I finally did something I’ve been meaning to do for a while now – got a Custom Fit sweater pattern! Custom Fit is a program/website created by Amy Herzog that you can use to generate sweater patterns designed to your specification and measurements. You can choose one of her designs and just get it the pattern sized to fit you, or you can use the sweater generator and make your own design decisions.
The first thing I will say is that you will have some homework to do before you get to the joyous state of having a pattern in your hand that declares on every page “This pattern generated especially for (Your Name Here) on (Date). For personal use only.” (And believe me – it is joyous.)
First off, measurements. This is going to need to be a set of honest, specific measurements. This may be a little uncomfortable, unless you are 100% happy with your shape. Not that Amy is judgy. If you have taken any of her Craftsy classes or read any of her books, you know that she is all about people’s shapes being just fine, and being comfortable in your own skin. But we all have our feelings about our bodies. Anyway. You are going to have to get someone to help you with this. There are going to be some measurements that someone that is not you is simply going to have to do. So get a friend in on this. She has pretty good instructions on how exactly to get these measurements, so you won’t have to guess.
Second, you will need a swatch. Not only is the pattern generated to suit your personal body, it is also to your actual gauge that you got just knitting the yarn you want to use. You don’t have to worry about getting gauge. See that swatch you knitted? It IS the gauge! But you will have to do it, and you will have to measure it with a pretty deep level of accuracy. Again – good directions on the site for this.
Third, go in knowing what kind of sweater you want to get out of this. As I said, you can choose one of her designs and just get it personalized to you (probably the easier route), or you can use the sweater wizard and make up your own. If you go this route, you choose between pullover or cardigan, the length of the sweater, what kind of neckline, what kind of stitches on the bottom band and button-band (if any), sleeveless or sleeves, and if so how long. What kind of silhouette do you want – straight, A line, hourglasss or tapered? Also, do you want it patterned? Allover or just certain parts? And so on. This is just a small sample of the decisions you will need to make. But if you have something very specific in mind, it will be no hassle at all.
You can create an account with your measurements and so on for free, and then you have a few more choices to make. You can subscribe, which gets you a certain number of patterns per month without individual charge, or you can just buy patterns as you want them. I went with the second option for now. Maybe some day (retirement, I’m looking at you!) I will be able to churn out enough sweaters to make a subscription worthwhile, but today is not that day.
So over the weekend my Mom did my measurements, I knitted a swatch with some yarn that has been burning a hole in my stash for a while now, and sat down to make my decisions. I picked a cardigan, hourglass silhouette, elbow-length sleeves, average length, V neck of average depth, seed stitch border 2″ in depth, with button-band/neck border to match. Whew!
I clicked the last button to finalize the purchase and sat back. I figured the program would need to chew on that for a while, and maybe in the morning I’d get a notification my pattern was ready. Nope! Within maybe 30 seconds, a notification popped up “Your pattern is ready!” And yup – there it was.
Note the sweeping romance of my imaginative title “Gray Cardigan” 🙂
But no matter! My Custom Fit experience is begun!