What are the Best Tips for Making a Knitted Sweater?

Helena Reimer

When making a knitted sweater for the first time, it is important for the knitter to follow a pattern that provides step-by-step instructions. Thereafter, one can take a pattern and alter it to make a one-of-a-kind sweater or to design a new pattern. A detailed chart, drawing or template will help one to create the desired shape and size when designing a sweater. If following a pattern, one should read over the pattern and gather all the necessary material before beginning the knitting project. The yarn and knitting needles used to make the knitted sweater should be able to create a fabric swatch that matches the gauge provided in the pattern.

Yarn for knitting.
Yarn for knitting.

The first step in making a knitted sweater is taking measurements of the person's upper body in order to determine what size to make the sweater. This will then help the knitter to determine the required amount of yarn, all of which should be purchased at the same time to ensure that all yarn is of the same shade. In addition, any alterations to the knitted sweater can change the amount of yarn needed and should be factored in before making the purchase.

Sport weight yarn makes light sweaters.
Sport weight yarn makes light sweaters.

A gauge is the number of stitches and rows per inch (2.54 cm). It is important for the knitter to do a gauge check before starting the sweater, because it will help to make sure that the finished sweater is the correct size. A smaller knitting needle will result in more stitches per inch (2.54 cm), and a larger needle will result in fewer stitches. Every individual knits at a different tension, so one might have to experiment with different needles in order to obtain the correct gauge.

Intarsia knitting is great for making winter sweaters, but it can get confusing because of all the different colored yarns. Therefore, a simple pattern for beginners is suitable. One should also make sure to use yarns that are of the same thickness, because any strand that does not match can distort the design on the knitted sweater. A chart or a template can help to design a sweater with an intarsia design. Any old sweater, picture or drawing can serve as a template during the design process.

Before joining the seams, the fabric can be pinned together along all seams and blocked overnight. This step helps set the shape and allows for a better drape of the knitted sweater. After blocking, the seams can be sewn using an invisible slip stitch that is worked from the right side and directly into the edges of the fabric. For future mending, a small amount of extra yarn can be worked into the seams of the sweater.

It is important to consider the gauge, or number of stitches and rows per inch, of a pattern when knitting a sweater.
It is important to consider the gauge, or number of stitches and rows per inch, of a pattern when knitting a sweater.

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