This time I decided to use “Expert Mode”–you don’t really need to be an expert, but it’s a great way to combine just the details you have in mind.
I started by swatching Kenzington from Skacel Knitting’s HiKoo line. I decided on a 4×2 ribbing, but I was undecided about which would be the right side until after I blocked the swatch. With CustomFit, you are knitting to your own exact gauge, and in this case, mine was 16.75 stitches and 24.25 rows over 4″. Probably not the sort of gauge you’d find in a standard pattern, right?
I knew I wanted to make a cardigan vest, and even though it’s not a shape I typically wear, I thought I’d try a tunic length. For me, that was 13 1/2″ to the hem. I wanted some kind of finish to the bottom, but didn’t want to interrupt the ribbing, so I chose a folded hem. The front bands and armscyes are edged in i-cord trim. I specified a deep scoop neck–1″ below the beginning of the armhole, and the neck trim is 1×1 twisted rib. I wanted to wear it open, but I like a little bit of closure, so I asked for one button.
CustomFit sweaters are most commonly knit in pieces and seamed. The wonderful bit is that because the patterns take your individual row gauge into consideration, if you keep track of your rows, you will have precisely the same number for each piece–even though back and front widths can differ, particularly if you have more bust shaping. After knitting the back and both fronts, I blocked the pieces. (I stayed late on Sunday to pin them out so that they could dry before I came back on Tuesday.) I seamed the pieces on Tuesday, and knit the edgings on Wednesday. The button I wanted to use is about 1/4″ wide but about 2″ long, which mean that the crochet loop I made for it had to be a little bigger than I would have preferred. I had the swell idea to secure the bust closure with hook-and-eye closures–except they are not readily available in Ellensburg. So I bought a black bra at Goodwill and cannibalized it for the fasteners. My last step was to tack up the folded hem.
Because CustomFit utilizes princess style darts for shaping, you need to increase and decrease in pattern, and many times there are more decreases than increases, or vice versa, depending on your build. You can see the effect in the back view of the sweater, thought it’s present in the fronts as well.
My last remaining issue is with the i-cord edgings along the front. The pattern instructed me to pick up along the front at a 1:1 ratio. I think it might have worked better to either have dropped a needle size or have eliminated 10-20% of the rows. There wouldn’t have been any need to use a typical button band ratio, since the direction of the two pieces of knitting isn’t perpendicular. To add some stiffness, I may try threading a stiff cord through the i-cord tube. If that fails to give me a slightly straighter edge, I might reknit those front edgings a little more tightly. Time will tell.
Overall, this was another great experience working within the CustomFit platform, and I am already plotting my next CF sweater! If you have more questions about the program, or are ready to try a CustomFit pattern yourself, email me–ann (at) yarnfolk . com!