Insane Sweater Knitting Patterns, Part I

You might remember the “insane blanket patterns” series I published several months ago, and that it was inspired by a fantastic blanket — a Super Mario Brothers blanket.  Well, a few months ago I found another article that related to another fantastic knitting project: the Taylor Swift sweater.

While the Taylor Swift sweater took a comparatively less insane 8 months to knit (as opposed to the 6 years that were consumed by the knitting of the Super Mario Brothers blanket), I still have to believe that this is one of the most insane sweaters ever knitted. It’s quite incredible, isn’t it?

If you’ve read this website and the Knitting Nuggets Newsletter for a decent length of time, you probably know what’s coming. I read this article and thought, “I need to find free knitting patterns for other insane sweaters!”

Insane sweaters were a lot harder to find than insane blankets. That might simply be because sweaters are, presumably, items that you wear out in public. It takes a special person (i.e., a very brave one!) to wear a truly crazy sweater. So most knitting patterns for sweaters are fairly sedate.

Another reason could be that sweater patterns are generally a bit trickier than blanket patterns. Sweater patterns require very careful seaming or circular knitting, schematics, and proper fit, all things that
most blanket patterns don’t require. So combining an already more difficult sweater pattern with crazy details may seem outright cruel to a pattern designer!

That doesn’t, of course, mean that there aren’t still some pretty insane sweater patterns out there. I’ve found intensely complex lace sweaters, completely bonkers intarsia or fair isle, or patterns with barely comprehendible instructions with lace and/or colorwork. And, I’ve managed to find 3 posts’ worth!

So buckle in and enjoy the first of three posts of insane sweater patterns!

Let the Insanity Begin

Amors Arrow Sweater: This sweater doesn’t look all that insane, but the construction is like nothing I’ve ever seen. Plus it uses some very different knitting stitches that one doesn’t necessarily find in a single pattern. It’s a beautiful sweater though, and I just might try it someday (maybe when my children are grown and out of the house and I have nothing else to consume my time!).

Anna’s Sweater: I am simultaneously awed and completely confused by this sweater. Click the link (ostensibly for pattern access) on the Ravelry page and you’ll see what I mean. (It may have had more detailed instructions at one point; the photos were posted in 2009.) 

Avant-Garde Tunic: Unlike the Amors Arrow Sweater, this is an insane sweater that looks decidedly insane indeed! Not only is there a different pattern instruction for almost every row, but you’re using a variety of needle sizes and yarn weights throughout. Even the instructions for knitting a gauge swatch are complicated! 

Brilliante Pullover: This lacy pullover has some of the most intricate charts I’ve ever seen. Some of the symbols in the chart, I didn’t even recognize. To top it off, the edging is done in crochet. Whew! (If you’re brave enough to take a peek, you’ll have to click the link on the Ravelry page, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the second-to-last photo to access the pattern.) 

Cardigan in Camelia with Stars: As if the cardigan filled with fair isle isn’t enough, there’s a companion pattern for matching socks. I feel like one or the other would be enough to make a knitter cry “uncle” on its own, but what do I know? 

Cardigan Lilies: Click link. Look at photo. Allow jaw to drop. 

Checkmate: The finished product looks amazing. Reading the pattern made me dizzy. Checkmate, indeed. 

Tune in for Part II in a couple of weeks for even more insane sweater knitting patterns!