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.

Book Review and Awesome Thursday: Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns

I’ve been following Alabama Chanin for years. It’s a small, cottage-industry-based studio that makes exquisite hand-made garments. Their pieces always grab my attention and fashion daydreams.

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(The pictures above are credit Alabama Chanin and used with permission.)

More than anything else, I’m enchanted by the way Natalie Chanin pursues her vocation. She has done an extraordinary thing by bringing us all into a reverence of our maker roots, and then turning that passion into an incredibly successful business. And she’s at the forefront of our growing sense that sustainable materials, crafted with care by artisans we compensate and respect, produce the best that clothing has to offer. Garments that not only look great and last well, but which also wrap and nurture and enfold us in good things.

(It doesn’t hurt that her garments, while on the fringes of my own personal style, are absolutely stunning.)

Her ready-to-wear pieces are totally out of my reach, but I snapped up all of her books with alacrity the second they came out. And when I saw that she was offering DIY kits a few years back? I grabbed some of those, too.


If you don’t own Natalie’s previous 3 books: The Alabama Stitch Book, Alabama Studio Style, and Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, you should. They’re fantastic books to read in and of themselves, they’re incredibly visually inspiring, and they give a wonderful introduction to her techniques.

…that said, despite regularly poring over them and fondling my kits, I haven’t actually ever made anything from them beyond the basic home-type projects.

Don’t get me wrong! I grew up a decent seamstress, stitching at my grandmother’s knees. But that was a long time ago. Alabama Chanin’s garments are so exquisite – I really wanted to “do it right”. And while I’m comfortable making modifications while knitting — inserting darts to fit my bust, waist, and hips, and lengthening sweaters as I go — modifying a sewn garment is a different matter. Accommodating my long torso and short legs, as well as my bust, in a dress? Daunting!

Kind of ironic, isn’t it, coming from someone who spends their life helping others get over their fear of fitting?

The new book, Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns, solves my hesitance.

It’s easily as gorgeous and inspiring as the others, but is also full of action.

It provides proper sewing patterns that are much more explicit than previous guidance/sketches, not only for the garments from all previous books, but also for three new patterns: Their A-line dress/tunic/top, their Classic coat/jacket/cardigan, and (most excitingly to me) their Wrap Skirt. All of them can be extended with any of the embellishment techniques Alabama Chanin is known for, in a wide range of colors and patterning styles.

But what’s better is that after the patterns, Natalie includes an entire chapter on fit and customization. It’s meaty and wonderful, covering everything from darts to princess seams to perimeter vs. internal alterations to mix-and-match sizing and more. Everything is discussed clearly, with great illustrations, and the book even comes with a CD of all of the patterns, in all of the sizes. It’s incredibly helpful and thoughtfully put together.

My own personal issue with garments like these, especially pants and skirts, is that I have extremely short legs – my inseam is just 27” despite my 5’6″ height. And although I’ve definitely gotten used to it over the years, hemming ready-to-wear is often a problem! The easiest way to alter – simply cutting length off of the bottom – tends to change the proportions of patterning and silhouette. So I was especially grateful for the detailed guidance on different ways to approach length alterations.

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Although I didn’t create this garment (major thanks go to the incredibly talented Alabama Chanin team), it was created to fit my own unique body, using the techniques described in the book. And I can’t even tell you how excited I am about it.



This is the gored skirt, with paisley reverse applique, shortened properly to my preferred knee length of 20”. The patterning is intact and lovely, and I think it looks fantastic. In Knit Wear Love parlance, I’d say my style is fairly Sporty – though I have a few fave Classic and Bohemian pieces I wear a lot too. The pictures above show how I’ll wear the skirt in my daily life.

…But I couldn’t help playing around with the Knit Wear Love sweaters, and I noticed that the skirt looked phenomenal with the Avant-Garde bolero too! So I pulled a very-unlike-me outfit together to show you:


(Custom buttons by Jennie the Potter, yarn by Sweet Georgia, bolero pattern is my own.)

In short: This book is a fantastic resource. Clearly and thoughtfully written by someone who has lots to teach us about dressing ourselves, actionable and useful, and visually inspiring. What more could a maker want?

Alabama Studio_Cover_Final_102214

Catching up: The Talcott Cardigan

It’s a week of catching up on sweaters here, and today I’d like to talk about a sweater I worked up as an exclusive design for the new website Kitterly.


Do you know about Kitterly yet? It’s a website that helps you find a project that matches your tastes and skill level, and then packages up everything you need for that project, in one easy bundle. (I spent a fun time over coffee last week, clicking through all of the buttons on their project match tool.) Some months ago now, they were reaching out to designers to collaborate on exclusive kit designs.

I was super happy to be invited to play along, and then even happier when they sent me one of my very favorite yarns to work with – Rowan Felted Tweed Aran. I love this yarn – it’s delightful to knit with, it wears well over time, it comes in a wonderful selection of wearable colors, and it shows stitch patterning beautifully. I’ve worked with it many times over the years, and always enjoy designing for it.

This time, I knew I wanted to work it up into something cabled and cozy, but with a nod to more modern sensibilities. That, and a doodle of Jacob’s, was how Talcott started. I’m super pleased with how it turned out, and I hope you are too!




Want one of your own? For now, it’s available exclusively through Kitterly. You can find out more details, and get your own, there. Happy knitting!

Catching up: Harrisville

Well, hello there! Long time, no see…

2015 has been incredible in many ways, but not so much on the sitting-in-front-of-the-computer front. Between my travel, the snow days you’re almost certainly sick of hearing about (or experiencing, depending on where you live!), and school vacations, this is one of the first days I’ve been able to just… work… in forever. So there’s lots of catching up to do! For instance, I don’t think we’ve talked about any of these things:


And I think I’ve knit 5 sweaters during the current KAL, none of which I’ve talked about…

…but first, let’s start with a few more sweaters I’ve been knitting that I don’t think I’ve mentioned. I want to start by talking about my design partnership with Harrisville Designs.

My own journey with Harrisville actually started when I was a kid – we mostly worked with the absolute least-expensive (acrylic) yarn that could be found when I was young. But my mom always had a little savings fund going for “the really good wool”, and every so often would make a very special garment out of it. Harrisville projects were my favorites of that smaller collection of items. While I think they’re gorgeous in the hank too, the true beauty of these yarns doesn’t fully come through until the items made with them are worn, day after day, and year after year.

Over time, the things you’ll make from these yarns will soften, bloom, meld, and relax, the way a really good pair of shoes will. (You know the ones I mean.) Except that unlike the shoes, they’ll continue to look just as good – if not better – than the day they were knit. Of all of the sweaters in the giant set I bring to my classes, Acorn Trail (out of Highland) gets the most love. It still looks as good as the pattern photo, and it feels even better.

So needless to say, when Harrisville first approached me to design for them I was thrilled.

I’ve done 3 sweaters with them now, the latest of which was released just last week. Can I show them to you? (By the way, Caro Sheridan gets the credit for all of these incredible photos.)


Leatherleaf (here’s a Ravelry link, too) was released in Harrisville’s “Spring Thaw 2014″ collection. It’s a flirty little thing, knit out of their Silk and Wool blend, a wonderful, nubby yarn that I’ve used several times now. (I like it sooo much.)

While I originally intended for the sweater to be worn with a couple of inches of positive ease, I think it looks great when worn more fitted, too. It’s a fairly quick and simple knit, and I keep meaning to knit one for myself – it’s a nice blend of the classic and sporty styles I’m personally most comfortable in. I can imagine it with several of the skirts hanging in my closet that are just waiting for warmer weather.


Bennington (here’s that Rav link) was my chance to design for Harrisville’s Autumn collection, using their glorious WATERshed yarn. WATERshed is a light, medium-twist woolenspun yarn, similar to Shelter but more structured and durable. I found it to be a joy to work with, and for an Autumn collection, knew that I wanted to work with some deliciously cabled pattern. The front of this cardi is quite plain, and intended to be worn open. (Be sure to choose a size that’s large enough to let the cardigan fronts hang nicely!)

In fact, Harrisville is running a KAL for Bennington – and I can’t wait to see the sweaters! (It’s okay to be dreaming of autumn before winter is even done, right?)


And finally, there’s Hemingway, which has just been released as part of Harrisville’s winter collection. (Here’s a Ravelry link.) I can’t say enough good things about FLYwheel, the yarn I used for this cardigan. It’s a completely exquisite yarn – a sport-weight relative of WATERshed, except that description can’t convey how perfect a sweater yarn this is. It’s warm, it’s light, it’s the perfect size and tweediness for stitch patterns.

And so, I designed a sweater that I wanted to wear (badly). Cabled, relaxed, comfortable, with just a bit of shaping. The kind of thing that will work with my jeans, my cord skirts, my fall dresses. With boots, with clogs, with an old pair of converse. Know what I mean?

I hope you like it. I’m ridiculously excited about it.

Want to see another picture for good measure?


(And is that sweet dog not the most adorable thing ever?) So that’s that – another stop in the line of pinch-me-experiences I’ve had since leaving my day job to pursue the fiber arts full-time. What’s on your needles these days – and what sweaters are you looking forward to making this year?

In review, looking ahead

Happy holidays, from our little team!

We hope your knitting has been gifted, and you’re now luxuriating in family, friends, and a shorter to-do list than in early December. And while we’re still snuggling with our loved ones and enjoying a little family time of our own, I wanted to take a few minutes to thank you for being here, and reflect a bit on 2014.

My family experienced 2014 as a pretty tumultuous year, honestly. A good year in many ways, to be sure… …and a challenging one in others.

2014 was my first full year working for myself (and with an incredible team). It included more trips than I’d like to think about (16 before summer, which is when I stopped counting very carefully, even though I love teaching with all my heart). Our family made a huge move to a much less expensive place to live (but yay for continuing to be able to work on my passions!), with all that entails: new schools, new surroundings, exploration of this place we now call home. And more than that, it included a lot of introspection: What would we like our lives to be like? How much of that is under our control, and what can we change to bring ourselves closer to the family we want to be?

I feel incredibly lucky that we were in a position to make some big changes, and we’re ending the year in a place that (while still more tenuous than we’d like) is filled with light, and joy, and love. Even the bad days are easier, here.


(Family out-take time!)

Ravelry tells me that I also knit 25 sweaters, though you can’t see most of them until the spring:


(Knit Wear Love is coming this spring to a location near you!)

And lots of other work that has been keeping us busy this fall is under wraps until spring-time, too. All in all, 2014 left me feeling hopeful, more centered than I have in a long time, and very very excited about 2015.

How did you feel about 2014?

However your year went: Happy New Year, to you and yours. May this night be filled with light, knitting, and wonderful company. See you on the flip side!

All things new and bright

The winter holidays are upon us again, and as the days get darker and colder we snuggle up and fill our lives with as much light and joy as it’s possible to soak in. (And a happy Hanukkah, to those who are celebrating tonight!)




And to those of you who are still gift knitting, hang in there! You’ll totally make it. No panicking – take some deep breaths and solace in the fact that Lauren’s there with you:


(She’s almost there on the Featherweight gift sweater!)

I’m celebrating two things in particular today. The first is that I finally got around to weaving in those final ends and wore my own CustomFit Featherweight out tonight:


I love it fiercely – the set-in sleeves help keep this worn-open style anchored on my body, the fabric is wonderful (I used Quince and Co. Tern in “Barnacle”), and I just adore the design. Hannah did such an amazing job of pulling together simple elements to make an incredibly classic piece, with this sweater.

The second celebration is that this site has gotten a much-needed overhaul! If you’re reading via a feed reader or your email, please click on through and poke around. We’ve re-organized things around here to make key posts and design info easier to find, and to be (much) prettier. We’ll be making more additions to the site throughout the next couple of months, too, but I’m already so thrilled with how things are looking.

A new sweater, a new look, light, and warmth. Bring it on, winter!

Comings and Goings

I’m writing this in the midst of our very first “AHD Summit”, which is our fancy way of saying that this usually bi-coastal company is working together for a whole week.


It’s been pretty glorious, I gotta say! And in between working like crazy on lots of sweater-related goodness, the team has been unwinding and chit-chatting over yummy baked goods and football. It doesn’t get much better, truly.


(I’ve been so thrilled to get back into baking since we moved. It’s one of the many passions I just couldn’t reliably keep up in the bustle of our Boston life. I feel so grateful that I’m able to manage it, again.)

The prizes for the FFKAL have been mailed, Thanksgiving was a glorious mix of family and warmth and music and laughter, and knitting has been plentiful. I have a number of sweaters I’m dying to share with you all…

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…but until they’re a bit further along, I wanted to give you an update on the CustomFit Featherweight KAL – remember that? It was theoretically supposed to end on November 30. I had my sweater pretty much finished by the deadline:


But that one-month time period wasn’t really sufficient for a “featherweight” sweater! So we’ve extended the deadline for the KAL through the end of the month – join us in the Rav group if you’d still like to participate! Hannah just completed a lovely version in Quince Owl, and Lauren’s joined the fun, too:

Photo Dec 04, 11 06 25 AM

I’m working on some modeled shots for my own Featherweight, which I hope to share with you before the week is out — along with some practical tips on swatching for gauge.

Until then, the entire AHD team says: Happy knitting!

Sweater Week: Featherweight Fabric!

It’s the final day of Sweater Week (to go back to the beginning, click here), and today I want to talk about fabric – specifically, fabric as it relates to the CustomFit Featherweight cardigan.

Since CustomFit builds your Featherweight specifically to suit your gauge, you can make your CustomFit Featherweight in any yarn, and any gauge, that you like. Which is fantastic! But it begs the question – what would you like? How will your chosen yarn translate into an entire garment?

This post is about a few different directions you might take, and how the fabric could behave in each.

Speaking personally, the thing I loved most about the original Featherweight is the whisper-light character of the fabric. To create something so wispy with my needles was an enticing and unusual idea, when the pattern was first released in 2009. I grew up in Maine, knitting with thick, scratchy (I’ll admit it) wool because the outside wanted to kill me and wool kept that from happening.

Featherweight, on the other hand, was part of this growing awareness (for me) of sweaters being more than… well, more than just weather protection, I guess. Sweaters as garments, that I wanted to wear. Which sometimes meant something a little more lightweight, a little less heavy.

I’m keeping to the spirit of the original with my own version, while giving a nod to my intense love of drape. Quince and Co.’s Tern fits the bill perfectly: A fingering-weight blend of wool and silk, it will give me a whispery fabric that hangs well and has fluidity and a bit of shine.

Since I’m a wool-silk blend kind of girl, when I went diving in my stash bucket, I came up with a few different yarns that would make a very similar garment:


(From gray swatch, clockwise: Tern, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Luscious Silk, Sweet Georgia Merino Silk Fine, and Mrs. Crosby Loves to Play, Hat Box.)

A fairly thin wool silk blend is (in my opinion) a great option if you’d like to keep your own Featherweight close to the original. The fabric will be fine, the silk adds glorious drape to the mix, and your sweater will feel light-as-air.

An alpaca blend would be my next suggestion for drape-seekers: Alpaca-based yarns and blends will be warmer than the yarns mentioned above, and might produce a sweater that’s a little less “Featherweight”, but the fabric will still have good drape and motion. Hannah is using Quince and Co.’s Owl, which I think is a glorious option. Her CustomFit Featherweight will be warm, snuggly, and still hang beautifully.

I went poking in my stash bin again, and found a few different alpacas that I think would be nice:


(From purple swatch, clockwise: Blue Sky Alpacas Royal, Shibui Baby Alpaca held together with Staccato, and Rowan Lima.)

Or maybe you’d like a Featherweight that’s a bit more, shall we say, “instant gratification”? If a fingering-weight garment isn’t your thing right now, there are plenty of larger-gauge yarns that can produce a nice light fabric.


Two that I want to mention in particular are Blue Sky Alpacas Brushed Suri, which produces a gorgeously floaty fabric in a bulky gauge. You can see from the picture how light and airy this is – despite being 3 stitches to the inch! The other swatch pictured, in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, would make another larger-gauged but lofty alternative. Since Shelter is woolen spun, it produces a warmer, thicker sweater that is still very lightweight for its gauge. (Please note that since it’s low-twist as well, the yarn tends to be more delicate.)

Finally CustomFit opens up options for making Featherweight in an entirely different sort of fabric, too. Here are a few less-traditional yarns I’d love to see the sweater in:


The dark green yarn is Shibui Knits Linen, a chainette-construction linen that’s futuristic and crunchy. You can see from the swatch how wonderfully the fabric moves, and I think it’d make a lovely Featherweight.

Moving around clockwise, the next in line is Harrisville Designs’ Silk and Wool, a nubby, rustic-looking but lightweight tweedy yarn. I love this yarn, and have used it for a couple of sweaters. The fabric is light and has nice motion without being fluid; I think it would make a really interesting spring Featherweight. (Next year’s Cardipalooza, perhaps?)

Finally, I think Blue Sky Alpacas Techno would make a really interesting version of Featherweight. Techno is a bulky yarn, but its construction – super-light alpaca fibers blown into a fine netting, almost like a luscious yarn sausage – make for an incredibly light and warm fabric. There’s so much air in Techno that it doesn’t produce a drapey fabric, but I think it would make a really great variation on the original.

Not sure what kind of Featherweight your yarn will turn into? Here are a few things you can do to test the waters before creating your own Featherweight pattern.

  1. Swatch. I know, this hasn’t been the most fun thing in the world, in the past. But remember: You can’t get the numbers wrong. So make a nice big swatch, enjoy knitting with this yarn, and then wash the swatch as you would wash the sweater. Let it dry thoroughly without pinning.
  2. Play. Play around with the fabric. Move it around, stretch and squeeze and poke and prod it. Try to imagine a bunch of it all together.
  3. Consider another swatch if you’re unsure of the fabric. Go up or down a needle size, and see how things change.

And then share here in the comments or in in the Ravelry group! What are you using, and how does your fabric feel?

Updates for all!

The last sun-splashed days of summer are slipping by here in New England, complete with leaves falling and chilly nights. I’m soaking up knitting on the patio as often as humanly possible, which makes for good knitting progress but pretty mediocre updates here. So I have a bunch of updates to share with you today! To make the inevitable list less boring, read through to the end to get a chance to win some yummy yarn!

The first updates are to our Maker plans.

We got lots of great feedback right off the bat about the new Maker plans — thank you so much for all of your honest and thoughtful comments, and your patience as we worked to make these plans better match what you want from CustomFit. Thanks to your feedback, the plans have now changed!

Maker-ScreenShot-3 Maker-ScreenShot-2 Maker-ScreenShot-1

(From left to right: Screenshots of Maker Central, the recipes page, and the designs page.)

We definitely heard that people were interested both in:

  • Allowing everyone to knit all of the designs we build into the site, and
  • The Maker plans being a way to purchase patterns at a discount.

So, here are the new details for the maker plans:

  • All Makers will still get exclusive access to Maker Central
  • All Makers will still get free access to (all) AHD recipes

And the pattern details are now:

  • At $4.99/month, Makers now get 8 patterns per year (placed automatically in your account on the original Maker Plus dates), plus one free sweater credit at sign-up
  • At $7.99/month, those at the Maker Plus level will now enjoy unlimited patterns. (Please note that this is intended for personal and individual knitter use only.)

Everyone at any level (Basic, Maker, and Maker Plus) will have access both to the currently-featured designs and the full design archive. See the ever-growing list of sweaters that are built into the site on our designs page.

We hope you like the new Maker terms! We’re all really, really excited about CustomFit, the changes we have planned, and are definitely working very hard to make the site even better. Please also know that we’re also a tech startup in our first year, and CustomFit (at this point) is pretty far from being able to pay for itself. This means two things, really: First, thanks for your continued patience and support, and for inviting us along on your sweater journeys. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you. Second, the best way you can help all of the fun CustomFit improvements happen is to tell others about the site, and become a Maker yourself if you’re so inclined.


Second on the update front: Where’s Amy going to be this fall?

If I’m distracted from updates in general, I’m downright lousy about letting you all know where I’ll be, and when! Here’s a quick list of where I’ll be over the next couple of months:


Third and finally, on the update front: My SSKAL sweater.

Despite plenty of knitting this summer, my poor SSKAL tank has languished!


In fact… even though I’m still really excited about the concept (relaxed fit, casual silk tank with a mesh front), I’m clearly running out of hot, summer days on which to implement this whole wardrobe plan. So I’ve been thinking:

What if I added some sleeves?

I have the yarn, they’ll be quick to whip up in Stockinette, and will give me a piece I can wear further into the coming season. On the other hand, they change my original vision. So I thought I should ask you!

Should I keep the tank as originally envisioned, or make it into a sweater with sleeves? Which would you wear more?

Please leave a comment letting me know which option you’re more excited to see by Thursday August 28. On Friday, August 29, we’ll draw a random number out of a hat and send someone a fall sweater sampler pack:


This is just a collection of one hank each of a number of different sweater yarns, to play around with. They range from fingering to bulky, include a variety of fibers and constructions, and should offer lots of fun sweater daydreams. Swatch them up and see what you think! Included are one hank each of: Rowan Felted Tweed Aran, Harrisville Designs WATERshed, Shibui linen, Blue Sky Alpacas Techno, Quince and Co Tern, and Green Mountain Spinnery Alpaca Elegance.

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on what I should do with my sweater – and stay tuned later this week to see who won, and my first fall design release!

Go, team!

I tend to think of myself as a fairly cautious, reserved person, in general. I like to observe, think, consider, and weigh options before I act. This summer, when I left my day job, I was taking an exceedingly rash plunge (at least for me). All through the whirlwind of the fall, through the insane launching of (essentially) a tech startup, and the post-launch shrinking of that startup to the teeny-tiniest of teams, and all of the trade shows and classes and CustomFit LYS launches, I subconsciously but steadfastly refused to think about what was actually going on: I was starting a business.

A very very small business, to be sure. But here we are, in 2014, coming up on 6 months since I last sat down at a corporate office desk. And while things are definitely still fledgling and fragile, I’m firmly planning to stay. And, hearing myself say that out loud, it seems past time to officially introduce you to the rest of the AHD team. You’ll be hearing a lot from them – in email, newsletters, here on the blog, in various other places. I want you to know a little more about their awesomeness.


Jackie: When I first started “getting serious” about this, Jackie had her own small business consulting practice. We met one other through knitting. I knew that before her current gig, she’d worked in big places like Andersen and Bain. So when I started thinking about maybe sort of kind of trying to devote my life to this field, I talked to her first.

I’m so glad I did. Not only is Jackie heart-and-soul instrumental for making all of this actually happen, working with her has given me a whole new perspective on our craft. Her craft experience – so different than mine – has taught me how “modern” knitters learn and explore their craft, what’s out there in terms of resources (and what’s not), what it’s like to decide you want to make things… …and then to go about learning how, with none of the resources I took for granted. Her observations on refining our craft are some of the things I’m most looking forward to sharing with you.


Lauren: First and foremost, Lauren is a dedicated sweater knitter. She’s knit tons of them, diving into modification-land with enthusiasm and skill. She also has an infectious laugh, social media and customer support experience, and a history of working within her passions, including running. (I wish I’d known myself half as well when I was in her place in life!) If you’re writing us with a question, chatting us up on Facebook or Twitter, or (heaven forbid) having a problem, you’ll likely talk with Lauren first.

She’s inquisitive, bright, and enthusiastic. She’s so enthusiastic about our craft, so enthusiastic about knitters, and is such a pleasure to work with. You’ll be seeing a lot more of Lauren – and her fabulous sweaters – either in person at events, or electronically. So please, reach out and say hello! (And look forward to a bunch of fabulous sweaters from Lauren in the year to come.)


Andromeda: I’ve known Andromeda since college, and have always been impressed by the breadth and depth of her curiosity. From classics to chemistry to her current passion of library science, Andromeda is interested in everything. I knew she’d recently taken up programming again and was considering consulting, so when we needed a top-notch developer to help us get CustomFit off the ground, and then continue to work with us on a much less intense basis, she was a natural choice. It’s tremendously fun to work with her. Though she won’t be as visibly present here, if something awesome is happening in CustomFit there’s a decent chance it’s because of her excellent work.

So, there’s our team–finally, belatedly introduced. As our fledgeling group grows, we’ll be sure to make proper introductions. And whether here or elsewhere, you’ll be hearing a lot more from all of them. We’re honored that you include us in your own craft journey, and can’t wait to see what the coming year has in store.