Let’s Talk Sweaters


Zigs & Zags by Véronik Avery

Fall is definitely in the air this week in Spokane, and to add an exclamation point to that, my college team’s first football game is on Saturday. Go, Cougs!

To me, fall means sweaters, football, and beautiful crisp weather. I love bundling up and taking the dogs for a walk, or meeting friends at a coffee shop for a morning of knitting and lattes. Although I’m a summer-loving person, I’m really looking forward to fall this year. It was just too hot in this part of the country for me to really enjoy my summer routine. We’ve also had a ton of wildfires in our state, and the smokey air has caused us to have to stay inside a lot. (Thanks to the firefighters for everything they’ve done to help control the fires!)

So let’s talk sweaters. Many of us have a favorite style of sweater pattern to knit. Mine is the cardigan. I love the versatility of cardigans, and I wear them much more than pullovers.

I know my preferred style, and I know I the types of features I like in a cardigan: a shawl collar and deep ribbing on the hem and cuffs. Another favorite version has a crew-neck collar, buttons, a knitted hem and cuffs, and set-in sleeves.

I can develop my own pattern for these or any types of cardigans (or pullovers, etc.) with Ann Budd’s collection of Handy Books. These are essential tools for those of us who want to customize our sweaters size-wise, and design-wise. They’re the “choose your own adventure” experience in knitting!

These books guide you through creating the sweater of your choice in the yarn of your choice, in the size of your choice.

In The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, you’ll get instructions for the six most common sweater constructions—drop shoulder, modified drop shoulder, set-in sleeve, saddle shoulder, raglan, and seamless yoke. Each style is provided in fifteen sizes, in 2” increments from a 26” chest, appropriate for a child, to a 54” chest, for a large adult. And each size is given in five possible gauges—3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 stitches per inch. That’s 75 options for each of the six styles, or 450 patterns in all! Add the cardigan versions and you’ve got 900 possibilities, without counting neckline, edging, color, and stitch pattern variations.

Wowza! See what I mean about choose your own adventure?


Henry in his Gryffindor sweater. Isn’t he darling?

The other books in the series, The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns, and the Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweater Patterns, have just as many pattern options. We offer a bundle of all three books in digital form, so you can have them with you wherever you go. I have all three on my iPad, and I’ve knit several sweaters from them. One was for me, and the others have been kids’ patterns.

I love using Ann’s books when I knit sweaters for my nephew, Henry. He’s surprisingly particular, so I can mix and match elements to please him. At left is his Hogwart’s house sweater. (Gryiffindor, of course!) The photo was taken a couple of years ago, and he just informed me that he needed a new Harry Potter sweater. He wants the H sweater, “Just like the one Mrs. Weasley knitted for Harry. Can you do that, Auntie Kath?” Why yes, Henry, I can!

I can’t recommend these knitting books highly enough. I’m Kathleen Cubley, and I endorse the Handy Book series!

Prepare yourself for fall knitting this Labor Day weekend with our amazing Labor of Love Sale! It’s a wonderful opportunity to get all of the Handy Books at 50 percent off!

Happy long weekend, friends.

P.S. Have you used the Handy Books? What did you knit from them? Leave a comment below and let me know!

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