“Size: Yours” – My CustomFit Sweater

I had to include that in the title, because that’s the most compelling thing about CustomFit. The size is yours. Not a standardized range, which I understand because I make patterns in a standardized range myself, but a custom-fit-to-ME size.

Let me back up! I’m talking about CustomFit, Amy Herzog’s computer software that will take your measurements, your swatch dimensions, and generate a sweater to fit you exactly. I’ve tried it, finished up the sweater, and thought I’d talk about the experience. (Now that it’s sweater weather again and it’s more relevant.)

2014 custom fit v-neck sweater 1

I believe with making clothing, whether it’s knitting or sewing, there are two different areas to learn: construction, and fitting. You can sew a straight seam or tailor a jacket, but if you can’t fit your garments to the wearer, you’ve only learned half the skill. Same with knitting. I’ve learned to construct sweaters, but haven’t experimented with adjusting them to my shape or to suit my style preferences. I’ve really just been following patterns as written.

Recently I’d reached the try-on stage of a sweater I was making, after weeks of knitting, only to find it horribly unflattering with a weird fit in the shoulders. Part of me wanted to keep going, since I’d already spent so much time on it, but I knew it wasn’t ever going to be as cute as the vision in my head. And if it didn’t look good on me, I’d never wear it. So I ripped the whole thing out. It was beautiful yarn in my favourite shade of green-blue, I wanted to have a wearable sweater at the end of it all!

That pretty teal yarn was the motivation I needed to take my knitting to the next level and learn how to fit sweaters. I’ve taken Knit to Flatter on Craftsy. I’m reading Sweater Design in Plain English. And then, I discovered CustomFit! What a great idea. Of course I had to try it. I wanted to see how the program worked, and if it would really make me a perfect sweater pattern based on my measurements and my knitting gauge.

The program is super cool. First, you measure yourself. Easy!

Then you knit a swatch. This is the first step that’s different than knitting from a regular pattern, you knit a swatch to get a handknit fabric you like, instead of trying to match your rows and stitches to the designer’s gauge. I’ve knit sweaters at loose gauges and do not like the feel. I prefer dense and springy. So I change needle sizes to smaller needles, until I like the tightness of the knit fabric.

Only when you have both your measurements AND the swatch do you get to design your sweater! (I wish you got to start the design process right away, but I get that you need the swatch info for it to be useful.)

This part is super fun. You get to pick your neckline, your sleeve length, your preferred fit (fitted, average, or loose.) You get to specify your V-neck depth. As you choose your options, the drawing changes so you can see what it might look like in a finished sweater.

custom fit sweater design

And then, you hit ‘go’ and pay for your pattern! It’s $9.99 per pattern, which is a pretty sweet deal to have a pattern custom-fit to my measurements. (Note: There are other payment options now including subscription memberships, but when I was working on this one there was only the per-pattern pricing option.)

So this is the opposite type of knitting that’s popular right now, which is in-the-round and usually top-down. CustomFit is for sweaters knit in pieces, but during a conversation at knit night with a proficient sweater knitter, she mentioned how seamed sweaters are stronger and hold their shape better because of the seams. That seems logical from a sewing perspective, doesn’t it? Seams add structure.

Here is my very first CustomFit sweater, and it certainly won’t be my last! (Ravelry notes here.) I took some photos when I first made this sweater but I’d picked the wrong choices in bra, skirt and tights, so I took a few more shots with a better outfit.

Front view:

2014 custom fit v-neck sweater 9

Back view

2014 custom fit v-neck sweater 4

Side view

2014 custom fit v-neck sweater 3

V neck view

2014 custom fit v-neck sweater 1

There are not very many patterns for V-neck sweaters. It’s wonderful to be able to ‘design’ my own! This is exactly I want my sweaters to look like. V-neck, flattering fit, 3/4 or elbow-length sleeves.

The only complaint about my design & fit choices would be the length, it does seem just a little bit shorter than I want. Also, I’ll stick with ribbing next time. I chose a folded hem to make it flatter and less bulky, but the double layer of knit fabric was going to be thick and bulky so I left it unhemmed and let the edge roll. Because there is no rib to ‘grab’ on to the hips, the sweater slides up a little. Next time, I’ll choose ribbing at bottom.

2014 custom fit v-neck sweater 5

It looks just a little bit lumpy below the waist as I’m wearing tights and a gathered skirt. If I wore it with pants, where there’s nothing under the sweater hem, it would probably look smoother. Also, you can see the seams from my bra through the knit fabric. It might be better with a seamless bra, or I could just decide not to care about bra seamlines showing through.

It’s much better with a seamless bra.

2014 custom fit v-neck sweater 10

My only complaints about the pattern itself were the brief directions. I did have to look up a lot of things, like how to decrease at the point of the V-neck, and I’m not totally happy with mine. Other people’s V-points look nicer. I also took the Craftsy class on seaming handknits, so that helped with sewing up the sweater pieces.

I picked the following design choices:
Close fit
Style: pullover
Length: High-hip length
Sleeves: Elbow-length sleeve
Neck style: Vee neck
Neck depth: 10”/25.5 cm Below shoulders
Finishing:
Hem edging and height: Folded hem, 1¼”/3 cm
Sleeve edging and height: 1×1 rib, ¾”/2 cm
Neck edging and height: 1×1 rib, ¾”/2 cm

The fit of this sweater is slimmer and more shapely than some of my recent projects.

2014 custom fit v-neck sweater 2

The elbow-length sleeves are recommended for bottom-heavy figures, to draw attention to the waistline. Full-length sleeves widen the hips. (Which is sort of a weird choice to make – look slimmer, but have cold forearms?)

Compare that to my tenty Antrorse and Beeline Pullovers:

sweater fit comparison

In general, even if I am shapely underneath the sweater, if I wear a loose-fit sweater I sort of look like a box. And you can see the long-sleeve effect drawing your eye to the hem and hips.

And the biggest improvement is through the back. There’s less extra fabric at the lower back for a slimmer fit.

2014 custom fit v-neck sweater 8

There’s a few wrinkles but a fitted sweater is not going to lie completely flat unless you smooth it out every time you turn around. Compare that to a standard-fitting sweater back:

2014 1 Antrorse Pullover (13)

I think this sweater is a teeny bit snug, but I did choose ‘close fit.’ Choosing an average or relaxed fit would eliminate those slight bumps where the knit fabric is clinging to my hips and riding up a little bit. (Fabric always wants to slip into the narrowest part of your body, and in this case the lower portion wants to slip into my waistline and avoid being stretched over my hips!)

2014 custom fit v-neck sweater 7

The marketing around this program is brilliant, and I love the idea of making custom fitted garments. I’ll gladly pay $9 not to have to do knitting math.

Using the CustomFit program forced me to work on this sweater and only this sweater, because if it worked, I certainly wanted to make all of my sweaters the CustomFit way. And I had to finish one to know if it worked and if there were any measurement changes I wanted to make for #2.

Next up, another custom fit! I started writing this post months ago, so I’ve actually knit several sweaters using this program by now. My second one was Harrogate, using a CustomFit template with the styling of the Harrogate pattern. That’s the other neat thing about the CustomFit system, you can use ‘recipes’ for the design elements and combine them with a custom fitted pattern for the design you like, but fitted to your body.

2014 custom fit v-neck sweater 11

It’s true that if you are good at sweater math, you probably don’t need CustomFit. For me, I’d rather have Amy’s program do the work for me so I can spend my time knitting.The other thing that I’ve found is that it’s inspiring me to try new things with my knitting. I can try out different stitch patterns, and if I like them, generate a sweater pattern using that stitch. I can knit the most flattering styles for me instead of only choosing from available designs. I am looking at ready-to-wear sweaters and envisioning how they might translate to hand-knitting. I’ve always dreamed of designing my own sweaters but thought it would take a lot to learn how. This way I can ‘design’ my own sweaters, selecting the style and colour and pattern, but have someone else do the math for me!

Also, I admire what she’s doing and want to support that. If this does well, who knows what other sweater-knitting inventions she might come up with?!

Have you tried CustomFit? What do you think of the fit on the sweaters made from the program? How do you feel about seamed vs. in-the-round sweaters?

ps. This is the knitting program Corinne mentioned in her podcast with Lauren from Lladybird here, I think I am the ‘friend’ mentioned who used it and loved it!

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58 Responses to “Size: Yours” – My CustomFit Sweater

  1. Lauren October 20, 2014 at 6:23 am #

    I think you just blew my mind a little. I’ve heard of these types of pattern software, but I’ve always been a little apprehensive about the style and fit. Yours looks AMAZING, tho, and I absolutely want to try this software out now.

    • Tasia October 20, 2014 at 8:46 am #

      It’s pretty awesome! But don’t take my word for it, check out the tons of other projects using Customfit in the Ravelry finished projects gallery. It does rely heavily on getting your measurements accurate, but since we sew that’s easier for us than other people! And, no need to match the pattern’s gauge. The gauge freedom and the good fit through the back body are the best parts for me.

  2. claudia October 20, 2014 at 6:49 am #

    Love your sweater! Gorgeous colour!
    BTW, you can easily remedy the hem if you have some yarn left and are a bit adventurous. Unravel the side seam from the bottom to just above that purl row, snip the yarn just below the purl row and unravel as much as you need to/where you want the ribbing to start, pick up the loops, knit your ribbing, bind off and re-sew your side seams. The ribbing will be “knit down” and shifted half a stitch, but I guess it wont be noticeable. In Japanese knitting books, they often do ribbing this way, i.e. using a provisional cast-on, knitting the ribbing down and using a sewn bind-off for elasticity.

    • Tasia October 20, 2014 at 8:47 am #

      Interesting, thanks for the tip! That does sound pretty adventurous. :) I do like everything else about this sweater so I might give that a try!

      • LisaB October 20, 2014 at 10:38 am #

        If you put a lifeline or small gauge circular needle in before snipping, it will be even easier! I’ve seen quite a few people do it on their CF sweaters when they didn’t have their length measurements quite right. You can do it!

        • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

          The lifeline is a good idea – thank you!

      • Jessie October 20, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

        I think, even easier, you should actually be able to do it without snipping to get live stitches. Elizabeth Zimmerman recommends just picking up stitches from the cast on edge and knitting the ribbing on from there. you will probably need to decrease some of the stitches in the first round to prevent it flaring out. (the instructions are in her percentage sweater recipe in ‘the opinionated knitter’ :-)

        • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

          Yes, but then I’ll have that odd purl ridge with no purpose! I’ll probably still have to unravel a bit. :)

  3. K Frer - cozycapecottage October 20, 2014 at 7:39 am #

    Wow! I’ve heard a lot of great things about this program, but I haven’t been quite convinced until now. I love seeing the comparison between a sweater knit per pattern and one per your measurements. I think the before and after shots from the back are a fantastic ad for the program!

    • Tasia October 20, 2014 at 8:49 am #

      It’s really great. If you don’t mind knitting things flat (some people hate that) and seaming, it’s amazing to knit something custom-fit to your measurements. I have knit a few more sweaters using this program, and once I get the photos done I’ll post them. With each project, I’ve improved the fit, and adjusted each sweater to my preferences, so it just gets better and better! (I’m such a salesperson eh? I really do love it though!)

  4. Diana October 20, 2014 at 8:17 am #

    This is great … I wonder if there are any programs like that for sewing? Probably maybe … off to look.

    • Tasia October 20, 2014 at 8:50 am #

      Wouldn’t that be amazing? Well there’s drafting your own sewing patterns, which is kind of what this is like. With knitting you’re generating text instructions, not pattern pieces, so it is easier than sewing.

  5. Kelly October 20, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing this!! I am definitely going to look into it. I know it’s within my ability to do sweater math, but it is certainly one reason I haven’t actually started a sweater yet…

    • Tasia October 20, 2014 at 8:58 am #

      I know right? I’m sure I *could* do sweater math but why, when there’s a program that will do it for me? Plus there’s expertise built in, for example, it can tell by your body measurements how to make the sweater flattering. If your waist is bigger, it makes the sweater more A-line shaped. Some bodies get shaping only in the front. Mine always look pretty hourglass-shaped, but it’s designed to have negative ease in the hips, so the bust and waist look similar even though my hips are way bigger.
      All that to say, apparently there are more factors besides just doing the math!

  6. Rochelle New October 20, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    AMAZING!! Okay, this just totally changed my thoughts towards knitting a sweater. I really like knitting accessories because you don’t have to think much about size or gauge. I don’t WANT to think about size or gauge with knitting right now, which is why I’ve been so hesitant to start knitting garments. But this… this changes everything lol! I’m totally off to go investigate CustomFit right now. Thanks for sharing!

    • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

      Yes, it takes gauge into account in a whole new way! It’s about getting a gauge you like, rather than matching the designer’s gauge. Give it a try! It turns sizing into a matter of measurements, and then any tweaks are made to your measurement set for all future sweaters. It’s easier to think ‘hey, I want my sleeves half an inch longer for all sweaters going forward’ and not have to calculate that each time.

  7. Sue @ A Colourful Canvas October 20, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    Of course you knit too…That, and you sew, design, write, AND look adorable…I’m not sure we can be friends anymore Tasia! (wink)

    Seriously though, it’s a very cute sweater and the fit looks perfect. Don’t tempt me to pull out my knitting needles again please. We have a very tenacious relationship, those needles and I.

    • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

      Yes, I love knitting, in a whole different way since it’s purely for fun and making myself cute stuff, not work related at all. Except when I blog about it, I suppose!

  8. LisaB October 20, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    Hoorah! I’m so glad to read that you’ve been using CustomFit. All of your sweaters have been lovely, but having the custom instructions just for you adds that little something that was missing.

    • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

      Oh exactly, it’s making them fit even better than before. It’s making the sort of adjustments I know about with sewing, but wasn’t sure exactly how to apply them to knitting projects.

  9. Debra October 20, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    Love the sweater! I always learn something new from you. Must check this out!

    • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

      Glad to help! And in turn, I learn so much from other knitters. The more we share, the more we all benefit!

  10. Katy October 20, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    I have just ordered Barbara Walker’s Top Down knitting book as I want to work out the maths for the sweater for myself. Andi from Untangling Knots has also brought out an e-book I think for a custom made cardigan. I decided to go with Barbara Walker’s book so that I can work it out for myself. Paula Ward also has videos on You Tube about how to design your own sweater which are really good. I think with all these resources I don’t need to buy Amy’s program. I agree that $9 is not a lot for someone to work out the maths for you but I like the challenge of doing it myself! Your sweater looks lovely by the way. I am totally a close fit girl so this is the style I would choose.

    • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

      It sounds like you have your knitting needs covered, I agree! Everyone has methods that work for them, I think I’ve found mine. :)

  11. K-Line October 20, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    Weirdly, though I’ve written about this service a few times on the blog, I only just bought my first custom fit recipe on the weekend. And then I modified it!

    I do like the system but the neckline I want to make is a cowl and that’s not one of the options. I estimated that my best alternative was to make the neckline edging 6 inches long but I don’t know if that will work. So now I’ve emailed Amy and the team to find out if that’s going to fly – and if so, are there any pointers.

    I don’t know if it’s just me, but nothing is as simple as point and shoot.

    Mind you, I sat down and started knitting. It’s bottom up and the neckline is many inches away. I do love that I can take the measurements for granted. Though I am concerned that there wasn’t enough negative ease included in the pattern. 1 inch neg ease in the bust (for a close fitting sweater) is not enough IMO. I’ve got a post on this coming up.

    • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

      There was an article a while back about adding different necklines to CustomFit and how to start – I’ll find the link and post it!
      http://www.amyherzogdesigns.com/2014/08/14/the-ins-outs-of-necklines/
      For a cowl you’d start with a scoop, says the article. I haven’t gotten that adventurous yet but I really like shawl collared cardigans, so I will try the tips in that article at some point.
      I’m with you, I like that I can follow the pattern as-is and not worry that it won’t turn out or the pieces won’t fit together. The only time I modified the customfit pattern measurement, I regretted it and that’s the only spot on the whole sweater that isn’t perfect. I’ll have to look for your post about your Customfit experience!

  12. Jo October 20, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    Love this, I think the fitted style really works on you. However, I do think her idea of avoiding long sleeves is crazy. Come on, am I supposed to freeze just to “balance my figure”? Anyway back to the knitting! I’m obsessed with custom fitting my knits, so I do lots of maths! I’m pretty used to it by now so I don’t feel the need to use this pattern (tbh I’m too much of a control freak to use this, lol!).
    I even put short rows into my latest knits to have them conform to my body even better!
    Your result is great, and I think your neckline looks very neat. :)
    I’m looking forward to seeing what else you used this pattern for!

    • LisaB October 20, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

      Amy balances the message of what flatters each body type with making what we will actually enjoy wearing. She emphasizes that she wants everyone to be happy with their sweaters. I totally agree that it makes no sense to put anything but long sleeves on a sweater if that’s what’s needed to be comfortable and to love wearing the sweater.

      • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

        Yes, that’s what I took from it as well, I probably didn’t articulate that as well in my post here! :)

    • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

      I know eh? I think it’s supposed to be guidelines, but if comfort/modesty/practicality has to win for you, then of course add the sleeves! I do find that elbow length and 3/4 length sleeves are in fact way more flattering, like she suggested. I’ll still knit long sleeved pullovers through for when the weather calls for it! Sounds like you have already gotten into customizing your knits to fit you, and I’ve seen your posts about wanting less positive ease, so you might not need this program.
      I’ll take more photos of the other sweaters, they do get more interesting that this basic one!

  13. autumn October 20, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    yours DOES look super great!!! seriously great fit, lady! i HAD wondered whether or not you could do this with sweaters that are knit in the round, but i guess not…?? :(

    • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

      You can, sort of. There are instructions for knitting bottom-up, in the round, until you get to the armholes. But not for top-down raglans and not for knitting the entire sweater in the round.

  14. Annette October 20, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    I am a lover of CustomFit knit-pattern making too! I have the companion (?) book and it is very helpful. You can gain a lot of knowledge from it.
    I think your sweater looks terrific, and as to the vee, only you can tell. As to the length, it is fine and very on-trend! TFS!

    • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

      Thank you! I watched the Craftsy course but didn’t buy the book. And I have figured out how to improve the V for future v-necks!

  15. Gen October 20, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    Oh! I so want to learn to knit. I think a sleeveless vest top would be adorable.

    Any tips for good online tutorials – ideally with video?

  16. Margo October 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    This sweater is adorable on you! I just finished my first Meitte and though I love the pattern, I just wish it fit a little bit better. I added length to the bodice but my long torso needs still more!
    This program looks great.

    • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

      I love the detailing on the Miette pattern! You can probably find ways to use details you like on customfit patterns, such as the Miette.

  17. Taryn (forkandneedle) October 20, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

    Thanks Tasia, for all that information! I’m knitting a CustomFit ‘Ayana’ at present and am excited to find out how well it really does fit! My biggest hurdle has been that there has been so many decisions to make before starting to knit – as I haven’t knitted a jersey for myself for a number of years. I love Amy’s book and the info about finding a pattern that suits myself, which is quite a challenge!! The whole thing has been a huge learning curve as I’m used to socks and children’s garments, and the CustomFit pattern needs thorough reading as it’s not for beginners!
    Great work – and a lovely jersey – well done!

    • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

      I like the decision part, but yes, sometimes I get hung up on whether it should be mid-hip or high-hip length, or do I want long sleeves after all, and maybe it should be a scoop neck! I hope you love your first Customfit pattern :)

  18. Sue October 20, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

    Long sleeves are widening if they are right at the hemline of the sweater. Otherwise, they are nice and warm. I think they actually make the hips slimmer if the sleeves are narrow themselves.

    • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

      That’s a good point, it’s when all the hemlines line up that it makes a body look quite wide! The key is to make sure they don’t line up across the body.

  19. Mac October 20, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

    Wow, your sweater is beautiful and look fabulous on you, the color is perfect. Love it.

    • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

      Thank you! It’s a pretty neutral colour isn’t it?

  20. Sharon October 20, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

    Tasia, your sweater looks amazing and so glad that a sewer has posted about CustomFit. I am working my way through the Craftsy course and have the accompanying book, now I can’t wait to pick up the knitting needles!

    • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

      I’m so glad it was useful and interesting to read! I did the Craftsy course but didn’t read the book, apparently a lot of the material is similar but the book includes the sweater patterns. Happy knitting!

  21. Tracy October 20, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    Really useful post thank you. I too have brought Amy’s Craftsy course and on first view through found it very informative but a little mind blowing as it got more detailed. It’s interesting to know that even with the craftsy course and book you still felt the need to try custom fit designs. But then why not, the result looks really good it must be lovely to enjoy the knitting without worrying wear it’s going to fit right at the end. I’m looking forward to seeing your later custom fit garments.

    • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

      Thanks Tracy! I did the craftsy course but not the book, and yes, the material in the Craftsy course gives you the tools to do customization yourself. Except if you’d rather just pay someone else to do it for you! Plus there are apparently smarts built into the program that analyze your measurements and proportion, and adjusts the pattern to be flattering to your shape, not just fit your measurements. That’s the part that is really interesting, that it uses Amy’s fitting expertise to create flattering garments too. And so far, I’d agree!

  22. Limescented October 20, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

    Your sweater looks great!

    I was a beta tester for CustomFit and though I was very used to modifying patterns, it was great to use CF as a giant calculating engine! Also, you can absolutely use CF generated patterns to work in the round — just cast on for the front and back, place markers at the ‘seams’ and use a different colour for shaping markers. Then you only need to start knitting back and forth after the underarm split.

    I’ve also used CF for semi top-down garments. It’s a bit adventurous, but really useful for long sweaters or tunics, where I want to continue knitting till my yarn runs out. I cast on provisionally for the front and back using the waist stitch counts and finish the top part of the body. Then I work downwards from the provisional CO, increasing where the pattern tells me to decrease (since I’m working top down).

    And finally, to make the neck rib decrease look good, you could try a centered double decrease which is symmetrical and places the centre stitch topmost: slip two stitches together (as if you were going to knit them together); knit the next stitch; pass the two previously slipped stitches over the just knitted stitch.

    • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

      Ooh a beta tester! Has much changed since the first days of testing? That must have been a cool experience!
      Thanks for the double-decrease tips! Interesting to hear you have knit the customfit patterns top down. Sometimes I think that would be a good idea, to ensure you get the body length exactly where you want it.

      • Limescented October 23, 2014 at 4:05 am #

        Oh yes, there have been tons of changes!

        First was the look of the site — but we were given fair warning that as beta testers we would get access to a ‘working’ site rather than a ‘pretty’ site.

        Once that initial phase was over, every time I go online to generate a new sweater I notice new features. The changing line drawings (depending on choices), more video tips, etc. The team was really responsive, and many of the changes were as a direct result of feedback during the beta phase.

        In the last few months there have been the release of Recipes (which help you generate a *particular* sweater via CF. Full disclosure — I’ve released a Recipe too :)
        Oh and a few weeks ago I saw they’ve started to release particular patterns built into CF — so need to buy the regular pattern and customization Recipe.

        I think they have more ideas in the pipeline, including CF for men — which I’m really excited about!

        Re knitting CF patterns top down, yes, that’s exactly why I do it… what I *think* is a flattering hem height for my body may not quite look that way on the body. So I cast on provisionally at the waist, and work upwards and downwards from the provisional CO, reversing decs to incs on the way down.

  23. Wendy October 20, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    Such a fantastic idea–I really appreciate your in-depth critique of your experience. Your sweater looks fantastic–definitely a good advertisement as another commenter said. I love that you don’t have to get the gauge “right” and the option to copy/customize a sweater style you already like is really intriguing! Thanks for sharing!

    • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

      I thought it was brilliant and immediately started thinking: how can we do this for the sewing world?! :) (No, I don’t have an answer yet!)
      I agree, the gauge part is nice, not having to match the pattern’s gauge makes swatching more fun, and I’m dreaming up all kinds of sweater ideas now!

      • Rachel October 23, 2014 at 2:01 am #

        I believr joost has been working on something similar for the sewing world: makemypattern.com
        It’s not fully developed but an awesome concept!

  24. Francesca October 21, 2014 at 12:28 am #

    I love this sweater – simple, essential, minimalistic – and so flattering on you. Much more than those lovely other ones… I am a pear shape and I grew up in the era when sweaters were the classic ribby bottom – always – and they tended to be long – I’m talking 70s and 80s here….yeah. So imagine an artistic (read drawing knitting sewing) teenage girl seeing her big sis’s friends coming home in trousers or long full skirts with long sweaters pulled down to the hips – sometimes boxy and dropped shoulder!!!!!!
    I immediately noticed how unflattering that look was to anyone but my sis who is a busty ruler.
    So I either knitted cropped sweaters with tight rib at the waist,or left out the rib completely, tried garter stitch edges, extra stitches in my ribbing, and so on. Aesthetically it looked so much better that I was shocked. Anyway – if you want a non-curling bottom, without the rolledge look (which can be cute but in my view then needs to be echoed somewhere, either the wrists or the neck or both) – try a veryyyy light rib. I have a pattern by Patternworks where she addresses this problem by advising on a rib of something like 8 knit, one purl. with thicker yarn or more drapey yarn like alpaca or silk say you can get away with nine or even ten knit to every purl. You hardly even notice the purl stitches but doing this for a couple inches stops it curling:). If you use this method, you can knit the first few rows in a slightly smaller size needle then change to your proper needle during the “rib” to give it a bit more grab. I personally hate hems on anything except really fine yarn like 4 ply (fingering) – talk about bulk.

    Other thing – I hate swatching with a vengeance, and usually knit the sleeves first as a sort of swatch – but you need to be aware that there are some yarns which change radically when washed – in look, feel, drape…. and this can make sweaters tighter, shorter, longer, wider, drapier, whatever. And also be aware of the properties of different fibres in yarns, just like in sewing:). Clara Parkes is wonderful for this – she has three great books which I think you would love, and a brilliant site called knitter’s review where she reviews yarns and swatches them and mistreats the swatches to see how they react.
    Example – When I first started knitting, yarns were basically the yucky stuff or wool, mohair, angora, and cotton. Then the online thing began – yay! – and I bought some gorgeous Blue Sky Alpaca suri alpaca, which has bamboo in it. And made a sweater with a high ribbed waist. (I can see the experienced knitters out there rolling their eyes at me:)). It was lovely, but on wearing, it went loose, shapeless, and on washing it went drapey and gorgeous and A-line. All that work knitting hairy yarn which grabs in your needles for sweet FA. I eventually unpicked the whole thing with great difficulty and made a really cute floaty thin sweater with a bit of ease to be worn tucked in. Love it.

    You’re on Ravelry, so I am sure you use it to full advantage – I investigate yarns now before I even buy them or use them if they’re in my stash – see comments on the yarn page, or on people’s make pages – look at FOs, etc – I have saved myself a bunch of aggro by doing this!

    • Tasia October 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

      Woohoo, thanks for the super long and informative comment! I like your ideas for knitting more flattering sweaters. I can totally picture the boxy, pulled-down-super-long styles you are talking about! Probably the worst thing I could wear, on my shape. I’ll have to try that nearly invisible rib idea, that sounds cool. The look of stockinette with the non-curling power of rib. Smart!
      I have heard great things about the Clara Parkes books! I’ll have to get to the bigger library here and check them out.
      I do the same on Ravelry – pilling is the worst, I don’t want to waste my time knitting something that is going to look ratty and pilly quickly! I don’t mind scratchy but I won’t bother with pilly.

  25. Rachel October 23, 2014 at 1:55 am #

    Thanks for this post! I’d found amy’s site and even signed up and taken measurements but then couldn’t decide what design I wanted, and also didn’t know if others were getting good results from it. My only hesitation is that I don’t necessarily want a full stockinette or all over patterned garment, I like ones with a bit of detail but not all over and I didn’t know how to do something like that with Amy’s site. Its great to hear about it working well for you though! It’s still on my to-try list that’s for sure!

  26. Danielle November 10, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    Thank you SO much for sharing this! I’ve been wanting to tackle knitting a sweater for a long time but have been nervous to try it out. I’ve created a 30by30 list that will go into effect next week and one of the items on the list is to knit a sweater. I know this program will help me succeed!! I’ve created my CF account and just entered my measurements. Now I’m off to swatch! I can’t wait to get into this! :)