we were only skilled enough for drop sleeves (I shiver as I type those two words.). You know my bias toward set in sleeves for everyone.

4. Cultures differ and so do the details on their clothing. I get some easy to knit details that I often haven’t really seen here. I’m never above stealing a bit of trim from another pattern to embellish a plain sweater.

5.  Many have a ruler down the side of the page–each page.  I find that useful and nice.

6. Last is the reflection of the latest trends. We are still a year behind Europe in couture. Because I always hate the latest trend until I finally grow to embrace it, if I can see it earlier, I can get over my knee-jerk dislike earlier. Oh, to have a truly open mind.

That brings up another question. Do people built like a healthy fashion model look at new styles differently from me? Or do they,too, worry about if it will make their butt look big? Hm-m-m.

2 Responses

  1. I loved the class! I’ve been looking at patterns with new eyes. I can’t wait to begin knitting myself a sweater knowing now that it will fit.

  2. Nice Blog… Thanks

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