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How to Knit a Sweater… Even If It Scares You

If “learn to knit a sweater” is on your knitting bucket list, here’s help! A plethora of tutorials plus a smattering of simple sweater patterns can get you on your way

Many knitters dream of knitting the ultimate challenge: a sweater.

(I almost wrote “many beginning knitters,” but here’s what I’ve learned: many knitters who’ve knitted for years have never knitted a sweater!)

In fact, I was once one of those knitters. I only decided to get over my trepidation when my husband asked if I could knit him a sweater. (Yes–that handsome guy at the bottom of this post is he!)

I wasn’t sure I could knit him a sweater! But I love my husband, and he rarely requests that I knit him anything. (The only other knitted item he’s ever requested has been a hat. Which has not prevented me from knitting lots of things for him he hasn’t asked for, mind. 😉)

To be sure, sweaters can be challenging for even the most seasoned knitter. They do require skills that take time and practice to learn, such as circular knitting and/or seaming, picking up stitches, short rows, and so on. And, of course, a sweater has to fit the person you’re knitting for, which can feel very daunting!

That’s why below you’ll find a series of tutorials to help you learn those crucial skills necessary to knit your very first sweater! You’ll also find a few handy knitting patterns to help you overcome your fear and dive straight in.

(Links marked with an asterisk * are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking, I may receive a commission, but it costs you nothing extra. Thank you!)

Learning to Knit Sweaters

How to Knit a Jumper: VickyKnits FREE Pattern for Beginners: Let’s start with this delightful video tutorial from VickyKnits of LoveCrafts. I adore it straight off because of her fabulous accent and voice! I also love that you’ll use chunky yarn, which of course means a quicker knit. 😉

How to Knit a Sweater: Skills, Tips, and Great Patterns to Try: What I like about this article is that it explains the knitting skills you’ll need to successfully knit a sweater. And with each skill, you’ll find a link to another helpful article so that you can learn and master that skill.

After this, you’ll find a collection of sweater patterns for beginners. Then you’ll find a few more tips on gauge and finishing (including links to help you with each)

*Knits for Everybody Worsted Weight Sweater Class: This free KnitPicks tutorial offers not only step-by-step instructions on knitting the sweater, but also on how to create a gauge swatch to help you ascertain the best needles for your project. (While the class is free, the “Knits for Everybody” pattern does require purchase.)

Sweater Knitting Patterns Perfect for the Beginner

Basic Elements Sweater: If you don’t feel quite the need for a full-blown tutorial, but you’d just like a good, basic, easy first-timer’s sweater, try out this very simple pattern that comes in 8 sizes (based on bust/chest size, from 32 to 60 inches).

Adorable Baby Sweaters: Baby sweaters are a fantastic way to practice sweater-knitting skills on a much smaller scale! Try one of the 9 precious patterns offered here.

*The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns: This is the book that allowed me to knit a sweater for my husband. I can’t say enough good about it! You can choose the style of sweater you like as well as the size. Plug measurements into the pattern and you’ll be given exactly the instructions you need. You can purchase this book via the Amazon block below:

These tutorials and patterns will, I hope, make you ready to try to conquer sweater knitting — even if you find the idea intimidating. You can do it!

How to Knit a Sweater

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