8 votes

The plus-size knitters who are solving an inclusivity problem

6 comments

  1. [6]
    eve
    Link
    I absolutely adore that Krentz made an adjusting pattern! The best part about knitting (and in turn crocheting and sewing) is that you get to make things specific to you. It's absolutely mind...

    I absolutely adore that Krentz made an adjusting pattern! The best part about knitting (and in turn crocheting and sewing) is that you get to make things specific to you. It's absolutely mind boggling to me that there's such an issue of patterns not being available in larger sizes. Like, it's not an insignificant amount of people you're leaving out.

    Being inclusive for something like this is so important for people, and you're genuinely losing out if you don't even try to put in the effort. Knitters want to give creators money! Like why block yourself from an entire section of a market?

    7 votes
    1. wirelyre
      Link Parent
      I'm disappointed by this comment thread. @eve, thank you for bringing your experience here. You clarified the relationship between knitters and designers for me, which I hadn't ever thought about....
      • Exemplary

      I'm disappointed by this comment thread.

      @eve, thank you for bringing your experience here. You clarified the relationship between knitters and designers for me, which I hadn't ever thought about. And it's good to know exactly how much the communities do or don't value size inclusivity. I certainly wouldn't know.

      Folks, we don't have to immediately problematize everything. This article is about a first step in fixing something that's obviously wrong. The whole point is that change is beginning. We get to celebrate that. We don't need to criticize baby steps.

      But now poor @eve is stuck defending the very concept of automatic tailoring?! Like she's automatically part of The System because she liked the article? This work is the cutting edge. You are witnessing the beginning of changes in the online knitting community. These same creators will be the ones figuring out the details brought up in this thread.

      I don't think anyone was writing in bad faith. But come on — talking about details like this automatically pits @eve against the ideas. Which is super uncomfortable because she just wanted to celebrate a small success. Also, she's not opposed to the ideas!

      Here's what I wanted to see from this thread: "Oh, cool, inclusivity meets yarn. Wait, I thought of some extra stuff they'll need to think about in the future." This way we all support the movement as trying to change the community, instead of somehow trying to fix the movement itself.

      Again, disappointing.

      4 votes
    2. [2]
      pallas
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      To add to MimicSquid's comment: it may be somewhat simpler for knitting, but I do know that for tailoring, changing the size can significantly change patterns and construction, not simply in...

      To add to MimicSquid's comment: it may be somewhat simpler for knitting, but I do know that for tailoring, changing the size can significantly change patterns and construction, not simply in sizing, but in what pieces are cut and how they are assembled. Darts and sections can be added, shapes can be changed, and the very goals of how something should fit and appear can be different. Tailoring for larger sizes has traditionally been more complicated than for smaller ones: many guides to men's tailoring from eras when individual cutting and tailoring was more common arguably had the majority of their focus on larger sizes, as this was the area where more skill was required.

      As someone on the other side of this inclusivity problem, with measurements significantly thinner than what is commonly available, I'm skeptical that the spreadsheet and many-size-pattern approaches discussed actually handle a wide variety of sizes well. It seems more likely that they are built around constructions and assumptions that work well for particular sizes and proportions, and simply scale them up and down, while also being styles that can be scaled in this way (something that is easier with knitwear).

      Consider, for example, the difference in constructing something for measurements with a waist circumference significantly smaller, roughly equal to, and significantly larger than hip circumference. These involve completely different curves in different places.

      In fact, it's a bit frustrating that despite the wording around inclusivity, it appears that when the pattern-makers being interviewed say they want "everyone to feel included", and make patterns that fit everyone, what they often seem to mean, looking at their products, is that they make plus-size patterns. While Treminio may state "I just don’t understand why some people feel that it takes more work to include more sizes," in reality, the Simone pattern she highlights has a minimum bust size of 36 in. Conatti, to her credit, does appear to have some patterns that are inclusive on the other side, and recognizes and explains when her patterns are not, pointing out the very legitimate reasons why the constructions don't scale down, but will call a pattern "size inclusive" because it "has absolutely no upper size limits," then will go on to explain the minimum sizing.

      It's great to make patterns for different sizes of people. But I don't think these necessarily need to be the same patterns, or, as Conatti demonstrates, always can be. And I don't think its necessary for every pattern maker to accommodate every proportion, or to argue that they are trying to. Some of these pattern makers are clearly focused on plus sizes.

      5 votes
      1. eve
        Link Parent
        I AM a knitter/crafter and would like to say that needle art like crocheting and knitting as an advantage of being more easily adjustable by math. There's a surprising amount of math involved when...

        I AM a knitter/crafter and would like to say that needle art like crocheting and knitting as an advantage of being more easily adjustable by math. There's a surprising amount of math involved when adjusting and making patterns in general. I will say, that more advanced crafters can make adjustments more easily, because they have an understanding of how the process works and how to adjust. There are certainly exceptions with patterns with color work, and I'm sure it also depends on which methods you're using between intarsia and strandad color work. I'm not trying to disparage the unique difficulties that are presented when trying to adjust for sizing (this is tildes, shame on me for not mentioning it). There are methods and I wouldn't cast so much doubt on the automated version of it, because knitting and crocheting has so much math to sizing and how things are built. I'm sure it also depends if something is worked flat or seamless and in the round.

        You raise a very good point. Size inclusivity is great, but it needs to go both ways. Also the smallest bust size of 36 isn't very small, that's wild. I know a lot of people tend to ignore the other side of the spectrum, but unfortunately it seems it might come after the fact of bigger inclusivity, in terms of trends. And again, being more inclusive can have its own set of difficulties.

        Also, I'll be honest, I mostly commented because this part of my community/hobby and rarely do I see this kind of stuff come up and I want to participate in the things that interest me here, so definitely it wasn't thoroughly thought through, but I definitely wasn't unaware of the difficulties inclusivity entails. I think the article presents that the knowledge is known, creators just need to reach out further. These are, of course, examples on the further end of people not being inclusive. It may resonate with some people but it may not with others.

        4 votes
    3. [2]
      MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      The thing about sizing is that it's not as simple as making it bigger in all dimensions. Waist measurements don't change at the same rate as bust, arm length won't change much at all, etc. Within...

      The thing about sizing is that it's not as simple as making it bigger in all dimensions. Waist measurements don't change at the same rate as bust, arm length won't change much at all, etc. Within some range you can just add or subtract a bit and it'll be ok, but at some point you're making a new pattern from scratch. You can't even just make it fit roughly the same, because the decorative elements that felt balanced at one size may need to be scaled differently from the scaling of the garment.

      None of this is to say that it's not important or that there isn't an underserved market, but I wanted to give a sense of the challenges involved.

      3 votes
      1. eve
        Link Parent
        Oh no, don't get me wrong I understand completely that it isn't like an easy scaling kind of thing. I appreciate that it can come with it's own subset of challenges. But other creators have proven...

        Oh no, don't get me wrong I understand completely that it isn't like an easy scaling kind of thing. I appreciate that it can come with it's own subset of challenges. But other creators have proven there are ways to do it that don't take that much time, and if a pattern creator can't do it themselves, they should reach out to those who can if possible. Some of the creators people came across in the article didn't even bother.

        3 votes