A local knitting shop now offers its customers a way to customize their sweater patterns.
“Custom Fit is our new thing,” said Catherine Martin.
Martin and her husband Patrick own the Knitting Nest in Weyauwega.
They recently began offering patterns through a company called CustomFit.
“I think Patrick found it and got me onto it,” she said.
CustomFit is the creation of Amy Herzog, author of the book “Knit to Flatter.”
“She has done lots of knitting, trying to figure out what looks good on different women’s bodies,” Martin said.
In “Knit to Flatter,” Herzog explains how to customize a sweater pattern with measurements.
“She’s a knitter but also a tech geek,” Martin said. “She has worked all this out into a sweater pattern generator.”
Herzog’s CustomFit program “asks for a whole lot of measurements. In the shop, we take their measurements,” Martin said.
Then the knitter needs to choose the yarn, knit a small swatch and count the number of stitches in it both horizontally and vertically.
The measurements, type of yarn used and needle size are among the types of information put into the computer program.
Knitters may mix and match variations for sweater patterns, such as short sleeve with a scoop neck pattern, Martin said.
The program makes the sweater pattern and calculates how many balls of yarn will be needed.
“She’s (Herzog) also added something called ‘recipes,'” Martin said.
Those are patterns with more details, which may require a little more knitting experience.
The typical knitting pattern usually costs $5 or $6, Martin said.
CustomFit patterns are $9.99, with an additional $2.50 for recipe patterns, she said.
“One of the problems when a woman knits for herself is she will have one part of her body that drives the entire pattern,” Martin said.
There is no “average” body, she said.
CustomFit patterns allow women to make something that fits them.
“Women just look happier when something fits,” Martin said.
She said many people are anxious about the idea of knitting a sweater because of the amount of yarn and time required and then not knowing if the sweater will end up fitting as they hoped it would.
“Amy is really big on talking to store owners and those who take measurements about helping people turn around the negative talk about their body image,” Martin said.
The Knitting Nest has open knitting at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays and 7 p.m. on Thursdays.
“We are willing to provide help,” Martin said. “We are here to provide help and support.”
Next will be CustomFit patterns for men and children.
“It’s been really positive. We’ve gotten a few people started on it. Others are thinking about it. I tell people the knitting skills required are not huge,” Martin said of CustomFit. “We like clothes that fit.”