This is a new type of post for me, because it’s knitting! I’ve worked with We Are Knitters a few times (remember my Summer Diamonds Cardigan?) and recently, I got the chance to play with one of their knit kits. Here’s my We Are Knitters Buttercream Sweater Knit Kit review – it’s my first foray into knitting a garment, and it was such a fun yarn adventure. Best of all, there’s a giveaway in it for you too! Two thumbs up for sharing the love!
I have to admit, knitting has always been something I wanted to get into. My grandmother would knit us a sweater nearly every year. One year, my mom told me about a sweater that my grandmother had made for either me or my sister, was passed down to someone at our church, and it was still floating around, being handed down from baby to baby. How awesome is that? I’m so glad that my grandmother’s love and handiwork becomes a part of so many people’s lives. My issue was that I could never quite pick it up. I’ve tried, alone, and with friends, but I couldn’t ever remember the difference between a knit and a purl stitch and so I had a pile of unfinished and discarded yarn items.
With more and more people joining the yarn revolution, both in crochet and knit, I figured now is the time for me to buckle down and learn this knit thing, once and for all. Unfortunately, my grandmother is no longer with me, but I hope that she’s proud of my first knit garment!
When I was looking on the We Are Knitters website, the Buttercream sweater caught my eye because it looked simple in both the stitch and the construction – 4 panels? I can do that. I knew I’d overwhelm myself if I had to learn all sorts of techniques all at once, and I also knew that practice makes perfect, so working the same stitch over and over would be the key to making a consistent looking garment. And then the yarn! Choosing the yarn color was the hardest part – the colors are all amazing! I decided to try the Petite Wool in Nude, as it’s a color I don’t have in my wardrobe. (And now I know I need more, because I got so many compliments on this color!)
The Petite Wool is lovely to work with, a little bit like cotton candy, but it can’t take a lot of reworking and frogging. In order to spare my yarn, I took some scrap yarn and practiced casting on and working the first few rows of a sleeve for about 3 hours until I could get a consistent cast onto my needles. I checked my gauge and realized, oh boy, probably as all beginner knitters do, I cast on waaaay too tight. So, over and over again, I repeated a cast-on row and a few working rows, but I just couldn’t get the gauge the pattern was asking for. Despite really enjoying working with the We Are Knitters knitting needles included in the kit, I moved to a set of circular needles that were a size larger. Even then, I had to really remember to work loosely in order to get the gauge right.
The Knitting Part
Since I couldn’t read my stitches yet, I was afraid to put down my needles because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to remember where I was in the pattern. So the “just one more row” kinda had a different meaning for me! I ended up putting a small piece of tape on one of my needles and labeled it with a “P”, so I knew that if that was the new working needle, I needed to start with a Purl. Here I thought I was so clever, and my mom just shook her head and told me to learn how to read my stitches, which I did, over time. Which was good, because the tape eventually fell off.
When it was time to switch skeins, I felted the ends together and it worked out so much better than knotting the ends together. Felting the yarn ends works great because the yarn is 100% wool, and then switching skeins was almost seamless!
I realized towards the end of the body panels that my gauge ended up being slightly larger than what the pattern indicated, so my panel has less rows, but it’s the same physical size as what is recommended for my size (S). I figured that’s what’s important, right? Looking back at the amount of yarn I had left over, I may have extended the length a little bit more just for my own preference.
In the Buttercream Sweater Knit Kit, there’s not much instruction on how to sew the panels together. I wasn’t sure if I could sew knitting the same way I sew crochet, but you never know until you try! I used my most favoritest seaming method, the mattress stitch, to work all the seams in the sweater. One note here, because the sweater is made so loosely, the mattress stitch needs to be worked very loosely as well, otherwise, the stitches get pulled and creates large holes in the body. If I didn’t have enough of a tail to sew the seams, I felted on another length of yarn to continue, which worked great.
I actually got compliments on the seams themselves when I wore the sweater to work, because they looked sort of criss-crossed and intricate! Below is a video to show the mattress stitch seaming method that I used.
There I was, super excited that my sweater was finally put together. I put it on, and blooop, I looked FAT. My husband immediately pointed out the wavy hem, but all I could see was the bunching right where none of us want any bunching. I was soooo disappointed, until I realized I probably needed to block this thing. Facepalm.
So, I dunked the sweater in some cold water in the tub, soacvery gently squeezed the excess water out, rolled it up in a towel to get more water out, and laid it flat on my blocking squares. I took this opportunity to stretch the sweater out a bit too. It looks weird in the photo below, and I wasn’t sure this was all going to work, but it did! It sat there drying for a few days, and I had to wipe down the blocking squares occasionally, but I could see the color getting lighter and the yarn feeling fluffier. Finally, all the pins came out, and I put it on, and WOOHOO! It looked so good, and it felt so good, and my husband no longer made comments about the hemline, and it fit my shoulders, and it was long enough. It was all the things I wanted a sweater to be!
Let me just say, this sweater is WARM. Like, super warm. It’s perfect for my freezing office. I think it also looks like cotton candy, and it got so many compliments on how cozy it looks. I’ve hung it up on a hanger and it has retained its shape and its fluffiness. I love this sweater so much!
I’m starting to realize how much I love pink, not just hot pink, but all pinks. I don’t discriminate, lol. Pink sweater, pink watch, bring it on!