Hello and welcome back to the Yarn Over podcast . A podcast covering all things crochet with some incredibly talented people from around the world, sharing their journeys and their top tips. I’ve learnt so much myself since starting recording these and always find it so interesting listening to others talk about what they do and I hope you feel the same. I definitely learnt more about size inclusivity and grading after recording the episode you’re listening to today! You can catch previous episodes here and here.
INTRODUCTION TO OUR GUEST
This week we’re chatting to Janine Myska from Knits ‘N Knots – Janine is a Winnipeg based independent crochet and knitwear designer who now specialises in size inclusive sweaters. Not only do we chat about what she does in this episode, we also talk about how she got here, her top tips and all things size inclusivity and grading.
TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL
In 2015, Janine said in passing that she wanted to learn to knit or crochet and her mum got her a knitting loom and a ball of yarn. Janine used it for the first time and loved how meditative it was and continued to get more and more yarn and learn more and more skills on how to create things with the loom. When she looked into it further, she saw that people were using ‘little hooks’ and that really interested her, so she decided to give it a go aswell. When she got the hang of it, Knits ‘N Knots was born. Originally starting off as a finished product business selling things she made on etsy and at craft fairs; as this grew, she started getting requests asking for patterns. At the time she was like ‘what’s a pattern?!’ and then she delved deeper into creating designs and offering more opportunities for others to get their hands on them.
Believe it or not, Janine would be learning knitting and crochet by watching YouTube tutorials when she was supposed to be learning about food science at university!
GETTING A DIFFERENT KIND OF GRADING
Janine realised that whilst she was creating things for herself, in her size, they of course weren’t inclusive for everybody and felt like she wanted to branch out into offering a pattern that can be from XS to 5XL. It was here that Janine then looked into what’s known in the industry as grading.
Now, grading is still a subject I’m learning about but I can safely say that Janine has perfected this now! Roughly translated, it means a way of converting one version of an item into multiple sizes.
There’s something called the Craft Yarn Council in US that Janine uses that provides standard sizing charts used across many books, magazine and publications and as all the hooks and things all use same names for ease. So while not every person will fall into these sizes exactly, its a way to enable patterns to fall into a category for people to make or shop by.
When we’re looking at grading and sizing – gauge is really important. If you get this wrong, you’re going to end up with something that doesn’t look right. So it’s really important to create a gauge swatch. Janine will make a garment to fit her, which doesn’t always fit first time. Sometimes she will have to remake it or tweak elements of it if it doesn’t sit right or fit properly. When she’s happy with it, she’ll write it all down then open up excel, and based on the standard sizing chart, will then work out how many stitches and rows equals the right fit for each different size. From here, the patterns get check as normal via a tech editor and via pattern testers – oh, speaking of pattern testers, did you know you can sign up to be a pattern tester for Janine?
MORE FROM JANINE
Check out Janine’s Instagram and website (where you can find more info on size inclusivity and grading and on becoming a pattern tester too). She also has a new collection coming soon so be sure to follow along for updates on that!
And finally, if you’d like to get your hands on Janine’s book, you can get a copy here.
Believe it or not but I’ve never actually made a garment but I’m going to be making one of Janine’s – in particular the Maple Grove which is in her book. I already have some yarn in mind ready to get cracking on it so I’ll keep you updated on Instagram with how it’s going…
Thank you so much for tuning in and as always, your reviews and ratings really do mean so much so tap those stars and leave a comment if you have a moment. They never go unnoticed and I’m so grateful for your support.
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