What’s the best way to make sure you are actually going to be able to knit your sweater or any difficult, new pattern?
Preview the Pattern
Read through the entire pattern BEFORE you start knitting. If you’re at the yarn store when you buy the pattern, go ahead and read through the pattern there at the store. That way you can clarify anything that you don’t understand by asking the helpful employees.
If you’re at home, use your Video Knitting Dictionary so that you can crack the code and define anything that you’re not clear on before you begin.
Use Your Online Resources
Next, log on to Ravelry, search for your pattern, and click “Projects” to find other people that have knitted the same sweater or project. See how it looks on them, if they’ve written any comments about how easy or difficult it was, if they found any errors in the pattern, and if they made any changes that you think look good that you’d like to copy.
You can also message the people that have already knitted your pattern and talk to them more specifically about anything you’d like to know.
Take It One Step at a Time
Lastly, follow the directions, taking it one step at a time. Since you’ve already read through the entire pattern, you’ll know what to expect. If you get stuck, my advice is to read the directions out loud.
This technique often helps clarify a question before you ask anyone. I’ve noticed when working at my LYS that when a knitter comes up and asks a question, he or she will read the pattern out loud to me to show me the part where he or she is stuck. Then they go, “Oh! Never mind, I get it!”
Lastly, be patient, take deep breaths and decide to learn from your mistakes. With that attitude, your challenging project will be a great success no matter how it looks in the end.