the sweater saga part 1: to frog or not to frog

I’m knitting my very first sweater. Or more accurately, I’m attempting to knit my first sweater. I’ve been intimidated by clothing for, well, ever since I learned to knit, so I guess for about 9 years now. Why? Well, because I hate clothing, or more importantly, I hate the way clothing looks on me, so I’m never happy with clothing. (don’t worry, I’m just as unhappy about not having clothing, so I guess you could say that I’m not a very happy person. Truth is, I rarely think about clothing, or not having clothing, so really, I am a very happy person most of the time.)

Anyway, there is a knitwear designer by the name of Amy Herzog who specializes in teaching people to knit sweaters that fit them. She has even designed a website where you (if you were a knitter), could plug in all your bodily measurements, and then plug in your swatch* dimensions and then magically, voila, she’ll give you a pattern to knit with all the perfect instructions to knit something that fits you. Since she is such an esteemed designer, and the math part of all of this seems kosher, I thought I would give it a try. After all, what have I got to lose?

So here I am, attempting to knit my first sweater. Now, any decent knitter will tell you that you should read the pattern before you knit. It’s like the old carpentry adage: measure twice, cut once. Ah, you think you see where I’m going with this. But I’m not. Things are going well. Except.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to sweater construction. Pieces or seamless. When you knit pieces, you usually knit the front piece, back piece (and hope they match measurement-wise), then the sleeves (separately) and then block everything and then sew it all together. I’ve seen some designers swear that this is the “better” method. The other school of thought, though, says, why knit pieces and sew them together when you could knit an all-in-one thing and be done with it? Well, I think I prefer this second option. Problem is that I missed the one line note at the beginning of the pattern that said that this was an option.

So I’m 24 rows in (roughly 2.25 inches) and I’ve discovered that the seamless sweater was an option. Hm…do I rip back or do I go forward and knit the darn thing the way it was designed?

While I’m tempted, I think I will move forward and knit it the way it was designed. I’m writing this so that, two years from now, when I’ve finally finished the sweater and it doesn’t fit, I can always refer back to this and think, yeah, I should have frogged.

Onwards and upwards.


*swatches are little squares that you knit using a specific needle size and yarn and then measure it so that you know how many stitches per inch and how many rows per inch you knit. This is the most important aspect to the math involved with garment construction. If you need a sweater that is x inches at the bottom, then you must know how many stitches per inch you knit, otherwise you will be either terribly short of stitches or you’ll have way too many. We’ll have to reserve judgment as to how well Amy’s website can do accurate math.


One thought on “the sweater saga part 1: to frog or not to frog

  1. Loved this post! Especially since I’m actually knitting now. I’m Scared of sweaters too but I’m gonna do it with you!!

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