Sizing [R]Evolution Changing the perspective and application of sizing based on available information, applied in new and innovative ways, to achieve unique and inclusive sizing.
How You Can Participate
A Sizing [R]Evolution needs you! I have thoughts and opinions, but I want other perspectives. The most amazing thing about working with Jamie has been the way our different ways of thinking have supported each other and allowed each of us to soar.
Requirements to join Sizing [R]Evolution on Slack:
- A body
- Willingness to measure and give me numbers
- Inquiring mind
- Willingness to discuss without bias or judgment.
There is a parallel conversation on Slack available to participate in:
Requirements for joining Shaking Up the Knitting Pattern World.
- Tech editor
- Open to new ideas
- Willingness to discuss without bias or judgment
TLNGR (too long, not going to read):
- How You Can Participate
- How I Got Here
- What I Mean By Inclusive Sizing
- Where I Landed to Give Inclusive Sizing
- Why a Sizing [R]Evolution?
- Action You Can Take
How I Got Here
Over the past few years I have been trying to figure out how to create knitting patterns in 20 sizes in a way that is relatively straightforward and cost-effective and that doesn’t create additional barriers. This has not been successful. I can do the sizes, but I can’t make it cost-effective!
When I began teaching A System of Grading in 2017 or 2018 I started thinking about how to create fit for transgender bodies. I was really fascinated by the possibilities and thought someone should figure it out. I didn’t mean for it to be me!
What I Mean By Inclusive Sizing
Inclusive sizing should mean that anyone can, with a few personal adaptations (based on personal measurements), create something to fit their body. Knitters already have many of the skills they need to do this; it is the next step that needs to be taken.
Teaching A System of Grading (ASOG), it became apparent to me that the key lies in the skeleton. It is the bedrock of our structure (bodies) and everything else we consider in sizing has to be considered in terms of that underlying structure.
Once I made that shift, inclusive sizing wasn’t the amoeba it seemed to be. But I still couldn’t see how to do a pattern in 20 sizes; I could do it, but not particularly effectively!
My Question Has Always Been This:
How do I effectively create a design in 20 sizes?
- I want to offer size 2 through 20, and 14W through 36W (now 40W!)
- Make appropriate design adjustments for bodies at each size.
- Without considerably more effort (time, money, brain space) than I expend to create a narrower size range.
- Have teachable results.
This is my actual list:
- Design at every size to be evocative of the same thing as my sample size (generally a size 10/medium using my sizing tables).
- Fit at every size has to be similar, but accommodating, for each size.
- Flexibility to create designs that I want to create.
- Make grading decisions (after design decisions about structure, shape, detail, and ease) automatically using A System of Grading (ASOG).
- Each individual size can be easily viewed by me within the structure of a grading workbook to make adjustments for consistency across sizes.
- The amount of time devoted to pattern writing each design has to be only marginally greater than that for a similar but more narrowly sized design.
- The additional cost to me has to be relative to the number of additional patterns sold.
What I Have Done to Create Inclusive Sizing?
I have, once or twice, written a pattern in 20 sizes. Usually as a pattern with work sheets that the knitter fills out and selects from given options. It is a huge undertaking in thinking and presentation.
In my current and ongoing efforts with Jamie to create inclusive sizing, we have employed:
- flat pattern,
- sizing tables,
- behavioral sciences,
- math (levels way beyond what I understand), and
- physics (which I totally don’t understand!).
Jamie has created sizing work books that will create all those sizes and do amazing things in comparisons and relationships, and even churn out language. The pattern writing remains unbelievably complicated and lengthy.
Where I Landed to Give Inclusive Sizing
At the same time, Jamie has created work books that create all the information needed to create a unique pattern using specific measurements. She has done a lot of work to translate what I know into the complex formulas and interactions needed for calculations. It is so, so, fun to put numbers in and see the results I need! I put numbers in and then get exactly what I need to create an individually customized version of one of my designs. This allows me to do riffs of silhouettes we have created work books for, which expands their usage exponentially.
I am working on pattern templates to be used with these work books that will simplify the presentation.
Ultimate Outcome: 1) My designs and pattern instructions. 2) Your individual measurements and knitting time. Your size, gender, age, body type, any of the things we think of as size barriers. They do not matter.
Why a Sizing [R]Evolution?
I have been asking these question for years. I haven’t gotten the answers I wanted, but I am too fascinated by this sizing dilemma to let it go.
But changing the question it makes it easy to answer.
Benefits of a Sizing [R]Evolution:
- Allows designers to continue to design as they wish.
- Knitters can put individual measurements into the design framework (or use a sizing table for a standard size).
- Individual pattern numbers and instructions are generated.
- The grading is done,
- Written pattern only has to be tech edited once.
- Knitters can be instructed know how to take specific measurements needed to create their individual pattern.
- We don’t have to categorize people by size!
- Allows us to address fit issues individually (i.e., no longer relying on bust size).
- You can make umpteen versions of a design, for any body.
Obstacles of a Sizing [R]Evolution:
- We love continuity.
- Not knowing what to expect in the future is hard.
- Taking measurements is required.
- Designers will have to think a little differently.
- Learning new things is hard.
- Knitters will have do do gauge swatches.
- How do we sell this?
- The up-front costs to implement will be different.
- Who will buy this?
- How do we sell this to?
I’m sure there are other benefits and obstacles, but this is a start.
There is room for everyone in this equation, which I really love. I see solutions to other problems, but the conversation has to start before we get there.
Action You Can Take
Want to talk more? Click on one of the buttons below or please contact me if you want to know more. Each button takes you to a link (see Explanation of Buttons, below).
Explanation of Buttons:
The links for Sizing [R]Evolution and Shaking Up the Knitting Pattern World are to a Slack Group where I would like to have a more in-depth conversation. There will be two channels so we can keep sizing and pattern writing / presentation separate.
A System of Grading will start one July 11, 2022. It will be video classes, with a live lab and Slack support. I haven’t done a sales page, but if you sign up, I’ll send an email to you when you can register.
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