How to advanced to knitting sweaters

Help! I’ve gotten the socks down on DPN’s, but now I want to broaden my horizons and try to knit a vest and or sweater. how does one start? The patterns seem so hard!:woohoo:

Pick one you like and cast on. They all start with a caston, then you knit a ribbing or edge, then the rest of the rows. Everything is spelled out, it’s no harder than following a sock pattern. It’s just larger is all. If you can increase and decrease in addition to knit and purl, then that’s all you need to know.

I knit my first sweater after 3 mos of knitting so believe me, they aren’t that hard. I knit a top down seamless one for my first one. If you’d like to try that type first I can give you some links.

oh Jan I am ready to knit my first sweater also. I would love some links to making top down sweaters.

There’s a good tutorial at Knitting pure and simple, a top down raglan sweater pattern generator at and one at the Knitting Fiend for a yoked sweater top down.

Baby sweaters. They go fast and everything you do is done on adult sweaters (to a point, see below).

I would put off top down in the round until you know techniques like short rows, provisional cast on, darts and plenty of math.
Without some short rowing across the back at the right place the collar rides too high in the front and too low in the back. You can short row around the collar to fix the back riding too low but if you don’t do it across the shoulders it still rides high in the front (and you have to drop the front). suzeeq’s third link has a page about it, but I think it would take some precise measuring to get a generator to get it right for you.
Those with bodily protrusions would need darts to match.
Trying to figure out where the arms and chest get separated if you have a stitch pattern can be a major trial.
Even a provisional doesn’t do a perfect job of lining up the stitches on the collar, but it’s the best I’ve found.

Sure you can try on a top down as you go but when it’s wrong that means a lot of frogging because you won’t really know it’s wrong for quite a few rows. You don’t find out the collar is wrong until much much later, it’s like irregular jeans with twisted legs, feels OK in the store but once you start wearing them they drive you nuts.
Top down adults do go fast until you start frogging.

I ended up using a sewing machine and scissors to seam my first top down made to try on as I went so it would fit, and the collar still rides up in the front, which also required the fold over collar be stitched down.
Using that one as a pattern for my second one still required a lot of frogging.

The good news is young kids don’t have much body shape so a generic top down doesn’t take much shaping to fit right (or bad news if you figure a top down baby sweater would be good practice for an adult top down). It doesn’t take much time at all to turn out top down baby sweaters.

Top down sweaters don’t [I]have[/I] to have short rows at the back of the neck, or for bust shaping. There’s a lot of cardigan patterns with wide necklines that sit lower on the neck and are loose. Like the February Lady Sweater for instance.

I agree with Mike that a baby sweater is a good place to start. You’ll never hear a baby complaining that his sweater doesn’t fit just right or that it makes him/her look fat. :lol: Also you can learn the things to do without having to do so much knitting.

With a baby or adult sweater-- look for something that looks easy. Read through the pattern and see if you know how to do everything called for or almost everything. Don’t try to do everything on your first attempt. I’d go with something quite plain and basic. Then once you’ve been successful on your first one you will be ready to add some other features to the next one. Keep building skills and soon you’ll be ready for most anything.

Sue gave some good links. If you don’t mind spending a few bucks I suggest the Knitting Pure and Simple patterns. Most of the them are top down raglans. My first one was #9724.

This one with the v-neck is also on my list to do. It’s a free Rav download.