This is a two-part class. Both sections of the class will automatically be placed in your cart when you select one of the sessions.
We live in a golden age of fibers with a sometimes overwhelming number of yarns to choose from.
There are few things as satisfying as being able to knit your very own sweater. But even if you’ve knit many other types of projects, knitting sweaters can involve many techniques and concepts that might still be unfamiliar to you. This class will serve as a firm foundation for your first sweater and teach you all of the techniques you will encounter along the way. Students will come to class with a specific sweater pattern (see Supplies List below and pictures in description) and several blocked swatches which will help us to learn how to make a gauge swatch and measure accurately; we will then continue to work on the swatches as we go through the pattern, using them to try out the various techniques that will be needed throughout the sweater-knitting process and ensuring that you will be familiar with everything you need to know before you embark on your sweater, including methods of casting on and binding off, increases and decreases, selvedge stitches, keeping track of lengths and stitch patterns, blocking, seaming, and neckline treatments. We will also discuss general topics relating to sweater knitting including choosing a size, ease guidelines, how gauge affects the size you will get and how yarn choice determines the fabric you will get. Your class materials include an extensive handout to support all of the techniques covered. You will leave ready to begin your first sweater with confidence.
Technique Requirements: knit/purl, cast on/bind off, increase/decrease, have completed several projects, basic finishing techniques
Print your pattern and read it through. Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything you read, but it’s vital to have a general sense of what the pattern includes in order to use our class time efficiently. Make note of any terms or concepts that are unfamiliar to you so we can cover them in class.
Make 3 swatches (see Abbreviations below)
Swatch 1: Following the needle sizes given in the Kobolt sweater pattern (see Supplies List), cast on 40 sts with Size 10 needle and the Longtail Method and work in K1, P1 rib for 1” as follows:
Rib row 1 (WS): *K1, p1; repeat from * to last 2 sts, k1, sl 1 pwise wyif.
Rib row 2 (RS): *K1, p1; repeat from * to last 2 sts, k1, sl 1 pwise wyif.
Repeat these 2 rows until piece measures 1", ending after a WS row.
Change to US 10.5 (6.5 mm) needles.
Next row (RS): Knit to last st, sl 1 pwise wyif.
Next row (WS): K1, purl to last st, sl 1 pwise wyif.
Continue in stockinette stitch, always knitting the first st and slipping the last st of each row pwise wyif. Work until swatch measures 6" from cast-on edge. Bind off loosely.
Swatch 2: Cast on 14 sts with Size 10 needle and work in K1, P1 rib as for Swatch 1.
Change to US 10.5 (6.5 mm) needles and work in stockinette stitch as for Swatch 1. Work until swatch measures 6" from cast-on edge. Bind off loosely.
Swatch 3: Cast on 14 sts with Size 10 needle and work in K1, P1 rib as for Swatch 1.
Change to US 10.5 (6.5 mm) needles and work 4 rows of stockinette. You will have just completed a WS row. Leave sts on the needle and yarn attached to continue with in class.
Block swatches No. 1 and 2 as follows: Fill a basin with cool water and a small amount of rinseless wool wash or mild soap/shampoo. Immerse swatches and allow to soak for at least 20 minutes. Rinse in fresh water, then squeeze as much excess water from the swatches as possible. Wrap in a towel and press on them firmly to remove remaining water. Reshape and lay flat to dry. If you have them, you may use blocking wires and/or T-pins to pin the edges flat.
sl 1 pwise wyif: slip 1 stitch as if to purl with yarn in front. This creates a slipped chain selvedge at either edge of the swatch (there will be a full explanation of selvedges in class). Slipping a stitch as if to purl simply moves the stitch from the left needle to the right needle, without twisting it.
RS: right side
WS: wrong side
HANDOUT: A handout will be made available in the Event Hub the week of the event, please download and print it prior to class.
PATTERN: We will be working from the Kobolt Sweater pattern (available on Ravelry from Sarah Solomon Designs). Please purchase the pattern before class and bring a printed copy with you. We will be marking up the pattern together in class. NOTE: A new version of the pattern with an extended size range will be available in early February; if you purchase the pattern before the new version has been added to Ravelry you will be automatically updated when the new version is uploaded.
The new Kobolt pattern will be available soon but in case you are ordering or looking for yarn here is the new size range and the yardage amounts for the updated pattern. We will be discussing choosing a size in class so if you just want order one skein to work with in class that is perfectly fine and even recommended. If you are purchasing a sweater amount be aware: yardage estimates for this pattern include padding of 10% to account for swatching and differences in knitting style but because we will be swatching more extensively in this class you may wish to get an extra skein for that purpose––however swatches can always be ripped out, washed and the yarn re-used if you need it. If you want to purchase a sweater amount before the class please look at the ease guidelines below to assist you in choosing a size.
1 (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)
38.75 (41.25, 43.5, 45.75, 48, 51.5, 54.75, 58.25, 62.75, 66.25, 69.75)" bust circumference
Shown in size 43.5"
Choose 4-6" ease for a relaxed fit or 6-9" of ease for a more oversized fit
Woolfolk Luft (55% Ovis 21 Ultimate Merino®/45% organic pima cotton, 109 yds per 50 g skein)
10 (11, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19) skeins in color no. L05
Or 1055 (1110, 1185, 1305, 1375, 1475, 1575, 1695, 1800, 1935, 2045) yds
YARN The pattern calls for Woolfolk Luft and although it is always easiest to approach a pattern with the recommended yarn, for the purposes of this class you can you can use another yarn that gets you the pattern gauge of 14 stitches and 19 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch (suggested needle Size US 10.5/6.5 mm). It can be tricky to get the pattern gauge when substituting yarn but it is an important part of the sweater process that we will discuss and you will learn from whatever yarn you choose to work with. If would like an alternative yarn choice, the following bulky yarns will yield a similar gauge: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Chunky, Cascade Ecological Wool or Eco+, Alafosslopi, Plymouth Encore Chunky, Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky, Istex Blue Sky Fibers Techno, Tahki Yarns Aston, and Lang Yarns Malou, and Rowan Cocoon. If you have questions about yarn choice once you’ve signed up for the class please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lighter colors and smooth yarns will be easier to see and work with; if you substitute yarn please avoid novelty or excessively fuzzy yarns.
QUANTITY: It is only necessary to purchase and use one skein of yarn for the class; if you buy a sweater quantity of yarn for the pattern, wind one skein only and check with where you purchased the yarn about their return policy for unwound skeins. There is always a chance in the swatching process that you can discover that you don’t actually like the yarn you chose or that it is not suited to the pattern; this is an important part of the process so only wind what you need to swatch with, in case you change your mind.
SWATCHES: You will knit three swatches with your chosen yarn before coming to class; a larger gauge swatch and two smaller swatches. During class we will continue working on each of these swatches to practice all of the techniques involved in the sweater pattern. Please bring your blocked swatches (No. 1 and 2), Swatch No. 3 attached to the needles and remainder of the skein you used, along with the yarn care label.
NEEDLES: Bring the needles you used for your swatch as well as needles a size smaller than the gauge needle. Please bring circular needles though we will be knitting flat; if you have an interchangeable set this is an ideal time to use them.
NOTES: Before class, count the number of stitches and rows in 4” of fabric, record those numbers and bring them to class. Don’t be concerned if you are entirely accurate, it’s just important that you have tried on your own before class as this will help identify what you find challenging about the measuring process so we can discuss as a group.
TOOLS: You will also need: a notebook, pencil, clear plastic ruler or tape measure, a few locking stitch markers, a darning/yarn needle, scissors and a calculator (the one on your phone is fine).