Sweaters can be a bit intimidating when it comes to thinking about knitting one. It's a larger project that requires many details. And what if it doesn't fit? Too big or too small? Yikes! But I'm here to tell you that it's not that bad. We're going to be going through the steps, with tips and tricks, here on the blog as we knit our Grouse Creek sweaters. As always, you're welcome to stop by Sweet Yarns any time with your project for some in-person help.
Before you begin:
There are some things you can do before you start your sweater to make it a success.
After you've chosen your pattern and yarn, you should do a gauge swatch. A gauge swatch is a sample of your knitting to make sure that your knitting matches the designer's knitting, so the finished measurements of your sweater will match the finished measurements in the designer's sweater. Make sure to check the pattern to see what kind of stitch pattern you should knit to test gauage.
If you have never done colourwork before, I highly recommend doing a gauge swatch in the colourwork as well. Most people knit tighter when doing colourwork. It's really important to check in case you need to change your needles.
Tip: If you get too many stitches in an inch, you want to go up a needle size or two. If you don't get enough stitches in an inch, you want to go down a needle size or two.
If you'd like to see how your material is going to hold up, you can also wash and block your swatch. This will help you figure out if you sweater is going to stretch a lot or shrink too.
Here are my swatches for the Grouse Creek sweater. I did some stockinette in my main colour and then repeated the bottom part of the colourwork for a few rows as well.
Prep your pattern:
Because sweaters come in a variety of sizes, designers put all the information into one document. There's different number of stitches to cast on, different number of increases, lengths to knit, etc.
Before you start knitting, circle or highlight your size instructions throughout the pattern. This will make it a lot easier to follow along if you've noted these all before.
With a top-down sweater, there's a few extra things you are going to need to go along with your needles. Make sure to have different kinds of stitch markers (ones that hang on needles and ones that you can clip onto your knitting). You'll also want something to put your sleeve stitches on (stitch holders or scrap yarn).
And since most sweaters are knit in the round, you can check out the different methods in one of your previous blog posts: Sock Talk - Knitting in the round – Sweet Yarns
Comment below if you have any questions or contact the store. We're happy to give you a hand.