In short, here's how it works:
- You set up an account (free).
- You enter in a zillion measurements - there are videos to guide you, as necessary (free).
- You enter swatch info (which calculates gauge MUCH better than your eyes can) (free).
- You choose a design from a few templates (aka a V pullover style, cardigan etc.) - or get a custom design (not sure about how this works but I think it means you develop a template based on a choice of parameters) (still free). The templates are kind of like blocks, to use sewing terminology, that you scale to your own dimensions.
- And then, when you're sure you've inputted all of the correct info, and you like what you've got, you click to create the pattern.* At which point it costs $10.00.
That sounds totally genius to me. But then, I've spent the last 2 years doing the math!
Look, I've never knit an Amy Herzog pattern (though I have been a long-time appreciator of her blog and techniques). She's very popular and her fitting method seems to work well. (In truth, I think I prefer more negative ease than she does, but that's a personal choice thing and can be accommodated,I suspect, within the spectrum of the new application by slightly underestimating one's actual dimensions. And by choosing the "close fit" option). I do hope that she'll design additional templates. By design, I'm sure, the current crop is quite basic, like blocks are. (Mind you, there is an adequate assortment of basic shapes, in the current templates, so that an intermediate knitter could add exciting details to - like peplums and collars and cuffs and pockets).
The application allows everyone, theoretically, to be able to make a sweater that will fit optimally. It can be as simple as a stockinette pullover or as complex as a fair-isle cardigan with cables. (Don't quote me on this, I don't know how fancy the algorithm gets on stitches or colourwork.) How democratic! And the price seems very reasonable if the site works as well as I hope it will. Oh, and you get to keep all of your patterns on the site, for reference, and/or copy them onto your hard drive.
This is a concept I can't resist. If only I didn't have a zillion things in the queue right now...
So, if you've ever wanted to make a sweater, but have resisted because you're sure you won't be able to conquer fit, this site is for you. What do you think - crazy gimmick, or new frontier?? Have you tried it? Were you a beta tester? Will you try it? Let's talk.
*The system creates bottom up sweaters with set in sleeves (not the top down raglan ones that are so popular these days), because fit is more accurately approximated, especially in the armscye, using this construction style. Apparently, they do intend to expand functionality to raglan sweaters eventually.