Knitting a sweater or a scarf is an amazing project, however, to obtain a good result and not be disappointed, you must prepare your work. Here are some tips that will get you started.
Step one : Before purchasing your knitting kit - How to determine your size
Step two : After receiving your knitting kit - Make first a sample
- Tips during knitting
- Tips for the making up of your work
- Techniques used
- Our patterns
- UK to US terms
Step one - before purchasing your knitting kit
HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR SIZE
When choosing your size, it may help to take your favorite knitted sweater, worked in a yarn similar to the one you are considering, and measure its dimensions.
Your sweater probably won't have the exact same shape, but it will give you an idea of the size to choose.
Compare with the measurements given for the different sizes in the specifications of the model you are considering.
A sweater in thin wool is often designed a little loose, so it is best to choose a slightly larger than smaller size. We think that a 10 cm ease for a sweater like our models worked in our Biches & Bûches Petite is fine. They are not inteded to be worn tight.
Choosing the right needle size
We suggest which needle size to use according to how we made the sweater, but it really depends on your knitting gauge : make sure that your knitting gauge is according to the following explanations (we don't all knit as tight as each other).
Step two - after receiving your knitting kit
MAKING A KNITTING SAMPLE
Before starting the actual project, we suggest that you make a knitting sample in order to measure the tension of your knitting. This is important to obtain the right measurements for your finished work. Make a sample of 40 stitches x 40 rows (or 40 stitches x 40 roundsif the instructions call for knitting in the round). It is important to make the sample using the exact same way of knitting (back and forth or in the round) and the same pattern (stocking stitch, garter stitch, lace pattern etc.) as you will use for the model, for your sample to be correct.
Use the needle size and the pattern we have suggested for the sample.
Once the sample finished, moisten it and let it dry as for the finished sweater. Then, insert 2 pins 10 cm apart on the same row and count the number of stitches between the pins. That gives you the number of stitches, per 10 cm.
Then insert 2 pins 10 cm apart in the height and count the number of rows between the pins. That gives you the number of rows per rounds, per 10 cm.
The needle size given in the patterns is the one we have used to make the model. However, according to the person who knits, the needle size required for the given sample may vary. If your sample is bigger than 10x10 cm, use smaller needles (if it is much bigger, if just a little bigger, you can adjust your knitting by knitting a bit tighter), and if your sample is smaller than 10x10 cm, you can use bigger needles.
During your work
Edge stitches: These are the first and last stitches of a row when you are knitting back and forth.
Work the edge stitches according to the instructions given in the pattern. It will allow you to correctly assemble the parts when sewing with mattress stitches (which is described in the instructions) once the knitting is finished.
You may knit the edge stitches on both sides of the work or work them in stocking stitch, if you prefer.
The important thing is to be able to assemble the knitting parts without interrupting the pattern, if any. Increases and decreases of the number of stitches are always made inside the edge stitches.
In our patterns, we have included color charts for easy reading. Sometimes an item is textually complicated to explain, but easy to show visually. For knitted patterns with several colours, the charts are very explicit.
Working in the round: Before joining to start working in the round, I find it easier to work the two first rows after the casting on back and forth because the first row is always very tight.
After your work
Many of our models do not require any sewing because we know that sewing requires some training.
However, for the models that are knit flat with seams, the mattress stitch is our favorite because it is worked from the right side of the knitting and can be used to perfectly match colour stripes for example, making the knitwear look more "professional".
It is a good idea to practice on two samples before sewing together a sweater. Always use a needle with a round tip, in order not to divide the strands of wool.
Before the making up, we advise you to moisten the work so that the pattern shows well and the stitches get a regular appearance. Never touch the fabric with the iron. Pin the pieces to correct measurements and place a damp cloth on top. Allow it to dry. You can also moisten the pieces with a steam iron.
In our patterns, all the techniques used are thoroughly explained in our Little Knitting Guide.
We are there for you ! If you still have questions, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order for our patterns to be more enjoyable to read, we have chosen to write them without the abbreviations typically used in knitting patterns. This also allows new knitters to begin more easily.
If the model has a multicolored pattern, we include color charts using the same colors as the model to guide you.
From UK to US terms
moss stitch: seed stitch
stocking stitch: stockinette stitch
cast off: bind off