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  • I recognize your first sweater — from a Rowan magazine in the early 90s, I think? I knit that same sweater, only in forest green. I loved it and wore it to death!

    • Of course you did! ::fist bump:: Rowan Magazine #8 FTW

  • I really enjoyed reading your text about first knitted sweater. All I can say is: I learned the hard way over many years of practice that you best stick to the yarn that is recommended. I knitted a whole lot of nice patterns with the ‚wrong‘ yarn and the outcome was too bulky, too warm, too ethereal, too big, too whatsoever … and mostly a disappointment after weeks and month of work. I am also sticking quite close to the pattern (no changings whatsoever) because that also often ended in strange results. Since and through Ravelry I found some really good designers, where I know, the pattern will work for me and my bodytype and it‘s a pleasure to wear the well fitted piece in the end. So, no more illusions when a special yarn jumps on me in a shop…

  • Lily Sugar n Creme held double — your hands must still hurt.

  • Another lesson might be: if you see the sweater is coming out stiff as a board or pooling in odd places, or unacceptable in some way, stop and rip it out. Don’t just plod on to the end. If you do plod on to the end and you don’t like it, rip it out and change yarn, pattern, size, etc. And if, like me, you have very limited knitting time for knitting and don’t want to waste it, do as the first group of knitters you mentioned did and get as much expert advice as you can before you start.


    • I still have the magazine, of course, Karen! DM me, baby

    • Such a beautiful sweater – thanks for reminding me, because, of course, I have that magazine issue too. Amazing how many of those are still lovely, only needing minor adjustments. There’s another great CK cable sweater in Best of Very Easy Vogue book.

  • The main blog photo looks an awful lot like one of my first sweaters, except for the colorway in that top-down raglan. Mine was the blue and purple one, and it pooled just as horrifically! 🙂

    Actually, that wasn’t my FIRST sweater. My FIRST sweater — in fact, the first thing I ever knit after the then-obligatory slippers — was … black. Mohair. (Mother, WHY didn’t you tell me that was a horrible choice for a beginner?) Fortunately, no photographs survive. But I know it took me six months to create the sleeveless turtleneck shell.

    What a fun topic!

    • May I be a total heathen and say that I love pooling? It make the piece so much more interesting with the concentrated areas of a single color. It’s like a garden that looks more striking with blocks of the same color than just mixing all the flower colors together.

  • I made that exact Calvin Klein sweater … out of Rowan Handknit Cotton, held double. It was heavy! I made a pencil skirt out of a linen and silk fabric with a design of black and gray leaves to wear with it, and I felt very sheik wearing the ensemble – I know I wore it to give talks. I must have the sweater somewhere. It was very very late 80s — drop shoulder, long line, loose … the pattern was from Vogue Knitting, I think … and I may still have a copy of the instructions, somewhere.

    • Wish you had a photo of you in that ensemble! I love reminiscing about garments we wore till they were threadbare. Thay became part of our lives really.

  • We’ve all been there- in one way or another! The lesson to be learned from our first sweaters? We have to be willing to be “bad” at “it” to get “good” at it…and it doesn’t matter what the “it” is! Most importantly, don’t give up-just keep knitting!

  • I knit my first sweater in the 70s when I was a foreign exchange student in Sweden. The yarn was beautiful — the Swedes are good at yarn! I got lots of help with the Swedish pattern and the sweater turned out a little big but I loved. I wore it, then my Mom wore it, and now my niece is wearing it in college in Minnesota. 30 years and still going strong! Just don’t look at the inside — I tied knots instead of weaving in all kinds of ends.

  • I can remember my first sweater but no photographic record exists. I was 15; it involved two different types of yarn:one was white worsted, the other was a synthetic blue mohair called “mohlan” purchased from the local dimestore. The sweater involved slipped stitches and there was a cowl neckline. I believed I looked just like Audrey Hepburn, if she had been a pudgy teen wearing glasses. Since no picture exists, I can hold onto the delusion.

  • Love! Excellent reminder. I used to be a fearless knitter, alas what the H happened?? Great advice & inspiration.

  • I love them all !!!

  • I have been knitting since 1952 or 1953, so I can’t remember the exact year I knitted one that I could wear, but I was young and it was a navy v neck. My mother was an expert knitter so I could ask her and she helped me pick out the best yarn for the project. But throughout the years, I have unraveled more than I have knitted. Now I keep a book with samples, etc. so my advice is to keep knitting with confidence. You’ll make less mistakes as you age!

  • I don’t have a picture, or the sweater, but I think my first sweater was a Portuguese Fisherman’s Sweater, the Candide pattern, when I was in high school

  • I loved this post. Sometimes I explore the sites and run into things like this. I learned to knit and crochet before I was eight, could have been 6 or 7 years old. I have never made a sweater —too intimidated I guess. I recall my husband going to Ireland (without me by the way) and he purchased a beautiful fisherman’s sweater. It is so heavy and warm. He told the ladies in the shop that his wife knits. They asked him how old I was. He told them that I was in my forties. They said I wasn’t old enough to know how to knit! Talk about intimidation! I love that story. Now that I am in my mid-fifties—I guess it’s time to put my big girl skirt on and give sweater making a whirl.