5 Perfect Beginner Sweaters

At The Woolly Thistle, we love to welcome and cheer on our beginner knitters! For many, a first sweater can be an intimidating project. But have no fear! We’ve curated several sweater yarn sets and kits that are both approachable to beginners and classic enough that you’ll want to keep knitting them well into your sweater knitting career. 

Vanilla Sweater by Corinne Tomlinson laid out with a Vanilla Sweater Kit

The Vanilla Sweater - A Thistler Classic

The Vanilla Sweater is our most popular pattern, and since its release has been a favorite of first-time and seasoned sweater knitters alike. It features raglan construction, a size inclusive range so you find the perfect fit, and a lovely drapey fabric courtesy of the Rauma Finullgarn on US 6 needles.

What makes this sweater extra beginner-friendly is the ‘Knit the Vanilla’ Sweater course that walks you through every step and, unlike an in-person class, you can log back in and rewatch as many times as you need. The pattern even has tips such as how to take advantage of woolly-wool’s magical properties by spit-splicing new yarn in and how to close those pesky underarm holes. 

Hundreds and hundreds of Thistlers have already knit the Vanilla Sweater (don’t believe us? check out the Ravelry page). We're sure you'll love it too! 

Corinne and Maggie each wear a Vanilla Sweater against a background of fall leaves

Vanilla Sweater

Felix Pullover - Raglan with a Twist 

The Felix Pullover is another raglan construction, with clever YO placements to give it the right amount of flair. Knit up on US 10 needles, we love pairing this pattern with Lettlopi: a warm and woolly Icelandic yarn with a beautiful sheen courtesy of the long-haired outer coat of the island’s native sheep. Ranging from $39 to $62 (depending on your size), our Felix pullover yarn sets are a fabulous cost-effective way to get all the yarn you need for your first sweater!

Felix Pullover by Amy Christoffers

Felix Pullover © Amy Christoffers

Vanilla Fluff - Cozy Take on a Classic 

For those who enjoy an extra dose of Hygge in their garments, we’ve created the Vanilla Fluff sweater. With the Vanilla Fluff we've maintained the drapiness, raglan construction, and size-inclusive range of the Vanilla Sweater and given it extra warmth and coziness by pairing Rauma Finullgarn with mohair. We've included darling details like the optional picot-edging so you can personalize your knit how you want to

Mohair can be an intimidating fiber to work with, but no worries! Our ‘Knit the Vanilla Sweater’ course includes lessons for the Vanilla Fluff knit as well! Get the help for two-sweaters-in-one with our course, and prep yourself for the next chilly day by casting on a Vanilla Fluff!

Vanilla Fluff Sweater by Corinne Tomlinson laid out with skeins of Rauma Finullgarn and Rauma Plum and a Woolly Thistle tote

Vanilla Fluff

Felix Cardigan 

Featuring the same lace detail on the raglan as the Felix Pullover, this Felix is a great first (or fourth, or fifth…) cardigan pattern. We’ve paired this Felix Cardigan yarn set with Lettlopi, but the Felix is a versatile knit that suits a range of yarns. Try pairing it with an Irish Tweed such as the lovely Studio Donegal or a breed specific yarn such as Wensleydale Aran to let the wool’s true character really shine through. 

The Felix Cardigan also gives you a chance to use those buttons in your craft bag, just waiting for the perfect project. Don’t have a button in mind yet? Be sure to browse our selection!

Felix Cardigan by Amy Christoffers

Felix Cardigan © Amy Christoffers

Victory Cardigan - Brave the Cut!

If you're already comfortable with sweater construction and are looking for an extra challenge - try slicing your stitches! The Victory Cardigan is created with steeking, a method that allows you to cut into your knitting to turn a pullover into a cardigan. This technique can intimidate many knitters regardless of level, but no fear! Our Victory Cardigan course walks you step by step so you can steek with confidence.

With 17 sizes to choose from, the Victory Cardigan is sure to give you the fit you want and is bound to be your next favorite sweater. 

Corinne wears her red Victory Cardigan her own design

Victory Cardigan

Diving into a new skill can be an intimidating process, but you don’t have to do it on your own. Our wonderful knitting community in our Facebook and Ravelry groups are there to support and encourage you – just like walking into your local yarn shop’s knit night. 

Are you an experienced sweater-knitter? We’d love to hear your advice in the comments below! Have you not yet made your first sweater? Comment the first sweater you’re hoping to cast on! 


  • Ruth

    I have tried many times to make a sweater. I was hoping to do the Felix. However she doesn’t give stitch counts and I get confused with the raglan increases. I wish a step by step video of at least the increases with the short rows would be wonderful for me. I do have so many sweater kIts I have purchased from TWT including the vanilla sweater and the video class.

  • Christine

    So glad to see you having these classes….much appreciated

  • Dawn McDowell

    For a new sweater knitter with little confidence, who would like to feel the success of constructing a sweater as quickly as possible, I highly recommend the Fall Bluff by Ashley Lillis. She has a step-by-step tutorial on YouTube, and the sweater is knit in bulky yarn so will be finished quickly and build up your morale! I did mine with Alafosslopi, which I had to buy from WEBS at the time, but TWT carries this yarn now and I just bought a whole bunch for a new project.

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