I used to have a love/hate relationship with the sweaters I knitted. I loved starting them, dreamily envisioning them as gorgeous additions to my wardrobe. But I often ended up disappointed in the final results. I’d try on my finished “masterpieces” only to face the sad reality that they didn’t fit well at all. The sleeves were too skinny or binding or too short for my long arms. Typically the top was too big and the bottom was too small. These problems were not the fault of the design; rather my body is far from “standard”.

My attempts to alter sweater patterns were frustrating until I discovered Amy Herzog’s brilliant CustomFit program. CustomFit creates sweater patterns customized to your own unique body. The online site allows you to sign up for free and store up to 10 sets of body measurements. Your own body measurements, and maybe your kids’ or Aunt Mabel’s. The process for measuring is well described and very through. In my account I entered not only the typical “Essentials” measurements – bust, waist, hip, etc. – but also extended lists called “Extras” and “Optional” which allow even further refinement.

Once the measurements are stored, you can choose to make a sweater based on one of CustomFit’s great designs or even to create a design of your own. After you’ve made a gauge swatch, you save the information to your account; you can use it now and again in future sweaters, if you want. The program uses your gauge and measurements to create your very own customized pattern.

There are various levels of cost, depending on how you use the program. I started out paying for a single customized pattern ($10 to $12.50 depending on the design’s complexity). I was so happy with the result of that first sweater that I quickly signed up for the “Maker”-level subscription which, at $5 per month, allows me to get my first 2 patterns generated for any particular month for free. There’s also the $8 per month “Maker Plus”-level which allows the subscriber to get unlimited pattern creation. (Now that’s a lot of knitting!)

It’s impossible in this short post to describe how elegant, genius, handy and liberating the CustomFit program is. The site is replete with handy calculators, stitch patterns and other resources to help you tweak an existing pattern or to create your own design from scratch.

As if all that isn’t enough, Amy recently announced a new benefit for subscribers – a monthly downloadable lesson pertaining to sweaters. The lesson for February is a detailed explanation of “Getting a Great Fit for Any Sweater”. I learned a lot from it and look forward to future lessons.

I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to be able to make a sweater that I know will fit me well. That love/hate relationship is now a love/love one!

Since subscribing to CustomFit I’ve made three sweaters. Look for future posts where I’ll share them with you.