Always learning!

I’m still plugging away on Matt’s sweater. It served as a faithful companion for breaks during my week of comprehensive exams.


I’ve never designed a sweater before and part of this process is just being ok with ripping and reknitting. Maybe that’s just me, and other people can get it right from the start, but sometimes I find it hard to conceptualize how parts of the sweater will look without knitting it. I think once I hit that 10,000 hour mark and become an expert (according to Malcom Gladwell), I’ll be able to better visualize exactly what all the written instructions end up looking like in a 3-dimensional fashion. I know those front pieces look super skinny, but they are rolling in a lot right now before blocking.

I’ve also never even knitted a sweater for a man, so my understanding of appropriate-sized arm holes, etc. is limited. I was tempted to just use another pattern as a template and insert the design I wanted to use, but it seemed like a better learning exercise to start from scratch. Matt said that he wanted armholes with little ease. My initial measurements and attempt seemed to be too short, though I didn’t wet block it to be sure. I ended up ripping back a little and adding a couple of inches. I also changed the neckline decreases when it became they seemed to drastic at the beginning.

As noted in this post by Katie, I also totally understand why people charge six dollars (or more) for sweater patterns. There is a lot of time that goes into knitting an average sweater. When you add in the fact that you’re probably reknitting parts of it a couple of times, and have to figure out the math on a variety of sizes, it’s good to get a little compensation. I used to hate paying for knitting patterns and would try to make as many free ones as possible, but when I started designing I really began to appreciate the time an effort that goes into making patterns. And really, I throw down money on so much extraneous stuff (coffee, random sweet treats, eating out more than I should–ok, so mostly things I eat and drink) that buying a knitting pattern here and there is not such a big deal. Plus, sometimes for free patterns there might be less support when you come across an issue.

I am looking at other sweater patterns to see what kind of sizing the do for men’s sweaters, because if I write up this pattern I want to make sizes that work for a variety of people. There is also this handy guide from the Craft Yarn Council that I just found. Matt falls mostly into the medium size on this chart, and after looking it over, I feel pretty good that the sweater is going to measure up.

I have a few little projects for other people that I should also be working on…but I can’t resist this sweater! I want to see it come together. Out of 4 active projects, and 3 others that will be started soon, none of them are for me! I’m not disturbed by this, but I don’t think I’ve ever been this altruistic before!

12 thoughts on “Always learning!

  1. Love the cabling, hope it all comes together and fits, thats the best thing about baby knits they will usually fit one day, my little one has lots of cardigans for when she grows a bit!

  2. The CYC standards are definitely useful. Marnie MacLean also has a great tutorial on making spreadsheets to do the heavy lifting for you when grading patterns. Love the cables on the arms, btw!

  3. That look like it will be really beautiful! I’m dreading knitting a baby sweater, but designing and knitting an adult sweater while going to school and raising a baby? Dang girl! You’ve got some yarn balls. 🙂

  4. Does you husband have a favorite sweater or sweat shirt that you can use as a starting point? You can use it to measure armhole depth, etc. I work in my LYS and write some of the simple patterns that are used in classes. Even though I get a deep employee discount, the cost of yarn and needles used to knit up the samples and test knits gets expensive, and charging for the pattern would defray some of that cost.

  5. Pingback: Green sleeves | knit the hell out

  6. Pingback: Self-striping socks, I never tire of you. | knit the hell out

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s