Making Clothes (A CustomFit KAL)

On Saturday, CustomFit will be a month old. Jackie and I were talking about this on the long drive to NY last weekend, and about the next sweaters we plan to make for ourselves. You see, we’re using the same yarn. And I mean the exact same yarn.

post-retreat-4

It’s the coppery yarn in this picture, which is String Theory Caper Aran in “Canyon”. We both grabbed it at our retreat, and discussed at the time what a fun idea it would be to explore the different pieces of clothing you might get from the same materials.

And that word – clothing – is vastly, vastly important. It’s been the subject of many a conversation around here, these past several months.

It’s funny, really, the language we sometimes use around our knitting. I tend to think of my yarn and needles as the raw ingredients to fabric, of the fabric I produce as the raw ingredient to clothing. But I feel that knitters often don’t talk about creating clothing. We talk about knitting sweaters, maybe. And sometimes we wear them. But I think sweater knitting is intimidating enough for many knitters, without adding the extra pressure of making it clothing, too.

But clothing is what I’m all about. I’m not a “What Not to Wear” lady, and I have no interest in dictating anyone’s personal style to them. Knit to Flatterwas about helping knitters make clothing, by focusing on teasing apart the reasons we might like one sweater more than another. Why we might pull this thing out of the closet twice a week, and leave that thing to linger.

Let’s be clear, now: It’s damn hard to wear clothing that doesn’t fit properly. Every time we put on something that isn’t quite right, we get the message that there’s maybe something wrong with us. When really, there’s nothing wrong with us or our bodies–we just happen to live in a world of mass-produced clothing, where everything is created for some mythical “Ms. Average”.

CustomFit gives you instructions for clothing that fits you perfectly. But that’s not the only ingredient to making clothing you love to wear. Silhouette, fabric, proportion, finishing, detail… all of these things are important too. And I think that even once the intimidation of fit is taken away, these other things can feel scary.

So I’d like to invite you all to join me in a CustomFit Knit-A-Long. Because rather than being intimidating, these things should be fun. To help keep things fun, and create a piece of truly magical clothing, this is going to be a guided KAL. I’ve got a series of posts planned on

  • Design
  • Swatching
  • Fabric
  • Seaming & finishing

All aimed at breaking things down step-by-step. I’ve created a KAL Pinterest board as a place where we can share inspiration and join together as a community. Want to join in?

Typically, KALs start well enough in advance that everyone can find a yarn to work with the selected pattern. But any yarn works with CustomFit. And you don’t need to know what you’re making before you start. So we’re going to start the KAL on CustomFit’s 1-month anniversary by falling in love with a yarn and making a fabric we adore.

Cast on for your CustomFit KAL swatch this Saturday November 16. Pin inspiration pictures, swatch pictures, in-progress pictures, and FO shots with the hashtag customfit-kal. We’ll collect them on the board and inspire one another along the way.

It’s not a race, but a journey we’re taking together. Some sweaters will take longer to finish than others. But I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy sweater knitting can be… …and I suspect that along and around the new year, we’ll share our new clothes. My inspiration?

yay-rust

Join us, and revel in garments that make us feel like our bodies are right, just as they are.

Comments

  1. Sandra David says

    It DOES sound like fun and despite the long list of “to knit” in my head (and stash), I’m going to join the KAL. I need to stash dive and come up with a yarn I’m eager to turn into clothing.

  2. says

    Uhmmmm this is tempting! I am in the process of designing my own sweater, but this sound really lovely, so I’m going to procrastinate my design and go for the custom-fit one :)

  3. Keren Duchan says

    Your inspiration sweater, as well as the concepts of balancing top / bottom heavy shapes, got me thinking. In sewing patterns, there seems to be a lot more play in terms of ease than in knitting patterns. It seems that knitting patterns differ in length, sleeve length, neckline, and the knit pattern of the fabric, but most of them seem to be shaped more or less to the body, as opposed to sewn garments, which have gathers, pleats, flares, etc. so for a bottom heavy shape like me, batwing tops or somewhat puffy sleeves can be used, or empire waists or ruffles at the neckline or bust area. I wonder if the knitting world takes advantage of fashion ease as much as the sewing world does? I’d love to hear your insight on this topic.

  4. Andrea says

    I am so excited! This is a KAL I can totally get into (literally)! I have a sweater-in-the-round I have knitted up to the armholes in a beloved handspun yarn. That was two children ago. I have been mustering the umph to unravel it to reknit as a CustomFit sweater. I think this is the impetus I need!

  5. Sara Wolf says

    I’m in! Can’t quite figure out yet how to post my inspirations to the Pinterest board, but will work on that later (after another cuppa).

  6. Laura Walters says

    I have already done my measurements and my swatch. I put in a Custom Fit recipe then chickened out. So this is my incentive to DO IT.

  7. says

    I’m absolutely in. I measured and swatched and bought my CustomFit pattern two weeks ago — a simple v-neck pullover that accounts for my curves and freakishly-long arms — but need some inspiration to cast on.

    And then here you are!

    I’ll take some photos to pin later. :)

  8. says

    Oh dear – I really really want to do this, even have yarn I’ve been saving but I’m really really nervous about all the numbers. Yes, I did measurements at. F2F class so NO excuses – but …

  9. Judy Walker says

    Just bought book and online class….work long days so may have trouble keeping up, but I’m in. Have stopped knitting sweaters for myself because never liked results!

  10. Julie says

    Very tempting – I’m trying to determine whether this is realistic for me given the holiday gift knitting I’ve already committed to.

    Is there a Ravelry group for this KAL? I didnt’ see anything on the F2F or Amy Herzog groups.

  11. says

    It’s funny, really, the language we sometimes use around our knitting. I tend to think of my yarn and needles as the raw ingredients to fabric, of the fabric I produce as the raw ingredient to clothing. But I feel that knitters often don’t talk about creating clothing. We talk about knitting sweaters, maybe. And sometimes we wear them. But I think sweater knitting is intimidating enough for many knitters, without adding the extra pressure of making it clothing, too.

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