Frolic Workshops 2010

I took two Frolic classes on Sunday - one on judging body type and how to dress it, one on customizing knit patterns for the best fit. They were great classes to take back to back.

In class #1, Robin Hunter explained  the "ideal" female body for the fashion industry has a standardized shape that is slim and rectangular, facilitating mass produced clothing. Yet she also cited the classic hourglass as our societal ideal.

In the face of these realities we spent the working portion of the class developing objective assessments of each student's figure, recording  the factual details on personalized charts and in so doing our own ability to "see" the qualities of different figure attributes and types.

In Robin's blog post after the class, she expressed surprise at learning from us that...
Often what we think is (a woman's)...best attribute is the one that bothers (her) the most.
So we've got...
  • The fashion industry 
  • Society
  • Our own view of ourselves and our judgement thereof
  • Reality
Wow, no wonder it feels claustrophobic in the change room - We're dragging so many differing opinions in there with us! Who gets to call the shots?

For this knitter, its got to be me!

So how fortunate for "me" to go from that to a class to one where I could begin to learn how to call the shots with my knitting.

In that second class designer Veronique Avery asserted nothing flatters more than good fit, favouring a clear understanding of that fourth point - "Reality" - the kind that comes from a measuring tape held by a good (and kind ;) ) friend.

Like Robin, Veronique cited how profitability dictates not only limited variety in the realm of ready to wear, but also "ready to knit" patterns. So our own "custom" knitting of patterns as written won't yield custom fitted garments unless we alter pattern schematics to our custom measurements before knitting a stitch.

Achieving that schematic using fairly simple math and a few equations then took up the majority of our time with her.

"But we can't even get people to swatch!" sighed one woman who works in a yarn store.

But then that is a knitter's choice.  We can choose not to bother and just live with results. We can even choose not to knit ourselves garments at all.

My knitting, however, is funded by my clothing budget. My knits need to perform in my wardrobe so I need and want and plan to work towards good fit which is why I chose to take the classes I did and why I was so happy with them. I learned a lot about how to achieve my goals. I hope now going forward to enjoy less "crowded" fitting rooms when I shop and sufficient patience to customize my patterns before I cast on when I knit!

Thank you Robin and Veronique for your help with this!

And thank you for dropping by!


elizabeth said...

I would've loved to take that class! So jealous!!!

You've reinforced what experience has taught me (but that I don't always follow) - knit to your measurements, using the pattern more as a guideline. My favorite knits were made according to this rule!

Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend and Mother's Day!

Anne Campbell said...

Sounds as though those were both useful classes. I need to figure out what my type of figure wants to wear - and then ignore it, probably, but I'd like to know first.

Have you seen TechKnitter's current series on fitting? And she refers to the other one I'm reading, but TechKnitter always is so organized. I'm glad she's tackling this topic.

Acorn to Oak said...

I never thought about all of those influences coming into the changing room. No wonder I hate clothes shopping so much! Just finding clothes that I like or that fit correctly is hard enough. lol

Brenda said...

The classes do sound great. I admire your discipline of sticking to a budget.