Spotlight on Projects: Knit Your First Sweater

So many knitters are afraid to take on sweater knitting.  We often hear, "it is too difficult" while they sit working on their 15th pair of socks and, let's face it, there is nothing simple about turning a heel or the Kitchener stitch. Or "that is way too much knitting for me" as we wind the third skein of fingering weight yarn to make an enormous 1000-yard shawl. The final protest is "I have tried but they never fit well".

I fully admit, that is a valid reason, indeed.  Like anything, the first (or third) try may not be perfect. So that sweater will be what my knitting mom, calls an "at home sweater" or you give it to a friend, that is OK.  Knitting is process not product. As you knit more sweaters you will know what designers fit you well and what style works for your wardrobe. You will figure out what combination of fibers you enjoy working with and wearing.

Look at the sweaters you currently own. If your cupboard is filled with basic cardigans or pullovers, don't pick a light weight lace-filled off the shoulder number.  Select something close to what you wear for your first sweater. Measure your favorite sweater (yoke, bust, length, etc) and look for a fit that is similar. And please, swatch. You will not get what you want unless your gauge is correct and you like how the fabric is knitting up. (See my post On the Other Reason You Should Swatch.)

While you should definitely take a peek around Ravelry before you cast on, here are some beginner friendly patterns to spark your interest!

Flax by Tin Can Knits - Flax is a great first sweater.  They have wonderful tutorials on their website to keep you going. This sweater is knit in worsted/aran weight so it will not take too long to knit up.  You could even knit the baby version first if you want to dip you toe in the pool of sweater knitting!

My First Raglan Sweater by Jared Flood - I knit my sweater in Brooklyn Tweed Tones Hollyhock, and I love it.  This sweater is indeed very simple and you can choose to knit the sweater in a solid color or in stripes.  The pattern offers you some options, straight or a-line, so you can make it yours! Brooklyn Tweed even has a video to walk you through the entire process.

Strathcona by Tara-Lynn Morrison - Strathcona is a great option if you want to knit a bulky weight sweater in no time at all. It is a great looking modern sweater.  This pattern is well written and easy to follow. You could knit this sweater in Loopy Mango Merino No. 5, Big Wool or Wool & the Gang Crazy Sexy Wool.

Novice Cardigan Chucky Edition by Petite Knit - Mette's pattern are simple to follow and are very popular right now. I am thinking about knitting this cardigan in &Make Aran and Rowan Kid Silk Haze held together. I think it would be a great project to toss over a t-shirt and pair of jeans, my uniform. Shall we knit this one together?

Turtle Dove by Espace Tricot - Turtle Dove is a breeze to knit, especially since the short rows are optional. The sweater could not be easier: increases, decreases, knitting and purling in the round.  Knit in Woolfolk Luft, it could not be more soft and comfortable to wear.

Super Summer Simple Stripes by Joji Locatelli -  Do you love Joji as much was we all do? Super Simple says it all.  Pick up some Woolfolk Far, Sea Change Fjord Worsted or Blue Sky Woolstok and cast this darling sweater on. This sweater features a deep circular yoke, boxy fit and bold stripes. If you take a peek at the completed projects page people look great in it! You can even knit it in a solid color if you prefer.

Don't be afraid to try your hand at sweater knitting.  It is a satisfying project and how great to say, "Why, yes, I did make my sweater!"

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