I'm not a fashion maven. I never was. My size was never in the fashion section of the department store. I was a Sears Chubbies girl (guys were Husky; how did they manage such a positive label?), destined to wear ribbed polyester pants and striped shirts in primary colors. I was able to convince my mother at last to let me wear jeans in the 8th grade after months of hearing "Highwater! Highwater!" from my taunting schoolmates. T-shirts and jeans were my clothing of choice in high school to the dismay of my mother who was particular about her appearance. The day I wore a dress to school she was overjoyed, but I made sure she knew that until they invented something to replace nylons I was not wearing dresses. Besides, the choices I had in the late '70's were pretty paltry. Anything close to my size was in the Grandma section. Lane Bryant came to town and their options were slim for a teenager wanting to fit in.
It was a gradual trip of discovery for me to find what worked for my body. I learned about lines, body types, color, and style. My mother taught me about opting for classic lines versus trendy when choosing clothes and making up my mind which neutrals I wanted as my building block in my wardrobe (they're black and pearl white). But each trip to the store to find exactly what I want has always been a chore. I would go to my sources to find a particular item (for example, a dressy black sleeveless shell to wear for the Carnegie Hall concert or a simple black dress) and come out empty handed.
So when I started knitting, one of the goals I had was to make items for myself that would look good and feel comfortable. I'm not afraid of taking a basic pattern and making it fit me. I'm an okay seamstress but not when it comes to tailored clothes. But I have a good idea of what would look good for my body type and want to make it real. The Olympic sweater is the first of these patterns. I want to do more. I know there are women out there who are like me sizewise who see what's out there and are disappointed. Your chance will come, honey. Fiberqat's got her pencil out!