Anyone interested in sweater knitting should know the name Amy Herzog. Amy is a prolific writer, designer, teacher, and person in charge of Custom Fit – all aimed at helping knitters make better sweaters.
Although it is her three books I’m going to focus on here, I will have links to her other resources at the end of this post.
Her first book, published in 2013, is Knit to Flatter. This book gives you clear-eyed, friendly advice on figuring out your shape (proportionate, top-heavy, bottom-heavy) and your true measurements, and how to use that information to knit sweaters that will fit you and look good on you. She talks you through how to choose patterns that will work with your shape, and also how to alter existing patterns so that they will be flattering. There are quite a few patterns here, but more to the point, if you read the book and take the steps and measurements she recommends, you will find it much, much easier to make sweaters you will love. This is an excellent book, and I definitely recommend this to anyone interested in sweater knitting!
Next up is Knit Wear Love, published in 2015.
This book starts with a quick review of Knit to Flatter (though you really should read the whole book) and then builds on it, by adding the element of style. She defines a variety of different styles you might have, such as Sporty, Bohemian, Modern, etc., and shows you how to make sweaters in those different styles that, again, will be flattering to you. Again, it is not at all prescriptive. One person may like and wear different styles in different circumstances – it’s not like you are obligated to pick one and go with it. She also goes through several different sweater types, such as pullovers, cardigans, tanks, etc. This book is another great primer in finding sweaters that you will love and that will look great on you!
And third, but almost certainly not finally, You Can Knit That, published in 2016.
This most recent book builds on the lessons of the first two, and incorporates different sweater constructions, so that chapters focus on things like yoke sweaters and raglan or drop shoulder constructions. As always, there are a lot of patterns here, but the main focus of the book is helping you pick patterns and styles that will make you look great, and then figuring out how to knit it so that it will fit you perfectly. Another great book that belongs in any sweater knitter’s library!
As I mentioned, these books are not the only way you can access Amy’s information. She has a website that lists all of her in-person classes and gives information about the two retreats she does each year. She has several classes on Craftsy, which I recommend very highly. And finally, she owns and runs CustomFit. CustomFit is a web program that creates custom sweater patterns based on your measurements and the gauge of the yarn you want to use (you must input both of these sets of values). You can either use a sweater creation wizard, or choose from one of the array of patterns already included in the program. You can either subscribe, paying a monthly fee and getting a set number of patterns per month, or you can enter your measurements into the system and just pay for patterns as you go. It is a pretty handy-looking system, and I plan to try it out pretty soon!
I can personally attest to the usefulness of the books and the first two Craftsy classes for sure. My Mom and I went through Knit to Flatter and the attendant class, did our pictures and measurements together, and have each knit a sweater or two out of the first books. Amy’s advice and method really worked for us. It can be a little daunting, but she talks you through everything you need to do. So if you’d like to be a little more sure of your sweater results, and more confident in choosing patterns you know will work for you, do consider these resources – you’ll be glad you did!