Photo Jun 05, 8 42 00 AM


I will conquer this sweater. I am the master of the yarn and the needles. They will not better me. They are inanimate objects. I have a brain and opposable thumbs and I will be the victor of this struggle.

A while ago, I got the idea of a sweater into my head and thought to myself, “Someday, maybe you will be brave enough to design your own sweater pattern and share it’s awesomeness with the world.” So I sketched it quickly on my iPad and set it aside for a bit. But I couldn’t get the idea out of my brain. It was a pesky little idea worm that had wedged its way in there and I just found myself continually thinking about how I really just wanted to knit it …now.

The only problem is that I have never actually knit a sweater from scratch. I’ve modified patterns to better fit me or change the colorwork, but I’ve always had a starting place that someone else had figured out for me. And I knew it had a pretty good chance of working out fairly well. I like that sort of security. I had this fear that I would take the leap into starting from scratch, but that I would just end up sitting in a pile of yarn with my knitting needles thinking, “Okay, so how do I actually start this thing…” Also, the idea of figuring out how to grade a sweater pattern to fit different sizes was eye-twitch inducing (but let’s not go there now because my brain doesn’t want to think about maths on a Friday).

But let me tell you something I’ve learned through this whole “learning to knit” thing, the internet is full of amazing. It is full of beautiful, smart, generous people who have gone through the scariness, figured it out, and are sharing their knowledge with the rest of us (FOR FREE!). (Don’t worry, I’ll share more about these super smarty-pants people and their wonderful knowledge soon, I promise.) So armed with some knowledge, a wee bit more confidence, and my own insanity, I went out, bought some yarn, and just decided to figure this thing out.

So far, I feel like I’ve spent equal proportions of time spent figuring out all the math (and then re-calculating it or second-guessing myself, changing things, and then realizing I had things correct at the start), knitting, and ripping out to starting over. I’m on my third try now. First, I didn’t like the rate of waist decreasing. Then I cast on the completely wrong size. And then I realized that the stitch design I had originally planned to use wasn’t giving me the effect I wanted, so I had to change the chart design and stitch pattern a wee bit. I’m feeling a little more optimistic on this try. So far, the sweater may have won a few battles, but I’m in it for the long haul. I will outlast this stubborn project, and it will have no choice but to give in to me and become a beautiful sweater (whether it wants to or not).

12 Comments on Third time’s the charm…

  1. Hello!
    I follow your blog since a few weeks and I really appreciate reading your notes.
    I’m sure you will overcome this new challenge, the needles don’t have brain neither wish to win 🙂
    “Courage” we say in French

    • I think the hardest part is just getting started. But once you finally start knitting, it isn’t so scary anymore. And there’s tons of websites out there to help you figure it for any type of construction.

  2. Amazing that you are stepping into the world of designing your own sweater, I wouldn’t even know where/how to start! You are the master of your needles, so good luck figuring this pattern out!

  3. I think you’re so brave! 🙂 I have no idea how to start knitting a sweater without pattern! And the stitch count and verything about decreasing and increasing! I admire your patience! Good luck!

  4. I’ve designed a few sweaters in the past and there is a lot of math involved! I appreciate all the time and effort a designer puts into a project now that I now how much thinking is involved. I cannot wait to see your sweater!

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