If you’re a bigger person you’ll understand what I’m about to talk about. If you’re normal size or smaller this may be a totally foreign concept to you but maybe it will be an education.
Those of us that are bigger have a major handicap when it comes to handcrafts. We like to knit, sew, crochet – whatever the chosen craft but it becomes a more time consuming, more costly hobby. Take the example of making a sweater. Let’s just pretend that the sweater is made just like an afghan – one big square. Makes my example and the math about to happen a lot easier.
So – you’re a normal size and you need to make the sweater/afghan square 36” around and 24” long. Your gauge is 5 sts/in & 7rows/in. Your project is going to be 180 sts wide and 168 rows long. That makes a grand total of 30,240 stitches to make this project. WOW! That’s a lot of stitches.
But you’re a bigger person. You need your project to be 48” around and 24” long. Same gauge. This project will be 240 sts wide and 168 rows long. Grand total? 40,320 sts. That’s 25% more stitches. 25% more time. 25% more yarn. 25% more cost. One other problem with this project you want to make. Chances are real good the pattern doesn’t come up to your size so you can either forget about it or try to convert it to your size. Converting isn’t as easy as enlarging everything. If you did that the neck would be huge and armholes bag down way too far. Not everything on the body grows at the same percentage when someone goes from a size 8 to a size 18.
I know the “easy” answer is to lose weight and then the cost, time, pattern select all becomes better. But that’s not going to happen in the next few minutes and we big folk have to deal with life as it is. So here’s the deal. If I were a yarn shop or pattern maker I would look at the charts. (The charts say over 50% of women are size 14 or over.) I would think about making profit. If I as a yarn company had patterns available that were fashionable and flattering to the bigger folk of the world I would sell more patterns because there are a lot of bigger people. I would sell more yarn because it takes more to make sweaters for these people. The bigger folk would do happy dances about my company; my employees would have more work to do because we’re selling more yarn and patterns. I may be crazy but this sounds like a win-win situation to me.
Well, that would happen in my world. In this world I knit a lot of non-fitting things like shawls and hats and mittens because I don’t always have the ambition to create a sweater for myself. Maybe I’ll get the calculator out and design something for myself.