FF: From Scratch, IV

I kind of miss doing the wardrobe style Fashion Fridays, but I didn’t want to pause the CustomFit profiles until I’d shared at least one more of our beta testers with you. This week on Fashion Friday, we see the three (!) sweaters the lovely Mollie has created with CustomFit’s help.

I talked a bit yesterday about how rewarding it is to hear CustomFitters talk about their sweaters as favorite pieces of clothing. We knit for lots of reasons, of course, all of them good: The feel of the yarn through your hands, the soothing rhythm of stitches moving after a stressful days, the challenge of making a thing so intricate that our skill is obvious to all. We knit just because it’s fun to knit.

But we also sometimes knit because we’re makers, and we can produce functional, beautiful clothing with our needles. The fact that the clothing we produce can fit better and be more flattering than anything we’ve ever bought in a store is incredible.

I wanted to share Mollie’s sweaters with you, because Mollie shares my passion for making clothing that fits really well. She describes herself in her Ravelry page as a product knitter. And her sweaters show it.

corticogenesis

This is Corticogenesis, Mollie’s “alpha” CustomFit sweater. (Mollie was one of the very first outside testers of the software, which is why she’s had time to knit a few of them.) It was one of her annual (you read that right) lace-weight sweaters, and her comment on it?

“Finally, a sweater with no mods!”

corticogenesis-2

This is a big deal, actually, because like all of us, Mollie differs from Miss Average. She’s got narrow shoulders, a larger bust, and a curvier figure than Miss Average. So her previous sweater life was full to the brim with modifications.

One mod-free success down, she moved on to knit more – because she knits a ton of sweaters:

I wear sweaters pretty much non-stop from October through March or so (which is to say that I need a lot of sweaters), and my style preferences are pretty well-defined. I love preppy cabled pullovers, and my preferences are so concrete that my Ravelry friends regularly identify at first glance the sweater patterns that I will knit. If it’s a cabled pullover, especially if it has a shawl collar, odds are good that it’s in my favorites. But I’m pretty hourglassy and need waist shaping, so a lot of classic all-over cabled patterns are right out.

Her second CustomFit sweater is my personal favorite: Doppler. This sweater is everything I love about fall shopping, except in a quality of yarn and color you can almost never find commercially.

doppler

(I snapped this quick photo of Mollie in her Doppler at Rhinebeck. Doesn’t it look great?)

You can find yarn and full CustomFit choices on her project pages, but it’s worth noting here that all of Mollie’s sweaters are done with CustomFit’s “close fit” choice. A close fit will produce a garment with a small amount of negative ease in the hips and bust, positive ease in the waist, and a shoulder fit that allows for just one thin layer.

Pre-CustomFit, Mollie achieved the shoulder fit she liked by knitting sweaters with a pretty substantial amount of negative ease in the bust.

Prior to Custom Fit, my typical sweater M.O. was to pick a cabled pullover, add waist shaping, and lengthen it by several inches. Length is a big issue for me, because I usually wear my sweaters with low-rise jeans, and I prefer to keep my unmentionables unmentionable, you know? I was making sweaters with about three inches negative ease at full bust, partly because I was in denial about my actual full bust measurement, and partly because I have narrow shoulders for my bust size, and the ~3 in. negative ease sweaters fit better in the shoulders and back than zero ease or positive ease sweaters. (I’m lying. I don’t think I’ve ever made a sweater with positive ease.) I had kind of a lightbulb moment when I knit my first CF sweater: if I make sweaters with less negative ease, but that fit in the shoulders, I don’t actually have to make them so long, because they don’t shrink up when I put them on.

The not shrinking up thing is huge for heavily-patterned sweaters. It means the fabric isn’t distorting itself over tighter areas. Notice how her cables are all the same length, when worn here:

doppler-2

Here’s Mollie’s third sweater, in which you can see the same great fit and detailing:

coves

coves-2

A well-fitting sweater means that the fabric quality is consistent throughout the sweater, when worn – which looks great. And being able to get these great results without worrying about gauge or modifications or math is a little addictive. It makes sweater knitting easy.

CF has also been a godsend for me because I’m a tight knitter, and I almost never get gauge. So I was used to doing math for every single sweater I knit, which gets wearying after a while. It’s also hard to keep track of various spreadsheets and knit on the subway, which is what I mostly do. So CF has made knitting sweaters much easier for me, and also more fun. (As evidenced by the fact that I’ve just finished the body of my fourth CF sweater.)

I’m incredibly humbled and excited the response CustomFit has gotten so far. And I can’t wait to see even more beautiful sweaters.

Comments

  1. Holly Abery-Wetstone says

    You have given me hope that I can knit a sweater that isn’t oversized or too small or have bust darts in strange places!

  2. says

    Congrats to Molly those are beautiful sweaters!! I downloaded my first and I am also thinking at the second with custom design, but I need time to knit them. You are doing great!!

  3. Rochelle says

    Mollie’s sweaters are gorgeous, even the other ones you’ve been posting since I discovered your blog few months ago. I’m so inspired and I love sweaters. I’ve decided to stop buying retail sweaters for many, many reasons. Mainly because they really don’t fit my tiny slim body with lots of curves and I’m very picky about details. So I’m planning to knit my very first sweater using CustomFit after I finish practicing knitting. Can’t hardly wait to get started.

  4. Olga says

    Mollie has done a beautiful job illustrating the work you are doing Amy!
    It was a pleasure meeting you briefly at Rhinebeck at the book signing. While I have your book, your Craftsy class and access to your website I have yet to knit a custom fit sweater but I have definite plans to do so soon!
    Keep doing what you are doing, Amy, we knitters truly appreciate it:)

  5. Dawn says

    What is the beautiful third sweater that Molly is wearing. The little twisted cables are gorgeous.