Tips for Your First Sweater

Sowflake by Tin Can Knits

A couple Staurdays ago I spent the afternoon hanging out at Knit Culture Studio and making great progress on my “Snowflake” pictured above. Never knitted a sweater? Do it! It’s exciting! I’m not a seasoned knitter, but maybe that is exactly why I should be knitting sweaters. After all, experience teaches us that silly mistakes can have enormous, yarn-barfy consequences. So far I’ve learned that while it’s easy to make said mistakes, it’s also easy to avoid the most common mistakes! Here’s what I’ve learned so far about proactive sweater knitting:

Yarn That Inspires You Might Actually Become Something
Last year I attempted a cardigan  in a drab yet suitable yarn — which led to the most promiscuous knitting period of my life. For my “Snowflake” I went for beautiful hand-dyed SweetGeorgia Superwash DK in ‘Riptide’. The color is rich and deep, and every time I pick it up and knit a few rounds I feel happy. In fact I can hardly put it down!  I’m a huge fan of SweetGeorgia yarns,  and the SweetGeorgia Superwash DK comes in so many spectacular colors! Pictured below SweetGeorgia Superwash DK in ‘Lawn’, ‘Jade’ and ‘Rosebud’.

SweetGeorgia Superwash DK Lawn, Jade, Rosebud

Purchasing yarn for a sweater is always bit of an investment, but hey, we’re not knitting a sweaters because it’s cheaper –  we knit sweaters for pure creative bliss!

Do Some Research and Make it Your Sweater!Snowflake by Tin Can Knits
The original “Snowflake” design created by Tin Can Knits using SweetGeorgia Superwash DK.  The lace yoke is set off by knitting in a contrast color. Beautiful, right?

At first I wanted mine to turn out exactly like the sample shown, and went ahead and ordered two colors of SweetGeorgia Superwash DK. But I made some swatches, took another look through the finished projects on Ravelry, and realized that I would get more use out of a solid color sweater. So I made the decision to deviate a little, and knit mine in one color (‘Riptide’). It’s not a huge change, but it makes it feel like my special “Snowflake”.  :)

When in doubt – COUNT YOUR STITCHES!
This is an obvious one. But I missed a few increases under the lace yoke while knitting socially. Instead of berating myself, or swearing off sweater knitting entirely, I worked some m1′s discreetly on non-increase rows.  However, if I would have been more proactive about counting, I would have saved myself all the trouble. I’ve found it helps counting accuracy to  mark sets of fifty stitches with little ‘flags’ of waste yarn.

how to count your stitches

Read ahead in the pattern!
Before casting-on, read through the instructions and visualize the sweater coming together as you do it. If you’re confused, get help deciphering at your LYS. Or, go to the Ravelry forums! There are literally millions of knitters using now, and I’ve never had to wait longer than thirty minutes for an answer.

After correcting the stitch count on my “Snowflake”, it was time to join in the round and set aside stitches for the sleeves. That’s when I noticed that I had the right total number of stitches, but the number of stitches in the arm, chest and back sections was off by a few. If I had taken the time to read ahead in the pattern, I would have seen the number of stitches I needed for each section, and I would have been more strategic with the m1′s.

Snowflake by Tin Can Knits

Ready to embark on your own sweater? Stop in this weekend and we’ll be happy to help you on your way!
Happy knitting!
Emma G.

Useful Links:
Check out the “Snowflake” pattern by Tin Can Knits!
Shop SweetGeorgia Superwash DK!
More yarns from SweetGeorgia!
Visit the Tin Can Knits blog!

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