I recently finished my Essentials Sweater by Darling Jadore and I thought it would be helpful to share my thoughts on the pattern and the modifications I made.
To say that I loved knitting this sweater is an understatement. I thoroughly enjoyed knitting every part of this sweater. While I’ll get more into it in my thoughts below, this was a perfect beginner-friendly project, and while it had some parts that required more concentration, it was a pretty mindless project which I appreciate in my knitting projects.
The sweater fits exactly how I wanted it to, and I already know that it will get a lot of love this fall and winter.
The pattern I used is the Essentials Sweater by Darling Jadore. I cannot recommend her patterns enough. The patterns are well organized with plenty of instructions and details (which are super helpful for a beginner sweater knitter like me).
As far as construction, the sweater follows a raglan top-down style, which I’m learning is really flatter for my body type. If you’re new to sweater knitting, I definitely recommend starting with a raglan construction. In my opinion, it has the easiest construction to follow. Additionally with a raglan construction, you have the ability to try the sweater on as you go – which is incredibly helpful!
The original pattern calls for a DK weight yarn. I had been gifted fingering weight yarn from Sewrella Yarn (from her Autumn in New York collection), so to achieve a DK weight, I purchased Hobbii Diablo (a mohair blend) to create a bulkier weight. This substitute turned out really, really well! To be honest, I didn’t do a gauge swatch so I’m not entirely sure how my gauge compares to the one in the pattern, but again the sweater fits perfectly, so it worked out!
Since I had 4 colors to work with, I striped the colors and changed colors every 12 rows. The stripes turned out exactly how I envisioned them to and I couldn’t be happier with them!
To be honest, I don’t remember what size I followed, but I’m confident that it was either the medium or the large. I only followed the sizing and stitch counts for the yoke and once I split for the sleeves, I totally went rogue and knit the sweater how I wanted it to fit me.
The one part that I was a little confused on was the decreasing for the sleeves. Since I was lazy and didn’t really want to take the time to figure out the instructions in the pattern, I just did my own thing for the sleeves. For the most part, I knit the sleeve straight down with no decreases until near the end I started working a few decreases and then I worked a couple rounds of rapid decreases before the ribbing to create a balloon effect.
Additionally with the body, I knit until I liked the length and then I knit the ribbing. I personally like my tops cropped, so I knew going into this project that I would most likely stop early on the body to have a cropped fit.
Overall, this is an excellent pattern, and I know I will be using this pattern in the future to make more cozy sweaters!