Knit Small to Learn Big
It is a typical day towards the end of May in Montana; snowing and cold. This has me itching to cast on a sweater! Sweaters are my very favorite thing to make, all year round. You never know when you might need to throw one on around here, even in the middle of August. Have you made your first sweater yet? Have you made 764 of them but want to try something new? A great way to try your first sweater or try a new skill on a sweater is to make a tiny version.....whip up a baby sweater!
We often recommend making a baby sweater to our fledgeling makers who want to try a garment. They are quick to make and you learn all the same basic techniques that are required to knit or crochet an adult garment. We've got some great pattern suggestions here to get you started as a sweater-maker, try a new technique, or just in case you have a little one in your life who needs a sweater.
Flax or Flax Light by Tin Can Knits
This is a great first sweater pattern or go-to reliable for a seasoned sweater-knitter. It is made in the round from the top down so there is no seaming, uses only basic knit and purl stitches, and has minimal shaping. You will learn how to make raglan increases, use double-pointed needles, and how to pick up stitches. The pattern is written for either worsted or fingering weight yarn, is unisex, and has an amazing size range; tiny baby all the way up to adult 6XL. This is often the pattern we use when we teach a First Sweater class. If you'd like a soft, machine washable baby sweater, we recommend Malabrigo Rios, worsted weight super-wash merino. Both pattern versions are available for free on Ravelry.
Love Note by Tin Can Knits
Love note is another great design from Tin Can Knits. It is also top-down with the same great size range. It calls for DK weight yarn, or you may also use a strand of fingering along with a strand of fuzzy lace-weight mohair if you'd like. This is a good way to see if you enjoy incorporating lace into your sweater knitting, and it's simple enough that it is suitable for your first try at lace or at sweater-knitting. We have print copies available in the shop, or you can head to Ravelry to purchase a digital copy. Here is our tiny version in Farmer's Daughter Juicy DK. So sweet!
Little Bit Frosted by Lisa K Ross
This pattern is a great way to give stranded knitting a try! It is worked from the top down in the round, so you won't have to purl while changing colors. The charts are clearly printed in color, with no long distances between colors (the key to simple color-work). It would look great in blues or pinks or neutrals to suit any color preference, and is sized from 6 months through child's 12. Smart from Sandnes Garn would be a perfect choice for this sweater....it comes in lots of great colors, is machine washable, and has just enough texture to keep your tension consistent. Once you learn the basics of color-work, you'll be set to tackle just about any stranded sweater you like! We have print patterns in the shop or you can download it on Ravelry.
Antler Cardigan by Tin Can Knits
If you have been wanting to give cables a try, the Antler Cardigan is a great choice. As with many Tin Can Knits designs, it has a great size range so you could make a little one for a baby and a matching one for you! This one is made seamlessly from the bottom up with simple cables on the yoke. Once you understand how cables are worked, you will see that you can do any cable pattern, no matter how complex it appears. If knitting for a baby, Malabrigo Rios or Berroco Vintage would be great washable choices. Pattern is available on Ravelry.
Karamell Sweater by Anna Erlandsson
The crochet Karamell sweater is often our choice for a first crochet sweater class. It is worked in worsted weight, in the round from the top down. It uses only double crochets, so there are no complicated stitches to worry about. Although the pattern sizes begin at 4T and go through adult, it would be simple to make a smaller size by simply using a smaller yarn and smaller hook. Add some simple stripes or go with a solid color; either way, it's adorable! We have an adult size version here in the shop; we used Vintage. The pattern is free on Ravelry and we have lots of great yarn choices, give us a call or stop in to chat about them.
Once you have tried any of these techniques out on a tiny sweater, you will be so ready to make one in your own size. We are here to help you get started whenever you are ready!