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.

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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.

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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: 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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

make. wear. love. west: pescadero

I want to help you create practical, beautiful things that you actually love to wear. The crazy happy sweater face grin you get when you complete a sweater you want to wear all the time? Literally one of the best things in the world. Until now, the focus of my efforts has been to help every knitter get a tailored, fitted sweater that gets worn immediately, and often.

There’s good reason for this! A well-fitting tailored garment feels amazing. It’s one of the most basic, classic things you can make with your hands. But it’s not the be-all, end-all of clothing.

It’s time to talk about the raglan.


The name “raglan” comes from the the mid-18th century. When the Lord Raglan lost an arm in the Crimean war, his tailor made a simplified shirt construction to allow him better freedom of movement. This expanded range of movement (vs. a set-in sleeve) made raglans the darling of American sportswear – think baseball jerseys!

Compared to a tailored set-in sleeve, a raglan top has more fabric in the armholes and shoulder, so you can swing a bat or racquet, even when the shirt is made out of a woven fabric. Raglans are sporty and comfortable — you’ve probably got a bunch of them. Personally, I love a good raglan and wear them all the time.

And yet, many knitters have tried to make a raglan they loved, and failed. Why is that?

I think there are a couple of reasons. In my opinion, the first is that the most popular kind of raglan sweater right now is a top-down, seamless construction. This raglan is usually shaped using matched increases every other row until the full bust width is reached. Here’s one I made for myself several years ago:


This way of forming the raglan is really limiting. You can’t adjust the sleeves and body independently, even though bodies vary a lot! That means this style of raglan works really really well for a very specific bust/shoulder/armhole combination, and it doesn’t work at all well for others.

Contrast that with a seamed raglan, where the sleeves and body are knitted separately, allows for different shaping rates on the different pieces. As long as the row counts match, you can change how often you decrease to match your body better. And this works for lots of different shoulder/armhole/bust combinations. Just as importantly, the seams provide added structure when the sweater needs it.

Here’s an example of a raglan of this type that I knit for myself close to 15 years ago. I still wear it regularly:


Honestly, I wear a lot of raglans regularly. So when I was designing my own sweater of the make. wear. love. retreat: west coast collection, and thinking about what I wear on the beach, I knew it had to be a raglan.

Presenting, Pescadero:


Pescadero is a bottom-up, in-pieces raglan with compound shaping.

The raglan shaping changes from armhole up to shoulder – sometimes it’s steeper, sometimes it’s shallower — to better match the body. It’s worked with back waist shaping only, to give it a relaxed, but not boxy, feel. The front has a small, allover lace pattern, and I just love the way it worked out.

It’s the single best sweatshirt-y sweater I’ve ever had, and I’ve knit myself a lot of sweaters.

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It’s made out of Indigodragonfly Wingenhooven, a lustrous fingering-weight blend of superwash merino, yak, and silk. I worked it up at 7.5 stitches to the inch, and the fabric is beyond amazing. It’s soft, has an incredible soft sheen, and has lovely drape thanks to the silk.

…which brings me to the number two reason that many knitters haven’t been happy with their raglans: The fabric.

Hand-knit fabric just isn’t like store-bought fabric.

It has structure, a mind of its own, and doesn’t conform well to the body. The heavier the yarn, and the more tightly it’s knit (which is necessary for well-wearing sweaters), the less any sweater is going to move with you and be comfortable.

With a properly-fitting set-in construction, this doesn’t matter. The garment anchors itself to your body well and your movement exercises the basic stretch that even hand-knit fabric has. No problems.

But with a raglan sweater, which by design isn’t anchored in the same way, it’s a different story. Heavy, stiff, hand-knit can feel uncomfortable, bunch, and otherwise keep you from the sweater of your dreams.

Working Pescadero in a drapey fingering weight yarn gave me a sweater fabric that breathes and moves with me. It’s a little scrunchy, a little fluid, and moves with me well.

So there you have it. My first raglan design, and a sweater that I love to wear – and that shows the best of what this construction can be. You can purchase it by buy now“>clicking here, or by downloading it in my Ravelry store, for $7.00.


I’ll talk in later posts about how to choose a size and modify a raglan pattern. Until then, happy knitting! I look forward to seeing lots of great sporty sweaters in the future.

make. wear. love. west coast: the retreat designs

Each year, I create a design mini-collection for our fall retreat in Maine. Some of my favorite sweaters come from these little collections, and so when we decided to run our first west coast retreat, my brain immediately went to sweaters.

Drawing on my own knowledge of the Monterey Peninsula, which is both soaked in sunshine and often quite cool, I decided to create a collection of sweaters that would make great beach-wear.

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(From left to right: Spanish Bay, Sunset Drive, Pescadero.)

The actual release of these patterns will span two days, since Pescadero is a little different than what you’ve seen from me before! So for today, I’m going to start off with the two designs that are built directly into CustomFit: Spanish Bay and Sunset Drive.

Spanish Bay

Ask any knitter what sweater she prefers to wear in warm-again-cold-again weather, and a cardigan will top the list. And there’s lots of truth to those preferences!

Cardigans are easy to take on and off, forgiving in terms of fit, and flattering to all.

And I’ve personally always loved the slightly thicker, cotton store-bought cardigans that I wore on the beach, growing up. Spanish Bay is a nod to that nostalgia.

It’s made in Rowan’s Purelife Revive, which seems to have taken the place of the old Summer Tweed in their yarn line-up. I love this yarn. (For that matter, in terms of summer yarns in general? Rowan’s seriously got it going on.) It’s a lovely, heathered tweedy yarn made out of recycled cotton, silk, and viscose, so you get all of the nuance of color as from a traditional tweed… …but it’s smoother on the hands, less grabby when you knit with it, and all around a pleasure. I knit this sample in a week, and it wasn’t even a chore.

Spanish Bay is built right into CustomFit, so to get your very own, all you need to is fall in love with a yarn – we’ll craft the pattern numbers directly from your gauge. Want a little more detail? Check out Spanish Bay’s pattern page here, or on Ravelry.

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Sunset Drive

Contrary to popular opinion, pullovers make great warm-weather sweaters too! Though it’s absolutely helpful to knit them out of a lighter weight yarn. I’ve stayed away from fingering-weight designs, since I started pursuing a career in the fiber arts – the sad truth is that fingering patterns just don’t sell as well. But many of my pre-design-days sweaters are fingering and I love them all fiercely. Lucky for me (and hopefully you too), designing for CustomFit frees me up design-wise, in this way. As long as the design will look great in other weights as well, I can give fingering sweaters some time in the spotlight! And that’s good, because they deserve it.

You’ll never wear a hand-knit as comfortable as a fingering-weight sweater.

They’re light, they’re comfortable, and their fabric tends to be much, much closer to the kinds of fabric you can find in the store than that which we typically make with our hands. This means that the sweater will move against your body, and feel, more like a store-bought fabric. Except better, because now it fits you perfectly too! With this design, I went the tiniest bit funkier with my stitch patterning. I chose a shaping-on-the-back-only crew neck silhouette, with a super-wide lace panel on the (straight) front. I then added a lace panel on the roll-em-up sleeves, but only to a little bit above the elbow, giving some shape and style to this more relaxed silhouette. I love the result, and I hope you do too.

Thanks to a plethora of sock knitters in recent years, there are some stunning fingering-weight hand-dyes out there. I chose Anzula Squishy, in the Yarnover Truck-exclusive colorway “Minty Unicorn” (this sweater was for Lauren, after all, whose love of mint is well-documented). The tiny arrowhead lace pattern on this sweater is a snap to work, and looks great in Anzula’s wonderful colors.

Sunset Drive is also built right into CustomFit, so whether you’ll come along with me and knit fingering sweaters or not, it can still become your next favorite garment. (Did I mention Anzula also makes one of my favorite worsted-weight MCN blends?) For more detail as always, see either the Sunset Drive page here on my site, or within Ravelry.

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The final sweater in this collection, Pescadero, isn’t built into CustomFit yet. And there’s good reason for that — it’s very different than other sweaters you’ve seen me design so far. So I’ll be back later this week with more detail about Pescadero’s release, and a little bit behind why I created the sweater this way. Until then, have a close-up!


The next summer sweater KAL is on its way, so get your needles ready – it’s time for warmer-weather knits!

(One final note: Jackie and Amy will be traveling to the TNNA summer show this weekend, so if you’re there, stop by booth #1215 to say hi!)

Cardipalooza pattern update: Mine Hill Cardigan

Welcome from the west coast! I’m writing this from lovely Pacific Grove CA, at the make wear love: west coast retreat. I have a new sweater for you today, but before I share it, I wanted to address your questions about when/if the Knitter’s Toolbox app will be available on Android devices.

I’m thrilled so many of you are excited for the Android version – and it has definitely been our plan from the very start to make one! We’re too small a team to develop multiple products at the same time, though. And while there are apps that are available on both platforms, behind the scenes two teams were working in parallel to create identical-looking, but totally different, versions of the same thing. (Think of it this way: One is built with Legos, the other with K’nex.) Since CustomFit has also languished during app development time, we’ve got some things to do there before we dive into Android.

We are so small – taken all together, the 3 of us who do development don’t add up to a full-time person – so I can’t promise a specific timeline, but we will release the Android version as soon as we can. If anyone wants more information, I gave a lot more detail in my answers to the comments.


And now, without further ado, the results of some of my Cardipalooza knitting and a brand-new sweater!


The Mine Hill Cardigan was my first Cardipalooza inspiration, and I’m so excited to be wearing it this season. It’s made out of, and centered around, one of my favorite lines of yarn: the merino – cashmere – silk yarns from Spirit Trail Fiberworks. Jennifer has an incredible way with color, and this one – Chimney Swift – stands to become one of my all-time favorites. Tons of different greens, from lighter to dusky, make a fabric that looks near-solid when you step back a few feet, but gets deliciously complex the closer your are.

This blend, which is offered in weights from lace to worsted, produces everything I love in clothing. The knitted fabric has heft, drape, fluidity, and an incredible sheen. I’ve been itching to get another sweater in the Birte since I released Alta, and this one couldn’t be more my style.

You can read more about the design specifics, and create your own Mine Hill, here on CustomFit. In this post, I wanted to talk about why I love to wear this design so much.

Before I started working in fiber arts full time, I was in a full-on, fairly formal, corporate environment. I mostly wore suits, or suiting separates, and though I tried to mix things up a little here and there, I was honestly pretty limited in what I felt comfortable doing.

I wondered, because I think about clothes more than is maybe healthy, how my style would change with this next phase of my career. My best guess was that I’d stay on the dressier side of things, but up the modern, funky, unusual aspects of my wardrobe.

That’s not what has happened.

You’re maybe expecting me to say that I work in my pajamas all the time, but that’s not what has happened either! Instead, left unconstrained, my style is becoming a very solid mix of casual and sporty. I’m not a yoga pants person (unless I’m doing yoga), but I do tend toward clothes that support the odd blend of work and life that I’m living these days.

My ability to go from meeting to kid-racing to cooking dinner to knitting on the couch is paramount, and it’s important to me to feel put together. So I seek out clothes that are hard-wearing, flexible, and comfortable, while still retaining some bit of interest or polish.

Mine Hill has fit right in.


The low-hip length is incredibly versatile – good for standing or sitting or crouching down to mess around in the garden. The pockets are patch pockets, to make them as strong as knit pockets can be. The fronts are wide enough to overlap, and the trim scrunches beautifully and softly against my neck. On a chilly evening walk, I can shawl-pin it closed.


It goes well with all of my jeans, 3 or 4 of my skirts, and half a dozen tops of different weights. It matches my favorite sassy shoes, my workhorse boots, and those Birkenstocks I’m lusting after this summer.

It’s everything I love about spring sweaters, in one silky package.

I hope you like it too. You can make one through CustomFit, in whichever weight of Jennifer’s MCS bases you like, and get a sweater that looks just like this one – in your gauge, for your body. Mine Hill was designed to look great in any weight yarn.

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Cardipalooza goes through May 31st, so there’s still time to make your own and join the fun. (This is the second cardi I’ve finished this Cardipalooza, and I’m set to finish at least 2 more before the KAL closes.)

Enjoy your weekend, and we’ll see you on the flip side!

Pattern (and yarn!) Release: Foyle’s Sweaters

So if you head on over to Clara Yarn today, you’ll notice a breathtaking new offering:


This is Shetland 1.0, a naturally-colored Shetland woolen-spun yarn. DK weight, blooms like nobody’s business, a sweater yarn to end all sweater yarns. As Clara herself said:

“Don a sweater out of this yarn and you’ll be driving a World War II ambulance in no time.”

To say that I was excited about working with this yarn is something of an understatement. I was lucky enough to have time to luxuriate in my swatches, and let me tell you – EVERYTHING looked great. Cables? Stunning. Texture? Perfect. Small-scale lace?


There we had my winner. The crazy bloom of this yarn made the lace look almost like a texture. I was instantly in love. I came up with the notion of offering two variations on the same sweater pattern – something for pullover people, something for cardigan people. I wanted allover texture on the front, but plain sleeves and back to facilitate shaping. Keeping the front straight meant that the sweater could have an old-school, comfortable, slightly-slouchy feel while not being super boxy.


Foyle’s Cardigan and Pullover will take you to the grocery store, on a hike, to work, to the library, all while making you feel as though you’re surrounded by the heather of a Scottish moor. Knit up in Shetland 1.0, they’re the kind of sweaters that turn people into sweater people. They wrap you up in woolly comfort, and remind you of what clothes can do for us when they’re made from thoughtful materials and created with care and pride.

Both designs feature an allover-patterned front and Stockinette back and sleeves. The pullover sports a wide, slightly-deep crew neck; the cardigan, a comfy deep V. Waist shaping is located on the back only for the ultimate in casual comfort. Want some more pics? Of course you do!

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You can get the yarn here, at least till it’s gone – and I urge you to do so. It’s like the culmination of all of my yarny dreams, in 3 great colors.

(I may have tripped and fallen on a sweaters’ worth in each of the other colors, too.)

Once you’ve gotten your yarn, head here to create your own Foyle’s sweater:


Click for the cardigan!


Click for the pullover!

And tell us about your sweater nirvana. Are you a cardigan or a pullover person? Average fit, like my sweater – or relaxed, like Clara’s? Where would you wear your Foyle’s, and what will you wear it with?

Happy knitting!

Drumlin Cardigan

How is your Cardipalooza cardi coming along? I’m pretty excited about the one I just cast on, but I’ve actually already got a couple of cardigans to share with you!

The first is the Drumlin Cardigan:


Cardigans are such essential sweaters for most of us, aren’t they? The design for this one started when Clara Parkes and I were discussing what makes for a quintessential cardigan. I’d just received a sweater quantity of her (then-new) Cormo 2.0**, which is such a fantastic sweater yarn. We started bouncing around thoughts and descriptors:

Great indoors and out. Comfortable, but not baggy. Shaped, but not tight. Versatile in terms of layering. Pockets a plus.

I spent some time sketching, and swatching, and fiddling with my sketches a bit. The design is pretty simple:




But I’m also finding the sweater to be pretty much infinitely wearable. Our weather has warmed up a bit this week, and I’ve been wearing this every day instead of a jacket. I’ve worn it with a long-sleeved T-shirt, as in the pattern photos. I’ve worn it over a thin henley store-bought sweater that I love. I’ve worn it over a giant cowl-neck tunic, and over a button-down. And it’s risen to the challenge most admirably. (Also, the fabric is looking lovely even after so much hard wear – a little fuzzed, but not a pill in sight.) And by the way – I worked the edge shaping on this sample 3 stitches in from the edge, slanting against the edge being shaped – but of course, you can shape however you’d like.

I’ve built Drumlin right into CustomFit, so you can get your own perfectly-suited cardigan without having to worry about fit modifications or matching anyone else’s gauge.

If you were not able to purchase Cormo 2.0 while it existed, any worsted-spun, traditional wool yarn will make a great substitute. For a commercially-available yarn that will produce an extremely similar final product, try Imperial Yarns Tracie Too.

The exquisite buttons on this sweater were created by Melissa Jean Handknit Design and are highly recommended.

Are you cardi-inspired? What will you use to make your own Drumlin?

**(P.S. – in re: another sweater I’ll be sharing with you shortly, you probably want to sign up to be notified when Clara releases new yarn. Link here. Just sayin’.)

Knit Wear Love – Release Day!!!

There seriously aren’t enough exclamation points in the world for how I feel today.

Knit Wear Love is finally available!

The patterns are described on Ravelry and here on this site, the blank pattern worksheets are available to help make your sweater knitting more brainless and easy, and I can finally start wearing the sweaters.


(The cozy in today’s studio brought to you by: The Casual Cardigan.)

You can get the book from Amazon, directly from my publisher, or from your favorite independent bookstore. Or better still: Visit one of our wonderful CustomFit yarn stores to pick up your copy.

As you knit from the book, or daydream about knitting from the book, we’d love to keep track of what you’re doing! Use the hashtag #knitwearlove so that we can see all of your sweater awesomeness.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more sweater talk, but for today – I’m going to celebrate, and knit, and breathe a huge sigh of relief. It’s here!!!

CustomFit Basics: Winter/Spring 2015 Collection.

I’ve always felt that our knitting should be worn.

One of my great passions in life is to change the fact that sweaters suffer from the “closet curse” more than any other kind of knitting. That’s why I created CustomFit — to help all knitters make sweaters they love to knit and to wear. This fall, my inner restlessness and focus on great clothes combined into a somewhat-obsessive desire to re-imagine our “Classic” CustomFit silhouettes into something less static. Through the process, I kept coming back to this concept of basic wardrobe fundamentals.

You know the kind I mean, right? Those sweaters you wear all the time. That you want in 17 different colors. That go with everything in your wardrobe. That feel current, but that you also know you’ll wear for years to come.


I thought about what those sweaters have in common. And decided that our “classic” CustomFit sweaters needed to be an evolving series of the most versatile things that will ever fly off your needles. I sketched, and chose sweater yarns that I believe in on a number of different levels, and I swatched. Then, the knitting began…

…and today, I’m presenting the first in a line of CustomFit Basics collections: twice-yearly presentations of the classics of our time. Those fundamental, wear-every-day sweaters we can’t wait to throw on. Ready for you to interpret – in your own materials, for your own wardrobe.

For Winter/Spring 2015, our inaugural collection, we’re presenting a mix of timeless, tried-and-trues and updated interpretations of the garments we wear every day.

CustomFit will create them in your own gauge, and your own size. So think about what you’d like to wear, grab your favorite yarn, and play around. See where your hands take you while you look through the collection.

And then, share with us! What styles appeal to you? What materials? What three things in your closet would you want to wear with your new sweater? When you’re ready, click here to get started on your very own wardrobe fundamentals.

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!