Breaking the Sweater Barrier

Over the years, I’ve realized that people harbor a lot of fear about knitting garments.

“They’re too big/complicated/time consuming.”

“What if it doesn’t fit me just right?”

“I can’t find a pattern I would really love to make AND wear.”

Sometimes it seems that even the most enthusiastic and experienced knitters shy away from garments, putting them off again and again for a hundred reasons that all boil down to one tragic misconception: “Sweaters are scary.”

I call this phenomenon the Sweater Barrier, and it once stood in my way, too. For six years I knitted happily away, turning out scarves, shawls, hats, and even socks by the dozen, all the while hoarding patterns for beautifully detailed pullovers and figure-flattering cardigans in a secret pile at the bottom of the stash. Then one day it finally happened: I broke the Sweater Barrier.


AND I WAS SO HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS! This tee went on to become one of my favorite things in my closet. It’s comfortable and flattering, it was pure fun to knit, and best of all it’s entirely unique and created especially for me.  I fell in love with knitting garments, all because of the Perfect Fit Top Down Tee workshop.

The Perfect Fit Top Down Tee is a two-part workshop offered by the Yarn Patch. It was created by the owner, Sheri, who wanted a basic pattern which would fit well but allow plenty of room for creativity. In this class, knitters use a few simple instructions to design a completely customized and seamless raglan sleeve tee shirt or sweater. Take it from me, a converted garment knitter- it’s hard to overstate the benefits of learning to knit a garment this way.

First, because you’re creating your own pattern you can use any yarn imaginable- any fiber, any weight, any color, etc. Choose a lightweight cotton for a breezy summer top or a handpainted wool for a sumptuous winter pullover. Next, you’ll be using YOUR measurements to write and knit the pattern, so your garment is customized to fit you exactly the way you want it to. Finally, you can add whatever details you please- ribbing, lace, cables, and more on the border, front, or sides. The design possibilities are limitless!


I’ve found that this project is the perfect solution for those knitting funks we all fall into sometimes. If you’re in love with a yarn but can’t find just the right pattern for it, make a Perfect Fit Top Down Tee. If you’re craving the satisfaction of designing for yourself but you don’t know where to start, make a Perfect Fit Top Down Tee. Most importantly, the Perfect Fit Top Down Tee will change the way you look at garment knitting by giving you an understanding of how garments are constructed and how you can make that process work for you. In fact, I find myself borrowing from what I learned in this workshop for nearly all my sweaters these days!

As you can tell, I’m very excited to teach this workshop in January and I would love to share it with you. If you’re ready to break the Sweater Barrier for the first time or you’re an experienced garment knitter eager to try a new approach, visit us in the shop or online (here) to register for this class. Spaces are limited.

Happy Knitting!



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