Sweater Week, Round 3: The make. wear. love. fall 2015 retreat designs.

For round three of this year’s sweater week, I want to share the sweaters I designed for the fall 2015 make. wear. love. retreat in mid-coast Maine.


I love designing sweaters for our retreats each year. Coming up with a theme (this year: chilly-beach-walk clothes), playing around with the colors of the yarns our fabulous vendors will have, and seeing the transition from sketch to swatch to finished garment. This year, I decided to build two of the sweaters directly into CustomFit, and design one pattern in a construction I’ve been obsessed with lately.

I loved the freedom it gave me to devise three very different pullovers – and I’m thrilled to share them with you today.

Popham Beach


Popham Beach is an incredibly special place to me. I grew up clambering around the fort there, played in the water until my lips turned blue all summer long, every summer, and showed best friends from college the Milky Way in its breezy starlit nights. Now that I’m a slightly-less-hardy adult, a sweater of some sort is pretty much always necessary. This is the one I always wish for when I’m there.

You can customize your own right here in CustomFit, but are the details on my version: A low-hip pullover with comfy long sleeves, patch pockets, a wide scoop neckline. I’ve kept the fit relaxed and sweat-shirt-y by placing the waist shaping on the back only, giving a slouchier look than if the waist shaping were everywhere. (I’m wearing the pullover with an average fit.) Broken rib trims the whole thing up and is fun to work.

The sample is knit in The Fibre Company Cumbria, a new yarn I can’t say enough good things about. It’s a gorgeous wool blend with just a touch of mohair, which gives the fabric strength and a slight glow. It’s warm, it’s wooly, it’s everything you want your fall beach sweater to be. Create one for yourself by clicking here.

Popham-Beach-Pocket-Detail Popham-Beach-Neck-Detail

Parker Head


Parker Head is a tiny little sub-village of Phippsburg, with a road that hugs the water and is barely one lane wide and gorgeous views of the end of the Kennebec River from most of the houses. My mother’s parents lived there when I was very young, and I have so many great memories of walking down the road to the wharf where my grandfather’s boat docked. I can still smell the water if I think of it.

For my memories of that gentler wharf, I wanted practical 3/4 sleeves (the cuffs don’t drag in everything), an easygoing stitch pattern, and a relaxed fit. This sweater, too, has waist shaping on the back only – and the front and sleeves are worked in a simple Dot Texture pattern. (The back is worked in Stockinette to facilitate shaping.) The wide mock turtleneck is versatile, layering-wise, and unfussy – but stylish, too. Jackie is wearing the sample in an average fit.

The sample is worked in The Woolen Rabbit Emma, in the color “Grey Goose”. This is a polwarth-silk blend – warm, with a slight sheen and drape from the silk. It’s an incredible material and I loved working with it. You can customize your own Parker Head pullover right in CustomFit by clicking here.

Parker-Head-Neck-Detail Parker-Head-Hem-Detail

Small Point Pullover.


I hope you’ll forgive me a bit of a tease with this one – Small Point is a traditional pattern, with a construction worked in one piece from hem to hem. The pattern is being edited, and I expect to be able to release it some time in the next week. Until then, here’s a bit of a taste!

It’s worked in Eden Cottage Bowland DK, in the “Steel” and “Pennine Mist” colorways. And I can’t wait to tell you the rest. :)


It’s hard for me to believe the retreat is over, honestly – and that I’ll have to wait a whole year before I can go back and talk sweaters in my favorite place on earth. To keep the spirit alive, let’s share our projects in one central place?

Whether you joined us or not, share your swatches and projects with us with the hashtag #makewearloveretreat – it will be so amazing to see them all together. Until next time, happy knitting!

Sweater Week, Year 2, Day 2: Options KAL with Rowan

Earlier this year, the wonderful people at Rowan approached me about doing a KAL.

When they released Pure Wool Superwash Worsted, the incredible Martin Storey did a Mystery KAL for the new line. They were releasing a DK version of the Pure Wool Superwash this fall, they said – the perfect workhorse sweater yarn. And when they were talking sweaters, my name came up. Would I like to take the baton from Martin and run a sweater KAL in the new yarn?

…you can probably guess what I said.

And this being me, you can probably even guess where I went with it: Obviously the KAL couldn’t be a mystery. And clearly there had to be a lot of choice involved, because no two people want to knit the exact same sweater.

“Think about it for a bit,” they said. “Let us know what you’re thinking and we’ll go from there.”

The freedom was heady. And so I’m very excited to share that starting on Monday, you’ll have the chance to knit a sweater with me through a different kind of KAL.


The Options KAL will run from October 19 through December 14, on the Rowan site (and discussion here of course!), with bi-weekly installments of videos, tips, and lots of mutual yarn admiration throughout. I’ll step you through choosing a size, making great sweater fabric, modifying the pattern to fit your needs, finishing, and more. Because I’m all about the choices, you get lots:

Options-KAL-Stripe-Hero-Final Options KAL Herzog Photos-Textured-Modeled-1

Including mixing and matching among:

  • Cardigan or pullover options
  • Stripes, textured stitch, or stockinette options for each piece
  • Long sleeves or 3/4 sleeves
  • Crew neckline or V-neckline

I’ll be knitting along with you – a V-neck pullover option with 3/4 sleeves and a textured front and back. (And because I know at least some of you are interested – a free traditional pattern in 12 sizes with all of the options will be available from the main KAL page, but I’ll also build this design into CustomFit so that you can get a version written to match your exact measurements and gauge!)

I hope you’re excited – I sure am!

Rowan is running the main KAL page, and there will be lots of updates on Monday afternoon for the first installment – so keep your eyes peeled! And since I’m sure you want to get your yarn shopping out of the way before we begin, here’s a downloadable spec sheet for the design with a shopping list built-in.

Options KAL-Texture-Front-Detail Options-KAL-Stripe-Shaping-Detail Options KAL-Texture-Neck-Detail Options-KAL-Stripe-Neck-Detail

I can’t wait – which of the Options call to you?

Sweater Week, Year 2: The New CustomFit Basics

Much like last year at this time, I find myself with a ton of sweaters to tell you about, just in time for one of the biggest sweater events on this coast.


(Will you be at Rhinebeck, too? If so, we’d love to see you! Amy and Jackie will be hosting a CustomFit meetup at 12:30 pm, on the hill where the Rav meetup is held, across the walkway from Building E. Amy will do a sweater Q&A, talk about what’s coming up for CustomFit this fall (so exciting!), and we’ll take a giant sweater-licious group photo. For a bonus this year, bring a CustomFit project on the needles (or off) for entry in a raffle!)

So, much like last year, let’s make this week a feast of sweaters.

I want to start the week with six sweaters that were part of our swanky new CustomFit site design:

The Summer/Fall 2015 Basics collection.

The basics collections for CustomFit are specifically aimed at giving knitters super-wearable, super-flexible, gorgeous sweaters that will work in any yarn. We release them twice a year, with an eye toward silhouettes that are lacking, current, or otherwise catching our eye at the moment.

You can find more details here in our lookbook:

And on the site itself (see individual pattern names for the link). So here, I just want to tell you a few things about the designs.



My vision for Yawl came from a long-lost, much-loved store-bought sweater I had ages ago. It was a straight-sleeved, 3/4 cardigan with a single fabulous button in a sturdy marled wool/acrylic blend. I wore it to death, and when we were daydreaming about this collection it came back into my mind.

This time, I worked it with a thick garter edge that perfectly suits the incredibly soft wool I chose: Green Mountain Spinnery’s Mewesic. I love Green Mountain Spinnery – their yarns are fantastic, and they’re a worker-owned cooperative in Vermont committed to USA-grown, regionally-sustaining fibers with environmentally-conscious processing to boot. I’ve been honored to work with their yarns over the years, but I have to say Mewesic might be my favorite so far. It’s a nubby, soft 100% fine wool that makes a warm, lightweight, utterly wearable sweater.

yawl-detail-1-alt yawl-detail-2-alt yawl-hanger-front yawl-hanger-back


CustomFit has needed a cozy shawl-collared cardigan for awhile, and we totally indulged that urge with Ketch. Long sleeves, long sweater length, a thick 2×2 ribbed button band and relaxed fit? Sign us all up for that, honestly, but Jackie lucked out and got the sample this time. I can imagine it for myself in lots of different styles and colors…

…after knitting myself a Ketch out of the Lorna’s Laces Masham we used for the sample, anyway! I’ve been lucky enough to work with Masham before (see also: Harrogate and the Sporty Tunic), and was eager to reunite for this design. It’s gloriously thick and wooly, comes in a lovely array of colors, and is exactly what you want to be wearing when the temperatures drop.

ketch-detail-2 ketch-detail-1 ketch-hanger-front ketch-hanger-back


Mindful of the fact that it’s colder here than in many other places, I wanted to include a shorter-sleeved, twinset-like cardigan that would be versatile both weather-wise and style-wise. Sloop can be worn with your comfiest pair of jeans, or dressed up for work.

Heather is wearing a sample in a lovely, soft wool-silk blend called Sporty Kashmir by one of my favorite hand-dyers The Woolen Rabbit. I’ve also worked with this yarn before, and adore its sheen, softness, and (of course) beautiful beautiful color. We used the “Boney Maroney” color way, but I also really love Chocolate Chambord, Clara Bow, and Forever in Blue Jeans. (Ahem.)

sloop-detail-1 sloop-detail-2 sloop-hanger-front sloop-hanger-back


I’m so excited about Cutter, you guys. Jackie’s been asking for a rough-and-tumble, wear-everywhere-do-everything crew neck pullover for awhile: 3/4 sleeves, please, for maximum utiliy. Low-hip length, please, so that it doesn’t ride up while hiking. Sturdy wool, for sure, because this sweater needs to stand up to daily wear.

I thought immediately of Ross Farm Fibers, wonderful people I met at the Super Summer Knit Together a couple of years ago. Amy and crew are fifth and sixth-generation sheep farmers in Southwestern PA who focus on rare and heritage breeds, many of which are exceedingly low in numbers. You can find out more about what they do here on their website, or check out their Etsy shop for information on the wool they have in stock. (Or visit their NYS&W booth this weekend and see their yarns in person!) We used “Letitia”, which is utterly gorgeous and has an amazing sheen, but why limit yourself? Any of the Ross Farms yarns would shine here.

cutter-detail-1 cutter-detail-2 cutter-hanger-front cutter-hanger-back


We have also been shockingly lacking in turtlenecks here at CustomFit, and my best friend Beth has been aching for one. Interested in giving her a versatile work/home piece, I chose my favorite soft, durable wool cotton blend. Long sleeves, a mid-hip length, and 2×2 ribbing keep Catboat classic and understated.

The yarn keeps it super wearable – Rowan’s wool cotton has long been a favorite of mine. It’s got cotton’s softness and next-to-the-skin qualities, with the memory and elasticity of wool helping it out. Beth’s already gotten tons of wear out of this sweater, and has dropped hopeful remarks about more versions in a range of colors.

catboat-detail-1 catboat-detail-2 catboat-hanger-front catboat-hanger-back


Even though it’s getting chillier where I am, now, I couldn’t resist a classic breezy linen tank in our Summer/Fall collection. I live in stuff like this, all summer long. It’s lightweight, it dresses up well, but I’m not afraid to get dirty digging in the garden, either. It’s long enough to work well with skirts or pants, and looks great over a thin cami or a button-down when things are cooler. It makes me feel effortlessly chic – every time I wear it, I need more linen sweaters in my life!

And I love Shibui Linen in particular. It’s a fingering-weight chain construction yarn that comes in about a billion super-wearable colors, and it’s one of the most comfortable linens I’ve ever worked with. They can tend to be on the heavy, fuzzy side for me – but the Shibui is super-light, super-crisp, and wears beautifully with time as well.

schooner-detail-1 schooner-detail-2 schooner-hanger-front schooner-hanger-back

Get the sweaters!

All of these Basics are built right into CustomFit, which means that you can create patterns for them specifically to your choice of gauge and body measurements. Click on any of the sweater names, or any of the main photos, to go to that sweater’s page. Or click here to see the whole set!

Purchased individually, each one is just $10. Or, if you’re a maker, they’ll be one credit each. And if you’re a maker plus – you get unlimited patterns, so go bananas and outfit yourself with an entire wardrobe of basics.

Many of our lovely yarnies will be at Rhinebeck and other festivals this fall, so be sure to stop by and show them some love. If you’ve already cast on for one of your own basics, let us know how it’s going by using the hashtag #customfitbasics.

Until tomorrow, happy knitting!

Up and comings.

The photoshoot for my next book is over and the sweaters are done:


Which means it’s time to share our next big news!

We’re very excited to announce that we’ve got a big redesign of The CustomFit site coming on Monday. There are a bunch of new features we think you’ll love:

  • Simplified swatch and measurement creation
  • The ability to to copy measurements from CYCA standards and adjust for your body
  • A vastly improved ability to tweak fit and ease information before making your pattern
  • A cleaner, easier-to-use design
  • Our next Basics Collection
  • And more! :)

It takes a while for our server to upload the changes on the CustomFit site, so there is some planned downtime coming on Monday. We will have the site “down for maintenance” from about 11am – 3pm EDT on Monday. We’ll let you know here when it’s back up and running!

We’re so excited for these changes – we hope you’ll love everything as much as we do. Until Monday, happy knitting!

A lesson learned from our (amazing) beta-testers

(Before we get into the heart of this post, I just want to give a shout out to Lisa of Indie Untangled and the Rhinebeck Trunk Show she’s hosting in Kingston that weekend! We’re happy to be sponsoring the event this year, and as part of the event Lisa asks all the sponsors thoughtful questions about what they do & and how they do it. Last week Lisa posted her interview with Amy, and if you’ve ever wondered where Amy comes up with her ideas, you might want to check it out!)

As we begin beta-testing for some new CustomFit features (stay tuned this fall because we are so excited!), Amy and I have been having flashbacks reminded of the very first round of CustomFit beta-testing, two years back.


(The original CustomFit sweaters. We’ve come so far!)

When we put the call out for beta-testers, we were hoping for 10 extremely experienced sweater knitters to answer the call. A couple of hundred knitters responded instead – we were thrilled. We asked 100 of those knitters to join us to see how CustomFit worked (and give us their feedback on which parts could be improved).

Our beta testers were of every skill level from “I’ve knit countless beautiful sweaters for myself, my spouse, my adult children” to “Sweater? I’d like to try to knit one someday, but I have no idea where to start.”

We had no idea how it would go.

But what we learned — closely watching lots of knitters at so many experience levels  — is that you only need two skills to knit a sweater:

  1. Courage;
  2. The ability to produce a consistent tension with the same yarn & needles, over time

That’s it, to produce some of your best clothing ever. And the first isn’t even a knitting skill… it’s a life skill. But knitting is a great place to practice it, because hey, you can always rip out your knitting and try again.

Which means the second is the only true knitting skill that a knitter needs before he or she is ready to dive in.

That’s because if you can’t produce a consistent tension with the same yarn & needles, over time, your sweater won’t match what a pattern (even a custom one!) was designed to produce. It might be too big, or too small, or both. (Interestingly, we learned during the beta testing process that we couldn’t predict from a knitter’s experience level whether their gauge would be consistent.)

The cool thing is, as long as you can produce an even tension, over time, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never knit a sweater before, or seamed before, or if you’ve never picked up a neckline.

During beta testing, we watched maybe a dozen “I’ve never done this before, but I’d like to give it a try” knitters use CustomFit to knit their first sweaters, and saw them feel like rock stars when their sweaters came out so well.


It was probably our favorite part of the whole beta-testing process. And now, thousands of sweaters later, it still bears repeating. Because we build sweaters up to be a super scary thing in our minds, sometimes – and they really don’t have to be.

Knit Wear Love sweater profile: The Cardigan

Knit Wear Love is not a pattern collection.

I don’t really write books that are pattern collections. Instead, I want my books to be a great set of references that help you create garments you can’t wait to put on, and never want to take off.

Knit Wear Love approaches this from a super-practical standpoint: What kinds of clothes do you wear every day? How do you make your handknits work well with that?

The book is centered around 8 “meta patterns”: Pullover, Cardigan, Vest, Cowl, Wrap, Tunic, Tank, Bolero. Everything in the book helps you make sweaters from your choice of silhouette, out of materials and with detailing that you’ll immediately want to wear.

In this ongoing series, I take in-depth looks at each meta-pattern. For each, I share the three samples and styles, talk a little bit about the silhouette itself and what materials can make it shine (or would be tragic), and do a candid photo of how I’d personally style one of the samples. In my first post for this series, I chose The Pullover. Now I’m talking cardis.

The Cardigan.


Everybody loves a good cardi. They’re comfortable, they’re easy-on, easy-off, they go with lots of different outfits. For many knitters, cardigan is synonymous with “first sweater”.

The KWL Cardigans

The book showcases three very different-looking garments that are fundamentally all the same design:

  • A soft, cozy, open cardigan for chilly and casual fall days;
  • A professional, quick-to-knit classic cardigan with subtle texture and some great buttons;
  • A sweeter, vintage style out of some luscious yarn with dainty lace.

Like all of the chapters in this book, these three sweaters were made from the same pattern. When knitting your own cardigan, you could go with one of the variations here – or go further toward your own style! Mix and match detailing (I think lace cuffs would look fantastic in a larger-gauge, super-smooth wool with the worn-open styling), swap out yarn (the pattern is written for sport, worsted, and bulky gauges), really choose detailing that speaks to you.

Personally, I’m looking forward to making the classic variation in a lighter-weight, nubby silk blend next spring. I already have the sea glass-colored buttons picked out… …but you get the idea, right? The choices are completely up to you.

Cardigan Tips & Tricks

Whatever variation you’re making, I have just a few tips to ensure your cardigans will be hugely successful:

  • Make sure your fabric has structure. Cardigans may be more forgiving in terms of fit than pullovers, but they have much less structure: The open nature of the front, combined with the weight of most hand-knits, means that they’re more likely to droop, sag, and have other issues. The solution is a very structured hand-knit fabric – not tight, but strong and with a lot of integrity. Check back here later this month for a video on this topic, or watch Lesson 2 in my most recent Craftsy class.
  • Make sure your fabric matches the way you’ll wear the sweater. Quite aside from how sturdy your fabric is, consider the materials you’re using and whether they’ll stand up to how you wear your cardigans. If this cardi needs to be hard-wearing – it’s your dog-walking sweater, or the one you’ll throw on to head to the park every afternoon, that ultra-soft merino blend that pills when you rub the swatch might not be the best choice. If you’re after something to layer with your work separates, the worsted-weight variegated hand-dye might not be the best match – think crisp linen, instead. To make sure your materials match the context you expect, play around with your swatch! Rub it, shove it in a purse, lay it out on the outfits you’re imagining.
  • Consider closures. You’ll want to keep that cardigan closed somehow, unless you’re going for a worn-open style. You’ve got tons of options, from zippers to tie-fronts (a la the vintage variation) to the classic buttons. There are also movable, removable, screw-in style closures available – super neat for people like me, who like to change their minds!

Amy’s Fave

Although this sample is decidedly not sized for me, I’ve caught myself wearing the casual cardigan a bunch:

yay-book-2 amy-cardigan-kwl-1

This past winter, with its record-smashing snows and super cold days, I wore it regularly – usually over a t-shirt, like on the left. But as I look forward to this fall, I can’t help but get excited about dressing this casual cardi up a bit – maybe with my favorite pair of cords, and that super-cute shirt I found on sale?

(Full disclosure: I have not actually worn the outfit on the right yet. Just taking these pictures in 90+ degree weather was enough to send me scrambling for my cut-offs!)

How about you – what are your feelings on cardis? Do you have a favorite? If so, what’s it made from?

As always, happy knitting!

In Real Life: Cushing Isle

We’re starting a new series over at my Instagram account today called “In Real Life”. Each month, we’ll highlight one particular design and how several truly awesome knitters have made it their own.

Today’s design is Cushing Isle, which is built directly into CustomFit (meaning you can work it in any yarn, at any gauge). Brenda, Melistocrat, Pam, and Rita made four different, and absolutely stunning, sweaters from this design.

Don’t you agree?

Online sweater seminars with Amy!

Happy Tuesday that feels like a Monday, knitters!

As Amy said last week, one of her favorite things about her job is teaching. Live online classes, which we started offering this past winter, are a great opportunity to bring Amy right to your living room.


A live online class is a great way for Amy to connect directly with you. They’re very much like Amy’s live in-person classes: They allow you to control what we cover. You can direct the content, show Amy your work in person, and ask her your burning knitting questions – all live.

(The flip-side to this awesome liveness is that, unlike Amy’s Craftsy classes, the classes are not recorded – the participatory nature of the class makes doing so pretty impractical! So please make sure you’re available at the specified hour.)

These classes have gotten rave reviews in the past – here is our first set of offerings for this fall:

Advanced CustomFit

This class is for you if you’ve made your first CustomFit sweater (or three) and you’re ready to take it to the next level.

Want to add cables to your sweaters, but not sure how many stitches to add? Maybe you have a favorite pattern by another designer that you’re dying to adapt using CustomFit, mash-up style. Or maybe you have some other question about how to bend CustomFit to your will. This is the class for you! We’re offering two sessions of the Advanced CustomFit Seminar this fall. The cost is $40.

Sunday, September 27 9am-11am PDT/noon-2pm EDT: Register Here!

Saturday, October 24 9am-11am PDT/noon-2pm EDT: Register Here!


Put off finishing sweaters because you dread it, or make everything seamless?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Let Amy help you set in sleeves, pick up buttonbands, and match mattress stitch like a pro. Amy will fully customize the class to your questions and interests. If your set-in sleeves and picked up stitches don’t make you sigh with the beautiful simplicity of it all, then this class is for you! The cost is $40.

Monday, October 12 5pm-7pm PDT/8pm-10pm EDT: Register Here!


We hope to see you in class!

This sweater looks great in the picture. It’s not.

Howdy everyone! Jackie here. :)

Today I’d like to share a sweater with you, from way back to winter 2013 / 2014. I worked really hard on it — agonizing over the consistency of my fabric, re-knitting the collar THREE times — determined that it would be a sweater I’d actually wear and love.


It looks good, yeah? This picture is one that I would be pretty psyched to post in my Ravelry projects. It fits beautifully. The yarn is divine. I love the outfit, and I’m wearing a necklace that was a gift from one of my most favorite and oldest knitting friends. It’s a pretty good picture.

But the picture alone would give you the wrong idea.

Because the truth is, it’s not a good sweater. And I think it’s really important to share that with you all.

Ninety-nine percent of the time on this site, we’re showing you examples of beautiful, and beautifully executed, sweaters. (And there are about thirty more in Amy’s studio that you haven’t even seen yet. So. Many. Sweaters.) I think it can be disheartening to look all around you and see (seemingly) everyone knocking out perfect sweaters left and right, wondering if you’re the only one struggling.

If I’ve just described you, I’m here to say that you are definitely not the only one. And further, it’s okay to struggle sometimes! Becoming a sweater knitter is a process, and each sweater we tackle – success or not – makes us better at it, as long as we take it as an opportunity to learn.


So! What did I learn from this sweater that looks good in a picture, but that I never wear?

What you can’t see from the picture is that I was so afraid that my gauge would start to change, or that I would start rowing out, that I knit this fabric so tight it’s like iron. Amy, in her gentle way, kept warning me about this as I knit it. She was that little knitterly voice in your head that tells you the truth about your project, that you ignore: la la la la la it’s going to be fine.

It was not fine.

The problem with very tightly knit fabric is that the sweater doesn’t move with you like it should. This particular sweater sort of feels like I’m wearing a piece of sculpture – it almost stands up on its own. Just like Amy told me it would.


Lesson 1 of this sweater: Tight gauge isn’t a solution for inconsistency or rowing out. Instead, I needed to work on improving my knitting technique. (And I did! You can read about it here.)

Lesson 2 of this sweater: Conduct the Fabric Test on your swatch. What’s the Fabric Test? It’s a 3-step process we came up with last year where you place a swatch — or sweater — on a table to evaluate whether it’s good fabric for a sweater. Amy demonstrates it in Lesson 2 of her new class, and we’ll post a video of it here on the site this month too. (To be fair, when I knit this sweater we hadn’t developed the Fabric Test yet, and this particular sweater was part of the reason we did so.)

Lesson 3 of this sweater: Listen to that little knitterly voice in your head, always. (A thousand-fold if that knitterly voice is actually Amy, as she looks at your project.)

If you’re not sure what that knitterly voice is saying, but it’s whispering vague nothings in your ear, ask for help! Call your LYS and see if they have a drop-in help class, or see if you can schedule 30 minute private lessons with their sweater person on staff.

Do you know what the cool thing is though? The more sweaters you knit, successful or not, the better that little voice gets. The first several sweaters that voice is vague and speaks softly. But then, after several sweaters, that voice becomes more confident, and speaks up more clearly.

So, if you’re still working your way toward consistently good sweaters, keep heart, and keep knitting! It’s okay. Remember: Every excellent knitter had to knit a lot of things to become that excellent knitter they are today.

Sweater Modifications for a Custom Fit – Final Giveaway!

Edit: Marie is our winner! She had some great thoughts:

I’d like to learn to not be scared & wait for my ideal shape (that probably won’t happen) & to go for it. To learn to knit for me now, to enjoy it and be proud of my attempt/creation!

As my book deadline approaches, the sweaters are piling up …


But I was able to take a few breaks this week to give away copies of my new Craftsy class! I’d like to share a few of my favorite things I heard from students this week.

On Tuesday, we gave away a copy of the class on our Instagram. The topic of the day was Fabric. One of the lessons in the class discusses fabric: how to make a good fabric, what yarns make great fabric for sweaters, how to tell if your fabric will perform the way you expect. Here’s a link to all the lovely photos knitters shared with us on Instagram – there are some great swatches there!

Our winner was @langwidere, who showed off a beautiful tray of swatches overseen by her (not-very-interested) pooch. I loved seeing the many different types and colors of fabric lined up — I save all my swatches, too!

dog plus swatches!

Next, we headed over to Ravelry for a discussion on ease. One of the lessons in my new class focuses on ease: what it is, where you need it, how much to assign where. We asked Ravelers to share stories about ease with us, and the results were amazing! Check out the full thread here. Our winner, reapergirl, shared this with us:

I’ve knitted several sweaters for myself, but I still seem to get into trouble sometimes. Or as Stephanie Pearl-McPhee says experienced knitters just make bigger mistakes, faster.

I wanted a lightweight, loose cardigan that I could wear to ward off office air conditioning. I picked a pattern that was a top-down, increase as you go affair. … Rather than the flowy cardigan that I envisioned, I wound up with a shrug as the fabric stretched width-wise to fit over my chest (part of that was my fault, over compensating for a short torso). It simultaneously had too much positive ease in the back and too much negative ease in the front. I think I’ve worn it twice, once to take a picture for my projects page, and once to figure out that the combination of problems mentioned above means that I wind up adjusting it every 5 seconds.

We’ve all been there! Finally, yesterday we talked about setting in sleeves on Facebook. Jane L. had some great thoughts to share:

Set in sleeves still make me nervous, I admit, for many reasons: because they are crucial to fit and look, and because I don’t feel like I have developed good strategies to fall back on when I run into problems. Glad you are offering a class on this.

I hope the lesson on set-in sleeves and seams can help Jane with some strategies in case she runs into problems … or even better, prevent the problems in the first place!


To win today, tell us what you hope to learn from my new Craftsy class! Leave a comment here, and we’ll pick a winner on Tuesday – meet you back here then. Have a great weekend, and work hard on your Fall Festival sweaters … Rhinebeck approaches!

(If you just can’t wait, or missed your chance to win – again, here’s the link for 50% off the class. Thank you all so much! You’re the best knitters I know.)