How to Knit a Sweater
Knitting a sweater can be a bit more challenging for someone that is just learning how to knit. Although, it can be a little bit easier than it seems to be if you have the right tools and instructions to follow. When knitting a sweater, it’s best to start out with the most basic of patterns. Once you are comfortable knitting your first sweater you can challenge yourself with more advanced patterns.
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Before you start knitting a sweater you should be comfortable with casting on stitches, and binding off, as well as the knit stitch. Purling will also be a helpful tool when it comes to knitting a sweater.
Skill Level – Easy
The Festival Cardigan is a one-size oversized cardigan and will fit up to a 44″ bust comfortably. The way the pattern is structured it is easy to adapt to make bigger (or smaller) if needed. It includes instructions for a cropped version with pockets and a longer edge-to-edge version. This is a great stash buster and includes a tutorial to show you how to blend any weight of yarn into a super chunky weight yarn.
Finding your Size and Selecting Your Knitting Materials
To determine your size you will need figure out how many stitches to cast on and work for each of the different sweater’s sections will depend on the size you need. You will need to measure your chest and use this measurement to determine your size. Although, several knitting patterns will provide instructions on how to measure when knitting a sweater.
The measurements for a basic pullover sweater are as follows:
- Extra Small: 32 inches (81 cm)
- Small: 36 inches (91 cm)
- Medium: 40 inches (102 cm)
- Large: 44 inches (112 cm)
- Extra Large: 48 inches (122 cm)
- Extra Extra Large: 52 inches (132 cm)
Order Enough Yarn for Your Project
Once you have determine what type of sweater you want to knit and the size you can now order your yarn. You can choose a bulky weight yarn to make a sweater or a worsted-weight yarn for a lighter weight sweater. Be sure to check your size to purchase as much yarn as you need for the correct size.
- Extra Small: 3 skeins
- Small: 4 skeins
- Medium: 4 skeins
- Large: 5 skeins
- Extra Large: 5 skeins
- Extra Extra Large: 5 skeins
Check the pattern you are using before you purchase your yarn.
Getting the Right Tools for Your Sweater
Besides having the right yarn for your project you will also have to have the correct knitting tools. Before you begin knitting here are some suggestions for knitting items you may want to have on hand.
Size 10 or Size 8 Knitting Needles or size required for your project.
Scissors and a Yarn Needle
How to Create the Front and Back for Your Sweater
First, you will want to cast on the right amount of stitches on your knitting needles for your sweater size. This will be the same for both the front and back of your sweater piece. Use the correct size knitting needles to cast on the stitches. Depending on your size, you will need to cast on the following:
- Extra Small: 56 stitches
- Small: 63 stitches
- Medium: 70 stitches
- Large: 77 stitches
- Extra Large: 84 stitches
- Extra Extra Large: 91 stitches
Choose an Easy Pattern to Knit Your First Sweater
You don’t have to start with an adult sized sweater if you are uncomfortable knitting your first sweater. Instead, try knitting a sweater for a baby or child. Choose patterns with easy stitches such as the garter or stockinette stitch.
Never choose project you don’t like just because they are easy. You will want to enjoy knitting your first sweater project.
Heavier yarns will make the project knit up quicker, and are great choices for beginners.
There are some great books, classes and patterns for beginners to choose from. Check out the list of recommendations below. Knitting kits come with patterns and yarn to complete a sweater, while patterns can be downloaded and you can purchase your own yarn to complete a sweater.
Sweater Patterns and Kits for Beginners to Knit
Great Books for Knitting Sweaters
Great Online Classes to Check out
If you would like to learn how to knit check out Annie’s Knitting Guide with Free information on how to knit, how to cast on, how to purl, how to bind, knitting stitches and more.