There are a lot of blog posts, and entire books, dedicated to successful sweater knitting. It can be overwhelming and a lot to wade through. It can make knitting garments seem far more intimidating than it really is. Here are the top things I do when I am getting ready to knit and/or knitting a garment.
- Pick a pattern that fits your style. I have often knit items because they look nice on the model or fun to knit, but they don’t really suit my wardrobe or style. You don’t want to invest so much time and effort into something that just sits in a closet or drawer.
- Print out the pattern. With digital patterns, it is so tempting to knit from an iPad or phone. I find it difficult because I constantly loose my spot, and making notes is a challenge. I write all over my patterns, so a printed copy is a must. Also, read through the whole pattern before starting.
- If you are substituting yarns, make sure it is an appropriate substitute in the fabric that it makes. It’s not just about weight and gauge – the spinning and fibre content can make a big difference too. Make sure you have enough of it too.
- Check your gauge throughout the project. I will confess that I don’t always swatch, especially when it’s a yarn I work with often. I always swatch when working with something new. But, I check my gauge a lot especially as I first start knitting. I am lucky that my knitting almost always matches what patterns are written for. I do, however, check my gauge a lot throughout the project. It’s mostly for confidence. But, there can be variations in tension as the project gets bigger (and heavier) or between knitting sessions.
- When joining a new ball of yarn, do it at the underarm or place where the join can be concealed.
- Block! It makes a big difference in the final project. I didn’t believe in blocking, but especially as I began working with more woolen spun, natural fibers, I realized how much the yarn blooms and softens.
Did I miss any of your favorite tricks and/or tips? Feel free to share yours!