CustomFit: The Whys and the Recipes

Hello, lovely knitters! I’m returned from Rhinebeck, the email queue has been hacked down a bit (I’m looking at you next, Ravelry), and I’m settling back into regular life. I’ll do a proper festival post later this week once I’ve sorted the pictures and the jumble that is my mind right now.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a bit more about CustomFit. When I try to describe it quickly, I often fall back on the words “it generates custom sweater patterns”.

But those words are kind of wrong, because CustomFit isn’t a pattern generator, really. It doesn’t require that you come up with a set of pattern dimensions before it goes forth on the math. Instead you tell CustomFit about your body measurements (just once), and when you purchase the pattern representing your specific choices, CustomFit gives you instructions for great-fitting custom clothing. A hand-knit sweater, in this case, but clothing is the most important word there. The difference between pattern instructions and custom clothing instructions is really crucial.

Custom-made clothing makes you feel amazing. Chances are good that you’ve spent your entire life dealing with clothes that aren’t quite right. Not terrible, exactly, but just a little short here, just a little baggy there. The culmination of a lifetime of things not being quite right is that it’s easy to start to think about your body as being wrong, in some way.

Your body is not wrong. It is right. And custom made clothing can help us all have the feeling of our body being right, just as it is. Every person should have the opportunity to experience that feeling, but custom clothing usually costs the moon and stars. As makers, we have the ability to create custom clothing at any budget, but often come up short when faced with the question: How?

CustomFit answers the how. And gets you a step closer to feeling amazing.


I’m sorry that the “CustomFit Recipe” options for Acorn Trail and Tucci were confusing to people! I’ll try to explain things more clearly.

  • My traditional patterns include 10-12 sizes, and complete instructions for getting the sweaters pictured on the pattern page. To alter them to fit you, you need to figure out which modifications you need and execute those modifications.
  • CustomFit patterns include only your size, and complete instructions for getting the sweater you selected either as a “classic” or through the custom design builder. This includes a flexible, but fairly basic, set of mix-and-match options.

Since many people would like to knit already-designed sweaters, it would be ideal to have pre-designed patterns available for direct purchase through CustomFit. But we’re not there yet. (Fear not! That feature is definitely planned.)

CustomFit Recipes allow you to use CustomFit to achieve the sweater pictured on the pattern page. They aren’t seamlessly integrated into the website, because the website functionality isn’t there yet. Instead, they’re a separate PDF that includes:

  • The choices you’ll need to select in CustomFit’s custom design wizard to get a sweater that’s closest to the one shown
  • Instructions on how to adapt CustomFit’s fairly plain output to produce a sweater exactly like the one shown

For example: Acorn Trail is a crew-neck, long sleeved cardigan. So the Acorn Trail CustomFit Recipe includes the hip length, sleeve length and shape, neck shape/width/depth, and all of the trim choices required to get the basic sweater shape underlying the Acorn Trail design. The recipe also includes the cable and lace charts, how to adjust stitch counts to accommodate the different gauge of the panels, and where to put those panels on the (plain) sweater pieces described in your CustomFit output.

Since the CustomFit recipe PDF you purchase here or through Ravelry doesn’t contain complete pattern instructions, it’s substantially less expensive–just $2.50. To get a CustomFit version of Acorn Trail, you’ll need both the $2.50 recipe and the $9.99 CustomFit pattern.

(Just a side note: The traditional Acorn Trail pattern, with instructions for 10 sizes, also includes the CustomFit instructions as a little addendum on the end, just because it felt wrong not to include them. But you’ll be able to knit the sweater just fine without using CustomFit at all when you purchase the $7.00 pattern. If you later decide it’s worth an additional $9.99 to you not to have to do the math, you’ll have everything you need.)

I’d like to release more of my patterns as CustomFit recipes, as well; hopefully this makes their use a little more clear and less mysterious? Please feel free to ask questions if something is still confusing! I’ll answer in the comments.

The Rhinebeck post will be next, but until then: Happy sweater-ing!

13 thoughts on “CustomFit: The Whys and the Recipes

  1. I love the option of the recipes for your patterns and I didn’t have any problem plugging in all the info.

    Keep them coming.

  2. Dear Amy,

    I just returned from a knitting guild retreat where I “tried” to tell a group of knitters about CustomFit. I think I failed. Would it be possible to use the upper part of this blog post along with your URL for your blog and the URL for CustomFit in our Guild Newsletter? Your words of explaining CustomFit are so much better than mine.

  3. I LOVE Custom Fit. I just created my 2nd pattern today (using a swatch of yarn I bought at Rhinebeck). I’m so excited to cast on (I have to wail til work is over)!

    I am disappointed that I didn’t get to your book signing (I carried my book around Rhinebeck all day), your talk, or the meet up. I was with my mom & daughter & so many things happened (like, lines) that prevented me from being where I wanted to be at a certain time. I did see you at the hill, measuring people. And I did “meet” Jackie in the French fry line (Hi Jackie). I first recognized her sweater, then her, from your blog. 🙂 Anyway, all of this was to say that I LOVE Custom Fit & I can’t wait til I have some pictures of a finished sweater.

  4. Also, I love that you are now releasing patterns with Custom Fit options. I will be buying Acorn soon.

  5. Thank you so much for doing this post – it makes everything so clear and reinforces the want to do one 🙂

    In the distant future (after adding your patterns into the database), it would be FAB if you could alter something about the pattern and it would work. For example, I love Acorn Trail, but I know that v-necks look better on my body shape. If there could be some magic on how to alter the neck and the pattern outputs that, it would be amazing!

    Thanks for all the work you are doing, it is so appreciated. Can’t wait to make my first sweater!

  6. Any chance that once you publish recipes for your existing patterns that those of us who already purchased the patterns (pre-CF) would get the recipe? If not, we’ll be looking at purchasing three separate patterns to knit one of your designs simply because we bought the pattern before CF existed. Just a thought as I have several Amy patterns waiting in my queue. 🙂

  7. Wow! I’ve already gotten a Ravelry notification that an update is available for one of Amy’s patterns that I purchased previously. Hurrah!

    Thank you, Amy!

  8. Just wanted to say thanks for including the Customfit recipe in the regular pattern and for making it available separately. It’s nice to have the option.

  9. I wonder whether it’s the word ‘recipe’ that is leading some people to think they might get a complete write up of all the ingredients and methods (to continue the metaphor) to get the delicious dish that you’ve shown them?
    Perhaps calling them CustomFit ‘Inputs’ might be less confusing – as you are providing info that needs to be put into CustomFit program.

  10. I think I get it now…I’m just about to buy Tucci, both the standard and the CustomFit versions so I’m going to give it a go soon.

    I would really like to see CustomFit versions for Arm Candy, Caulfield and Aislin.

    Thank you, Amy!

  11. I am still confused… If I buy the $9.99 CustomFit pattern, as opposed to the $7.00 pattern, why do I still need the $2.50 Recipe?

  12. Amy, I love your “commercial” and all the great patterns you’ve been releasing lately. Wishing you all the best with the launch.

  13. What a beautiful and refreshing message at the beginning of the video. I have a friend with a theory that a lot of body issues came about soon after the increase of mass produced clothing and “standard sizes” and decline of custom or homemade clothing. Looking so forward to knitting my first CustomFit sweater!

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