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!

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.)


Sweater Modifications for a Custom Fit

Update, 08/31: The class is live! You can find it here for 50% off! We’ll also give away a copy of the class on the blog on Friday.

One of my favorite things about my job is teaching. I love teaching the love of sweaters to knitters all over the country, and I wish I could do it more often! Unfortunately, one of the biggest frustrations in this new career is that I simply can’t be everywhere, all the time.

(Scratch that. It’s one of the biggest frustrations of my life, not just in this career!)

So I’ve really really enjoyed working with Craftsy these past couple of years, to offer my very popular Knit to Flatter class through their platform. (Click that link for $20 off if you haven’t taken it yet, by the way.) It allows me to work directly with students, whenever and wherever they are. I’ve loved the interactions I’ve had with the 13,000+ students enrolled in the course.

So I was absolutely delighted when they asked me to do another class.

It’s called “Sweater Modifications for a Custom Fit”, and it goes live this coming Monday, August 31!


The class was super fun to film, and covers a lot of sweater topics that I’ve been teaching these last couple of years. While my first Craftsy class included a little bit on fit, I kept things pretty general! Knit to Flatter was focused mostly on the visual elements in enjoying your sweaters, instead: Why you might like V- or scoop-necks instead of crew necks, for example, and tips on how to branch out from there.

This class leaves body shape and visual elements behind, and focuses instead on everything else that goes into a successful sweater – and there’s lots to cover, there, from fabric, to stitch patterning, to fit specifics, and beyond. Want a little more detail? In the 7 lessons, I’ve included:

  • A class pattern. I wrote up a choose-your-own-adventure style pattern specifically for the class. It’s worked in two yarns – the budget-friendly Naturespun Sport and the pricier but oh-so-luscious Rowan Lima. There are cardigan and pullover options, and two sleeve lengths, and two necklines. So you get the benefits of working through a class pattern, without being constrained to one specific look.
  • Detailed Fit Modifications. In this class, I get nitty-gritty about how to make all of the modifications you need in a sweater – from measuring to choosing a size to working modifications within the super-easy system and formula I’ve streamlined over the past 5 years. I even talk about those pesky sleeve caps!
  • Fabric and Style choices. I talk about what sweaters need, fabric-wise, and how to tell if your fabric has it. I talk about fiber, and how it affects fabric in the context of a sweater, and when you might want one thing vs. another. I talk about where you might place stitch patterning in a “blank slate” sweater, and what considerations you might make around that.
  • Finishing things off. I give a quick crash-course in blocking, pinning together, and seaming your sweater to round off the course.

I had a wonderful time filming it, and I hope you enjoy it too! The class goes live on Monday, and if you’d like a chance to win a free copy from Craftsy, click here!

Since book knitting is still in full-on crazypants mode, I’ll sign off for now, and catch up with you again on Monday. Until then, here are some pictures from the shoot:

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Have a great weekend!

Deep Winter Travels

I always forget how much back-to-back extended travel weekends trash my productivity in other areas. Email, blog, laundry, the code… all of it falls by the wayside when I’m gone 10 days in a row.

But our travels to TNNA were great (did you see Lauren’s video of me seeing Knit, Wear, Love for the first time?), and I’ve taken my quick one-day laundry/kid-hugs break, and now I’m off again!

This weekend, I’ll be in New York for Vogue Knitting Live NYC, which is one of my absolute favorite events each year. I hope to see you there! In addition to my classes and lecture, I’ll be speaking at a panel on design on Sunday at lunchtime in the marketplace. It should be a blast.

And in addition to a wonderful TNNA, those cross-country flights are great for knitting productivity: I have already finished the knitting for my first Deep Winter KAL sweater.


(Not shown: Sleeves that have not yet been seamed on.) How are yours coming?

Make, Wear, Love: Online Sweater Class (spring session)

In conjunction with the Deep Winter KAL, I’ll be running another session of my make, wear, love online sweater class:


I so enjoyed the first two sessions, and I’m thrilled to offer this course again. You can read a bunch more detail on this page – here are the basics:

  • The class is great for beginners and more advanced knitters alike, and covers:
    • CustomFit itself – what it can do, what it can’t, and how to use it
    • Body measurements and Fit to Flatter principles
    • Sweater fabric – how to get the best fabric for your sweater
    • Finishing – how to get professional finishing results
    • Advanced CustomFit topics – mash-ups, stitch patterns, and more
    • One-on-one instruction – You’ll have two 15-minute personal sessions with me as part of your course fee.
  • The sessions are run live by group video chat. Amy has multiple cameras and can draw on a whiteboard and/or share her screen with you – so everything is super visible and clear.
  • This session runs on Monday evenings at 8:00pm Eastern. The dates are 01/19, 02/02, 02/23, 03/09, 03/23, and 04/06.
  • The cost for the entire class, including one CustomFit pattern, class sessions, and the one-on-one sessions, is $125

I really hope you’ll join us! You can sign up by clicking here. You’ll get confirmation email right away, and we’ll be in touch within 24 hours with more information.

So: Are you ready to knit a fantastic sweater with me? Here’s a sneak peek of the one I knit during our last class sessions:


Happy knitting!

Finishing & Advanced CustomFit online seminars

Hello good knitters! Lauren here.

Did you finish your holiday gift knitting? You’ll be happy to hear that I did, and even got it mailed in time to make it to my home state for Christmas! My Gift Sweater KAL recipient may have been spoiled by some photos I posted on our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, but even if she has seen them, I hope she’s delighted. In the meantime, I’m trying to decide what knitting to bring on the plane for my Christmas travels… At least I have a lot of options?

IMG_0011 ***

Amy loved teaching the first Make. Wear. Love. series for new sweater knitters — and I loved helping out too. Now, we’re excited to bring you some brand new online classes! The more advanced sweater knitters have spoken, and they want online classes too. And so we’re closing out 2014 with two Advanced Seminars with Amy.

First, finishing! Knitting sweaters is the fun part, but many of us dread putting them together. Let Amy help you set in sleeves, pick up buttonbands, and match mattress stitch seams. Amy will fully customize the class to the students’ questions and interests. The Finishing Knits Seminar will take place on December 27, from 11 am – 1 pm EST. The cost is $40To sign up, fill out this form.


Next, Advanced CustomFit. This class might be for you if you’ve made your first CustomFit sweater and you’re ready to take it to the next level. Do you want to add cables to your sweater, but you’re not sure how many stitches to add? Maybe you have a favorite pattern by another designer that you’re dying to adapt using CustomFit. Or if you just want an overview of the steps beyond basic custom sweaters. The Advanced CustomFit Seminar will take place on January 3, from 11 am – 1 pm EST. The cost is $40To sign up, fill out this form.

We know the holidays are upon us, and you may be busy at these times. Not to worry — we’ll run these seminars again soon. Since it’s such a busy time of year, each class will only run if we get 8 students or more. We’ll send confirmation with 1 business day, unless we don’t get enough students — in which case, we’ll let you know as soon as we decide.


Finally, you may notice a bit of a delay in our response time over the Christmas holidays, as most of the team will be traveling, spending time with our families, and snuggling up with a mug of tea (like Jackie below, from last year!). Thanks for your patience, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we’re back in the office! We’re so thankful to be part of your sweater journeys every day. ❤noanet-peak-finals-smaller-5

Three yarns, three women, three sweaters.

Vogue Knitting Live was, of course, bundles of fun – even if I did spend every non-class moment curled up with some Sudafed. Teaching is one of my most favorite of things, and it’s always wonderful to see fellow teachers and exhibitors at these large events.

I returned home to the kind of Halloween fervor only ninja- and monster-obsessed little boys can muster, but I’ve still managed to get a fair amount of work done. In fact, I can finally share three more fall sweaters with you! The sweaters have been done for some time, but we haven’t been able to add them to CustomFit until this week. (It’s not really interesting to explain why – maybe I should just leave it by saying that sometimes even the programmers themselves have a hard time estimating the difficulty of programming tasks?)

So to everyone who saw these sweaters in person, a month agothanks for your patience. I’m very pleased to say that the make, wear, love retreat sweaters for 2014 are now available within CustomFit.

harbor-island-final-6 pilot-house-final-1 round-cove-final-1

The Harbor Island Cardigan.

The Harbor Island Cardigan is relaxed, friendly, and warm – just the ticket for chilly nights in front of a fire or for a walk along the coastline. Its long sleeves, longer length, and deep V neckline layer beautifully. A textured stitch pattern is fun to knit and subtly showcases a beautiful yarn.

The sample is shown in Indigodragonfly’s Sad Lester DK, an utterly gorgeous 100% BFL yarn that knits like a dream. It’s wooly, a little on the gruff side, and glorious to wear. We used the color “The New Black”, but Kim produces gorgeous, saturated shades – so find a color that speaks to you!

While the design was originally conceived with stitch patterning only on the bottom of the sweater. Lauren changed things a bit to balance her shape and make the sweater her own. Her extra-long sleeves are super snuggly, and the ribbing at the top of her sweater as well as at the bottom adds interest to the shoulder area and balances the stitch patterning at the cardigan hem. I like the way it looks so much, I’ve included instructions for both in the CustomFit patterns.

You can adjust fit, sleeve length and sweater length to suit your own preferences as usual; Harbor Island is shown here in a relaxed fit, low-hip length, and full-length sleeves. You can create your own Harbor Island directly within CustomFit.

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The Pilot House Pullover.

The make, wear, love fall retreats are always held in a beautiful spot in coastal Maine where I grew up, and I try to create sweaters that would be at home in the region. The Pilot House Pullover is definitely “dressing up” fare, in my hometown, but who doesn’t like to be a bit fancy every now and again? It’s a comfortable, simple pullover to knit, with a diamond lace panel and simple scoop neckline. The lace adds a nice visual touch without fighting with the gorgeously-shaded colors of a hand-painted yarn. It also provides interest for the knitter in an otherwise-simple design.

For this sample, I used The Woolen Rabbit’s Sporty Kashmir in the colorway “Forever in Blue Jeans”. This yarn is an incredibly soft, 3-ply Sport Weight and is made from 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon. I highly recommend it! If you’re using this yarn, you should aim for a stitch gauge of around 6 stitches to the inch to get a fabric like the one shown.

I recommend choosing either a ‘close’ or ‘average’ fit for this pullover, which looks best when worn either next to the skin or with a thin layer. I’m wearing it with a close fit. You can make your own Pilot House Pullover right here in CustomFit.

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The Round Cove Cardigan.

The Roundcove Cardigan is as classic as it gets. Elbow sleeves, tiny buttons, and 1×1 ribbing pair with a gorgeous yarn and tailored shaping to create a piece you’ll wear day in, and day out, for years to come.

Of the three make, wear, love retreat designs, this is the simplest – and an excellent showcase of how utterly classic a simple sweater can be. If you’re nervous about dipping your toes into sweater knitting, this would make a gorgeous first garment.

This design will work beautifully in absolutely any gauge. I have a special place in my heart for fingering weight sweaters, though – and so the sample is worked in The Uncommon Thread’s Posh Fingering. It’s a delight both to knit and to wear – a lovely, light yarn in beautifully shaded tones made from 70% Superwash Bluefaced Leicester, 20% Silk and 10% Cashmere. (Yum.) It’s shown in color Plata.

Stateside, you can find Posh Fingering at the wonderful shop Yarn Culture (both brick-and-mortar, and online.)

This cardigan will look lovely at any fit. As shown, the cardigan was generated with an average fit – but as you can see, Jackie’s measurements have changed since she’s expecting! In these pictures, I think it looks more like a close fit in the shoulders and bust. You can create your very own Round Cove Cardigan here in CustomFit.

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I hope you love all of the sweaters as much as we do! Just looking at them reminds me of the wonderful time we all had, and makes me homesick. Happy Halloween to all who celebrate, and we’ll see you soon!

make, wear, love: the sweater class

I’ve heard it often from former students:

“It all made so much sense at the time, but now that I’ve got a sweater on the needles I’m not sure: What did you say about this, again?”

It’s one of the most wonderful things about taking a sweater class through a local yarn store. And if you’re near one of our wonderful CustomFit stores, I strongly encourage you to take such a class.

But CustomFit LYS isn’t everywhere. And although teaching is one of my favorite things in the world, I can’t be everywhere either.

This fall, I’m addressing those challenges by trying something new:


Starting next week, I’ll be running a live, online class that will help you make a phenomenal sweater with CustomFit – give you the skills you’ll need to make fantastic future garments, as well.

Through six one-hour group class sessions plus two individual one-on-one sessions, I’ll guide you through your sweater knitting process from measurements to swatching to finishing and beyond. This isn’t a webinar, or a pre-recorded set of lectures. It’s a live, interactive class with me, online. Having multiple live sessions will give us the time and flexibility to help you through your actual sweater knitting in real time. I’ll help you make great choices, answer the questions you have along the way, and see you through to the end.

Each class session will have both a specific topic and time for your questions and discussion. We’ll cover the following topics in addition to your questions:

  • CustomFit itself – what the site can do, what it can’t, and how to use it to get a sweater you love
  • Body measurements and Fit to Flatter principles – learn how to best fit and flatter your own beautiful bod
  • Sweater fabric – matching materials to design, what constitutes a good sweater fabric, and (optionally) how to match fiber to stitch pattern choices
  • Finishing – how to properly finish your sweater pieces for professional results
  • Advanced CustomFit design topics – how to use the custom sweater wizard to design the sweater of your dreams
  • One-on-one instruction – You’ll have two 15-minute personal sessions with Amy as part of your course fee.

There will be two sessions of this class: A Monday evening class that meets weekly at 8pm EST, and a Sunday class that meets roughly bi-weekly, at 12pm EST. The class sessions will be run as group video-teleconferences; the one-on-one sessions will also be run as video calls. Class dates for the Monday session are: 9/29, 10/6, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, 11/3. Sunday session: 10/5, 10/12, 11/2, 11/16, 11/30, 12/7.

The cost for the entire class, which includes the class sessions, one-on-one instruction, and a CustomFit pattern, is $125.

You can find out more information on this page, and you can sign up here. (Space is limited and sign-ups will be first-come, first-served. You’ll receive confirmation within 24 hours of sign-up.)

Are you ready for a fantastic fall sweater? I’m really excited about this chance to work with students in a more intimate and ongoing way than my marathon teaching weekends allow. I hope you’ll join me!


Happy New Year to you and yours! I’m really excited about 2014. 2013 was such a tumultuous year for our family, one of such massive change. Through it all, I managed to knit rather a lot of sweaters. And now after a lovely few weeks focusing on family and soaking up the time with my kids, we’re all ready to get back to “normal life”.

Of course, I’m sure there are changes lurking in the coming months, too, but for the moment it feels great to just pause, know the shape of the next few months, and dive into a wonderful, woolly pile of work. I love the New Year holiday every year for this reason: Somehow, I always start the year in a place of optimism, hope, and a readiness to dive in.

Naturally, I have a lot of travel coming up. Want to find me? I’ll be here over the next couple of months:

  • Jan 9-14: Winter TNNA show in lovely San Diego (which I will probably not see even a little bit of, so don’t get too jealous!)
  • Jan 16-20: Vogue Knitting Live, NYC
  • Jan 31-Feb 2:The Studio Knitting Retreat
  • Feb 19-24: STITCHES West – we’ll have a CustomFit booth in the marketplace!
  • Feb 28 – March 2: Classes TBA at Windy Knitty in Chicago
  • March 13 – 16: Vogue Knitting Live, Seattle
  • March 23: Stitch House, Dorchester
  • March 31: Iron Horse, Natick
  • April 10-13: STITCHES South – I’m the keynote speaker and will teach all weekend. Hope to see you!
  • April 30 – May 4: TNNA Summer show in Indianapolis
  • May 16-18: AR Fiber Festival
  • June 5-8: Squam!!!

And if you’re going to be any of these places, I’d love to see you. The next book is full-steam-ahead right now, too. Which is exciting in its own chaotic, inspiring, messy way.


(Ever wonder what a book looks like, mid-way through? There you go!)

Normally, this would make for a pretty crazy couple of months and you’d see me again in May…

…but I’m going to try to avoid a repeat of last fall and spend more time doing things that recharge my batteries and my creativity. I expect more knitting, more time soaking up great conversations with friends, and more time here on the blog. I’ve missed you all.

One of the by-products of this is that I’m likely to change my pattern releases to be more collection-based rather than one at a time. I think there’s something exciting about the promise of a group of sweaters, and I’m excited to share the first set with you. I think it makes sense to do the same thing with CustomFit Recipe releases. For future sweater collections, there will be an option for a “Recipe collection” at the same time.

In addition, lots of prople have asked about recipes for my previously-published patterns. I’m in the process of creating those now, and will be releasing them in in collections of five pattern “recipes” each.

There will be three sets:

  • Collection 1: Adelina, Ayana, Beacon Hill, Nantasket (both options), Newtowne.
  • Collection 2: Aislinn, Arm Candy, Caulfield (both options), Petrea, Seamair.
  • Collection 3: Alight, Alta, Sebasco, Trimmings (both options), Wintry Mix.
  • The Sebasco Collection will also be available as a recipe collection.

The first is ready for you, and I’m excited to share it!

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Please note that this collection is for CustomFit recipes ONLY. You will not get complete pattern instructions, and when you knit the sweaters an additional CustomFit pattern purchase will be required. On the up-side, the recipes give you instructions for creating these sweaters in your gauge, for your body, with no math required.

I hope you like the idea! You can find the e-book in my Ravelry store, and I can’t wait to share a whole new year of sweaters with you.

Behind the scenes

It’s a busy week, diving back into the day job (we were on vacation last week) and finalizing a bunch of things and beginning new sweaters, culminating in a trip to a favorite non-local yarn store for classes this weekend.

First, the new sweater:


This is Green Mountain Spinnery’s Maine Organic, which I have to tell you is one of the loveliest yarns I’ve worked with this year. It is, as my friend Kellee says, “a wool-lover’s wool”. It’s not itchy, but neither is it perfectly smooth. No pilling here, friends. Just a great, hard-wearing, throw-on-in-any-season wool. I’m in love. (Expect to see this little number in the fall–I can hardly wait!)


Second, have I told you about my newsletter yet? It’s not a crazy weekly update or anything, but subscribers will get notified when I release a new pattern, when there’s a special event, and about my classes. (Or some subset of those things–you can choose categories when you sign up.) One advantage of signing up for the newsletter is that you’ll get advance notice on special events… …one of which I’m aaaaalmost ready to tell you about.

So if hearing about things before they go public appeals to you, now’s a great time to sign up!


Finally, I wanted to mention a new class I’ve started offering this year. I’m teaching it at Fibre Space this weekend, and there just so happen to be a couple of spots still left.

It’s a Custom Sweater Design class, but instead of being focused on lecture about the theory of custom design and how to do it in all kinds of contexts, it’s focused on helping you leave with a perfect sweater design for your very own body. Your design choices, my math. (Or at least, my break-down of the math, my guidance through the math, and my hand there to hold when you need one.)

All of the sweaters will be bottom up with set-in-sleeve, to make sure that everyone can be at the same step of the process at the same time, but the similarities end there. Neckline, pattern stitch, sleeves, sweater length, shape, etc. are all completely up to you, your style preferences, and your life.

Students bring in a (large) swatch of the fabric they’d like their sweater made from, and a measurement sheet, and we go from there!

I’ll start out with a little visual reminder of the very simple ways clothing affects the appearance of our body shapes. We’ll then step through the design of a sweater customized for each student, based in the fabric and measurements they bring in. Sound good? Will you be in the DC area on Sunday?

If so, hope to see you there!