First Time Sweater?

Hello all,

I’ve been knitting for close to 20 years. I know, for the most part, my strengths and my flaws as a knitter. But I have never knit a sweater. For most of these 20 years, I’ve been at peace with that. But now, I’m starting to feel the itch.

Does anyone have any pattern recommendations for a first sweater? Looking for unisex/male patterns, since I don’t need to worry about a bust. Because it’s my first sweater, I’d prefer to avoid fair isle/intarsia, but stripes and/or cables are fine. I’ve done a little searching online, but it’s so easy to get quickly overwhelmed by the options.

Thanks in advance for your tips!

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Hello! May I make a recommendation?

I’ll be honest, my favorite sweater I’ve knit is the Old Friend Pullover from MDK guide 20, knit in Lapis colorway from Atlas. It was not my first sweater, but it was, by far, the easiest to knit, and I wear it all the time. It just came out so perfectly for my mid-sized body, and it’s so warm and wears so well. I modified the neck to not be as tall as the pattern, and it’s just right to kept my neck warm without feeling like I’m being strangled. I love the way it fits, and it knit up so fast.

I hope you get lots of ideas from people! Sweaters and socks were why I got into knitting, and they are my favorites to make!


So many thoughts here. Any preferences as to weight of yarn (that might help narrow things down a bit) and pullover or cardigan?

Knitting up fast has appeal.

As far as yarn weight, I’m thinking Worsted or heavier - again going on the “knitting up fast” idea. Definitely a pullover as opposed to a cardigan. I’d prefer to avoid fair isle or intarsia, but am open to stripes.

One pattern that has my eye as “Possible” is from Mr. Darcy from


The Felix pullover would be a good choice—knits up fast in Aran weight yarn and top down construction is nice for try on as you go if you are not sure about sizing, length. Over 5,000 projects on Ravelry. It was my first pullover and will likely make more.

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I think that’s a great choice. It’s a very basic construction but you’ll learn a lot!

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Definitely recommend top down, as you can try it on while you are making it to be sure it fits the way you want it to fit. Always swatch to be sure you are getting gauge. Check out Youtube for hints on fixing underarm gaps, etc. Happy Knitting!


You might try [First Raglan] by Brooklyn Tweed. The instructions were great and you can alter at will.

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Thanks all. Someone pointed out that Stephen West has a lot of top-down designs, and that felt like a safer option, so I’ve chosen his Pierre Pullover, and just purchased a bunch of Lettlopi to try to make it happen!


Okay, so it’s knit from the top down, and there are instructions for “when your yoke achieves your desired depth?”

What’s a good guideline for this? Am I knitting until the yoke reaches my armpits? Or is X inches below (or above) my armpits? I don’t mind if it’s a little loose - that’s much better than being tight - but I want to be somewhat reasonable about it.

Thank you for your guidance…

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Patty Lyons just did a psi on yikes and there’s some info on length. I would start there.