Introduction: Knitting a Sweater
Knitting is the perfect portable project. I have been in a lot of situations lately that require me to sit around and wait - knitting is a wonderful solution to the tedium! I can easily pack a skein or two of yarn, a few pages of instructions, a crochet hook in case of slipped stitches, and my knitting needles in a bag to bring with me.
This particular sweater is the result of those "wasted" moments.
Step 1: Choosing a Pattern
Of course, some knitting projects travel better than others. The more complicated designs get left at home when I know I can focus on them without fear of distraction.
A few things I look for in a design that will travel well:
A fair amount of ribbing throughout a project (super easy to remember!)
Lace patterns with a fairly short repeat. Many of these stitch patterns also use a purl row for every alternating row, making it even easier to memorize.
A linear pattern makes it simple to tell if something goes awry before getting too far past that point.
Even if some sections of the sweater are rather involved, there may be portions like sleeves that do not require as much of my concentration. These are the pieces that I will travel with.
Step 2: Finishing Is Important!
As a self taught knitter (before the age of YouTube), there are quite a few things that could have been improved on with many of my early sweater projects. Finishing is the most obvious to me when I look back at my pieces.
Coming from a sewing background, I assumed that putting a sweater together would be the same as a garment. Quite a few of my old sweaters were stitched, right sides together, with a small back stitch. This system worked just fine and those garments are still very wearable, just not quite as neatly finished as they might have been.
This video is one of my favorites to show a great method for seaming knits with a mattress stitch. In most cases, this is the method I like to use.
Many knitters are fond of working in the round (which often eliminates seaming altogether) but I prefer straight knitting needles to circular ones.
Step 3: Fixing "errors"
It can sometimes be challenging to know exactly how a sweater is going to fit until you are almost finished. For me, once a project is done I really loathe the idea of undoing any part of it.
For this sweater, I thought that the sleeves would look better slightly shorter once I put it on. I did not really want to frog anything, so I decided to hem them!
I actually love the way this looks, so I may end up doing something similar with other designs.
So I guess those garment sewing construction techniques really do come in handy when knitting! And sometimes mistakes turn out to be for the best.
Step 4: Finished!
I love adding another sweater to the bureau drawer that houses my hand knits.
Finishing a sweater makes me want to jump right into another knit project. And in this case, I already have!
After all, Fall weather is perfect knitting weather! Which reminds me that hot cup of tea is waiting for me . . . along with my knitting needles.