Knit 101: My First Knitted Sweater, Slow and Steady

If you’ve been following along with my Knit 101 saga, you know it’s been over a year since I started my first knitted sweater. When I volunteered to knit the Killarney Tunic I knew it would take me a while to knit a sweater—it’s my first time, after all!—but I assumed a year would be sufficient. Alas, no. But I’ve made some good progress and I’ve learned a lot about knitting, and that definitely counts for something in my book.

So where am I in the knitting process? Well, I’ve made about 8 inches of the back. That doesn’t sound like much, I know, but it took me so long to get through the ribbing at the bottom that I guess it’s not surprising I’ve only managed to knit a couple of inches. And even though I haven’t made a ton of progress, the sweater is actually starting to look like something (mostly a giant knitted cummerbund, but still). More importantly, I’m really enjoying the knitting, and I’m pleased with how it’s turning out; to my inexpert eye, it looks pretty even and uniform, and the little errors I can spot here and there aren’t too obvious.

knitted sweater

Making progress on my Killarney Sweater! Not too bad for a beginner project.

I recently ran out of my first skein of yarn, which I was pretty excited about (new ball of yarn=progress!). Project Editor extraordinaire Laura Hulslander taught me how to join yarns while I was working on my Slouchy Ribbed Hat, so after double-checking that my yarn is primarily wool (it is), I used the method she taught me: wetting one yarn end and then rubbing the two ends together vigorously until they felt together. Super easy, and it worked like a charm! And I felt proud of myself for successfully using a technique I’d only tried once before. Sure, it’s about the easiest thing in the world, but still.

Small victories, right?

knitted sweater

A close-up shot of the ribbing that gave me so much trouble. I think it turned out okay!

Fresh skein of yarn in hand, I’m ready to continue making good progress on this project. According to the pattern, I have about 12 inches to go before I have to start shaping the armholes. I might adjust that a bit; I want a slightly shorter sweater than what’s pictured in the issue because I’m petite, so I’ll probably only knit 10 more inches before beginning the armholes. I think it will go quickly (famous last words)—it’s mostly stockinette stitch, which is pretty easy going, even for a beginner.

I’m feeling a little intimidated by the armhole shaping, but I have excellent tutors here at Interweave who will help me get through it. Keep your fingers crossed for me, though! I’ll keep you updated on the progress of this memorable first knitted sweater.

Whatever knitting project you’re working on, I hope it’s bringing you joy this winter.

Happy knitting!

How challenging was your first knitted sweater?

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