CustomFit LYS

CustomFit will soon be available in a handful of yarn stores. We think this is important. Probably the best way to explain why is to share part of my crafting journey with you.

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I learned to knit when I was a girl, because everyone in my family (by which I mean, all of the women) did all crafts, and I couldn’t sit still.

“Shove some needles into those hands, she’ll sit still quick enough.”

So I learned to sew, and cross-stitch, and crochet (badly, though I’ve recently been seized with an urge to pick it up again, thanks to filming the next season of Knit and Crochet Now), and I have vague memories of macrame and rug hooking too. And I learned to knit. And through it all, I had my grandmothers, my great-grandmothers, my aunts, and my mom, all giving me feedback on how I was doing.

“Those seams are crooked, rip them out and do them again.”
“Great job, Amy! Your stitches are perfectly even.”
“If you pick up that many stitches, the edge of that blanket is going to wrinkle. Try this way, instead.”

I was blessed, getting to grow up in my family. They were and are wonderful in all of the big important ways. They were also fantastically wonderful for my craft. They taught me right from wrong, in making as in other things. I have a wealth of knowledge that comes directly from them.

And for most of my life, I’ve taken it for granted.

One of the most amazing things about working with Jackie is that she has taught me to be grateful for my family, all over again. Because she didn’t grow up with makers.

It is, apparently, rare to have several family matriarchs instructing you in every craft under the sun.

Sometimes I worry, a little, that we’re losing our maker traditions. Bit by bit. Because as wonderful as the internet is (and oh, it is wonderful), it’s hard to learn this stuff from a web page or even a YouTube video. Knit fabric needs to be felt. It has to be fondled, and stretched, and played with, before you truly know its measure.

The place we can, and should, go for this kind of thing is our Local Yarn Store.

They are our torch bearers. Our surrogate aunts/grandmothers/great-grandmothers/mums. They’re the place where you can go to find out what separates a good sweater fabric from a bad sweater fabric. And why mattress stitch is the way to go, for seams. How to swatch properly. How to pick up stitches and set in a zipper and make sure your folded hem doesn’t flip up when you wear it. They’re the ones who can teach you about craft.

CustomFit can give you a pattern. But your Local Yarn Store can teach you how to knit a sweater.

And so it seemed only natural to combine the two. Starting this weekend and rolling out over the next month or so, CustomFit will be available in a set of wonderful, special, incredible flagship yarn stores.

They’re special stores, all. They all have fantastic and unique stories that I’m excited to share with you over the coming weeks, and they’ll all be rolling out CustomFit within their stores some time this fall.

They’ll measure you, and help you choose the perfect yarn, talk design choices, and send you away with a pattern that’s written just for you, in a yarn that you love. They’ll be your place to go for advice, for companionship while you seam that thing together, for accolades once you’re wearing your favorite sweater yet.

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Local Yarn Stores are the lifeblood of our community as makers. Let them help you get the best sweater you’ve ever worn.

(I’ll be talking more about how all this will work in upcoming posts. For now, I’m just really happy to be working with, and within, our local communities of makers, and wanted to share that with you. CustomFit will be available at WEBS and KnitWit starting this weekend, with other stores to follow. WEBS is throwing an event this Saturday for the CustomFit launch, from 11am – 2pm, and Jackie and I will be there. The event is free, but they’ve requested registration. Maybe we’ll see some of you there?)

Comments

  1. says

    As a person who’s self-taught (well, community taught, but you know what I mean), I can’t tell you how much I value the LYS. I’m very intrigued by your CustomFit system – which I will def try, but which I still don’t have figured out, details-wise. I’d love to read about someone going through the process from start to finish. Pls. keep us posted on new yarn stores that you work with in this way – like, in Toronto. I know Waterloo isn’t that far away, but without a car it’s not likely I’ll get there. :-)

  2. says

    Wow…this is VERY exciting. Congratulations to you for seeing all of your hard work come to fruition! I signed up for your Craftsy class and have just watched the first episode and you have already changed my life. You have taught me how to look at myself more objectively (and not sit there nitpicking every detail I don’t like) and I am starting to dress to accentuate what I need to accentuate. Also…I can’t wait to try knitting my first sweater but KNEW I didn’t want to do it without first taking your class.

    THANK YOU, Amy! You are changing lives! :-) If you are ever teaching live in Virginia again, I am going to be first in line for class! :-)

  3. Roni says

    Awsome idea!
    Northampton is only 20 minutes away from the New England Fiber Festival in W. Springfield. I get to do both this weekend :)
    See you there!

  4. Heidi says

    This is really great. Oh, how I envy you over there. Couldn’t you do the same in Germany, especially in Berlin??? I’m joking of course but dreams are allowed, aren’t they?

  5. Robbie says

    I applaud the yarn shop owners for being wise enough to join in this adventure.

    Wish one were near where I live. Might have to make an appointment for the knitting boutique when I go up to that area in December.

  6. Jean Miles says

    Why not Berlin? And — seriously — why not Loop in London? The internet has brought us all together.

  7. Diane Gerlach says

    The more I get to know Amy and the way she thinks, the more impressed I am with with the many ways she just GETS it. ;o)

  8. Lisa Cothron says

    I live in a small, rural town. After the local Walmart stopped selling fabric, a young woman opened a small shop geared toward selling quilting fabric, and yarn. Her inventory is limited to what her market will buy. Then Walmart decided (a few months ago) to reopen their fabric department. Now, she’s just announced that Traditions Fabric and Yarn in closing by the end of the year. We’re all very sad. There is no other local yarn shop less than 35-40 miles away, and the better ones are 60ish miles away.