Introducing the Custom Shaping Calculator Tool!

Lindsay LewchukAnnouncements, Designers, How-Tos, Pattern Related Leave a Comment

Whether your body shape is a pear, apple, inverted triangle, rectangle, or hourglass, getting that perfect fit to your garments will make you shine as brightly as your lovely hand knits.


That’s where the Custom Shaping Calculator tool comes in. Working in conjunction with the pattern schematic and within the limits of the pattern, the tool calculates custom “Decrease to Waist” and “Increase to Bust” directions. You are now free to pick a cast on size that fits your hips perfectly and transition to a waist size that you want! Or select a perfect fit for your waist and bust even if the sizes differ!

The Sarsaparilla Tank calculator enables custom directions for “Decreases to Waist” up to two sizes smaller or one size larger than the cast on. For the “Increase to Bust” select your perfect fit up to one size larger or two sizes smaller. Take it for a spin here!

Sarsaparilla Tank

In response to a few anticipated questions:
What gave you the idea to create a custom shaping calculator?

I’m a pear with an extra small waist so I have to vigorously block the hems of my tops in order for them to fit my ample… well you know, or wear a padded bra to balance out the difference. Knowing that the standards are designed for stereotypical hourglasses and since the numbers of people who fit standards are few and far between, I wanted to devise a method to make my fitted knitting patterns more accessible to knitters of all shapes. Regardless of pear, apple, inverted triangle, rectangle, or hourglass, when you have a garment with a tailor fit you will show off your assets in the best possible way!

Selana's Sarsaparilla Tank
Selana, a self-proclaimed pear, used the custom shaping calculator for her test knit of the Sarsaparilla Tank. Her top fits her perfectly & she loves wearing it because of the flattering fit. See her project page here:

After inspiration struck, how did you create it?

I’ve done some here and there coding in the past. With the calculator formulated in my little grey cells I started to investigate different java script snippets to implement what I wanted to do. Two intensive weeks (you who follow me on twitter will remember all the odd you tube tweets on java scripting) and several false starts later, I had created the first part of my calculator, the “Decrease to Waist.” Then a few more agonizing weeks passed, during which, yes, I saved the file as the wrong extension and lost EVERYTHING and had to start fresh again. After the file extension hiccup, I cleaned up the code and created the “Increase to Bust” section of the calculator over the following week. Creating this calculator was a very time intensive and little-grey-cell-stretching work out. But in the end, when my testers were thrilled with their custom directions, it was all worthwhile.

I’ve checked out the Custom Shaping Calculator, but it makes little sense to me. You don’t provide any stitch counts, only letters. What am I missing?

The calculator is a bonus tool that only works in conjunction with the pattern. You need to purchase the pattern from Knit Eco Chic (or your favorite knitting pattern source) in order to fully use the calculator to create your custom shaping directions.

What does “within the limits of the pattern” mean?

Each calculator is coded to work within the constraints of the pattern it accompanies. That is, in each pattern a specific number of rows are used when calculating the shaping. Only those size adjustments that work out mathematically will be included in the calculator. For Sarsaparilla Tank, that means, transitioning from cast on to a waist up to two sizes smaller or one size larger and transitioning from waist to bust up to one size larger or two sizes smaller.

Will you be releasing Custom Shaping Calculators for all your designs?

That’s up to you!! If you love the calculator and want to see more patterns with this feature, please let me know by purchasing the accompanying patterns and knitting your custom fit design.

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