When we are out and about at craft shows we often meet people who tell us that they have been knitting for a while but they are nervous about trying to make a whole garment. Of course we also meet people whose first project was a jumper but this blog is for the first group.
There are lots of reasons why newish knitters may be nervous about tackling their first jumper even if they have used quite complex colourwork or patterns for hats and scarves. They include:
- What if I spend a lot of money on yarn and then can’t finish the sweater?
- I don’t understand how cardigans go together.
- I’ve never really done any shaping.
- I’m worried about sewing up.
One way to help someone get past these worries is to suggest they start with a baby garment.
The great thing about baby garments is that you can find pretty much every style of sweater or cardigan you can think of. So you can find bottom-up and top-down designs, raglan and set-in sleeves, colourwork, lace, cables etc. Have a look at the UK Hand Knitting baby pattern collection here for an example of this.
So by picking a baby sweater in a similar style to something you’d like to make in an adult size you can learn about shaping, sleeves, picking up stitches for a neckband and all the techniques while only using a couple of balls of yarn from your stash. This is a good way to build up confidence with the techniques and you will always find a grateful recipient for a baby cardigan whether that be a friend or relation or a local charity.
And if you don’t believe there is a relationship between these mini knits and a grown up sweater, check out this blog post from Let’s Knit magazine about baby knits and their adult equivalents.