Taking the Plunge - First Real Sweater

Well I went through the basic exercises in the Knitting Basics book and halfway finished the Teddy Bear sweater till I ran out of yarn.

So I went to the local yarn shop yesterday to ask about classes and they told me the beginner’s classes were too basic for me (the first class you just knit, the second class you just purl and the third class you learn to bind off) but I might like a Pattern Help class.

So I picked out a sweater pattern from their easy stack, got the yarn, needles, stitch markers, etc.

Now I’m having a case of nerves. The pattern is Weekend Neckdown Pullover #224 from Knitting Pure and Simple and it is basically stockinette stitch with broken rib stitch at the neck and cuffs. Sounds simple, right?

But its knit from the top down on circular and double-pointed needles and I haven’t knit on either. OK, I tried knitting on the circular needles so it wasn’t so bad, but the pattern calls for switching to double-pointed needles for the yoke. Yikes, I have visions of dropping stitches all across the double-pointed needles.

On a bright note,the yarn I’m using is a wonderful denim shade of Cascade Magnum wool.

Wish me luck!

I think you may start the sweater on the circs, but knitting flat for a few rows, so that will help you transition. If your needle is long enough you can use the longer circular with the Magic Loop technique (shown on the Advanced Techniques page) or the single loop variation of it.

Luck to you!!! I avoided any sweater or anything that would have to fit like the plague till someone once told me…Dont worry so much, it wont bite. High five for jumping in!! You will be fine!! it will be an amazing feeling when you get it done!! Just remember it is a learning experiance. We all have our “first sweaters” lol but it leads on to bigger and better things. You just need to enjoy yourself, dont stress, and try to learn from it.

If you need any help, we are all here for ya!! :grphug:

Thanks ladies. :slight_smile:

Suzy, I will definitely check that Magic Loop technique though I really wanted to limit the advanced skills to have to learn for my first sweater. I guess there’s a limit to how simple even the simplest sweater pattern can be.

Last night I found another wrinkle. The yarn shop sold me the 32 inch size 17 circular needles because I supposedly wouldn’t need the smaller ones until the sleeves. But when I got home last night and read the pattern carefully, I realized that the neck calls for the 16 inch size 15 circular needles. Ouch! I tried casting on 38 stitches for the neck on the larger needles but the stitches were stretching way too much.

As a test, I just started casting on stitches and was able to get 72 stitches on those needles. The second cast on was looser and I was able to knit with 45 or so but I don’t think this length of circular needles is good for the small number of stitches I’ll be starting with.

I’m thinking I should go back to the yarn store and get the smaller needles. What do you all recommend?

This is where you use the Magic loop or single loop - where the sts aren’t enough to fit all the way around the needles. Cast on, pull the cord out between the sts halfway around, then you can join them. When you get to the loop, then pull out another loop and knit to there. After you do several increases and rows, then the sts will fit better. The pattern could have you start with the size 15s so the neck will be snugger, but can you get 38 sts over your head? Though I guess at 2 sts/inch it should fit. Once you get it started it should work out all right.

Watch the video on Magic Loop under the Advanced Technique tab. It’s really not hard at all and once you get the hang of it, it will be a technique you use over and over for all kind of projects.

Good luck on the sweater!

Oh, I wish I had seen your two posts before I ran to the yarn store!

I went ahead and bought the 16 inch needles. But I definitely will give the Magic Loop a try. Thanks ladies!

The pattern could have you start with the size 15s so the neck will be snugger, but can you get 38 sts over your head?

That is a concern I have. I’ve knit 10 rows of the collar which is a little less than 4 inches and I can’t see where it will go over my head. The size I’m knitting is for a 42 inch chest which gives me 4 inches of ease around the chest so that should be more than enough but the collar looks awfully small.

After the collar you probably begin the raglan increases. Maybe you could start with 8 more sts (on the size 15s) which would be how many you’d have after the first increase round. So when you place your markers, you’ll have 2 more sts in each section, then just do the increases as written, though you may have to knit a few more rounds without increases before you separate off the sleeve sts. You should be trying on the sweater at that point so you know that it’s long enough to meet at the underarms.

Thanks a lot for the suggestion, suzeeq. I’ll try that out! I was wondering how I was going to be able to try the sweater on.