TNNA Recap~!

Here we go! I just uploaded the pics from my camera last night.

Day 1

I left early on Friday. My flight was at 6:15 am from Orange County to Phoenix, and then from Phoenix to Columbus. All flights were ON TIME! yay! I was able to land in Columbus by 3:30pm. One thing that I really took an advantage of on this trip was online check-in for EVERYTHING. I checked into the hotel from my phone at Phoenix airport, so when I arrived, I went straight up to my room. There are kiosks now at the front desk that dispenses your room key, so without having to a single living soul, you can complete the entire trip.


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I am small.

Short Me


By small, I don’t mean figuratively, I’m not small hearted or small voiced or anything like that.

By small, I mean my size.

I’m not bony or skinny, but my average Korean body in this everything-must-be-big-America often result in interesting shopping experiences.

I’d go for a dress shopping for a really romantic dinner date, and I’d find myself trying on 10 different silhouettes. One is too long for my height. One is too short for my height. One is too high-waist for my figure, and one is too low waist for my figure. One would be too “va boom” for my figure and one would be too simple to be anything special. And so on.

I am 5’4″ and my “waist to knee” is 20″ while the average American size for my size is 23 3/8″. And my hip size is about 2.5″ smaller than what an “average American” at my dress size would be.

All this came to me because I started sewing. Sewing pattern sizes haven’t changed since 1970s and unlike the “vanity sizing” you see in stores (when you say you wear size 6, please know that you’re actually size 12 or 14 in the “real” size; Marilyn Monroe was a size 10, and she was not big) which clothing companies arbitrarily adopted to make the consumers feel better about themselves and buy their clothes over other stores’ clothes.

I started paying more attention to body sizes. You hear this all the time “shopping clothes for me is not really fun because I don’t look good in anything.” Or “women come in many different sizes!” There are plus size clothing stores for people who are bigger than average people, so why isn’t there a petite shop? Why do short people have to face the humiliation of shopping in the junior section or worse, wear something that doesn’t fit right?

Although in knitting, when you’re looking at different sizes to knit, you can pick the bust size that’s closest to your size and you’re good to go because unless you’re REALLY different from most people, the stretchiness of knitted fabric makes it easy to make something fit you. But sometimes it’s about the proportion than the fit.

You can see in many of my designs that I like to knit sweaters little bit longer, sleeves are little shorter, etc. I think I was subconsciously knitting for my people, i.e. short and petite people.

So lately, I’ve been thinking about “designing for petite people.” I know the general trend of knitting designers going all the way up to 52″ bust but I think I want to focus on people in the 28″~38″ bust sizes. I don’t want to pretend to know how my garments will fit on a person with 52″ bust, because I don’t. If I take my design and just increase the stitches, I don’t know if it’ll be flattering on that person. What designers usually work with is STANDARD (is there really any standard in body sizing?) size charts and those assume that you’re 5’7″~5’8″. I don’t know about you but I’ve seen people who have 48″ bust and 5’4″. This person will most likely be unhappy with the way my design fits on her body because I worked from the standard chart and she is not standard size.

There are many designers who cater to plus size/women’s size people and I don’t believe there’s a place there for me as a designer. Maybe someday I’ll have the luxury of doing an expansive survey of women of different sizes and be able to make my designs in bigger sizes.

Of course, for my designs in many publications will still be available in bigger sizes because that’s what most editors specifically want, but for my self published patterns, I will be focusing on the audience I want to cater to: short, petite size people.

I understand that my decision may be an unpopular one. But after carefully reviewing some of the feedback I got from my customers and my own view of fashion, I realized that many of my designs are considered “young” and many of my customers told me that they were knitting my designs for the younger women in their lives like their granddaughter or younger friends. I want to be the designer that these people remember when they get requests from their daughters for a new sweater or from their school friends for a shawl.

Because, let’s face it. Your 17-year-old daughter isn’t going to much appreciate a huge circle lace shawl. It just doesn’t belong in their closet.

Another reason why I’m doing this is just general promotion of healthy life. I know that plus size people can have a healthy life… It’s just that most plus size people don’t. And I’m not going to pretend that I’m okay with this new notion of  “we should cater to everyone, even the unhealthy ones, because that way we appeal to more people who are overweight and we can sell more designs and we’ll make more money!”

If you looked at my patterns and thought you wanted to make one for yourself but it doesn’t come in your size because you are 5’3″ and have 48″ bust-48″ waist-52″ hip… Well…. That’s really your personal problem and not mine. You can always buy the pattern and hopefully you know how to make a swatch and take the gauge and re-calculate. I don’t have to design anything to please people who are already overindulging themselves to the point to near-death.

A little harsh? I think so too. But hopefully this means that I can really concentrate on my audience (really, there aren’t that many young knitters OR designs in the knitting community) and offer something unique.


By the way, I am perfectly medium and average in my home country, South Korea.


Yarn Giveaway!

So my pattern was published through Petite Purls yesterday.

In celebration, I am giving away 1 skein of Cascade 220 Wool in Van Dyke Brown and 1 skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Agua. These are the exact yarn I used in the sample.


1. By 9/30, 11:59 p.m. PST, leave a comment on this post. Tell me who you’re going to make Tweedy for; or any words of suggestions, concern, or encouragement.

2. Be sure to either leave your blog address, Ravelry ID, or E-mail address, so that I have some way of contacting you if you get selected!

3. A winner will be selected on October 1, and will be announced here on my blog.

Pattern Release: Tweedy

Petite Purls Fall 2011 issue went live today. And in it was my pattern, “Tweedy.”

@ Jean Chung

When I saw the Petite Purls submission call, by accident, I wondered if I could do it. I have no children on my own, but have few friends who do and I’ve been really wanting to make something really cute for them.

With colorwork in trend this season, I wanted to create a garment that has some colors but very simple stitch pattern so that I can knit without looking at the pattern all the time.

I experimented with this Tweed stitch with solid yarns first, and liked the look… But something was missing. More colors? Texture? I wanted to see how it would look in variegated yarn.

While shopping for an appropriate yarn, I fell in love with Ultra Alpaca Tonal yarn I saw at my LYS, and instantly knew this yarn would be in my project. It adds the soft halo because of the alpaca content, and the light-to-dark tonal quality of this yarn adds subtle but interesting tweed look.

@ Jean Chung

Then I created a silhouette that looks really grown up. This meant waist shaping and choosing grown up colors. Instead of casual-looking ribbed hem, I opted for i-cord hem. Really, this garment was more or less inspired by the boring navy-colored school uniforms at clothing stores during the Back-to-School season.

@ Jean Chung

@ Jean Chung

If you know how to do i-cord cast on, you can certainly start with i-cord cast on, instead of the provisional cast on and then doing i-cord bind off. My i-cord cast on is a little bit sloppy looking so I chose to do the i-cord bind off.

And one word of caution, taking gauge swatch for both St st and the Tweed stitch is really important, especially the row gauge. The first version I made turned out really droopy in the middle and the tight at the color change.

@ Jean Chung