While I’d say most of the people who take my Fit to Flatter classes are what I’d call “intermediate or above” knitters, really the classes are aimed at anyone adventurous (regardless of skill level). And usually there are at least one or two people who have never knit a sweater before.

I’m always so excited for those knitters! Like most of you I’m sure, my early sweater attempts were hit-or-miss at best. And the thought of never wasting those hours (and that money) on an unloved sweater are really compelling. So I’ve often wondered, over the past year, how things are going for those first-timers.

Imagine my delight when I opened my inbox one morning recently to find a note from Jan. Jan took one of my classes in the marathon sessions after Sock Summit in July and had never knit a sweater for herself. In the email, Jan shared that she’d completed her first sweater and was thrilled. I looked at the picture and just about leaped out of my seat. Lovely readers, this is her first sweater:

The pattern is my Cornsilk Pullover, and the yarn Jan used is Mirasol Nuna. She knit the sweater with 2” of positive ease in the upper bust (my recommendation for a “slightly roomy” fit). I love so many things about her sweater, but I want to talk about two in particular.

Beginning knitters can still get great sweaters. Jan’s sweater requires very little in the way of advanced technique–no charts, no colorwork/lace/cables, just Stockinette and garter stitch. She didn’t do a lot of crazy modifications. There are increases and decreases, and the collar uses a few short rows… but really, this is an incredibly simple sweater that would be perfect for an adventurous beginner. Don’t be afraid, knitters!

Sweaters with positive ease can still look great. It’s not necessary to knit something with a bunch of negative ease (i.e. the sweater’s size is smaller than your body measures) to get a flattering fit. If the sweater is shaped well, even a sweater with some room will still flatter your figure. Thanks to the waist shaping in this sweater, Jan has both room to breathe in her pullover and a tailored, flattering look.

I’m just thrilled Jan shared her picture with me (and gave me permission to share it with you). Best part of all? Reading her comments:

The class was incredibly helpful and your design terrific. This is my first sweater and it looks and feels like a fabulous boutique find. Thanks!

Hats off to Jan! And may we all have a closet full of boutique sweaters.

14 thoughts on “Amazing!

  1. Fantastic job — it’s really hard to believe that’s Jan’s first sweater! Nothing can beat the thrill of finishing a sweater whose style, fit, and color are perfect for you.

    Cornsilk is a great pattern — flattering on so many people and straight-forward, yet with interesting details, to knit.

  2. Jan, That’s an amazing job. Congrats. Amy, I agree, when I teach fit classes, I often get intermediates or above. I sometimes wish more beginners would take the class… there’s so much knowlege available we could save them from heartbreak! Great job again.

  3. That’s a really spectacular first sweater! Beautiful pattern, too.

    I must be out of step with current views about what is attractive, because I think most women look best with some positive ease. I wouldn’t want the 80s-style baggy look to come back, but to my eye the current fad for negative ease is unfortunate. The stuffed sausage look that sometimes results isn’t flattering.

  4. really, and beautiful job! Jan should be proud, and so should you 🙂 My first sweater was unwearable, lol.

  5. What a beautiful sweater, and how inspiring! I’ve just signed up for the Apr. 28 workshop at FibreSpace, and I’m really excited. I’m in the middle of making my first sweater, which I know is going to be boxy and large (it’s supposed to be; it’s the Weasley sweater from Charmed Knits.) I’ve been putting off trying more fitted or complex sweaters because I want them to fit really well… I hate the idea of spending all that time and yarn on something that won’t look good because I didn’t have the skills to alter it to fit. (And I’m going to need a lot of altering; I’m not an “average” size — too short, too curvy.) So I’m encouraged that after your class, I’ll be able to tackle some of the sweaters I’ve been hesitating on! … Just looked at my Ravelry queue, and was surprised at how many of the sweaters on it are yours, Amy. But that shouldn’t surprise me, as you design with us curvy types in mind!

  6. Jan is an inspiration! You are too – your designs are wonderful, and you’ve helped so many knitters gain confidence.

  7. Oh gorgeous. I loved knitting the Cornsilk. I’m going to undo my sleeves at the very top though and reknit with smaller needles, I’m getting some unflattering puffing there.

    Thanks for giving us all — beginners or not — wings to fly with, Amy.

  8. Wow, Terrific Job!


  9. Wonderful job – first sweater or not! Looks great on her!

  10. Holy Yarn, Batknitter! That is goregous and such an inspiration for a first sweater. Way to go Jan!!

  11. maybe if I’d known about your blog/designs before my first sweater it would have been Jan-esque instead of cring-a-rific

  12. Jan did a terrific job on her first sweater! My first sweater was a rectangle with sleeves 😉 It was not very flattering. I’ve avoided sweaters ever since except for baby sweaters. I’m going to take another look at your patterns in Knitscene and look for yarn. Thanks Amy.

  13. Thanks for all the wonderful comments. I knew I wanted to do a sweater, but I was scared to start. I’m so glad I was able to take Amy’s class BEFORE I started. Her philosophy and design are what made it so successful!

  14. hi amy

    i am writing from kuala lumpur, malaysia. it is 3.19am and i am soo happy to find your website.

    it is wow what jan did for her 1st sweater. you are a kind and generous person. thank you for putting in the time and effort to share your knowledge with me/us.

    malaysia is almost all year round hot and humid so cotton and/or silk are the best yarn fiber choice (and i think lace or fingering weight would be a better yarn weight choice).

    i have so far knitted 3 tops – all 3 were taught by the owner of store where i purchased the yarns. the first was a stockinette stitch using cotton and acrylic (i wore it once only – i forgot that the mix of synthetic fiber is uncomfortable to wear here – at least for me – also at that time, zero knowledge on yarn fiber and weight, sigh); the second was overall simple lace pattern (single-sided) using 100% cotton (25g/110m) on double strand and i can only wear this piece comfortably at night after a whole day of rain (still at this point, i didnt know the knitting jargon ‘yarn fiber’ or yarn weight’) and the recent third piece used the same cotton yarn on single strand (the least thick among all 3 and the one i most preferred but sad to say, i chose a pattern with a bit more complicated lace pattern at the area between my waist and my hip whilst the rest was simple seed stitch – and yes, i am a bottom-heavy body shape 🙁 – saving grace, the hem stop quite a distance above the widest part of my body (which are my thighs (thanks to you, now i know why it does not look too bad :))

    every single piece, there was a thing that i missed – the first was the yarn fiber – the second was the total yarn weight – and the third was the choice of pattern (or rather where the lace pattern was placed – thanks to you, i know now that i can still have it but the placement of the lace pattern is vital to help create a proportionate body shape). indeed, they were several very expensive lessons.

    so i look forward one day soon (very very soon) to attend your class. i have a friend living in grand rapids (i just googled – it is about 174 miles/280km) away. so this is sooo possible. i shall visualize meeting and bonding with my friend and her hubby and at the same time, increasing my knowledge in knitting and having fun doing it in your class. being able to ask you “what do you mean when you said …” and receiving the answer and the practical experience would be just amazing.

    so amy, again thank you for sharing your knowledge. you are doing a lovely thing here.


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