Harry Potter is the reason I learned to knit. My first project was a Hogwart’s scarf and then I got ambitious and decided to tackle a Quidditch sweater. Learning on a doll-sized sweater is the way to go. It still a slow process, but much less so than making a human sized sweater. You’re developing the same skills on a smaller scale. You’re not out nearly as much time or money if it goes wrong. Plus, putting a wonky sweater on a doll doesn’t carry the social awkwardness it does for a person.
Since I’m relatively new to knitting, I won’t be brazen enough to claim to teach you how to knit a sweater. This will not be a full tutorial – more of a demi- or semi- tutorial. I’ll just set you up with the basic blueprint and let you go from there. Jump right in and see if it works out. You can look up tutorials online for slip stitches, binding off, etc. as you go.
- Redheart’s “Love My Doll Sweater” directions and you tube video
- Burgundy/cardinal yarn – 1 skein (I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Yarn in Cranberry)∗
- Yellow yarn – 1 skein (I used Big Twist Baby Yarn in Dandelion)∗
- Size 4 (3.5mm / US 4) Knitting Needles
- Stitch markers (I used small pony tail holders)
- Yarn Needle
∗ I prefer to use the same yarn collection for projects to make sure the stitch sizes will be the same. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the exact color combination I wanted without mixing brands. I was careful to pick ones that were similar and it worked out. Both are Medium 4 and listed the same number of stitches per test swatch.
Starting with the cranberry yarn, I cast on 48 stitches instead of the 37 the pattern states. Rib knit accordions in on itself, so you’ll need more stitches than if you were doing all knit stitches. (I averaged about 8 stitches/inch). Also with the fitted stretch of the rib knit, you don’t need a full 7 1/2″ width per side that the pattern states. The sweater stretches a lot and should fit snugly. I made each side 6″ wide when laying flat and unstretched.
After casting on, I started immediately with a rib stitch pattern (a repeating pattern of 2 knits and 2 pearl stitches) working my way up from the bottom of the sweater. (I did not start with a broken rib pattern for a band at the beginning like the pattern does.) I also made my sweater a 1/2″ longer than the directions. I wrote in the dimensions I changed on Redheart’s pattern:
As you can see in this picture, you’ll be knitting a front piece, back piece, and two sleeves separately. Once the individual pieces are made, you stitch them together with a yarn needle.
I continued the rib knit until the sweater was 3 inches high from the bottom. For my stitch size, that made approximately 24 rows before I switched to the dandelion yarn.
After switching colors, I used a straight knit for one row and then continued the rib stitch (the row of knit stitching keeps the color change from looking strange). The dandelion color should make up the next inch of sweater (approx. 8 rows).
Switch back to cranberry and begin shaping the armhole according to the pattern’s directions.
Continue with Redheart’s directions for shaping the armhole, making the sleeves, and finishing.
For the sleeves, I continued the rib stitch, but cast on with 28 stitches (the pattern calls for 21 stitches cast on.) Once again, I went straight into the rib pattern and did not start with a Broken Rib pattern. I continued the cranberry yarn for approx. 2 inches and then switched to dandelion yarn for one inch. From there you finish with cranberry.
I did make my sleeves a little too long, so I should have stopped knitting earlier at the end (knitted less at the end/top of the sleeve). This would have shifted the sleeve up and made the dandelion arm band a little higher and more even with the chest band.
Knit the Neck Ribbing according to the pattern alternating single knit and pearl stitches.I knit two rows of cranberry, two rows of dandelion, and two rows of cranberry. Be careful with the casting off – it it’s too tight, you’re doll’s head won’t fit through.
I hope this gives you a little guidance if you’re interested in knitting your own sweater. My final product isn’t the most polished, but it’s a respectable first attempt at a sweater and looks great peeking out from under the robe!
Our last piece of equipment will be arm pads.