Next Level Knitting: Knit Your Own Chunky Cropped Sweater | Brandi Cheyenne Harper | Skillshare

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Next Level Knitting: Knit Your Own Chunky Cropped Sweater

teacher avatar Brandi Cheyenne Harper

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Gather Your Materials


    • 3.

      Cast On and Knit in the Round


    • 4.

      Knit a Hem


    • 5.

      Shape Your Yolk


    • 6.

      Separate Your Sleeves


    • 7.

      Shape Your Body


    • 8.

      Close Your Sleeve Underarm


    • 9.

      Hem Your Sleeve


    • 10.

      Weave and Block

    • 11.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Knit a modern, cozy sweater that looks like a work of art and feels like an act of self-care.

A simple cup of hot tea, a mid-afternoon nap and knitting with a ball of bulky cotton yarn are all ways Brandi Cheyenne Harper brings rest, creativity and joy into her daily life. As a knitting guide and interdisciplinary artist, Brandi first connected with knitting as a way to build her wardrobe but soon discovered it to be a meditative art that served as proof she could create anything she set her mind to. 

After years of perfecting her modern, handmade knitwear patterns, Brandi is here to take you on a knitting journey and walk you step by step through one of her original patterns: a chunky cropped sweater. Created with beginner to intermediate knitters in mind, this class will provide you with the techniques you’ll need to knit like the pros and will prepare you for the most common roadblocks knitters encounter when crafting their own sweater.

With the pattern creator herself as your guide, you’ll:

  • Choose the right knitting materials for you
  • Learn to cast your first stitches onto your needles
  • Discover the art of a clean, simple hem
  • Create a finished piece with the right shape and length
  • Add a professional feel with decorative stitch techniques and blocking 

Plus, you’ll get access to Brandi’s downloadable pattern so you can work alongside her at your own pace and learn as you go. 

Whether you’ve dabbled in a few winter scarves or the art of knitting is always something you wanted to explore, you’ll leave this class with a finished handmade sweater and the foundational skills you’ll need to take your knitting abilities to even more projects.

A general understanding of knitting will be helpful for this class but isn’t a requirement. You’ll need US 15 needles, 16 inch long circular needle, 40 or 47 inch long circular needle, your yarn of choice, a stitch marker, gauge and woolen wash to work with Brandi, but you can also adjust the style of your sweater based on the tools you already have. To continue learning about knitting, explore Brandi’s full Knitting Learning Path.

Meet Your Teacher

My name is Brandi Cheyenne Harper. I am an interdisciplinary artist and knitting guide living in Brooklyn, NY. My pronouns are she, her, and they. Cancer sun, Pisces rising, Cancer moon. I get crabby without solitude. I’m loyal and love being home. My love language is just let me love on you, cook you nourishing meals you’ll be surprised are vegetarian, and plan a delicious time for us.

Through my work, I promote ease, creativity, and nourishing the simple joys of everyday life. I write books on how to create protective, futurist handmade knits informed by Black, queer, and feminist theory. My hope is to empower you to build the most joyous and restful life of your imagination, using knitting as the gateway for healing and community connection.

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: I knit because it makes me feel good, it makes me feel powerful, and it really does pyramid all aspects of my life to be able to craft what I want from beginning to end. I can do it with a garment in the same way I feel as though I can do it with my own life and for the world around me. My name is Brandy Cheyenne Harper. I'm an interdisciplinary artist and knitting guy living in Brooklyn, New York. My students might recognize me from Etsy, people might recognize me from Instagram. You might know my work from the world, from Barnes and Nobles. I wrote a book that came out in 2022. I hear a lot of people say, I've always wanted to learn how to knit a sweater, but I'm so intimidated. I'm really excited to teach this class because I feel like once you make a sweater, you can pretty much make anything and it's encouraging you to take the next step, the next level up in your knitting journey. We begin with this really incredible knit hem, and then I teach you how to increase for the regular shaping. We'll go through separating the sleeves from the body. Then also how to make the body and finish off with this really beautiful trim. We're just going to take it step-by-step, section by section. I hope you walk away with a finished sweater that you love that looks cute and encouraged to make a second one. Once we learn the individual techniques that make up a sweater, I feel as though, you can make anything you put your mind to after that. Let's get started. 2. Gather Your Materials: My name is Brandi Cheyenne Harper. I'm an interdisciplinary artist and knitting guide living in Brooklyn, New York. I knit because it makes me feel good. It makes me feel powerful. It makes me feel able and capable to create the wardrobe I want to create. In this class, I'm teaching you step-by-step how to go about creating a sweater that is just for you and I'm excited because it's easy. It's easier than it seems. There's a lot of new parts, a lot of new techniques we have to learn to make a finished garment, especially a sweater. But once we learned the individual techniques that make up a sweater, I feel as though you can make anything you put your mind to after that. We're going to start with gathering our materials and I'm going to go through everything you need to get started, and why it's important to have those things and where there's some wiggle room to completely go in a different direction. Because you have a lot of flexibility here, you have options. But what's great about a class and what's great about a knitting pattern is that you don't have to figure it out on your own, it's all here for you. So the pattern is available in the Resources page. This pattern is to fit a 34 inch to a 60 inch chest, so you should be able to find a size that works for you and there is some flexibility here. Know know that about the sizing. If you want to make modifications to the sweater pattern, I say go for it. And my second class, I'm going to be talking about how to modify another pattern for your perfect fit and to make changes that are customized to your body. So if that's something you're interested in, definitely check out my second class with Skillshare about customizing your sweater pattern. Once you get your yarn, I recommend a super bulky weight yarn. You want to test it. I recommend US 11 and US 15 needles. You really want to make sure to test your yarn, try different needle sizes. You want about two stitches to an inch in order to create this sweater and to have it look the way I'm wearing it now. Once you pick your yarn, you have to make sure that you have the right needle sizes for your yarn. So in the pattern, I recommend you have two stitches per inch. I'm a relatively even knitter. I don't knit too tight, I don't knit too loose, and so I get about two stitches to an inch. But if you're a looser knitter, let's say you get really loose, you're going to want to go down in a needle size. You may need to go to a US 13 to get two stitches to an inch. If you're a really tight knitter, you might need to go up a needle size. You might need to go to a US 17 to get two stitches to an inch. I recommend a US 15 to get started. If you have it in your stash, go ahead, swatch your yarn. You're going to use your needle gauge or your tape measuring tool to see if you're getting two stitches to an inch. If you're too tight, you want to go up a needle size. If you're too loose, you want to go down in a needle size. It is important, it does affect your finished garment. It might be that your sweater is too tight or your sweater is to loose if you don't get the correct gauge. So I highly recommend you check your gauge before you get started. You're going to need a lot of circular needles. I mean, you're going to need at least four circular needle sizes because we start with the neck line and that's a much shorter needle size. So we have six units circulars is what you'll start with. Eventually, we will increase enough stitches to fit both our arms and our yolk. So we're going to be increasing a number of stitches here. So you're also going to need some longer circular needles and I recommend size 40 inch long circular needles or 47 inch long circular needles depending on the size you're making. If you're making one of the larger sizes like the last three sizes in the pattern, you're going to want to use a 47 inch long needle because you're going to have hundreds of stitches that include both your body and your sleeves. That's something to keep in mind. I'm using a bunch of supplies from my favorite yarn company Purl Soho. I have their brass toolkit, it's gorgeous. I have a little measuring tool for when you want to check your gauge. I have stitch markers that also have this beautiful wool [inaudible] that they carry. There is a bunch of materials that I have that's in the materials list, as well as yarn of course, and I recommend a few in the pattern. I highly recommend reading your pattern from beginning to end. It really does help your mind understand what is coming next. Even if you don't fully understand or visualize what is happening, trust me, it really does help prepare you for your pattern moving forward. So if you can't visualize something, that's okay. Let the mind take it in and when your knitting is in front of you, most things you read in a knitting pattern does make sense. So now that we have all of our supplies, we are ready to begin making the [inaudible], and we're going to begin with the knitted him. 3. Cast On and Knit in the Round: I have my yarn and I am going to go ahead and cast on. Casting on is when we put our stitches on the needle. We're going to begin with the long tail cast on. Now there are 100 ways to cast on stitches and this is one of the most beginner friendly cast ons. Once we cast on our stitches, we're going to knit a few rows and we're going to join our hem. First thing is first, the long tail cast on requires a long tail. You need about three times the length of the piece you want to make. Now my neck line is about 18 inches around and that's in the pattern so I'll need about three times 18. [LAUGHTER] This is about 18, so I need 1, 3 and then I'm going to give myself about 10 inches more just in case. I always think it's best to give yourself more tail than less because you can always cut off the extra, you can never gain 10 inches and you have to start again so just make sure you have enough tail. Once we have enough tail, I like to keep my tail in the front, when I'm working long tail cast on in the round. Knitting in the round is something we're going to go over next. I'm going to grab my smaller needles. Just make sure you're using at least two needles sizes smaller than your main needle when you're working your knitted hem because there's a lot of stretch, there's a lot of give and you want the hem to be much tighter. Here we go. I have my long tail on the front and I have my ball yarn to the left and I'm going to take my circular needle and I'm just going to go ahead and just put a loop on the needle. Now, I like to work my long tail cast on without a slipknot and a lot of techniques and books out there will show you how to create the long tail cast on what the slipknot. This is how to create the cast on without a slipknot. The way to do that is I'm just going to hold that loop on the needle, you'll see it's open on both sides with my index finger to keep it nice and taut and then I'm going to take my index finger and my thumb, and I'll separate one strand with my index finger and one with my thumb while I'm holding the loop on the needle with my index finger. I'm going to use the other three fingers to hold both strands. What you're going to have is a setup that looks pretty much like this. If this is very new to you, take your time, if this is not new to you, have fun watching. Once I have my loop secured here, I'm going to bring my needle down and I'm going to cast on a stitch. You go up, your thumb around your index and then there's a little space here where your thumb is. You're going to go ahead and just drop your needle down there, drop out your thumb and I like to get myself set up for my next stitch right away, and so I'm going to take my thumb and put it behind my yarn that's in the front there. When I pull my thumb forward, you'll see that a tightens up that second loop on the needle. Between the first loop I made, and the second loop I made I've have two stitches casted on. I'm going to go ahead and just do that one more time and all the time you're going to use your index finger and you're going to hold those two stitches taut because it's very easy to just slip those stitches off the needle so I'm going to make sure that I secure them with my index. To get started with my third stitch, I'm going to set my hands up again, bring my needle down and I'd like to just touch my palm here because it's a nice little reminder. If you're new, it's a good little physical reminder that you're going up the thumb around the index, down the thumb, drop the thumb, and put the thumb behind the yarn right in front of you and cast on my third stitch. Now, I'm going to cast off for the size small and I'm just going to cast on all this design need for that and then we'll be able to join the round, and that's the next step to learning how to get started with the knit hem. First thing is I'm going to go ahead and use my long tail cast on, to cast on the rest of my stitches and each loop counts as a stitch. I think I have all the stitches I need for my cast on. I'm just going to go ahead and count them ones. It's always great to count them once or twice. [LAUGHTER] Perfect, I have as many stitches as I need and you'll see I have this long tail which I don't need so I'm going to take my scissors and I'm going to give myself about 8-10 inches of tail. You never I want to cut your tails too short, because eventually you're going to weave these and you don't want to unravel with long-term wear and the wash so you always want to leave long tails and I'll show you how to get rid of them later on. Now that we are here, we have all of our stitches casted on, it's looking really great. Next we're going to join the rounds. The first thing we want to do is we want to make sure all of our stitches are facing in the same direction. I'm just going to go ahead and just make sure they're all facing inward because if they're twisted and you join the round, it's not going to be a circle, it's going to be twisted and you're going to have to take it out so just make sure that all your stitches are facing downward in the same direction. Now we want to place a marker to mark the beginning of our round and I like to use a contrasting marker so that you can say oh, this is my beginning. I have Purl Soho brass stitch markers, I absolutely love them they come in all this beautiful gold. To signify the beginning of the round, I'm going to use a smaller stitch marker as a signifier of my beginning. I'm going to place that on my right-hand needle. To join your round, you're going to take your working yarn, and what you do, is you just knit that first stitch like you normally would. You see how the yarn is coming from this needle, I'm going to join it to the left-hand needle. I'm just going to knit that first stitch and this is what you're going to see. You're going to see that you've joined the round really beautiful here I have my tail here, its tightens up. If it feels a little loosely, don't worry you could tighten it up with your tail and the ended up afterwards but I've just joined my round. Next, I'm going to knit even all the way around for a few rounds, and then I'll show you how to join that hem. This is really easy, this is the easy part. Now I'm just going to go ahead and knit. The first round is always a little tight, so if you feel like your yarn is splitting, that's totally normal just be careful. Then after that I'm going to get three more rounds because I need a total of four round before I join my hem. The hem is about four rounds, beginning with this first one, and then I'll knit three more. You'll see sometimes the yarn will split, especially if your speed knitting. I'm going to show you what happens to that marker once I get back to the beginning. A lot of times people will say, oh, is the marker stuck? [LAUGHTER] It's not. I'll show you. Here I am. I'm almost back at my beginning of my round, I'm going to knit this last stitch in my rounds and then I'm back at my beginning marker. I'm just going to go ahead and just move this marker over to my right hand needle and keep on going. Now I'm just going to follow the pattern as instructed. The pattern says to knit three more rounds and so that's what I'm going to do. Here we go. We are all set. Next up we're going to join our hem so that we can have this really beautiful folded edge here. 4. Knit a Hem: I absolutely love this hem. It's so simple, it's so clean. In this class, it's all about learning how to knit this happen. Next up, we're going to join our hem so that we can have this really beautiful folded edge here. I'm going to just call my rows, make sure I have enough rows. This is the first row that I knit, and then the pattern set to knit three more rows. When I'm counting my rows, every V counts as a row. I have 1,2,3,4, so I'm all set. I'm like, okay, great. I'm going to put my marker down while I join my hem so that it doesn't fall and I lose it. To join your hem, you're going to join this bottom edge to these live stitches on the needle. It's really fun. It may be intimidating at first because if you don't know how to pick up stitches, if you've never done this before. But remember once you get over this hump, is really pretty much easy sailing from here. I'm going to slip the first stitch as if to knit. What that means is, you're going to put your needle in as if you were going to knit like you normally would and you're just going to move it over to the right-hand needle. Then we want to pick up this little loop along the cast on edge. Where to pick up is pretty easy when you're using the long tail cast on, because the long tail cast on creates this really beautiful defined edge and every loop is a stitch. You just have to identify this loop and this is the loop you're going to pick up every time to join your cast on edge to your life stitches on your needle. I have slipped my first stitch. I'm going to pick up going from behind, going to pick up this loop that's directly below. You'll see, directly below the stitch on the needle. I'm going to place it on my left-hand needle and I'm going to knit it and then you're going to pass that slip stitch over. I've just joined one of my hand stitches. Now this is what it looks like, nothing. But that's okay, it's going to look like something once you've done three or four or five. I'm going to do that again. I have my yarn, I'm just going to go ahead and slip my next stitch as if to knit. I'm going to go take my needle from behind. I'm going to pick up this last loop below that stitch, the cast on edge. I'm going to put it on my left-hand needle and then I'm going to knit that stitch. Then I'll pass the slip stitch over and I'm going to show you a really easier way to do this and then I'm going to join my citizen and we'll move on to the next section of class. But let me show you this really quickly. What I'd like to do to speed up this process of joining is, I'll slip my next stitch as if to knit like I showed you before, and then I'll just pick up this stitch. Keep it on my right-hand needle. I'll knit it and then I'll pass this slip stitch over. It's like a little as one less step for me to do. What I'm going to do is I'm just going to go ahead and join the rest of my stitches. There are written instructions for this technique in the pattern in the resources section if you need a refresher or if you like written instructions. Here we go, that's it. That's how it looks on the other side. I've joined my hem. The next step in the pattern is to change my needle size because I was using a US 11. I'm going to change to my US 15s, these are my bigger needles that I'm going to be using for the main body of the sweater. I'm going to go ahead and change out my needle size by just knitting with the larger needle. I like this way because it's quicker and there's nothing else easier to do. When you're done with your knitted hem, this is what you're going to see. You're going to have this really beautiful rounded edge. I changed my needles from the smaller to the larger and I just knit one round and so have this really beautiful transition between my hem and my next section, which is my yoke. Meet me in the next class where we're going to be talking about shaping our yoke and we're going to learn some really basic increases in order to do that. 5. Shape Your Yolk: Next we're going to learn how to shape our yoke. Our yoke is everything below here and above here. It's this entire section where you're increasing for your bus line and for your sleeves. One of the easiest ways to shape a sweater is from the top down. You see we're starting from the neck and we're going to create what is called raglan shaping. That is what we have here, these big beautiful blocks here, that is what raglan shaping is. It's when you increase the same amount of stitches in the body as you do in the sleeves in the same row. Now, I will say I shaved my sweater a little differently. Eventually we're going to stop increasing stitches in the sleeve because I want us to have a really nice fitted sleeve and I want to get rid of any kind of bulk hair. That's something that I did to modify my raglan shaping as I increased less stitches in the sleeve, so just keep that in mind. What we need to do is we need to place markers to mark where we're going to begin increasing to shape the yoke. I have three more markers that I'm going to need. I have one already marking my beginning of the round and so I'm going to have these larger ones marking where I'm going to be increasing stitches for the yoke. Following my pattern, I'm going to knit 12 stitches and I'm going to place a marker. I'm going to go ahead and place my marker. Then the pattern says to knit five, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and that's for the sleeve, put in place another marker. Knit 12. I'm going to place my last marker. This row is basically just setting you up for increasing so you know where to increase and you don't have to count stitches every row. What is marking here is you have your beginner marker, and then you have your front. This is your sleeve. This is your back. This is your sleeve. That's what those markers are marking. The next row is going to be our first increase row and I'm going to go ahead and show you the increases we're going to learn, we're going to learn two increases. I make one left and I make one right. These are increases that mirror each other. You have one that looks like it's leaning to the left, and one that's looks like it's leaning to the right, and when they're paired together, they're symmetrical. I'm going to teach you that next. The pattern says to knit two and then I'm going to make my first increase, which is going to be a make one right. To make one right, you're going to take your left-hand needle and go behind and pick up this loop that's between these two stitches. We take our left-hand needle, we go from behind, we pick up that loop onto the needle. This is what you're going to see. It's going to look like it's really gaping hole hole here, which is what you want. We want to close that. In order to close that, you're just going to knit into the front loop of that stitch and you've made one. It's going to look like it's leaning to the right. The pattern says to knit two stitches before the next marker. You can see there's a little pattern happening. We're going to knit two. We make one, we're going to knit to two stitches, for the next marker, we're going to make another one. This is how you get that really beautiful design here. You see there's two stitches here, two stitches here, and then there's make ones on each side of it, is how you get that really beautiful raglan line. To make one left, instead of going from behind, you're going to go in front of the loop between your two stitches. To close that hole, you're going to knit into the back of that loop. That is how you increase your yoke. Here's my make one right. Here's my make one left. They are symmetrical and facing away from each other, and it's beautiful is what we want. The pattern says to knit four. You're always just going to keep your markers going. You're just going to slip your markers as you go along. The pattern says just to repeat that again, so here I am. I'm back where I need to increase. I'm going to make one right here. Go behind my needle, go behind my loop, pick it up, knit in front of it, the pattern says to knit one, so I'm going to knit one. Then it says make one left, so I go in front, and then I'll knit through the back loop. That's pretty much all you need to know to knit the rest of the yoke. I'm just going to finish this row off following the pattern as instructed and then I'll show you maybe a quick way. If you wanted to speed up your make one right or to speed up your make one left, which again, is not necessary, but you find a little tips and tricks as you become more experienced, and this is one of mine, is when I'm making my make one right, I use my right-hand needle. I'll drop it onto the left-hand needle and then I'll knit in front of the loop. It's a one extra step that actually feels easier to me and faster to me. Then I'm going to knit to two stitches before the next marker. For my make one left, I like to use again my right-hand needle instead of my left-hand needle and I'll just drop the stitch on my left-hand needle to knit it. But either way, this is a very simple increase. You're going to repeat this increase every other row until you have as many stitches as the pattern says you're supposed to have and we're good. We're back at our beginning of our round. I would like to set my marker down when I'm looking at my work so I don't lose it. This is what you're going to see. This is after you increase, you're going to see increases on each side of the two stitches surrounding your marker. Here's my marker, here are my two stitches, here are my increases. You're going to see that every marker increase, increase, marker two, two. Now that you've learned all the increases that you need, you have your make one right, you have your make one left, you're going to go ahead and repeat that technique every other row. You can practice this on the swatch. Take your time, no pressure. You could cast on 20 stitches, [inaudible] a row, and then practice this increase on your right-side row. You would increase [inaudible] row, increase [inaudible] role to practice or just increase on your yoke and meet me in the next lesson, where I'll show you how to separate the sleeves from the body 6. Separate Your Sleeves: This is the fun part for me. After you've increased all your stitches, you can sometimes have hundreds of stitches that you'll then separate into your front, your back, and your sleeves. Right now I have at least 180-200 stitches, so let's separate the sleeves from the body. The pattern says to knit the back stitches. I'm just going to go ahead and do that. I have my beginning marker and I'm just going to knit my back stitches. Not every pattern you work will have specific instructions on how to separate your sleeves from your body and it all happens in one row. The first step in my pattern is to knit the back and we're knitting basically you to our next sleeve. [NOISE] So wonderful. The pattern says to knit my back stitched which is basically knitting to my next marker, it'll say knit to your next marker. Then I'm going to remove that marker because we don't need to mark that anymore. This was to mark the increase for the wrangling. We don't need it, so I'm going to throw that into my little bowl. Then we're going to put our sleeve stitches on stitch holders. We're going to put them all stitch holders to hold them to the side and we'll continue with our sleeves at another time. You could also use scrap yarn if you don't have stitch holders. You could also use a spare circular needle. You just basically want to put these stitches on hold for later. I have my PROSOCO stitch holder, just so cute. What I'm going to do is I'm going to slip my sleeves stitches onto this stitch holder. What you do is you basically go to slip those stitches as if to pearl. What that means is you're going to go down in front of your stitch as if you were to pearl. The reason why we're doing that is it makes sure that the stitches don't twist. If you were to take them off as if to knit, you would twist your stitches and then something will look wrong in you're knitting once you start knitting your sleeve again. You just want to move your stitches over as if to pearl and that'll keep them in the orientation they're supposed to be. I'm just going to just move them all over really quickly to my stitch holder. Now, if I was doing this within a knitting needle, I will do the same thing. I can take a spare knitting needle and I can move the stitches over onto the holder. I get that a tapestry needle with some scrap yarn and I can put the stitches on some scrap yarn, wherever it's easiest and most accessible to you. You just want to get them to the side. The most important thing is to slip them as if to pearl onto whatever holder you're using so that they don't twist. What I love about these is that you can pretty much use all the space available on these stitch holders and really squish them together. I've just moved all my stitches over to my stitch holder and I know because I'm at my next marker. The pattern says to remove it, so I'm going to remove that mark. I'm going to place this aside because I don't need it anymore. Then I'm going to close up my stitch holder. If I was using yarn, I can tie a little knot to make sure they don't come off. Sleeves just sometimes will fall off their holder. It's a part of the process. It's okay. Just put them back on their holder and begin again. Here I am, my sleeves stitches are on my holder and I'm going to get my working yarn that's attached to my back. Because that was the last place I finished knitting. I'm going to have my sleeve held to the front. We're going to bring that working yarn to the front stitches. We're going to knit the front stitches until we get to our sleeve. Then we're going to do the same thing. We're going to put those sleeve stitches onto a holder and we're done. But for now, what you want to see here is it's going to look a little loose here, don't worry. I'm going to show you how to close that gap under the arm when we pick up the sleeve. But for now, just knit that as tight as possible to join the back to the front. Then just knit your front stitches until you get to your next sleeve. This is what it's going to look like here, like that. I'm back at my second sleeve and I'm just going to repeat that section where I remove my marker because I don't need it anymore. I'm going to slip those sleeves stitches onto a second stitch marker. [NOISE] I'm back at my beginning marker here. I'm going to close off my sleeves stitches, hold my sleeves stitches to the front. I'm ready to start my next row. Now, I'm just going to slip my beginning marker over. Once I knit that next stitch, and there we go. We've separated our sleeves from our body. It's actually so simple to do. Once you do it, once you're like, that was so easy. You have your body stitches on a circular needle all around here. You have your asleep stitches on the stitch holders here. This is how you separate your sleeves from your body. Definitely take your time. If you are just watching this lesson, come back when you're ready and revisit this lesson when it's time. Next up, we're going to learn how to shape our body. I'm going to teach you two decreases you need to know to create that really beautiful shape along the waist. 7. Shape Your Body: Next we are going to shape our bodies. One thing about this sweater is that the waist at the bottom is a little smaller than the chest circumference. I decrease just a few stitches so that it could curve in a little bit because of really beautiful shape to the body and we're going go over some basic decreases for the body shaping. It can make a huge difference to the overall shape and style and fit of your sweater. I'm already at a place where I have to increase my first row. I'm going to teach you two beginner friendly decreases. Knit two together, looks like it's facing to the right and the slip knit pass looks like it's facing to the left. What you have are these really beautiful, symmetrical decreases that are decorative, but also serve a practical purpose of bringing that waist in a little bit. Let me go ahead and show you. At this point, I'm at my beginning marker and so the pattern says to knit two. Again, the placement of the decrease is a design aesthetic. It also creates a really beautiful decorative touch. That's why we knit two before we do any kind of shaping. It's just my own designs, my own thing. We're going to learn the slip knit pass first. That is the decrease that looks like it's facing to the left. The first thing you do is you're going to slip that first stitch from the left-hand needle to the right-hand needle as if to knit and what that means is you go into the stitch as of to knit, you're just going to move it over. Then you're going to knit the next stitch and then you're going to go ahead and pass the slip stitch over. Now we have our slip knit past done. Next, I'm going to follow the pattern. The pattern says to knit two stitches before the next marker and so that is what I'm going to do. That is just the side marker. The pattern says to knit to where I need to be to make my next decrease. The next decrease I'm going to teach you is the knit two together. Here's my side marker. I am forced to stitch before the marker, so I have these two. Which is my little decorative touch for stitches between the shaping techniques and I'm going to go ahead and knit these two stitches together. You go into two stitches at the same time with the right-hand needle and then you're going to knit those two stitches as if they were one like that. Then I'm just going to drop those two stitches off the needle and tighten up that decrease. What you're going to see is you have your slip knit pass over here facing to the left and you have your knit two together over here facing the right. That's what you're going to do. You're going to repeat that same eighth row for a certain amount of times depending on the pattern you're following in terms of the size. I am good. We're going to decrease force that just every round, every eighth row, any number of times depending on the size you're making. Go ahead and practice your decreases on a swatch. You want to practice units together, your slip knit pass. If you just want to go ahead and do it on your sweater, do that and meet me in the next lesson where I'm going to show you how to finish off with the knitted hymn. 8. Close Your Sleeve Underarm: We have a nice in progress sweater that has magically gotten done in the time we film today. Basically because I want to show you a few techniques that happened pretty much at the end of making this sweater, so that's why we have another sample here. I'm going to show you how to go about picking up stitches for your sleeve, closing that gap in the underarm, and then also how to do that knitted hem that you're also going to use at the bottom of your body. So the sweater is trimmed and knitted hem all around. There's a knitted cast on here, and then there's the knitted bind off here. The knitted hem is also in the body and also in the sleeve. I'm going to show you how to do that in the sleeve because it's quicker, and then you'll use the same technique of the knitted hem bind off in the trim of the body. Once you have your body completed, you're going to want to pick up stitches for your sleeve and begin knitting your sleeves. Now, I'm going to knit like a really short cap sleeve, actually just a little shorter than what's written in the pattern for the purposes of our lesson today. But you can make this sleeve a little longer if you like, you can make it long sleeve, and I talk more about that in the second class about modifying your pattern. But for now I'm just going to knit a really short cap sleeve to show you both how to pick up your sleeve and how to finish the knit him. I have my stitches here on my stitch holder and you're going to see this. It's going to look like a gaping hole, it's exactly what you want to see. But first, I want to take my stitches off my stitch holder and put them on my needle. You open up your stitch holder or maybe you have it on scrap yarn or maybe you have it on a knitting needle. You have so many options. But I know I want to move the stitches onto my six unit circular needles, so I'm going to go ahead and just take that off of the stitch holder. Again, I flipped them off as if to purl, so I'm going to slip them back on as if to purl, and that means down in front as if I were to purl. It's also known as purlwise in knitting to make sure that my stitches are not twisted and get them on my circular needle. This yarn's a beautiful botanically dyed yarn that I had in my stash. It is no longer available, but it's beautiful and I was really excited to use it for the sweater. I have my stitches back on my circular needle, so there's a lot of space here, which is really scary. [LAUGHTER] That's going to look terrible under my arm, and I'm going to show you how to fix that. I'm going to take my working yarn and I'm going to join this yarn to my sleeve over here. With a new ball of yarn and my right side facing me, this is my right side, the knit side. I am going to join this new ball of yarn and I'm just going to start knitting. I like to hold my yarn taunt with my right hand, giving myself about eight inches of tail, and then I'll just begin knitting with it, and that looks good to me. I'm going to knit until I get to my underarm, this huge gap because that's where we're going to learn how to close up that hole. I know this is going to sound strange, but we're only going to pick up one stitch in this gusset to pull it all together, and we're going to pick up a stitch right into this gap right in between the gusset, right at the center. We're going to leave those gaping holes at the side, and I'm going to show you how to go about getting rid of that by tightening up that area versus adding more stitches to it. Because you can just fill this space with stitches and the sleeve would be too big and the underarm will be too baggy. But to get this really nice fitted, tight edge under your arm, you want to avoid adding too many stitches there. I'm just going to add one, and then in the pattern I say, remove any looseness, and I'll show you how to go about doing that. It takes a little time, I I say, but it's definitely worth the effort. To pick up that, one stitch at the gusset, I'm going to just go right into that top loop, pull some yarn through, and you'll see immediately, it starts to tighten up. Here, you see. Wonderful. I've picked up that one stitch in my gusset, it's still very holy, but I'll show you how to fix that in a bit. I'm going to go ahead and just place my marker for my beginning of my round, and just knit. I'm going to knit one round just to get us in a good place, so you can see how that underarm comes together and quickly knit one round around. The pattern says to knit like four rows, to create the sleeve I'm wearing, so you're just going to knit as many rounds as you need to knit. But once your sleeve is joined, you can just knit really simply. If you feel like you need more space, if you need to work what is called magic loop, and there's a lot of space, you can pull the wire out like this, and so you're able to work with a fewer amount of stitches on your needle. You can use magic loop if you need to. So way of working on working on circular needle with fewer stitches. Here we go. I will say, I would really work on this, perfecting this underarm. Once you're bound off, once you're weaving your ends, this is like a finishing technique. But I want to show you now how to go about removing this looseness to give you reassurance that it is possible. One thing to know is that there are strands underneath your sweater here that are going to tighten. You'll see when I pull that tail here, this little area tightens. Just know that that will tighten and then also, here's another ball of yarn, here, that I joined, and you can see that tail will tighten. If it makes you feel better knowing that those might tighten, you can tie those two together so that they're nice and taunt and you know you don't have to worry about it. But what you do have to worry about is all the rest of this. Now, what I like to do and this is like a really top tip, even if you're an experienced knitter, for how to knitten up your underarms, is one of the things that horrified me when I first learned how to knit because it was so messy and it would just be holes and it was annoying. I'm okay with a little hole but not gaping holes like this. What you want to do and what I like to do, is I'll move this looseness to other areas of my sweater, and then once I wash it and block the sweater, it just really evens out and goes away. You're just going to pull any extra loose, here's another tail that will tighten, so I can tighten that. This identify all the tails that could be tightened so you can know where you actually have to do the work. It looks like I have to really tighten in here. What I would do is I take my tapestry needle and I'll pull the looseness out of that area and move it over until the back or the front or the sleeve, and just gently even it out so it's not all concentrated in one place. This is how I would do it. This looks a little loose, but remember, once these little subtle differences in your stitch pattern will really go away once you wash and once you block. I'm just going to go ahead and just tighten up a little bit and just move any looseness, and the thing about this is a little scary because you're like, but wait, I'm going to make other areas loose, and it's possible, but you just want to take your time. This is the area where you want to take your time. The finishing is really what can make your sweater look really beautiful, is this little extra attention to detail here. I'm going to go ahead and then again, the same thing, I'll tighten that up. You see how this tightened up there and I'll just keep moving the looseness into another area. Again, just putting a little bit extra space in between the neighboring stitches. They can use a little more space, why not? This why we'll say, we'll take a little time. I'm going to stop there. I can fuss around with it a little more later. Now, I'll show you what it looks like on this side. This is how it looks underneath the arm. Now, when I look at this, I'm like, this is bothering me. I could if I wanted to keep on going and pull out some more looseness out of that, but this doesn't bother me. If this is something that would bother you, you're going to have like three or four tails under the arm. You can't take your tail and just cinch it close and just try and close up those holes. I try and avoid that to reduce bulk in my sweaters, but if that's something that will bother you, use you're leftover tails to really bring underarm together. I will say when it comes to beginning your sleeve and knitting up that underarm, it does take a little bit of practice, a little bit of patients. The more you work on your sweaters, the more you learn different ways of constructing sweaters, you'll find a method that really works for you. This is a method that works for me that I really love, and take your time. Go ahead and start your sleeves, finish your sleeve and meet me in the next lesson where I'm going to show you the final piece to tie this sweater off, which is the knit hem bind off. 9. Hem Your Sleeve: I am at the place where I am ready to join my knit hem. I will say that this leaf is a little bit shorter. For the purposes of this class, I made the sleeve a little shorter than what's in the pattern, so just keep that in mind when you're watching this tutorial, when you're watching this lesson. The first thing we want to do is basically we want to fold this over and sew these live stitches to the inside of the sweater like that. We need to cut our seeming yarn and give ourselves enough sewing tail. You need about three times the length of the piece you want to sew together. This sleeve is about 13 inches around, so I want 13 times three, so like this, one, two, three, and I am going to cut that. This is about how much tail I need to sew my knit hem bind off. There is a step that is optional that I don't do anymore. [LAUGHTER] It's called a lifeline. A lifeline is a visual marker that marks where you are going to sew, where you're going to do something special in your piece, and you want a visual marker of where that's going to be. The way you're going to do that, is you turn your sweater inside out. This is just to mark where we want to join our hem. You turn your sweater inside out. We knitted three rounds. So here's one, here's two, here's three for our hem. We want to join this hem along this fourth round. What we're going to do is we're going to mark this round with a contrasting color. You thread your needle, and this is optional. If you're like, oh, I just have to sew three rows down, great, that's what I'll do. You can eyeball it. Great. If not, then you want to place a lifeline and remove it later. Here's Row 1, here's Row 2, here's Row 3. I want to grab this stitch here when I'm seaming. I'm just going to place this lifeline right below it so I can mark where I want to sew. I'm just going to weave in and out one, two, three, four, and make sure I'm in the right place. I was not. [LAUGHTER] This is why we mark. Here's my next stitch. I'm just going to go over it and under my next stitch. This is what you'll see. I will go over over and under, over and under. Again, you can always just check this. So one, two, three, four is the knitted hem. Here's my three rows. Here's where I want to pick up and sew along this line right here. I'm going to quickly just keep on adding my lifeline, and I'm just weaving in and out of one stitch. With a more experienced eye, you'll be able to see exactly where you need to sew, exactly where you need to pick up. This little extra step is just for convenience. You don't have to count down each time to figure out, is this where I'm supposed to sew it? You'll see what I mean when we get started. Here we go. I've added my lifeline. I don't need all this tail, so I'm just going to cut some. I'm going to turn my sweater back on the right side, and you'll be able to see it. You could totally do this with the right side facing too, but I like where my wrong side is facing. We have that inside here. Now this is how you go about sewing your hem down. You're going to thread your needle , your tapestry needle. I can remove my marker now because we're done. I'm going to slip this first stitch off my needle as if to knit, meaning knit-wise, so that's as if I were knitting, but just move it over and don't complete the knit. Then I need to see the next place for me to pick up. It's a little confusing because I have my little tails here, so you're like, which one is it? You might have to count the first time. What you're counting is these individual loops here. You see that's one row, this is another row. Row 1, 2, 3, and I want to pick up the fourth row down. Next we have to figure out where we want our sewing lines. This is my first row. Right below my needle, that little lump, that little loop here, that's a one row. The one right below it, that's Row 2. The one right below it, that's Row 3. I want to pick up in Row 4. That's going to be right around here. It's not right around, it's exactly there. [LAUGHTER] Then I'll pull the yarn tie, and it's going to join that live stitch to the back of the sleeve, which is exactly what we want. We're going to continue doing that. I'm going to drop this first stitch off as if to knit, just like that. Then you'll see, I want to pick up in that next loop, here's the last one. Here is the next one, right here. You can try it again. You can say, okay, this is my loop right below my needle, two, three, four, and you'll see a line at right next to the one you just came out of. We'll pull it on. I'm going to sew a few times because I really want you to see it. The one thing you don't want to pull too tight because then your sleeve will be too small, so you just gently tug any tightness out. I'm going to just go, just so I know that it's not completely too tight. Same thing, drop it off knit-wise, and then I'm going to go into my next loop. Now, this is where the lifeline really comes into place. Where the lifeline comes together, it's a little harder to see, but you'll see it come together in a second. Right above my lifeline is where I want to pick up. Here's my lifeline, I'm going to pick up right here. But it makes sense for the first couple of stitches to count down, just make sure you're in the right place because it doesn't make a difference in the overall look of your hem. This is what it's going to look like. It looks really good, really finished, and it compliments the cast-on very well. I'm just going to finish this off. I'm going to finish this up and I'll see you in the next lesson. I'm going to show you how to bathe your sweater, how to block it, and give it that really beautiful professional finish that I highly recommend you do for this sweater. 10. Weave and Block: We're going to learn how to block and we're going to talk a little bit about what that means. Blocking is the final state in your knitting process. It's when you dunk your final finished garment in water with some gentle woolen wash. It will open up the stitches, it will knitten up any looseness or stop rolling. It'll handle so many issues that happened in your knitting. I absolutely think it's necessary 100% of the time. So in this lesson, I'm basically going to show you how to weave and ends and how to block a basic swatch in part because by the time you get to a place where you're ready to wash your sweater, it's not a surprise because you've made a swatch, you've checked your gauge, you've wash the swatch, you know how your gauge changes as a result, and so you anticipate what's going to happen when your sweater is done and you put it in the water and you lay it flat to dry. This is looping back around to the beginning where it's so important that you swatch your yarn, make sure you're getting the gauge and actually wash the swatch. Now, this is the swatch that I made for us as a little demo. You'll see a few things happening. You'll see the swatch naturally curls. That's one of the issues we want to solve in the washing process. Then knitted hem of the sweater does take care of some of that but stock and knit stitch rolls, even when you have a nice brand. It will roll just a little bit, and washing will help that. You'll also notice, I'm pretty a pretty even knitter, but there is some wobblyness in my stitch that I want to neaten up. It's just not as neat and nice as I want it to be. The swatch doesn't really have a nice drape. When you shake it, the whole thing shakes. Once we wash it, what we're going to see is it's just going to be very drapey and light and beautiful. It's just a magical process that I just love so much. Knitting a gauge swatch is the literal first thing you want to do before you knit anything but especially a sweater. You want to use the needles you want to use, the yarn you want to use, and then you want to check that gauge. But it's always going to be after you wash it. This is not an accurate depiction of what your finished piece is going to be because eventually you're going to have to wash it and it's going to change. Is going to grow two, sometimes three inches bigger than this swatch. That's something to keep in mind. To loop us back around, the way you're finished sweater turns out, It's going to be very dependent on this swatch right here and you blocking it first. I'm going to show you two ways. One way, is to weave in your ends diagonally. Here's my end, I want to weave in at a diagonal going in this direction. So the first place I want to start in the closest place possible. I know that this is one of my stitches. If you look at the end here, I know that this is one of my stitches. I'm going to go here. This as close to the edge as possible. And then from there, work at an angle. I want to go here. The next space would be a similar one, is going to be here. Once you get yourself about enter to N, you can go back and forth and the other direction to really secure it. So I'm going to go back in the other direction, weave in and out of that space I just created and here we go. When you look at the other side, you're not going to see that end woven in at all. It's pretty much invisible. Because when we wash this swatch and where you wash your sweater, these ends, your sweater is going to stretch about two to three inches at least. It happens with every yarn, with every project. So keep that in mind. I'm not going to cut it too close. I'm going to cut it like that and if after I take it out of the wash, I could still see it, I can cut it down a little more. So another way to weave in your ends, go up and down. We woven in on a diagonal. Then for this swatch, I'm going to head down closest to my edge. I'm going to go up and down, skipping one little loop here. I'm going to go down. Same thing, I'm going to do this for about an inch or two. Then I'll go back in the other direction. Going back into that same area I just wove, two, three. Just to secure it. So I've woven back-and-forth in the other direction. I'm going to cut the end, but not too short. Because it might stretch and I'll lose some of this tail. So I have some tails hanging. I think it's completely and totally okay if we're going to ends to hang, this is a handmade garment. No one's expecting it to look machine that. It's also going to be hidden insight that sweater, no one's going to see this and it's nearly invisible on the right side. So now that we have our swatch or even our finished sweater, we're going to have a nice tub of cool water, just enough water to fully submerge your garment or your swatch. You could do this in the sink. You could do this in a tub. I have a little basin that I got from a local hardware store. You can use literally whatever it is you want. Just makes sure it's clean in that rusting because that can affect the color of your fabric. I have this really beautiful sweater soap. It's some water on there. Some really beautiful sweater soap from Purl Soho. It is coriander seed and pink grapefruit. This is a no rinse woolen wash, meaning I don't have to rinse this after I'm done, which is really beautiful and it's very good for sensitive skin. This is why I love this product and it lasts for months. I love it. So we're going to use a little bit of this. I'm just going to put just enough to sud my water. That's enough. Looks nice. Then here's my swatch. I'm going to show you an after of the swatch later just so you can see the difference. It's just a huge difference. I'm just going to submerge it. Now. all ready, you can see it's opening. Is like washing your hair. I think a lot of times knitters will skip this process because they're really afraid of what this might do [LAUGHTER]. You like but looks fine on wash. Then I'm like, but it's like not washing your hair for months. You start to see a difference. Here we go. This is what I normally do. I'll just keep it moving. Try and get any dirt dust, or grime out of my fabric. You can soak it if you need to or want to for 5-10 minutes. I'd like to swap my garments, come back, and then do the rinse, but it's up to you. You could take it out right away, or you can even soak it for 10 minutes. Once it is nice and open, you can see already. It's open, but the drape is going to be really beautiful. If you're using a woolen wash that has to be washed out, you're going to run this water clear, add some more water. You're going to put it back and you're going to rinse it. Hold it over the water. But for this product. I don't have to do that. That's one of the perks. I could just squeeze out the water as much as I can. When you're doing this process with a bigger sweater, same thing. You're just going to take it section by section. You'll take the sleeves and you're squeezing. You'll take the trim and you'll squeeze it. You're trying get as much water out of it as possible. I also know a lot of knitters will rafter sweater up in a towel and use that to squeeze out the water. But whatever you have to do, you just going to squeeze it. What you don't want to do is ring it. You don't want to ring in because this will start to stretch and misform your fabric. If you squeeze it, your baby to get what out without damaging the final look. Here we go. This is my swatch. I'm going to move this aside. Now, one thing to keep in mind is that almost every textile get some kind of processing, some kind of washing process, some finishing that happens before it goes on market. This is basically what you're doing for your own sweater. This will dry like this, and it will have this shape. This is where you can really manipulate your fabric and reshape it in a way that makes sense to you and make sweater sensitive design. So I could just leave it dry like this, but it will dry like this. So I'm going to do is I'm going to knit that up. Same thing applies to any other piece, we're going to block. This was a sweater. I would let's use my hand and knit up the edges. You're going to do this to your swatch too because this will affect how your fabric looks. Now let's say you realize that your sweater is too small and you're like, you know what? I want to add another introduce width. You could do that by this. Look at how much that stretches. You can stretch it out a little more and make it a little bigger. But again, we're going to reshape it. But this is something that will affect your final gauge, it will affect your final sweater. This is why you want to make your swatch. Good. Look how much it can change during the washing process depending on how you treat it. So that is our swatch. That is how you block. Block all your projects, makes a huge difference. 11. Final Thoughts: I am so proud of you, you've learned how to make a sweater. We learned how to cast on to create this really beautiful knitted hem, two increases to shape our yolk for these beautiful Rag Linde lines. How to separate our sleeves from our body. How to shape the body. How to pick up our sleeves and get rid of the gap under our arm and also how to do the knitted hem. The final process was learning how to block and wash our swatch and I'm really excited for you to make your sweater, make one, make many, grab the pattern, the gayest crew in the class resources below. I'm excited to see your projects take in-progress photographs. Take finished photographs wherever you are in your process. Share your progress in the project gallery below. Leave a review, and hit me up in the discussions, ask any questions that you have, and I'm really excited to see your progress and I'll see you soon. Bye