This year I challenged myself to knit a sweater a month. Having only just gotten comfortable with lace stitches and more complicated patterns at the beginning of 2015, this was a good challenge for me to take on in order to expand my skill set and hopefully, one day, get to a point where I feel confident designing my own knits. It also doesn;t hurt that there’s a prize incentive from Tin Can Knits – though just sticking to the task of a sweater a month feels like a huge accomplishment in and of itself. I’m pleased to say that I’m on track to knit 12 sweaters once i finish a gift for my partner.
Skills that I have learned this year – knit wise:
- top-down seamless sweaters
- short rows
- wrap & turn
- crochet on edges
- provisional cast ons
- I-cord edging and attached I-cord
- bottom-up, in the round seamless
- sleeves, two at a time, on one needle
- stranded colourwork
- intarsia colour work
- duplicate stitch
- swatching (this will come into play later)
Here’s my year of sweaters:
January – Outer Space
This is a top-down knit by Stephen West called Outer Space. It was a great first knit as the gauge doesn’t really matter and it ends up being a wearable blanket. It also can be worn down so that it’s floppy or if you hike the sleeves it’s more square. All around, a versatile, cozy knit
February – The Prairie Fire
The Prairie Fire by Tin Can Knits. Another top-down design, I learned ,my lesson in not swatching from this pattern. While I *thought*sized it correctly, I should have done a swatch as it ended up being a sweater-dress rather than a sweater. However, it looks pretty darn good with a belt and some leggings underneath! If you want to see what the properly sized pattern looks like – take a look at Emma’s dark blue version, it’s delightful!
March & April – Flax two ways
I had to make sweaters for some little ones and Tin Can Knit’s Flax sweater is probably the most versatile pattern you could find. It’s a free pattern, top-down and part of the Simple Collection – a collection designed to help beginners get comfortable with knitting garments – there’s no end to how you can vary the pattern to make it your own. the sweater on the left is a MST3000 motif, knit into the sweater while the one on the right uses a duplicate stitch technique to applique the letter on – Weasley style.
May – Wenlock
I have had my eye on the Wenlock pattern since I picked up the Winter 2014 issue of Pom Pom magazine. Another of the Tin Can Knits designs, the yoke is very soft and has a great cluster-stutch pattern that creates interesting texture. Combined with cheerful colours from RainCity Knits and you have one colourful sweater!
June – Pandamonium
This is another one of Stephen West’s design’s, albeit without the panda that was freehand embroidered on the front. I have left mine plain, though I should probably jazz it up with a slice of pizza or something.
July – The Dark Mark
Because I can’t get enough of that match-matchy type thing that is borderline gross in couples, I made my partner a Cowichan – style vest with a Harry Potter theme to match one I had previously made for myself. I took a basic Cowitchan vest pattern and then combined several of Ravelry’s dark mark patterns to make one that fit on the back of the vest and had enough detail to be obvious what it was.
August – The Glam Lamb
Yet another Stephen West design, this is probably one of the coziest wraps that I have made. I love it, the big shawl collar and the contrasting sleeves are a dream. (I promise this is the last westknits design for this year, but really – do yourself a favour and pick up Westknits at Home)
September – Winter’s Vest
My sister became pregnant and my second niece was born on October 29th! This was the vest I knit as a welcome baby gift. It’s a Purl Soho design and has some pretty interesting features, such as the attached I-cord ties and I-cord added to the armholes and collar.
October – Honeycombs
This was my first time knitting a cable sweater and it was an interesting affair. The pattern I used was Pickles’ Sweet Honey Sweater. This was truly the sweater that would never end. I ended up using twice the amount of wool teh pattern called for and my local ran our of the blue-grey colour I was using so I had to do colour-blocked sleeves and collar to finish out the project. That being said, this is an incredibly cozy and delightful sweater. I love how boxy it is and it’s prefect as a light jacket for fall.
November – Cumbria
This is a sweater that I picked up from KnitPicks. It was my first time making separate sleeves (trust me – seamless is the way to go if you can) and the pattern was just enough thought that you couldn’t do it brainlessly on the bus. It does get rave compliments, however I think i just need to add 4 inches to the sleeves every future pattern as they always seem to end up 3/4 length.
December – Vetur (in progress)
This is my last sweater of the year. It’s Lopi for my partner and my first effort at stranded colourwork. So far so good! I hope to have it done in time for that large holiday that comes later this month, but even if it’s done slightly afterwards, I think I can pull it out of the bag to be finished by January 1st!
Update Dec 20th – The sweater is complete! My Dad agreed to model it for the internet so thanks Dad! The neon really comes through without being overwhelmingly bright and it was a lot of fun making the yoke. (Cross your fingers for me in the draw!)
What did you knit this year?