My first knit: WATG Relax Knit Through it Sweater

Sunday, December 30, 2018

When you make your own clothes and people get to know about it, after a while they just shrug off a new item, like 'yeah of course, you made it'. So whilst my new jumper might just be yet another thing I've made, as my very first hand knitted jumper, I think it's a totally monumental make! After learning to knit as a child, it's only taken 20 years (nearly a year of those spent making this jumper!) to finally catch the knitting bug!

MY FIRST KNIT!!!
It's almost a year to the day since I started making this Wool and the Gang Relax Knit Through It Sweater having bought the kit in the 2017 Christmas sales. I bought the pattern and Feeling Good Yarn alone saving money on the needles as I already had a pair in my stash. Their well-styled but arguably overpriced knit kits always tempt me as the quick fix way to get started on a project, but it takes a bit more willpower to finish them. I've seen a lot of sewists pick up the knitting needles recently - see the amazing bubble sleeve cardigan by @rubymurraysmusings and Emily Self Assembly Required's incredible chunky knit efforts for serious inspiration - which helped in spurring me on to finish this long-time project.

Composition: Baby Alpaca 70% / Merino 7% and Nylon 23%
I chose the beautiful Cinnamon Dust Feeling Good Yarn as I was going through my orange phase at the time (see this skirt and these trousers) and luckily I still love the colour now it's finished. Size 2 requires 6 balls, but I was surprised to find that I only used 5 in the end - though I wouldn't take the risk on ordering less, having heard a friend's knitting horror story of running out of wool with another WATG kit!


The sweater is knitted on 6.5mm needles so it comes together quite quickly when you put the effort in. It's made up of stocking stitch squares without any shaping, so it's easy to the point where it's almost a boring knit (I clearly can't find the balance between interest/speed with my knitting)!


I learnt the long tail cast on which gives a more elastic finish. The written guidance on this isn't the best and I struggled to visualise the technique, so I'd recommend watching the Wool and the Gang YouTube tutorials. Having spent years casting on (mainly hats) using the standard method, I'm a total convert. I used the long tail method for a new hat recently and it gives a much neater edge.

Stocking stitch squares, pre-funnel neck
The most fun and challenging part of the make was picking up stitches around the neckline for the  funnel neck. After sewing up one shoulder seam, you add the neck stitches from the front and back sweater to your needle before knitting another long piece of stocking stitch, This means you have to sew up the other side of the neck, leaving a visible seam on the wrong side when the neck rolls into place. If I was savvier with knitting, I think I'd do this on a circular needle in future to avoid that extra seam.


I finally learnt how to sew up my knitting properly with invisible seams, which is probably one of the most useful skills I gained from this project. Again, the YouTube tutorials were much easier to digest than the written instructions.

Back view

I actually had a bit of a mare with sewing up as the measurements given for attaching the sleeves are really small. I attached both sleeves and sewed a whole side up before realising that it was impossibly small in the armpit and unpicking the whole thing. If you think unpicking sewing is a pain, try undoing your invisible seams in an alpaca/mohair mix wool - definitely tested my patience! If I was to make the jumper again, I'd go up a size for the sleeve to give a bit more room for movement.

Jumper love
I don't think it's the most flattering or beautiful sweater in the world - thanks to my Dad and boyfriend for the comments of 'did you run out of wool?', 'it's a bit short' - but it doesn't matter as I feel SO PROUD knowing I made it. Despite making me a bit sneezy, the wool is so soft and warm. I'm not giving up on sewing by any means, but I am finally ready to embrace the knitting needles!

I do think you're paying mostly for the brand with Wool and the Gang, so moving away from them, I'm currently eyeing up all the amazing chunky knit patterns from Good Night, Day. Next up though is the Fibre Mood Tara, using this super chunky bargain wool in olive from Wool Warehouse - heads up, there are also some amazing sewing patterns in Fibre Mood too! Has anyone else caught the knitting bug this winter?


Stay in touch!



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8 comments

  1. This looks very accomplished! You can always count on dad's and bf's to make those little 'helpful' comments! It looks great as it is.

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    1. Thank you Caroline! Despite the comments from them, I'm definitely feeling v accomplished :)

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  2. Your jumper looks awesome! I love the colour and the cropped, oversized fit on you. It looks lovely with your skirt/dress. I felt like I had climbed Mount Everest when I completed my first knitted cardigan so I completely understand your feelings of immense pride.

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    1. Thank you Jo! It actually goes well with lots of my bottoms as they're mostly high waisted, but definitely liking the 70s colour scheme with this outfit :) And so glad someone else understands how amazing it feels to finish your first knit! Now onto the next :) x

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  3. Gorgeous, well done on finishing it! I think the proportions look great. I started and abandoned a WATG kit last year - I think sewing zapped all my patience for sloow knitting - but you're making me want to try again.

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    1. Thanks Katie! I've just unearthed a couple of other half done WATG projects, so I'm thinking I might revisit them now. It's took me this long to actually appreciate how calming knitting can be if you're not constantly stressing about getting to the finish line. Definitely want to mix it in with my sewing a bit more :)

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  4. Love it! Great colour. I’ve knitted this jumper in the blush pink and love it, but I’m not convinced they will wash well! I also had a ball of wool left over! I didn’t sew the cowl up leaving it as an asymmetrical collar because I’m not keen on fabric around my neck, what a bargain the drops wool is. I’ve had the brand before and it was good.

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    1. Thanks Mags! :) Nice to hear from someone else who's tried the same pattern - there weren't too many on the hashtag. I don't think I'll dare to wash it in anything other than the sink/cold water! Same goes for the drops wool. Really pleased to hear that you think it's good as I've just bought my second batch of it to try one of the Good Night, Day patterns :)

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