I am pear-shaped and need to learn how to enlarge cardigan patterns to go from very narrow shoulders to very wide hips. Which type is better? Sweaters knit starting from the neck or bottom? Are there patterns for pear-shaped people?
The patterns which are knit from the top down are perfect for altering to fit your shape. You should read up on the subject as no pattern made for mass markets will tell you how to change it to fit you personally. The book Knitting From the Top by Barbara G. Walker is a great reference, as is Maggie Righetti's Knitting in Plain English. In these references, you'll learn ways to increase from your shoulders and bust to your hips for your customized fit.
Another suggestion would be to invest in a computer program to write patterns just for you. It's not as hard as it seems to have a personalized plan for your sweater. You will work a large swatch in the yarn of your choice with the needles you prefer and then plug in the precise gauge and your exact measurements. You can design any style sweater you desire and work in the direction you like best: top-down or bottom up. I have used the Sweater Wizard program with great success many times. Carole Wulster has marketed her wonderful product well; itís available in many catalogs at reasonable prices. Go to Software4Knitting.com for more information. -- Editor