Skills to have?

Okay, I’ve learned to knit (without twisted stitches). I’ve learned to purl. What other skills should I have before I attempt a sweater? I’m just trying to figure out what my next step is before attempting a sweater or another similar piece of shaped clothing.

Thank you so much for all your help.

Increases and decreases are used in most sweater patterns and other things like hats. You can look at the videos for them and do a practice piece like the sampler shown to get comfortable with them.

If you’re doing top down sweaters, another handy thing to know is the twisted German cast on. This will give you a stretchy edge around the neckline that makes it easier to get a sweater on and off your head.

For bottom up sweaters, a good stretchy bind off is Jenny’s stretchy bind off.

A really easy stretchy bind off is the Russian bind off. If you’re doing Continental or English knitting, the stitch orientation will be left, not right as in the video. The k2 togethers will be in back of the stitches.

Some children’s sweater patterns might bind off portions of the work and cast on stitches at the sides of the work.

I use these bind offs and cast on’s a lot when knitting hats, mittens, and gloves. It makes them easier to get on, especially for children. A traditional cast on/bind off doesn’t stretch and the articles might not fit.

IMO… none. Choose a simple first sweater and you can learn the few things you need to know along the way. I made my first top-down, seamless sweater after I’d been knitting 3 mos.

If it makes you more comfortable though then do as Sue suggested and make a sampler/swatch to practice them before hand.

That’s true, my second project was a top down raglan sweater with a cable down the front, and I just followed the instructions in the pattern for the cable, and figured out the increases. Most patterns are pretty much ‘do what they say’ and you’ll be fine.

Thanks everyone for your help. I feel like every day that I learn a new skill in knitting that I’m one step closer to making my Mama’s dream come true.

I agree. If you do top down raglan, you can do simple yo for increases that would make a line of holes around the raglan line. It is a designer’s call whether they are pretty or not but I found them more helpful in learning which rows need increases and which don’t if I knit in round.

Also, decreases for shaping armholes and neck lines are the same as casting off with the only difference that we cast off less stitches at a time. So if you can do that, you can decrease as well :slight_smile:

A tiny raglan cardigan was my third project and I made it without a pattern, because all you need is a simple formula for the beginning. I chose a cardigan because I could knit it flat not in round (even though on circular needles for convenience) and that makes it easy to remember to increase only in knit rows, and just purl all purl rows.

Good luck!

Why don’t you make a baby top down raglan? It can be given to charity or a deserving baby. They are smaller so it’s a great way to learn w/o getting into a huge project. :thumbsup:

When I spotted your reply, Jan, I was just debating between a top down baby sweater and a simple pair of gloves. So, I think I’ll go ahead and do the baby sweater. (The gloves will probably be after that.)

Good for you! I’ve made a lot of baby sweaters…they’re fun!

First I have 20 more headbands, 63 more scrunchies, and a hostess gift set to finish. But the headbands have been my swatches for a lot of the textured stitches and such so now I know, just keep practicing my various stitch patterns and the rest will be learned during making the sweater.

I don’t suppose you can recommend a good pattern for the baby sweater, could you, Jan?

Here’s a really cute top down baby sweater. But I’ll warn you, read through the entire directions first on this one. I kept knitting away doing all the increases. The sweater ended up looking like it would fit King Kong. I found out later in the directions that I was supposed to quit long before that. You’re supposed to stop when the stitch counts reach 22 sts and 40 sts. I ended up ripping out a couple of inches. I wasn’t pleased with the pattern designer. She could have told me that sooner! Regardless, this is a simple easy pattern. You can knit this all in one color if you prefer.

Edit: The two paragraphs following the heading At the Same Time should be before that heading. This is where I messed up doing too many increases. It eliminates a couple of the increases after so many rows.

Raglan Cardigans
Garter yoke cardigan

Classic cardi

This one has a yoke with increases rather than raglan seams and some detailing. It’s easy though.

Does anyone have an adult/teen top-down seamless sweater pattern they could link? I tried to make a seamed sweater, and it was awful.