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.

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(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:

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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:

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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:

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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!

Incoming

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.

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(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:

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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!)

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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!

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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!

La Grande Pomme

I’m leaving today for a fabulous weekend in the Big Apple, full of lectures and book signings and classes and amazing food. Won’t you join me at one of the events?

  • Tonight, April 11, Lion Brand Yarn Studio. Lecture, sample show, and book signing. 6-8pm, and sign up for this free event here!
  • Tomorrow, April 12, Knitty City. Meet and greet, sample show, book signing. 4-6pm. Stop by, I’d love to see you!
  • Saturday, April 13, Big Apple Knitters’ Guild. Lecture, sample show, and book signing. Meeting is from 12:15 – 3:15 and I’ll be speaking starting at around 1pm. I’ll have books available there for purchase at a discounted price of $19.95, so please join us!
  • Sunday, April 14, Knit to Flatter Master Class at Lion Brand Yarn Studio. There are only 2 spots left, so hop on this chance to get a whole day exploring sweater nirvana.

Can’t wait to see some of you there! I’m bringing, as usual, a ridiculous amount of knitting. Some new:

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And some that just needs making up:

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Tune in tomorrow for another Fashion Friday, and I’m looking forward to showing you some fun pictures and lots of knitting progress when I return!

Green Mountain Great!

I spent a phenomenal two days teaching at Green Mountain Spinnery last weekend. They do wonderful weekend retreats twice a year–this was the annual Sugar Season retreat, held in the spring at the charming Saxtons River Inn, which has the best goat cheese fritter this side of ANYWHERE (ask me how I know).

For two and a half days, I got to talk sweater shop with 21 of the loveliest ladies ever. With a bonus, even: they got advance copies of the book!!

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Words cannot express what a great time we all had. (Or how exciting it was to see multiple copies of Knit to Flatter, just piled there! Like any other book! That’s real!) Everyone looked phenomenal in the sweaters, and as always in the classes, there were those “aha!” moments. Those times when someone who had thought of themselves as flawed saw how lovely they truly are. I live for those.

They were such a wonderful group of students. The setting was great, the company was perfect, and it was truly a special weekend.

And then to top it all off, the last thing I did before coming home was visit the Spinnery’s beautiful space.

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Can you imagine a lovelier time? I bet you’ll be able to find the results of my Spinnery visit some time later this year…

Squee! (I’m on Maker Monday!)

I was surprised and super happy to see myself featured on the Craftsy blog’s “Maker Monday” series. I think that the Craftsy team did such a wonderful job on this interview–they took what was, at heart, just a fun conversation about how we can make our clothing work for us, and turned it into something completely lovely and eloquent.

Check it out here.

I’d love to know what you think!