Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Springbrook Cardigan via Custom Fit

Last night, I finished my first Custom Fit sweater and I have to admit, I'm impressed. The pattern, with one major modification that I'll tell you about, fits perfectly. But best of all, it allowed me to make a sweater I've always wanted to wear but could not buy. Custom Fit let me focus on what I wanted the sweater to look like rather than fretting over fit.

Based on my experience, here's what you need to know to make your own Custom Fit sweater a big success (pun intended):

Remember that this is bottom-up knitting. No top-down knitting is provided in Custom Fit. Amy Herzog, the creator of Custom Fit, is a big proponent of seams because they improve fit (and she's right, IMHO). She does provide guidelines for making the garment with a minimum of seams, however.

Take accurate measurements. No denial, my friends. The measurements need to be based in reality. Don't guess either. Get someone you feel comfortable with help you get ALL the measurements required. No fudging, either. If you want the sweater to fit, you must enter the correct measurements.

Make a gauge swatch. Yes, you must swatch. Just get over it. You have to make a 4-inch x 4-inch swatch and then you need to wash it and measure it again. Custom Fit makes your pattern based on a specific stitch and row count. Again, no fudging!

Add ease below the waist. Custom Fit is designed to create sweaters the skim the body. This works great if you don't have a mighty derriere like I do. If you're even remotely plus-sized, I think you're going to need more ease than the pattern gives you. Check out the Custom Fit projects on Ravelry and see if you agree. Many of them are too snug through the hips for my taste.

The good news is that Custom Fit lets you "pop the hood" and make manual adjustments to the pattern before you purchase it. Select this option and manually change the hips measurements (or whatever you need to change). To determine how wide your sweater should be, measure your favorite knit garment - sweater, T-shirt, anything that has some stretch. Enter this measurement in the "pop the hood" section. You will be happy you did.

Check the length, too. There have been some complaints that the sweaters are too short. This is another measurement you should check on your favorite garment. You can adjust this in the "pop the hood" section.

That's all my advice for the day. I'm looking forward to making a lot more Custom Fit patterns - I've got a million ideas rolling around in my head, and Custom Fit makes it a lot easier to make these dreams come true. I look forward to hearing about your experiences using Custom Fit.


  1. each time I see your projects I say that I love the last one best of all..and this is no different. I do love this one the best ..not only because you nailed the fit, but because it is your beautiful creative design. Kudos.

  2. I have serious sweater envy.

  3. As always I wish I lived nearer so you could be my "hands on teacher". I still really struggle with fit and my current sweater is getting ripped up to the arm pits (sigh, next week) to prove the point. Learn, grasshopper, learn. :) A question, though, did you go with the program's shaping as you mentioned in a previous post? If so, how do you feel about it as a method now?

  4. Your sweater rocks! I love your comment that you can concentrate on the pattern because the fit is taken care of.

  5. I love this length on you! Just perfect and the whole sweater is so beautiful. I also feel (after ripping out my custom fit) that I needed more room in the hip area and it was very, very short for someone my size. I was waiting to see how you handled these issues. I am going to change my pattern manually and reknit. On the next one I will "pop the hood". Thank you for sharing your expertise. You help a lot of knitters be better.