Sunday, August 14, 2005

Let me get this straight.....

Some people are unhappy with Amy and me about the subtitle to our forthcoming knitting book:
Big Girl Knits: 30 Big, Bold Projects Shaped for Real Women with Real Curves

So far I've been silent. Not that it doesn't hurt being accused of beind size-ist, when that's the whole reason we're actually doing this book. The REALs in the title refer to inclsuion by way of exisitence, along the lines of these definitions:

#1 Being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verifiable existence: real objects; a real illness.
#2 True and actual; not imaginary, alleged, or ideal: real people, not ghosts; a film based on real life.

Fat girls are dying to be included in this big old knitting party that's been going on for years - last year 200 knitting books came out - even if half of them were not grown up type garments. So 100 books of women's pattern books (not including leaflets, or Rowan style, not sold through books store books). How many of those books did Fat Girls get? Out of 100 books Fat Girls got 1. And it was a book of reprints from Family Circle Knitting magazine. And that was a good year for Fat Girl knitting books.

If that isn't exclusionary, mean, heartless (etc. etc.) I don't know what is.

I also like the second def of real up there where it says : not imaginary, alleged, or ideal.
We just are. Like every other shaped women. We're just asking for some damned patterns to knit.


Blogger Ann-Marie said...


I have given up looking at Rowan books because neither the models nor the patterns look like anyone or anything in the world I live in. Yes, I'd like to lose some weight, but being told over and over that my body isn't "good enough" to have beautiful/elegant/funky/happy designs made for it just makes me old and cranky. (You wouldn't like me when I'm cranky.)

I've preordered BGK, and I cannot WAIT to get it in my hands. (Folly and Boo, Too await my needles -- as soon as I finish my very first sweater. Aim high, I say.)

8:58 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Amen, sister. My copy is pre-ordered. I am sick unto death of having to upsize any pattern I want to knit, and even sicker of looking at waifs modeling wool while trying to figure out if it will look good on a body with curves. Us REAL girls aren't scary, we aren't contagious, we just want to knit something in our size for a change.

9:17 AM  
Blogger littlehedgehog said...

People are complaining because ONE book is coming out that doesn't conform to stick thin model standards? Boo FREAKIN Hoo! Let them have to do the math this time, we've been having to do it all along!

12:27 PM  
Anonymous kim said...

Eh. People are complaining because they like to complain. It's damn intimidating when someone stands up for something they believe to be true; ruffles people's feathers, that does. Huge kudos to you and Amy not only for writing a book you believe in, and with the purpose of reaching out to people you feel have been left behind, but also for standing up to the heat so powerfully and eloquently. I bet, in the end, you'll sell tens of thousands of books, and next year will be the year of big girl pattern books that take advantage of the ground you're breaking. Regardless of my size, I'm psyched to get my hands on your book.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Emma said...

You tell them ! :0)

It's about time.
The yarn companies are stupid,being so exclusive. Just think of all the extra yarn I need to cover my assets !

1:10 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Yes, let's all have a big boo-hoo for skinny girls. The poor dears.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous smjames13 said...


2:09 PM  
Anonymous caroline said...

I'm below the sizes your book will be for but I plan on buying it anyway. why? plain old damned good design. Your designs (and Amy's work) totally rock. You know, that's why the universe gave us calculators, fingers and toes, right? no need to defend anything nor attack idjits as far as I can see.
evr yr medium/large-sized fan...

3:50 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

Rock on Sister-Friend! We're all real and we're all staying. The skinny girls are gonna have to deal with it.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I think, really, all that can be said is: "F***ing A!"

(say in very "drunken-redneck-at-the-truckstop-bar" voice)

I have never quite understood what the "A" stands for, but whatever it is, the comment stands...


7:51 AM  
Blogger Mia said...

I am losing weight right now because I want to not because I have to but even still I have a bust. But I still have to make adjustments to patterns. I have a bust. I used to wear a US 16 but I am down to somewhere between a 12 & 14. I am stuck between sizes. But I don't look at the numbers. I am also lucky to be very muscular. All of the guys that I know tell me thay like their girls with curves not sticks.

10:48 AM  
Blogger fillyjonk said...

How on EARTH is it size-ist to have ONE frackin' book with "big girl" patterns in it, when there are SO many books out there (and magazine patterns, too), that regard a 42" bust (or even worse, a 38" FINISHED size) as an "extra-large"?

Like the old saying about how when you point a finger at someone, three fingers are pointing back at you, I think the "size-ist" claimers need to actually LOOK at the other patterns available...there are plenty cute things out there that, if I wanted to make them, I'd have to rewrite the pattern because it doesn't go up to my size.

Actually, there might be something instructive for the skinny girls to have the experience of seeing something they want and discovering it's not available as-is in their size. I mean, they can learn to "downsize" patterns, just as (some of us) have learned to "upsize" patterns.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Dotcommom said...

They are just jealous that you came up with a book that will appeal to an untapped market. With 200 knitting books being published, it is a shame that so many of them are a re-hash of the same tired patterns and/or techniques.

If you go to any knitting event, anyone can see that many, many knitters are plus-sized. (In fact, the majority of Americans are and the rest of the world is catching up.) I am a plus-sized knitter who loves to knit and wants patterns that flatter my body. I cannot wait to buy your book.

6:10 PM  
Blogger keelyerin said...

jillian :)

here's the little rowan blurb about their book - the one in the magazine is much bigger and more extensive, but here's a glance anyway.


8:45 AM  
Anonymous Pam said...

Girrrllz, I am so happy that you wrote this book I could cry. So sick of looking at (and buying multitudes)of patterns for stick people. My issue is that it really is discriminatory to exclude about a third or so of the knitting population. Some mags assume, I s'pose, that anyone over 150 pounds isn't worthy of good design, or we don't have money to put towards yarn, or we enjoy having to rework the math on everything. So what if a designer thinks anyone over XL will look like a zeppelin in their sweater. Include the plus sizes anyway. I'll make that personal decision.

Speaking as someone who has actually spent the car payment on yarn for a garment, this of course is crap. We have style, we have bucks, we have fingers waiting to knit cool stuff. Bring on the PATTERNS!!

10:33 AM  
Blogger Rachael said...

Oh, dear Lord. People are UPSET?? I dare any of the whiners to walk a mile in our large-breasted, big-hipped shoes. I'm another person who has pre-ordered the book, and I am thrilled to death at its publication. Let the kvetchers learn to downsize patterns.

You GO, girls!

Another "Folly" knitter (and fan).

3:58 PM  
Blogger Zoebelle said...

No offense, but you guys aren't fat! Curvy, yes, fat, not!

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Ann said...

Jillian! Your book is going to be fabulous. There will always be naysayers. Let 'em say nay--it's obvious that Big Girl Knits is only the beginning of a long, beautiful run.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Lea Hernandez said...

Knitting in my size! YAY!

(I'm still trying to finish the Folly I started last year!)

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Happy said...

I came accross the term "ladies narrow athletic shoes" the other day and I did not know what it was. When I search for it I found your site. Thought you might find that interesting :)

4:04 PM  

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