Options KAL Video Installment 4 – Necklines

Hello, lovely knitters! I hope you all had wonderful weekends and are headed into the holiday season happy, healthy, and with a good handle on any gift knitting. (Full disclosure on that score: I haven’t been able to manage gift knitting for ages. I am amazed by those of you who do!)

Video Installment 4 for the Rowan Options KAL is live, and while I’m a bit behind my fellow KALers (*cough*deadlineknitting*cough*), I’m at a pretty good spot for the current KAL topic – Necklines!


(I’m making a V-neck version of the pullover, working the texture pattern all over.)

The Options KAL sweater samples were worked with V and crew-neck shapes: A crew-neck pullover, and a V-neck cardigan.

Options KAL-Texture-Neck-Detail Options-KAL-Stripe-Neck-Detail

There are a few different reasons you might need to re-calculate the neck shaping from the pattern as written, though! The most likely scenario is when you’ve added extra width to the front of the sweater to accommodate a larger bust.

Adjusting Neck Shaping.

Adjusting the neck shaping is a fairly straightforward thing to do. First, calculate the number of stitches you need to remove in the neckline:

Neck stitches = Bust stitches – (armhole stitches + shoulder stitches)

Then, calculate shaping appropriate to the type of neck you want:

  • V necklines remove all stitches evenly along the edge.
  • Crew necklines remove about half of the neck stitches in bind-offs, then split remaining decreases evenly between every-row decreases and every RS row decreases.

I’ve made a handy worksheet for you to use when calculating your own neck shaping for the Options KAL sweaters – click here to download it!

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 7.47.05 PM

It specifies exactly the calculations you need to do to calculate V-neckline or crew neckline shaping, and includes the numbers you need to make a V-neck pullover or crew-neck cardigan from the traditionally-written Options KAL pattern. (And if you haven’t joined us for the KAL so far, it’s not too late! Everything you need is right here on Rowan’s page for the KAL.)

In other news…

We’re busy behind the scenes here putting the finishing touches on some new CustomFit functionality we can’t wait to share with you.


Everything is more adorable in miniature, don’t you think?

In Real Life: Stonington

Our “In Real Life” series on Instagram highlights one of my designs and how several truly awesome knitters have made it their own.

This time, we’re highlighting the Stonington cardigan, which is built directly into CustomFit – which means that you can work it in any yarn, at any gauge. I used the gorgeous Harrisville Watershed in “Monarch” for my sample:


Check out these completely fantastic versions of this sweater! They make me want to knit another one. :) Sheepwell, rd97132, Nancy, and Eliza made for lovely versions of this super-versatile cardi. Take a peek!

And with that, we leave you for the long holiday weekend (here in the US). We hope that wherever you are, you’re surrounded by joy and those you love most.

Happy knitting!

The MWL Fall 2015 retreat returns: Small Point Pullover

As we here at AHD impatiently wait for tomorrow to come, I thought it was a great time to share the final retreat design from our fall 2015 retreat with you all:


The Small Point Pullover.

At last year’s Asilomar retreat, I decided to step outside my usual wheelhouse and play with a new type of sweater construction. Small Point continues this trend: This sweater is knit from hem-to-hem, all in one piece.


This construction perfectly matched the feel I wanted from the Small Point design. The coast of Maine is rocky and breezy, and Small Point beach in my hometown is definitely a representation of that. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time on the beach, you want something casual, and layer-friendly. Warm, but not so stiff you can’t throw a frisbee or chase the tide.


The hem-to-hem one-piece construction winds up producing a sweater with a feeling that’s somewhere between a drop-shoulder sweater and a dolman – the lines are that of a drop shoulder, with generous (but not ridiculous) armholes, but the movement and freedom inside the garment is great, like you’d experience with a dolman. The lack of seam in the shoulder area produces an incredibly comfortable, beautifully relaxed structure to the garment. It layers well, it wears well on its own, and looks utterly fantastic in a lightweight wool.

Add some kicky stripes in beautifully matched colors, and the sweater practically knits itself – it took me well under a week to work up this sample! And I’ve been wearing it since.

I used Eden Cottage Yarns Bowland DK for the sample – a luscious, luminous sport-weight Blue Faced Leicester. I used the colors “Pennine Mist” and “Steel” for this sample, but honestly, I had a hard time narrowing down my choices! I definitely recommend this yarn for this garment – and if you’re looking for a source here in the states, our retreat vendor Yarn Culture carries a great stock.


Ready for the technical specs?

This sweater is knit in a single piece from the front hem, up over the shoulders, and down toward the back hem. Sleeves are created with a line of cast-ons; they’re ended with a line of bind-offs. After you’ve worked the sweater and bound off, the side and sleeve seams are a quick job.

When choosing a size, please choose a size that’s at least 2 – 4” above your upper torso. I’m wearing this sweater with 3” of ease in the upper torso, and could have happily gone to the next size up as well. There’s waist shaping on the back of the sweater only to keep things from being too boxy – but fundamentally, you’ll be most comfortable in this construction style if you have plenty of room.

You can find the pattern in my Ravelry store for $7.00, or purchase by clicking here.

I hope you like it – and can’t wait to see the versions you create!

Rowan Options KAL

Rhinebeck was completely and utterly lovely, and I can’t wait to show you the pictures – but until tomorrow, let’s talk about the exciting thing waiting for me when I came home:

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

The Rowan Options KAL is officially live, and we’ve kicked off Week 1 with the pattern and a starter video on choosing a size to fit your shoulders well. You can see the video here, and download the free traditional pattern on the KAL’s official page.

For those who are interested in having CustomFit do the math for modifications and slight gauge changes, the sweaters are built in there as well! Click here to view the cardigan, and click here to view the pullover. CustomFit allows you to change things like sleeve length and sweater length automatically, but adding stripes and/or texture to the pieces is up to you – the CustomFit patterns will be written on a Stockinette base.

One of the nicest things about this KAL (aside from working with all of you, of course!) is that I actually get to make one for myself. I’m ridiculously excited about that – making a sweater solely for my own pleasure and wear is a rare thing around here.

And of course, I’m not going to be making one exactly like the pattern photos! I’m choosing a V-neck pullover out of the fantastic green, #109 grit:


I’ll make it with long sleeves and a textured body. I’m on the fence about waist shaping on the front of the sweater – on the one hand, I’m into a more relaxed, sweatshirt-y feel this fall. But on the other hand, I know that I really like the way the shaping looks on me. Maybe I’ll go for a more relaxed fit all over, instead?

What do you think? And which version will you be making? Leave your comment here, join us in the Ravelry group, or if you’re on Instagram (or etc.), use the hashtag #optionskal to show us your swatches and choices.

Happy knitting!

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!

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?

Holiday knitting

Happy Friday, and happy holiday weekend to those of you in the US!

I’ll be knitting this weekend (I know, you’re shocked), but while knitting is my job, don’t feel too sorry for me for having to work! In some ways I’m on a little bit of a holiday because the sweater I’m knitting at this very moment isn’t actually for the book – it’s my Summer Sweater KAL sweater:


The yarn is Rowan Handknit Cotton in “Slate”**, which is one of my absolute favorite summer staples. It’s smooth, it has a beautiful sheen and hand, and I can’t wait to wear this pullover tank. It’ll be the perfect thing for layering over my favorite acid jean skirt (don’t judge) or some crisp white linen pants.

If all goes well, it will be finished up this weekend, and available for your own summer knitting shortly thereafter!

**The picture above is from Instagram, and so has been filtered to within an inch of its life. The color is substantially more accurate in the pictures below. The way it looks on the end is the fabric when light hits it; the way it looks in the middle is when the fabric is in shadow or indirect light.

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What will you be knitting this weekend?

CustomFit “Mash-Ups”

Well hello, there!

Squam was a glorious oasis of stillness and joy:


(Photo courtesy the amazing Clara Parkes.)
…before coming back home to the gauntlet that is the final week of school when you have elementary-aged children. Things have settled down into “summer vacation” now, and we’re all enjoying a few days of lazy mornings and coffee-until-11am before summer camp starts.

I’m working fast and furious on the next book and a couple of other really exciting projects for fall, which doesn’t make for great blogging!


So I thought I’d take today and write about something that’s been rattling around in my head for awhile:


CustomFit Mash-Ups


Once someone has knit up one of the designs built directly into CustomFit, they often want to use CustomFit to recreate a design they love, but that isn’t built into the site – whether the design is mine, or someone else’s. We call this “mashing up” the original design with CustomFit.

Here are some of our favorites from the past year:

jenn-vika kelly-gakusei lauren-acer mollie-hitch
(Jenn’s Vika, Kelly’s Gakusei, Lauren’s Acer, and Mollie’s Hitch.)
For some of my designs, we’ve released files called recipes to help with this mash-up process. But most of the time, you’ll be on your own. With that in mind, here’s a step-by-step guide, along with a downloadable worksheet, for mashing up a CustomFit pattern with another design.

Step 1: Purchase the original pattern.

You like that sweater enough to want to make it – and you’ll need information from the pattern to do so. Show the designer that you like their work and purchase the original.

Step 2: Identify the CustomFit options for the design’s silhouette.

You’ll be using the Build Your Own Sweater feature to create your core CustomFit pattern, and it’s a good idea to specify as much of the design in CustomFit terms as possible. Using the pattern’s photo, schematic, and actual text in combination, write down the following on your mashup worksheet:

  • Basic Garment Type and Info: Is it a cardigan or a pullover? Sleeved or sleeveless? (You can tell these things simply by looking at the photos.)
  • Sleeve Info: How long are the sleeves, and what shape are they (tapered? straight? belled?)? What stitch pattern trims them, and how much trim is there? (The sleeve length & shape should be easy to tell from the photo and schematic, but you’ll need to look at the pattern itself for the trim info.)
  • Neck Info: What shape is the neckline itself, and how wide and deep is it? What trims it, and how much trim is there? (Again, the pattern schematic and instructions are the best places to find this info.)
  • Length and Cardigan Options: Look at the picture to determine the length, and the pattern to determine what the hem and cardigan plackets (if any) are trimmed with.

You’ll use this information to generate your basic CustomFit pattern.

Step 3: Identify changes you’ll make to the CustomFit pattern, and write them down.

For most sweaters, you’re not done yet! You’ll be making changes to the basic CustomFit pattern to achieve the look of the original design. Usually, these changes involve either adding stitch patterning to one or more pieces, or doing something unusual trim-wise during finishing.

Stitch patterning. If you’re adding either a textured stitch or a lace panel to your CustomFit pattern, you likely don’t have to adjust the stitch count. Simply make a note of which stitches you’ll be marking and what stitch pattern you’ll be working on the marked stitches.

If you’re adding cables, you’ll need to adjust your CustomFit stitch count to account for the cable’s “suckage:” Add one stitch to your CustomFit stitch count for each stitch that gets put on a cable needle during your cable repeat. (For example, if you’re adding a single 2×2 cable to the front of a cardigan, add 2 stitches to your cardigan front. If you’re adding three 2×2 cables to your sweater back, add 6 stitches to your back stitch count.) You’ll then need to remove those extra stitches when you’re done with the cable – usually, this means working some decreases in your bind-off row to eliminate the stitches.

Trims. This is the other big place you’re likely to make changes – be they a shawl collar, a hood, an edging that’s picked up and worked during the finishing stage, etc. Read this portion of your original pattern carefully to determine what you’ll do. Usually the pattern’s instructions will translate well to your CustomFit version.

In both cases, you’ll be writing down the changes to the CustomFit pattern on the second page of your mashup worksheet.

Step 4: Create your CustomFit pattern, put it and your mash-up worksheet together, and start knitting.

As you knit your CustomFit pattern, pay attention to page 2 of your mash-up worksheet (and anything you need from the original pattern, like charts). Make adjustments as you get to them.


Sound complicated? It’s not, really – once you have a specific design you’re working toward. Since I don’t have permission to build any of my book sweaters into CustomFit yet, let’s step through this process with one of my own designs that’s very popular in classes: The Cypress Cardigan.

Cypress-2 Cypress-back-nfb
For each step, I’ll go through the changes – and then you can download a sample, filled-out mash-up worksheet for Cypress here.

Step 1. Cypress is in my first book, Knit to Flatter, on page 31.

Step 2. You can tell from the picture that Cypress is a mid-hip cardigan (though of course you could change this!), with tapered 3/4 sleeves and a narrow scoop neck that begins .5” (1.5 cm) above the armhole shaping. The trims are as follows:

  • Hem: 2” (5 cm) Twisted 1×1 ribbing.
  • Sleeves: 3.5” (9 cm) Twisted 1×1 ribbing.
  • Neck: .75” (2 cm) Twisted 1×1 ribbing.
  • Button Band: 1” (2.5 cm) gap and trim height for Twisted 1×1 ribbing. Sample has 7 or 8 buttons depending on size.

Step 3. The non-standard bits of Cypress are the lace stitch patterning on the back and front. You’ll be making changes to your CustomFit pattern’s back and front to recreate it:

  • Back: The Shell Lace pattern written on page 31, and charted on page 32, is repeated as many times as possible within the neck bind-offs on your back. The lace repeat is a multiple of 11 sts plus 12; find the largest number of repeats below the number of stitches you bind off in the back neck, and place lace markers around those stitches after you complete your ribbing. Switch center-most marked stitches to Shell Lace for Back until neck bind-offs.
  • Fronts: Similarly, the Shell Lace pattern for Front (pages 31/32) are repeated as many times as possible in the number of neck stitches you have on each front. The repeat is a straight 12 stitches this time, plus 2 stitches of Stockinette on the edge for selvedge. Place a lace marker where appropriate and switch the edge stitches to lace and selvedge after the trim, until the neck bind-offs.

When you’re knitting, you’ll need both your CustomFit pattern and the charted or written instructions for the lace handy. (I’ve been told by many many knitters that Knit Companion is a great way to merge your PDFs and keep track of your stitch pattern charts.)

Make sense? You can download an example of the mash-up worksheet for Cypress here, and download a blank mash-up worksheet here. I hope you feel confident in using CustomFit to recreate the sweater you’ve been wanting to make, but not wanting to modify! So let us know:

What sweater do you most want to mash-up?

And if you have already mashed-up a CustomFit sweater with another design, how did it go?