I'm sort of a "jack of all trades" type of crafter. However this does not make me an expert in every crafting category - far from it! There are some I know barely anything about, like knitting. I've got the basics down, but ask me to make anything that isn't square or rectangular and forget it. Yet, I still get drawn to knitting every once in a while and when I saw this fuzzy, fun yarn I desperately wanted to make something with it. A sweater!! Except my sweater making skills are....almost non-existant.
I'd made a super simple knit baby sweater - once- a few years ago. It was just rectangular pieces, but of course I couldn't find the directions or remember where I'd originally gotten them. And that sweater was for a 6 month old and my Little Miss is now 3 1/2 years old. So I got to thinking and calculating....AND my total cheater way to knit any size sweater came about. Now I'm sharing it, so anyone as clueless about knitting as me can feel like a sweater making superstar.
- Basic Knitting Skills like how to cast on & off and garter stitch. There are a million how-tos & videos on YouTube for this.
- Bulky yarn* (I used Bernat's Tizzy yarn - it comes in some pretty candy colors and is marshmallow soft). For my 4T size, I needed 3 skeins.
- Knitting Needles - I used some #15
- Plastic Sewing Needle
- Ruler or knitting gauge
- Optional: 5 buttons (if using a bulky yarn & loose stitch)
* Bulky yarn is a knitting newbie's best friend. It's easy to work with, knits up quick and hides a multitude of goofs thanks to it's fluffy, stretchy nature. It's usually super cuddly too.
Determine the sizing. Use a boxy sweater or shirt in the size desired and note the length and width for two front halves, the sleeves and back. The yarn package will tell you how many stitches and rows will give you a 4 inch by 4 inch square and use that extrapolate the stitches and rows for each of your main pieces, so for my desired 4T sizing, with yarn that took 8 stitches by 4 rows for a 4in square, I did a little math magic:
- Sleeves were 12in wide by 11in high = 16 stitches x 34 rows
- Front panels were 7in wide by 14in high = 14 stitches x 45 rows
- Back was 13in wide by 14in high = 26 stitches x 45 rows
It's kind of trial & error and involves a little rounding, but the finished sweater will have have a loose fit & a bit of stretch thanks to the bulky yarn so it's ok if it's not exact. Knit up those pieces - keep checking with your ruler/knitting gauge to make sure the pieces are coming out to the dimensions desired.
To assemble your sweater, start by folding over the top corners of the front pieces that will make the lapels of the sweater and tack those down with a stitch or two.
Line up the top edges of the front & back pieces (with the lapel sides facing inward) and stitch them together with an overcast stitch and the handy plastic needle.
You'll end up with something that looks like this:
Now flip the almost-a-sweater right side up and grab the sleeve pieces. Place the center of each sleeve top on the shoulder seam and stitch the top edges together.
Fold the sleeve lengthwise and bring the front and back sides together and overcast stitch along the whole side from cuff to hem.
Since I used a bulky yarn with large needles there were wide enough spots to push buttons through, so I stitched on some colorful buttons (using heavy duty sewing thread):
Little Miss & I both love it. I think it makes her like a fuzzy chick and she's thrilled that it's just like her "snugglies" (her yarn blankies). And it's perfect for this changeable spring weather. Now that I've got her sizing down I'm making her another one with rows of every color this yarn comes in. They were all so gorgeous I couldn't decide on one so I bought a skein of every one. That's how addicted to this stuff I am. I'm also seriously considering making one for myself. Just maybe in a different color - fluffy chick is not an easy look to pull off when you're over 5.
I'm also sharing this project with my FAVE LINK PARTIES.
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