The Super Simple Summer Sweater by Joji Locatelli was the very first sweater I ever completed – after 16 years of sock knitting! I had a lot of varied knitting experience up to that point but almost all of it was learned in relation to socks (cables, lace, colourwork), and I had zero experience in shoulder shaping and that sort of thing.
It took me about a month to decide on this pattern. It had a lot of great comments on Ravelry and the project pages showed it off in so many beautiful colour combinations! Dana of Yards of Happiness knit this for herself with a solid and variegated striped version and she knit one for her dog, Jellybean (which is actually what has me so into knitting matching sweaters for my own dog, Nacho). Once I settled on the pattern, choosing the yarn came down to finding something I could wash because I knew Nacho was going to get one too.
I chose Berroco Vintage based on the colours in stock at my local yarn store at the time. I really liked the cream and navy feel, so I went with that! The cream colour is called Oats and the navy is called Dark Denim and it’s such a great combination.
I can’t get too specific because this is a paid pattern, but I will say that everything about this pattern was excellent for a beginner sweater knitter. The directions are really clear and I did not have any lost, confused moments where I had no idea what I was doing – which does happen sometimes!
This sweater is knit in one piece from the top down, which is still true even now that I have knit another 8 sweaters, with various techniques. Top down is such fun because you can try it on as you go, and as you can see from my progress photos here, nothing makes a sweater WIP come alive quite as well as watching it grow ON someone!
I managed to knit this sweater, start to finish, in 16 days. I realize that’s a small window and I admit to staying up late knitting quite a bit, but it is a quick knit.
I knit this cute little swatch on January 2nd and of course I washed and blocked my swatch before casting on to make sure I had the correct gauge. I know it’s not the most fun part of knitting, but spending weeks knitting a sweater only for it to not fit is much worse!
This was my progress three days later, in the wee hours of January 5th. Swatching, Ribbing, back neck shaping and the first two colour changes were all accomplished in four days.The increases before the first strips are make one lefts, and I clearly did not execute that properly – but I was at least consistent! So that detail between the neck ribbing and the first stripe is not part of the pattern 🤦♀️.
This is my progress on day 6 and watching this little sleeve materialize was so fun! At this point, the sweater is at it’s largest (around the bust) so each row was taking longer. The instructions were really clear and from here it was equally spaced stripes until ribbing.
The next day, day seven, I made amazing progress with another set of stripes. More straight knitting, but it’s so fun in this pattern because the colour changes keep it interesting.
Day 12 and I finished the body, then it was time to pick up the arm stitches and knit the sleeves!
I finished on day 13 and immediately started on Nacho’s version!
This pattern was perfect for a first sweater. The back neck shaping and picking up stitches for the sleeves are both well explained and it’s more than worth the $6.50 to buy it on Ravelry. This sweater is pictured in solid colours, that is what I went with myself, and there are over 1700 examples of it with a mix of variegated and solid stripes and I love it! Check out the project pages to see examples.
Joji on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jojilocat/