One of my friends was talking the other week about how she’s always wanted to knit an adult-sized sweater but it was too daunting. I immediately told her she should make herself a Harvest – a simple, open-worn cardigan that’s part of the Tin Can Knits Simple Collection. Another friend piped in that she has had the pattern on her to-knit list for awhile. Before we realized it, we had planned for a KAL. I figured some of you may want to join us if our Harvest-a-Long.
- Pattern: Harvest from Tin Can Knits (free pattern*)
- Preparations (yarn, swatching, etc) – be ready by knitting start (info on this coming up)
- Start of knitting – 12 August, Noon Eastern
- Weekly posts to talk progress
- End of knitting – Eh, finish whenever. I’m guessing I’ll take 6 weeks or so to complete my sweater.
- Sharing your progress: Use the hashtag #harvestalong (and feel free to add in #oneliferecorded)
Preparation – Sizing, Yarn, Swatching/Selecting Needles
Okay, so you guys can go all crazy, choose whatever yarn and needles you have lying around, and picking whatever size looks good. I, on the other hand, am actually going to apply some real thinking and preparation.
Selecting Your Size
Have a friend/spouse/not so odd neighbor help measure your body at the four places specified in the pattern. You’ll pick your pattern size to make based on the bust measurement, adding or subtracting a bit, depending on how you like to wear your sweaters. I chose the pattern size just larger than my measured bust as I’m making myself this sweater to wear over my work clothes when it’s chilly in my office.
I made sure to note, right on the pattern’s first page, what mods I’m going to need in terms of upper arm measurement (add 1″), sleeve length (subtract 0.5″), and hem-to-underarm (subtract 1″) then took a picture of this so it was even harder to lose.
Picking a Yarn
Your size will tell you how much Worsted weight yarn you’ll need – me, for example, I’m going to need 1400 yards (ignoring the fact I need the two lengths reduced). The pattern calls for a 100% wool.
I’ve mentioned before that, while I can knit with most wools, I cannot wear them against my bare skin. After a search awhile ago for a good alternative in Worsted weight, I chose Berroco Remix., specifically the Eggplant colorway. And, yes, I know that the fiber content means it may not be as squishy or easy to knit with and the final product may be different, too, but it’ll work. If anything, it’ll be a bit larger once the cotton stretches out.
Yes, you really should swatch. A sweater takes lots of knitting and you’ll want it to turn out the size you expect. Make it nice and big – like 40 stitches wide and 45 or so rows. Notice that you’ll knit the pattern using two different needles, but it’s the larger of the two you use to swatch. I swatched yesterday, then washed and dried it via machine, the same treatment the final sweater will get. By some miracle, I was right-on for the stitches per inch. That cool thing you see on my swatch is the awesome Anne Budd Gauge Guide, a really handy tool I picked up a few weeks ago. (I did use it properly when I really measured, this photo was just for show.) The row gauge, well, that was off but that’s easily corrected as I go.
Knitty has a great blog post over here about the why, what, and how of gauge swatches.
Next Time on Harvest-a-long
Getting materials together, pattern marking (will post on 5 August)
*This pattern is free, but they have great patterns and I’d recommend you buy one or more of them, as a way to say thanks for their awesome free patterns.