Have you heard of “custom fit“? It’s a website by Amy Herzog that you plug your measurements into and swatch your knitted fabric and enter the gauge, then you choose a pattern and select some options, and out the other end comes a pattern customised for you, your particular measurements and your choice of pattern. I’ve been wanting to try it out for a while now, so decided to use it for a pattern for this gorgeous charcoal coloured Merino yarn that I picked up at the beginning of the year.
I chose to build my own from the basic pattern options, choosing a high-hip pullover, with full length sleeves, basic 1×1 ribbing and a deep V neckline. I deliberately made the neckline quite low as I have a few RTW sweaters (that are wearing out) that have this depth neckline and I find it a really versatile style to wear with layers underneath.
The standard for the custom fit patterns is to knit the garment in pieces, and then seam the pieces together. Most of the garments I’ve made so far have been seamless garments, and although the pattern came with instructions of how to convert it into a seamless/knit in the round garment, I decided to go with the recommendation of the instructions and do the seams. I figure I can’t say that I don’t like something if I haven’t tried it.
I definitely prefer seamless knitting.
I know the finished garment is supposed to be more stable and stuff when seamed, but I haven’t really experienced this as a problem in any of the other garments I’ve made.
I also struggled a bit with the instructions provided by Custom fit. They are certainly not for the beginner knitter, I think you’d want to have a few other garments under your belt before trying one of these patterns, as it doesn’t hold your hand in any way.
The biggest issue I had was the way the shaping components (waist shaping, armhole shaping, neckline shaping etc) were all separate, so when multiple components were happening at once the instructions are all over the place and I found it very confronting.
I haven’t done that many knitting projects before (see them all here), and while Untangling Knots patterns have featured heavily I have knit from a reasonable range of pattern designers. However, so far (by it coincidence or because it’s more common, I don’t actually know) all of other patterns have given me the instructions line by line. So having the different shaping components separately was a bit of a shock. I ended up having to write out the instructions line by line for some parts to even work out what I was supposed to do, let alone keep track of it.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t too hard to write out the lines to work out what I was doing, but it came as a surprise as I’ve never had to do it before, and I felt a bit cheated. I mean, all the other patterns I’ve used combined it for me, it felt like I was doing a lot of work that would normally be included in the price of the pattern.
However, I get that because of this one being custom generated there may be limitations as to how difficult it would be to code it to combine the information vs provide it the way it is. But it has got me wondering whether this is a peculiarity of this method of creating a pattern or if it’s a common way of presenting patterns. Does anybody know?
Another disappointment I had due to the lack of ‘hand holding’ was the lack of instructions surrounding the V at the centre front of the v-neck. I didn’t really know what to do with the stitches surrounding and between the double decreases, and my V is a little untidy (ie when to purl and when to knit). I will need to get some more information on this before doing anything similar again. Does anybody have know any particularly good resources?
The fit is fairly good. The fit through the shoulders is bang on and it’s great through the bust. The ease through the waist is fine, but the hips actually have slight negative ease, which I don’t really like. I think I would prefer no ease through the hips.
The only real issue with the fit is that the sleeves are too long. It’s probably my fault, and I need to check whether it was caused by me selecting the wrong sleeve length, or me entering the gauge wrong from my swatch. If the sweater had been knit in the round I could unravel the sleeves a bit and reknit the cuffs just that little bit shorter, but with the seams it’s a lot more complicated; I’d have to undo the seam before unravelling and then reknit and re-seam, which I know isn’t really that much harder but is that much harder that I’m not going to bother. Another down side is that if I fold the cuffs back to shorten the sleeve I’ve got the unsightly seam running down the cuff, whereas this wouldn’t occur with a seamless sweater.
The yarn I used is 8ply Grignasco Merinogold and it’s divine both to knit with and to wear. It is the same yarn in a different colourway to what I used for my Parcel sweater, and that one is lasting really well, so I’m optimistic this one will last well too. The colour is a charcoal grey colour, with some lighter grey specks in the really dark/black giving it some interest.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with this garment, and it’ll certainly replace the well-worn black RTW sweater with a similar neckline that got left behind in Australia.
Find this project on ravelry here.