One of my great challenges in establishing Yarn Folk has been how to make inspiring, fresh patterns available in a publishing environment that has already seen so many changes, and continues to evolve. There are some wonderful printed pattern lines--Knitting Pure & Simple and Churchmouse Yarns have been favorites. But we also have a myriad of ways of accessing patterns digitally. In-Store Pattern Sales is a fantastic feature Ravelry began to roll out in 2011 (you can read more about it here). More and more knitwear designers are participating, including, most recently, Stephen West. When I choose samples, I tend strongly toward patterns that are part of the In-Store program, so that we never have to deal with inventory issues--it's strictly print-on-demand.
Still, there are times when it's hard to find the sweater that will fit YOU perfectly, and look great. I'm a fan of Amy Herzog's designs, and think that her suggestions for taking a comprehensive set of measurements and thinking about ease are incredibly useful. To further enhance every knitter's ability to customize garments for their own sizes and ease preferences, Amy developed CustomFit--software that incorporates your measurements, of your body and your knitted swatch, to generate a pattern just for you. You get to choose sweater style--including body style, length, neck, sleeve, and edging options, and when you purchase the pattern, what you get is a set of instructions with one set of numbers. No highlighting, no adjusting.
CustomFit is available directly to the consumer, but Amy and her team have also created a partnership with LYSes, and I am happy to be in the first stages of developing that relationship. Once I have familiarized myself adequately with the process, you, the Yarn Folk knitter, will be able to rely on the shop for help with measurements and swatching, and I will be able to sell you a CustomFit pattern through the shop.
I am working hard to get the program up and running as soon as possible, and one of the first steps for me as a yarn shop owner is to complete a few sweaters myself. To that end, I am working on something I've dubbed the Summer Classic Tee (you get to name your patterns, too), which is a short-sleeved, v-neck sweater. I'm using CoBaSi from HiKoo, held double, using two colors to create three color blocks that merge into one another. I've completed the back, and like all knitters do from time to time, I've hit a speed bump with the front: namely, I forgot to change from a smaller needle tip to the larger one used for the sweater body. I can talk and knit stockinette, but I can't necessarily talk, knit stockinette, and remember to change to the correct needles! One of the things I'm most appreciating is that the waist and bust shaping are based on my own measurements--if I took the measurements correctly, they should be in the right place for me.
Here's a look so far. I'm looking forward to sharing more about this process as I work my way through it!