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Branch Out!

March 3, 2016

With the ‘Year of Something New’ well underway and new techniques abounding, we invite you to push yourself even further, and try something completely new. Not just a new technique, but a whole new type of item!  Never knit a hat before?  Now is the time!  New to socks?  Cast on!  Is it time for your very first garment? Dig through the stash for some worsted weight yarn for a wee Flax sweater!

two projects that strike fear into knitters hearts

Flax Sweater by Tin Can Knits

Flax, a free pattern from The Simple Collection, is a perfect first sweater! We’ve got a step-by-step tutorial here.

There are a couple of project types we hear about again and again that really seem to daunt newer knitters. Many seem to believe that these items contain magic and secrets that cannot be unlocked by mere mortals.  These items are sweaters and socks!

While this fear may seem silly to the initiated, it can be a real barrier to those who have not yet turned a heel or worked a button band.  We challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and tackle a new project type, and hope that our helpful tutorials will guide you.

Antler Cardigan by Tin Can Knits

If you have tried cables before the Antler cardigan may be the perfect first sweater! We have a step by step tutorial here.

scared to knit a sweater?

With sweaters, it seems that most of the fear comes from worrying about getting a finished item that won’t fit right. I get it. It is a lot of knitting and you want something that will come out making you look like a million bucks. That’s the dream right? Well, let me tell you, my first sweater was just terrible (too long in some places, too short in others, too wide overall, basically the worst sweater imaginable) but I have gone on to knit a lot of successful sweaters!

Two important things to consider are choosing the right size (for more information read on here) and getting the right gauge (read up on gauge here).

Flax Light

Flax Light is one of our free sweater patterns from The Simple Collection

start small… and be realistic!

First, take those expectations back a notch. Start with a wee sweater (there is always a baby who needs a warm sweater right?) to learn any new techniques your chosen sweater pattern may have. Then try a sweater that doesn’t need to hug your every curve just right, maybe something with a little positive ease, or one you can try on as you go. Get some yarn you like (if you don’t like the yarn you definitely won’t like the sweater) and cast on!  All of our sweater tutorials can be found here for a little extra help!

ready to conquer socks?

The other item that seems to strike fear in the heart of knitters is socks. It can’t be the cuff, that’s just a tube right? And it can’t be the foot, that’s just a tube with a closed end right? So what’s left? That magic heel turn!


While heel turns may feel like magic, I promise you that doesn’t mean they are really all that difficult. Just follow the instructions, step by step, and voila! You will get a heel turn. Every time. Check out our step-by-step tutorial!

worsted weight socks are a quick and cozy way to begin

If you are still a little worried, start off with a pair of Rye socks. We have an in depth tutorial that will take you all the way through, from cast on to Kitchener stitch!  Once you’ve done them, you could take your inspiration from the Chinese zodiac (it’s the year of the monkey), and cast on a pair of Monkey Socks.


Lovely lacy socks by Tin Can Knits

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2016 8:38 am

    Whoa, I really wanted to knit a sweater! Your socks are amazing, the knit designs are awesome

  2. Anne permalink
    March 6, 2016 5:47 am

    I’ve never knit socks, so that will be my next project after I finish my lace scarf.

  3. paws permalink
    March 4, 2016 2:36 pm

    I made a pair of Rye socks for my daughter. She loves them and wants me to make a million more. :)

  4. Jacqueline Webb permalink
    March 4, 2016 4:56 am

    Many thanks for the information I hadn’t thought of measuring a good fitting sweater will definitely try that. I love knitting socks and listen if I can do it anyone can. Picking up on the gusset seems to me to be a bit untidy so the information on the stitch pick up for the gusset is really helpful. Thanks again. Jackie

  5. March 3, 2016 9:15 am

    Eep I’ve had the yarn for a flax sweater in my stash since November, this may be the push I need to swatch and cast on!

  6. March 3, 2016 8:18 am

    I just knit my first Flax sweater. I love the striped version on top!

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