I love everything about knitting sweaters except the part where I have to assemble it. I would let all the finished pieces ready, but sometimes they would sit for YEARS before I would get around to sewing them.
In comes, seamless top-down sweaters *MIND-BLOWN*. Who knew you could get rid of the sewing and have a sweater you can try on while making it?
So I decided to design my first sweater as a top-down yoke.
Getting over Doubts
I made the chart, hand wrote the pattern as I knit the sample then doubt got a hold of me. What if people don’t like my sweater? What if my design is a total failure? What if…? What if…?’
I let the sweater sit for months…
And then one day, I got the courage to try again.
I took out my handwritten pattern and typed it up. I calculated all the different sizes by hand. LITERALLY wrote out all the sizes and stitch counts for the different parts before typing it into the pattern.
The First of MANY Mistakes
My first big mistake: I assumed as the sizes got bigger, you just add more stitches, right?
So wrong… But let’s go with it for now.
So for the neckline, I simply added a few stitches as the sizes got bigger. I hold my head in shame when I think of this. People normally all have pretty much the same head size… so a 24″ neckline is going to be too big for EVERYBODY.
But I thought I needed to add these stitches otherwise the chest circumference wouldn’t be right. Who knew you could add stitches AFTER the ribbing.
I thought it would be super cool to have the stitches grow with the lace. BUT that makes the calculations WAY harder and the sweater is in some ways, kind of like a raglan the way it grows. So every time I did calculations, I would have to do MANY lines of calculations to figure out what the stitch count for the chest circumference would be (*headache*).
The Test Knit
I posted about the test knit on my Instagram and people loved it! I got a lot of people who volunteered to test knit the pattern. *HAPPY DANCE*
And then the test knit started. There were so many mistakes in the pattern, it was hard to keep up. And whenever mistakes would come up, I would have to handwrite all the numbers and calculations again to see where I went wrong.
Well, I was blessed with an exceptionally patient group of test knitters and we all got through this grueling process. I was able to release the pattern. The Sierra Sweater is out in the internet world for people to purchase and knit.
When I designed the Sierra Sweater, I wanted a sweater that was easy to grab and wear with everything. Since it is worked in a worsted weight, it knits up fast as well!
The lace design works so PERFECTLY with the pattern. And it’s a very simple lace pattern that is easy to follow and memorize.
When I initially knit it up, I knit it to be a full-length sweater. But for some reason, it didn’t seem to work. So after the sweater came out of it’s forced isolation, I undid some of the length and absolutely fell in love with it.
So now it is a cropped sweater design that is worked seamless from the top down. It has a wide scoop neck because I hate when I feel like a sweater is going to choke me out.
The sleeves are ¾ length. I played around with the sleeve length as well before I settled on that length. When I knit them longer, it didn’t seem to go with the crop or the lace. It felt too formal. So I shortened them up and they looked much better.
My Forced Hiatus
Shortly after I released the Sierra Sweater, I was forced to take a short hiatus – pregnancy. Read about it here.