Thanks so much for your comments and follow-ups, here and on Ravelry, about the recipes post. I’ll respond in the comments, too, but some questions popped up often enough that I wanted to take a moment and add a few points to my last post.
On what CustomFit is:
- CustomFit generates new, custom sweater patterns. It’s a pattern creation site, not a pattern alteration site (for my patterns or anyone else’s).
- CustomFit lets the knitter create their sweater by choosing from pictures of different sweater pieces (e.g. necklines, sleeves, and such) and making a basic choice about fit (close, average, or relaxed). It does all of the hard work of deciding on the best amount of ease for you and creating a custom pattern for your body, in your gauge.
- Setting up an account, storing body measurements, and storing swatches is all free. Each CustomFit pattern costs $9.99 and is specifically for the choices/gauge you’ve entered in.
- I think this next bit is so very important: It is not necessary to use a recipe, create a spreadsheet, track anything, or do anything other than knit the instructions exactly as written. You get a great sweater from CustomFit, exactly as explicitly written.
So you might ask: Why are there recipes in the first place, then?
While CustomFit produces an incredible wardrobe staple for you, the sweater patterns you can generate on the site are fairly plain. And after generating one fairly plain sweater, many of our beta-testers and early adopters decided to…
…well, I think about it this way: Many of our beta-testers and early adopters decided to add “bling” to their plain sweaters. They didn’t plan this, generally, or map anything out with a spreadsheet. They thought of a stitch pattern they liked, marked a few stitches, and went from there.
Other knitters started getting curious about using CustomFit as a launching point for more complicated sweaters, too. Some of them asked me how to use CustomFit to re-create some of my own designs. I thought it would be nice if I helped people along. And the recipes were born.
- CustomFit recipes are intended as helpers. They help you use CustomFit to get a sweater that looks a certain way. They’re simple things. They say things like “make these choices when you generate your CustomFit pattern” and “set up the cable row like this:”.
- CustomFit recipes are not at all necessary to use CustomFit. Period.
- Recipes are only helpful if you want help using CustomFit to recreate a certain design. They’re frankly not even necessary in a lot of those cases, if you can look at the picture of the sweater and figure out what sweater “shape” it represents.
(Remember, you can download a sample CustomFit pattern and see what they look like from this page.)
If recipes are confusing, please definitely ignore them and happily knit away on a beautiful CustomFit sweater that’s made from choices already built into the site. Because it truly doesn’t take a bunch of “bling” to get an amazing sweater. Some of the best sweaters I’ve ever seen, hand-knit or otherwise, were just a bunch of Stockinette and ribbing. Perfectly fitted, in a yarn that’s to-die-for, in a color that’s stunning. And once you’ve unlocked that door, lace and cables and stitch patterns will all still be there, waiting.
(We love our basic CustomFit sweaters, and wear them all the time.)
I want you to have wonderful, incredible, mind-blowing sweaters that you can’t wait to put on.
If you love the idea of CustomFit, but would like a little more of an in-person experience, that’s fantastic–and one of the exciting places we’re taking CustomFit is your Local Yarn Store.
I’ve talked before about why I think our LYS is our greatest knitting resource. And over the past several months of CustomFit sweaters, that reality has been driven home time and time again.
So much goes into knitting a sweater well, even when you have a pattern that’s perfectly crafted for your body, in your own unique gauge: Quality of fabric, finishing, match of yarn to design elements… …these concepts and others, which used to be universally known by knitters, are slipping away from us. As accessible as the Internet makes “learn to knit videos”, they aren’t a good substitute for someone standing over your shoulder, looking at what you’re doing, and helping you do it right.
The place we can truly learn and explore our craft is the Local Yarn Store.
Since we announced our flagship stores, the CustomFit LYS program has grown and grown. We’re thrilled to say that as of today there are almost 40 stores who have joined the program, and we’re continuing to add more every week.
See the full list of CustomFit partner stores here.
Yarn stores that offer CustomFit services have the ability to take accurate measurements, provide guidance on fiber and fabric, design selection, and pattern creation. Their familiarity with CustomFit, in addition to their collective experience and knitting expertise, make them an invaluable resource for you as a sweater knitter. Each store designs their offerings around their own unique store environment, so please contact them directly to see what CustomFit classes, events, or other services they provide.
If you don’t see your LYS on the list, and would like them to offer CustomFit LYS in their store? Please do tell them about it! We’d love to talk with them.