When the #myfirsthandknitsweater tag started going around Instagram, I really wanted to share my first hand knit sweater because I remembered it being hilariously bad, but I didn’t have any decent pictures and had given it away a decade ago to my friend Ashley, when we were in high school. I sent her a text asking if she still had it, and she did! Ashley informed me that she had everything I’ve ever knit her. She dug it out, and her friend Laura Marie Anthony took some extremely cute pictures of it.

The pattern was from a Stitch and Bitch book and originally had a colorwork yoke. I skipped the colorwork because just making a sweater had felt like enough of a challenge. I had read a tip that you could start a sleeve and use that as a gauge swatch, so I dove straight in and somehow deluded myself until believing that I had gotten gauge. I hadn’t, and let’s not even talk about those unintentional twisted stitches.

I was a theater tech at my high school along with Ashley, and I knit on this project a lot when we were killing time during rehearsals. Because of the gauge issue, my sweater came out way too tiny for me and the perfect size for Ashley. I kind of wanted to burn the sweater, but Ashley had seen the progression of the thing and was willing to give it a home (and might have even paid me for it?). So I added special silly buttons that I thought she’d like, including a dinosaur and a pineapple, and it became hers.

After this disaster, I decided to get better at knitting before making another sweater, and I did! I read everything I could get my hands on about technique, and my second sweater was a well-knit disaster due to poor yarn choice. So I decided to get better at choosing yarn before making another sweater, and I did! My freshman year of college, I finally started knitting good sweaters. It just took a few failures and some determination to learn from them.

6 Comments

  • My first was a baby sweater not that long ago; I have the yarn to attempt a cardigan for myself, though, I just haven’t quite felt like doing the gauge swatch yet. I also have a few baby items to make first!

  • hello,
    a couple of years ago I started knitting again because I promissed my son a cardigan and found’on internet, that the world of knitting has totally changed so I started reading, looking, making swatches, vieuwing youtube and other films, made lots of mistakes. made myself a sweater using all kind of tips and some lessons I took on the topic top-down knitting (did in english and german although I am dutch). now want to make another one because I need them -cannot buy easy in my size (xxxl) watt I want + like- and was 90% ready but had made some mistakes and therefore it didn’t fit. so frogged inspite of a beautyfull contigious sleeve-shoulderline of wich I was very proud. now started again using your cropped sweater for winter and again I so so much dislike the way my sleeves start, it is not even, there are holes, it is not regular and because that part will always be see-able I want it to be very beautfull. so frogged again and again. it is my way of working, need more experience, lucky I have patience. I like the way you started>learned>devaloped/grew>work now. because of my size I will not wear your designs but I will use them for ideas and tips;-)

  • I love this! The first thing I ever knitted started as a scarf but ended up as a cat blanket as I had no patience at the time (I was 8) Since then I have made quite a few things over the years until I had kids and I kind of lost my mojo, it’s back though and I want to attempt a cardigan or jumper now!

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