For knitters who have never ventured into the world of sweater knitting, learning how to knit a jumper can seem like an impossible task. Our helpful quickstart guide will help you get started with some simple tips and tricks.
Want to learn how to knit a jumper? First things first!
When embarking on a journey to knit a jumper, the first step is to find a beautiful pattern that you find inspiring. Choose something you know you'd love to wear on a regular basis, and have a read through the pattern to make sure nothing seems unattainable for you. (Love the patterns in the featured image? They're all featured in the Rowan Big Wool Knits pattern book!)
Second: get the yarn
If you're using the recommended yarn for the pattern, your biggest decision lies in choosing your favourite shade. If the yarn has been discontinued, is unavailable, or you just don't like it: check out our guide on how to substitute yarn. Whether you're substituting yarn or not, always, always knit a tension square!
Next up: read the pattern
It sounds obvious, but you'd be amazed how often a knitter will cast on before reading the entire pattern. There's nothing worse than realizing you missed a critical instruction because you cast on before you made yourself familiar with all the techniques, methods, and charts in the pattern. Avoid a nasty surprise 4 inches into the sweater: read it through first.
Now, get your needles in order
Patterns will tell you whether you need single pointed or circular needles, but sometimes you might choose to knit flat on a long circular. Some knitters choose this method because it's less stress on the hands and wrists, some like it because it feels more compact and portable, and some just prefer circular needles. Whatever you need, make sure you have every needle you need. Note: many patterns use a smaller gauge needle for the ribbing, and call for circulars or double pointed needles for the sleeves! Check out our needle selection here.
Then, you'll need to make sure you have any necessary tools or accessories!
Most ways to knit a jumper, whether flat or in the round, require stitch markers. Pictured are the Addi heart stitch markers, but you can use any stitch markers that fit your needles and yarn. You may also need stitch holders, cable needles, and a yarn needle for sewing in ends. Get it all ready before you begin, and you won't have to frantically search in the middle of what should be a relaxing session of knitting.
Finally: cast on!
You've learned how to knit a jumper, so now it's time to begin! Follow your pattern carefully, knit mindfully, and keep the end goal in sight. When you're finished, you'll have a beautiful new hand-knitted jumper that you can wear all autumn and winter.