Sweater patterns are simultaneously the most tempting and intimidating projects for knitters. On the one hand, who doesn’t want to create something beautiful, that’s simultaneously perfect for cuddling and soliciting unbelieving stares and admiring compliments? The downside of sweaters is the fit; there’s a lot that can go wrong with a project that has to fit so closely. It doesn’t matter how much shawls expand during blocking—I’m always quite delighted when my yarn blooms, yielding a much larger shawl than I expected—but sweaters are a different beast entirely. No one wants to walk around in a sweater that is unintentionally large and ill fitting, flapping in the breeze like so much extra skin. The best knitted sweaters look as though they’ve been plucked from the best racks of a consignment shop; really good sweaters look like they’ve been made to fit you, because, of course, they have been.
There’s a lot of work that goes into making a sweater looks really good, but even experienced knitters can get lost in the numerous factors that go into the creation of a sweater. That’s where top down sweater patterns saunter onto the scene, putting traditional patterns to shame. Top down patterns have two distinct advantages over typical knitting patterns that make them particularly attractive to the novice knitter (or even experienced knitters) nervous about taking on a sweater. Top down sweater knit in the round can be periodically put on, so the knitter can check her progress and catch any errors while they’re still easy to fix. Being able to try on your sweater as you knit it also allows the knitter to get the perfect body and sleeve length, negating the need for sketchy measurements and calculations.
Top down patterns allow you to essentially fit the pattern to your body as you work, which is generally easier than finding all of the necessary measurements and applying them to a pattern. With the power of fitting squarely in your masterful hands, the only thing the top down knitter has to keep in mind, once a pattern has been selected, is the effects that blocking will have on the sweater. Top down knitting really takes the bite out of knitting a sweater. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite top down patterns so that you can cast on your next sweater today!
6 Top Down Sweater Patterns
Nutmeg Raglan Sweater – Stay warm this winter with this long-sleeved sweater pattern. Simple yet elegant, this pattern is sure to become a staple of your wardrobe.
Cranberry Lace Cardigan – Perfect for layering, this gorgeous sweater will brighten up any outfit. Lace edging adds a nice touch to the finished project and keeps your knitting interesting.
Top Down Cardigan – This basic top down cardigan gives you the freedom to embellish or just focus on learning the basics.
Mad Men Joanie Sweater – Inspired by the Mad Men character Joan, this fun sweater is ready to go places. You can wear this cute number at the office or on a cold night out.
Magical Top Down Cardigan – Layer up your look with this lacy, yet simple, cardigan.
Falling Stars Top Down Sweater – You’ll stay warm all winter long with this fun pattern. The colorful yolk really makes this pattern stand out from the crowd.
What’s your best advice for someone knitting their first sweater?
PLUS don’t miss your chance to win this absolutely gorgeous skein of yarn from Miss Babs! This extra big skein of hand-dyed yarn is just what you need for the start of knitting season. You have until October 23, 2013, 11:59:59 P.M. Eastern Time to enter this contest for your chance to win! Giveaway has ended! Thank you to all who entered!