CustomFit and Design: Recipes

Partially- and fully-finished sweaters are piling up, yarn is crammed into and onto every available surface, and people coming into my office generally back out again, slowly and making eye contact the whole way.

(Translation: We’re nearing photoshoot time for the next book. Want some sneak peeks?)

kwl-snaps-march12-5 kwl-snaps-march12-1 kwl-snaps-march12-8

But before I dive back into my wool and head out to Natural Stitches and the Three Rivers knitting guild, I wanted to take a few minutes and talk about CustomFit recipes, which I think win the (dubious) award for being the single most confusing thing about CustomFit.

For those of you who haven’t had time to play around with the sweater generator yet, right now CustomFit offers you two basic ways to get a sweater. I’ve created six simple designs, which I think of as “Classics”. These are a few of the most beloved sweater shapes in fashion:


For these designs, the only choice you need to make is which of our “fits” you’d like the sweater to be. Easy-peasy.

The other way to create a sweater is to step through our custom sweater wizard:

Custom_Notepad - for home printing

(Here’s a one-page image of all of the options that are in the custom sweater wizard. You can mix and match however you like.)

These choices give you a ton of options – they essentially let you decide what you want to wear, and then create a pattern for your perfect sweater from scratch.

But many knitters don’t want to create a sweater in their head – they want to create a specific design they’ve seen in a photo.


(Let’s use Tucci as an example.)

Right now, CustomFit produces what I’ve come to think of as “sweater blanks”. A sweater pattern that will produce a perfectly-fitting garment, in your gauge… …but a fairly “clean slate” one.

Design takes a particular “sweater blank” and adds what I like to think of as “bling” – stitch patterns, putting this together with that, etc. A crew-neck cardigan with long, tapered sleeves becomes Tucci with the addition of the stripe sequence, blanket stitch, and collar:


CustomFit Recipes are short sets of instructions that help you use CustomFit to get a sweater that looks like a design.


To continue the example: For Tucci, pictured above, the recipe tells you:

  • Which choices to make in the custom sweater wizard to get that “sweater blank”,
  • The stripe pattern, and where to place it,
  • Collar instructions, and
  • Instructions for the blanket stitch trim.

Make sense?

I’ve now released recipes for most of my self-published designs. You can find them all here, in my Ravelry store. (A dedicated recipe page here on this site is in the works, too.) They’re inexpensive, because you will still need to purchase a CustomFit pattern to get complete instructions. But they’re not free, because I want to make a clear statement that the design part of designing is a valuable thing to do, and I want the other designers who are releasing CustomFit recipes to be able to feel good about charging for them.

(Yes, you caught that right! Other people are also working on CustomFit recipes – so exciting! Once they are out in the world, we’ll be sure to tell you all about them and we’ll have a prominent page on the CustomFit site itself, listing them all.)

Pattern purchase choices break down like this:




I hope this post clears up some of the confusion? If not, please ask any questions you have in the comments and I’ll definitely clarify. Thanks for reading, and see you on the flip side of PA!


14 thoughts on “CustomFit and Design: Recipes

  1. Thanks Amy. It’s clearer for me. I agree that designers should charge for their ideas, after all there is real work and time that goes into designing a sweater.

  2. I’m still a little confused. I purchased Dalriada with the understanding (assumption? Probably incorrect, anyway.) that I could plug my measurements into the Custom Fit site, tell it I owned Dalriada, and receive the modifications for me. Is that a future option? Should I just get out my calculator? Am I missing something on the site?

    See? Still confused.

  3. Do I buy the $9.99 CustomFit “blank” pattern once and then just buy a new recipe every time I want to create a new sweater? Or does it cost $9.99 + 2.50 every time?

  4. What an exciting era for sweater design. I am thrilled for this new modular approach and have seen the fabulous results on other knitters’ sweaters that look truly custom made for them in a way that speaks of high-end, Vogue-like fit perfection. I am itching for this to next be true of me. Bravo!

  5. I am confused as well. I purchased shore ledges a few months ago. I followed the instructions on the pattern to make a custom fit recipe and instead got a 9.99$ pattern and don’t know how this is going to make the same design? No where did it ask me about what pattern I was I making this for…only for me to name it. Did I go to thw wrong link? I’ve now spent $ on pattern and a ” recipe” that is not specifi to the sweater I wanted…do I go back to the original pattern and plug in the custom fit I made?
    How would I have gotten the recipe price? I don’t mind paying but think I just bought something I didn’t need. ? Help.

  6. So, if I get a CustomFit blank for a cardigan, in the future I would be able to buy just the recipes to incorporate the special design details of any number of cardigans – the recipes are not stand-alone patterns, they
    do not have any basic construction directions. I hope you get a lot of designers on board.

  7. I think I figured it out…when you buy the pattern ( my case shore ledges) it comes with the recipe ($2.50 otherwise?) then you make the custom fit design according to the recipe and that costs 9.99. . Is that right?
    Now do I merge the recipe, the pattern and the custom fit instructions? Whew…I hope I have it now…I really want to cast on.

  8. Great explanation, Amy! However, I understood it before so I hope you get feedback from those that didn’t.

  9. Well I am going to add more to the confusion questions! I have a number of your patterns, have been measured for custom fit, now want to work backwards and get this to all work by getting the basic pattern for the sweater with my measurements and pull the design elements from the pattern I have purchased–in other words extract the recipe.
    Any helpful hints on that?

  10. Hi Amy,

    Thanks for the explanation! Makes sense to me now. Looking forward to using the software. Can’t wait to see the new book.

  11. OK, although I understand what a recipe provides, I have a suggestion:

    Really, the recipe info is added in TWO places –

    Recipe + Custom FIt = Perfectly fitted Sweater Blank

    then –

    Perfectly fitted Sweater Blank + Recipe = Pattern to made SPECIFIC sweater

    I think what is lost, is that the recipe gives information about how to set up for a CF pattern, but it ALSO gives specifics on special stitch patterns & additions (say a belt or a certain color).

    Does that make sense to anyone?

    1. Oops – “collar” not “color” in the last parenthesis. I really don’t think anyone needs a CF Recipe to make use a different color! 🙂

  12. Am part way through knitting my first CF swetaer and very happy so far. Very happy to have row numbers, as my swatch changed with washing.

    Two Question:
    1. Will any of your Twist Collective designs ever get CF recipes? I really would like that for Cayley and Sapwood.

    2. Can you or one of your team do a post of how to use the CF software to design a sweater with like a center decorative back panel and/or front cardigan design panels? I want to replicate a simple crewneck cardi my grandmother knit for me decades ago with lace panels. I have the patten, but there are no schematics or measurements except for the bust. Is there a way to insure that the vertical darts are outside the panels? And is there a way to figure in a possible gauge change in the panel compared to the stockinette portions?

  13. […] More questions? Amy describes the recipe process on her blog here. […]

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