Helpful Tips from You to Me

I want to say a HUGE Thank You to everyone that reads this blog.  I always appreciate your comments and feedback; not only is it a joy to know that people are actually reading what I put out there, but I truly find your comments and experiences helpful and entertaining.

So with that in mind, I’d like to sum up the information knitters have shared with me regarding My First Sweater.  First, the helpful highlights:

  1. Measure yourself completely, then go back and do it all over again.  This is the first step in ensuring a sweater will fit your precise shape.

  2. Use your favorite sweater as a model. Measure a sweater you love the fit of, and choose the size that is closest in the pattern to work from.

  3. Choose a sweater pattern that you truly love and would like to knit and wear, not something that looks like it would be good for a beginner.

  4. Do a gauge swatch, the bigger the better for an accurate gauge check.  Then wash it and block it to see how the yarn holds up and if it stretches or changes shape.

  5. Choose a pattern with elements that will keep you interested over the long haul it takes to knit a sweater.  An interesting stitch pattern, cables, or lace will keep the knitter entertained.

  6. Knit both sleeves at the same time so you can match the increases or decreases.  No one wants to wear a sweater where one sleeve is longer than the other!

Here are some of your first sweater projects:

A few of you described your first sweaters as big, baggy, chunky, simple, and often too large or unflattering. Some recommended doing a top down, seamless raglan, or taking a class with others.  Some suggested I try doing the February Lady Sweater, while others said maybe it wasn’t the best pattern for a first timer.

As for what I will be knitting, it is still undecided.  I have purchased the book Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard and am feeling very motivated to start swatching!  Never thought I’d be excited to do a gauge swatch, but stranger things have happened…

I am enchanted with a couple sweaters in the Top Down Raglan section, particularly the Backward Cabled Pullover.  It can be worn forward, backward, or modified!  This is an incredible book that encourages free thinking and customization in knitting.  And Bernard is on Ravelry answering questions about her patterns.  Amazing.  If you haven’t heard of it, take a moment to check out her blog, Knit and Tonic for a taste of knitting nirvana.

Thank you all so much for sharing your wisdom, mistakes, and triumphs with me. I will certainly keep you posted on what I decide to try.

4 thoughts on “Helpful Tips from You to Me

  1. Oh I do like the backward cabled pullover , very cool.

    Just thought of another tip. Yes do both sleeves at the same time BUT if you are working them together on a long circular MAKE SURE you safety pin the sleeves together just under the working needle, otherwise its really hard to keep track of which one you are up to if you happen to put your knitting down. 😀 GOod Luck

  2. Wow sounds like lots of good advice! I haven’t the stamina yet for a sweater project but maybe someday. Kudos and best of luck to you!

  3. You got some great advice there. And I can see why you like the backward cabled sweater – it ticks lots of those boxes. But most of all, if it really does enchant you, it seems an excellent place to start! (That, and the short sleeves of course…)

  4. Great Blog, you are so right with your advise and comments. I love to knit and I love to design and the backward cabled sweater looks fun. I like to knit from the top down, I hate to seam so I knit in one piece. Have you tried to make up you own designs, changing elements in the pattern you are using?
    Try it, it’s a new challenge.

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