There's nothing worse than investing in a sweater quantity of yarn and countless hours of knitting only to end up with a sweater you don't like. What if we told you that the key to finding the right knit sweater pattern is already in your closet? With these tips, you'll learn how to knit a perfectly fitting sweater.
Did you know you can use your favorite commercially made sweaters to figure out what style of sweater you should knit? They give a great indication of fabric weight, ease of fit, and style of sweater that you like to wear. Even sweaters you don't like to wear help to narrow down what patterns to avoid! Consider these key factors as you go through your closet, and make notes to help you pick out your ideal sweater knitting pattern.
The thickness of your ideal sweater is a personal preference – some people love bulky, warm sweaters. Others can't handle more than a little extra warmth! Take note of the weight of your favorite sweaters – what gauge or yarn weight do they closely resemble? Fingering weight, DK (double knit) weight, worsted weight, or even bulky & super bulky? Do you have a preference for fiber types – wool, acrylic, alpaca?
Many people overlook the amount of ease they prefer in sweaters. Some prefer a snug fit with negative ease across the bust – others prefer positive ease, making for a cozy sweater they can layer with shirts. When looking for your perfect sweater pattern, take note of the suggested ease the pattern calls for.
There are countless styles of sweater sleeves these days – inset, drop sleeves, balloon, even dolman! What neckline shape do you like wearing? Boatneck, V-neck, scoop-neck? What style of sweater do you prefer overall? Cropped? Layering? Pullover? Cardigan? Which style fits you best, or what do you prefer to wear? Once you've narrowed that down, you can look for sweater knitting patterns that match those styles.
Now that you've made notes about your sweater preferences, use them to narrow down your next sweater pattern – we have almost 200 sweater patterns to pick from! Don't forget to consider your level of knitting skills, and your patience! Often times we see knitters abandon complex sweater projects simply because of overwhelm. Some of the simplest patterns produce our favorite sweaters – like Andrea Mowry's Weekender sweater.
Don't forget to knit, wash, and block a gauge swatch as directed by your chosen pattern! Certain fibers bloom after washing and blocking, meaning you'll end up with a much larger sweater than intended if you don't block your swatch. This little extra work makes a world of difference in the long run!