It’s official: I’m making my first sweater.
I’ve worked at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City for two years and now that I am the Brand Ambassador for the company I thought I would take on a knitting fear: making my own sweater. I’ve been a knitter for a good portion of my life and I have yet to conquer knitting a sweater. How is it that I have knitted plenty of socks and not a sweater? This makes no sense to me, so I am going to rectify the situation.
Every Wednesday night, from February 11th – March 18th, I’m taking part in a Knit-Along at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City. In an ideal situation, I’d finish my sweater by the 18th of March, but this is my first sweater so give I’ll give myself a little slack. The pattern I’m following is The Essential Fall Pullover made with Heartland®. I decided to get a little creative and instead of doing the three colors that the pattern calls for, I will be doing two. I’ll be using Black Canyon for the front and back, and for the side panels and sleeves I’m going to be using Biscayne. I chose Black Canyon as the main color for the sweater because, like many people who live in NYC, black is a prominent color in my wardrobe. On the other hand, I’m also trying to get a little more colorful, so I decided to incorporate Biscayne for the sleeves and side panels. It will give it a nice “pop” and allow me to dress it down and up!
Since I worked in the studio for two years, I had the chance to really get to know my co-workers, and I got to see how talented and creative they truly are. Ann, who is the instructor for the KAL, is a machine knitter and teaches machine knitting at the studio, but she also is so creative when it comes to knitting garments. When I found out that Ann would be the instructor for the KAL, I was sold, it would guarantee that for at least once a week for the next month, I would get to see her. Her creativity is infectious and it inspired me to take this sweater making to another level.
For the first meeting she showed up with sketches (that she had made) of what her sweater would look like with the colors she chose. She also suggested going to Pinterest for color inspiration. I thought that was a really clever idea and plan on using that for other projects as well!
As you can see I started the ribbing for the back of my sweater. But the main reason for writing this is because I need your support in completing this project. There have been so many times that I have wanted to make a sweater and I’ve second guessed myself even though I know I have the skills.
So, I Need You – You Wise Knitters And Crocheters – Give Me Your Best Sweater Advice And Support!
Before I really get into the nitty-gritty of the back portion of the sweater – do you have any good tips for me as I embark on this journey? What did your first sweater look like? Is there something you are too nervous to make because it’s just overwhelming?
It’s our final week of the knit along. Time to talk about finishing up and showing off our projects! I hope that throughout the knit along you have been able to pick up skills and tricks that have not only helped you in this project, but that will carry over into others and help you approach lace with more confidence.
So who feels like that 90 inches is just too far away?
Rather than letting the shawl hibernate in your works in progress basket you may be able to modify it and finish up early. If it’s too short for a shawl it might make a great cowl. Just sew the two ends together and you’ll have a stylish accessory that will carry you right into the winter!
If it is long enough to wrap around your shoulders you can use a shawl pin to keep it closed and wear it like a stole like I did.
Now if you made it all the way to 90 inches you might find the shawl a little unruly at times. To keep it in place, try sewing a few buttons along one edge of the shawl. You’ll then be able to wrap the shawl around you any way you like and secure it by using the yarn overs as button holes.
No matter how you style it you’ll have a beautiful project that everyone will be so impressed that you made! I hope you all have had fun and learned a lot. Keep your questions coming this week as your projects move toward the finish line!
|About Grace: Grace DiLorenzo has been knitting for the last 10 years. What started as a hobby quickly grew into a passion. Her favorite things to make are garments and lace. As a teacher at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City she has been able to share her love of yarn crafting teaching beginning through advanced knitting and yarn dyeing classes. She has lead the first four in studio knit alongs and is excited to do it again!|
Welcome back everyone! It’s week four, just one more week to go until we wrap up the knit along. Hopefully we’re all starting to get some good length accumulated on our shawls but I’m sure for some it feels like that 90 inches will never come. Don’t worry, one great thing about doing a project with such large needles is that it will move quickly. If you are getting close to 90 inches keep in mind that your shawl will grow a bit when you block it. When measuring, give the shawl a stretch, you may actually be there before you know it!
Welcome back everybody. Its week three, we’re halfway through the knit along and I’m sure you are all starting to see some progress. Some of you may be cruising along without a care but more likely you’ve ripped back so many times that if you have to do it again you’ll be ripping out some hair as well! This week I’ll show you how you can save the work you’ve already done, and your sanity, with a lifeline.
A lifeline is a piece of yarn that you thread though a row of stitches. Once it’s in place you can rip back to the lifeline if needed without disturbing any of the work below it. I like to put a lifeline in after finishing a pattern repeat or after any part that I’ve struggled with and don’t want to risk having to do it again. To put a lifeline in thread a needle with some waste yarn then thread the yarn through each stitch on your needle.
Welcome back everybody! I hope you all had a fun week of swatching and getting started. This week I want to focus on something that is inevitable with lace knitting and many of you may have already run into…mistakes. The most common mistake in lace knitting is missing a yarn over. It is such an easy mistake to make that even veteran lace knitters make it from time to time. How do you know if this has happened to you? If you get to the end of a row and don’t have enough stitches to complete the pattern, you have missed a yarn over. Although it may be tempting to just add a stitch and move on this will throw off the whole look of the pattern. To fix it you’ll have to get to the root of the problem. I’m going to give you a couple tricks to help find the offending missed yarn over and fix it.
The first thing you’ll want to make sure of is that you don’t go too far past the mistake. One good thing to do is to count your stitches at the end of each lace row. Being able to “read” your knitting is another helpful skill. This is like retracing your steps to find the spot where things went wrong. Just read through the pattern stitch by stitch and try to recognize those stitches in your row. The yarn overs are the easiest to recognize, just a big hole. If it says YO in the pattern and you don’t see a hole, bingo! You have found it! This can be difficult to do so don’t worry if you can’t see it at first.