A few months ago, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a new-to-me designer, Lizelle of Zellieknits, putting out a testing call for a cropped sweater with a sideways construction. I have never worn or made a cropped top before but have been wanting to try, and the challenge of a new construction was appealing. So, I offered to test this pattern. As I started, I began to realize how many women shaped more like me than stereotypical models were rocking high-waisted skirts and cropped tops. While knitting, I would picture what items of clothing I could wear with this sweater.
I only have good things to say about the testing process, the knitting itself, and the finished sweater. Lizelle worked so hard to stay in contact with everyone and provide support and clarification. She filmed videos to show techniques for the trickier parts. Most importantly to me, she started out with a size inclusive pattern (ranging from 28” to 62”) and added in modifications for a longer sweater or more room in the bust. Both of those are harder for the knitter to know how to add on their own because this sweater is knit sideways instead of top-down or bottom-up. I knit the size 2 for a 36-38” bust with no modifications. I’m a 38” bust, so this has about zero ease.
There are some beautiful small details on this sweater. Herringbone stitch is used on the hem and sleeves. I love the texture it makes, but herringbone takes forreverrr to knit across lots of stitches. One time I cast on a herringbone stitch scarf and pulled it out after an inch because I couldn’t take it. This was a much better herringbone experience.
Finally, I put on the sweater. I tilted my head one way, then the other. It’s hard to look at yourself objectively sometimes, you know? We get these ideas in our heads of what we like or don’t like about ourselves, what kinds of clothing we “should” or “can’t” wear because of our body shape, what we wish we looked like. I’ve held off knitting a cropped sweater for a while because I didn’t think it would “look good” on me. I’m 5’4” and have a short torso. I was afraid that a cropped sweater or high-waisted bottoms would divide my body weirdly and make me look bigger than I am. It’s odd, because the kinds of dresses that look the best on me are ones that are more fitted on top, come in at my natural waist, and flare out. So why wouldn’t a cropped sweater do the same thing?
The answer? I like how this looks. I’m still getting used to it, honestly, and realizing I don’t own tons of high-waisted skirts, but I just bought this dress at the thrift store and it. is. perfection. with this sweater. I’m a bit in love.
Have you been avoiding knitting something because you don’t think it would “flatter” you? Well, I’m trying to get over that thought process. Who cares if it’s not “flattering”? If I’m happy and comfortable, I’m going to wear it. The end.