The Perfect Transitional Sweater

knitted sweater

sweater blocking

This is not my typical type of sweater.

I’m not usually into short-sleeved sporty-looking hand-knit wool sweaters. But that’s what this sweater wanted to be, so that’s what this sweater is.

I tried to take down the sporty feel – that just looked half-assed.

I tried adding sleeves – they threw off the proportions – plus I ran out of yarn.

I tried doing turned hems – they were bulky.

I thought about doing buttons instead of a zipper – that felt wrong on every level – plus I love zippers on knits.


Once the body was done, instead of working a hem, I went back and added ribbing. I unpicked the bind off, dropped each stitch that I wanted to change from a knit to a purl, and picked them back up with a crochet hook.

This was definitely the right idea – even though it took forever and a half.

The turned hems were bulky, and sloppy, and felt heavy, whereas the ribbing is sleek and wonderful, and keeps the bottom hem from curling up beautifully.

adding a zipper to a hand knit sweater

My favorite part of this sweater is, by far, the zipper. I adore zippers in knits.

I’d never sewing a zipper into a hand-knit before, and am quite proud of how it came out. (Now I want to add zippers to all my sweaters.)

basting a zipper into a hand knit

I put the zipper in by hand. First basting it in (to hold it in place, and help line up the stripes), and then using a back-stitch to sew it in properly.

zipper in a hand knit sweater

Even with basting, the stripes are the teeniest smidge off (about half a row, most obviously on the first white stripe), which I’m a bit annoyed about.

Though not annoyed enough to take out and reattach the zipper.


And despite my face in this photo, I really do like this sweater.

It isn’t something I’d ever pick up in a store (theme!), but I’m really glad it’s part of my wardrobe. There’s something to be said for expanding your comfort zone.

And it really is kind of the perfect sweater for weird transitional weather.

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