Knitting has become trendy. Today's knitters are not all grandmothers in rocking chairs. Increasingly, they are college students and people in their 20s, and are both female and male. Knitting is relaxing and can be enjoyed alone or as a social activity -- and you have something, at the end, to show for it. Sweaters are not the easiest knitting projects, but they are among the most satisfying to make and to wear. A beginning knitter should master the basic techniques before getting started.
Learn six basic techniques: how to cast on -- get the yarn onto the needles when you start --how to bind off -- get the yarn off the needles when you're done -- how to do the knit stitch, how to do the purl stitch, how to increase stitches and how to decrease stitches. Learn these techniques from a book, Internet article or video, or a class at a community center, yarn store or craft shop. Practice the techniques using scrap yarn and become proficient before starting to work on your sweater. Consider completing an easier project first, such as a scarf, to get additional practice.
Select a pattern. Take your time looking because it's important to find a pattern that appeals to you so that you will feel motivated to finish the project. Look for patterns that are marked "easy" and that don't require fancy stitches. You can buy patterns in yarn stores or find them in knitting magazines, books or on the Internet. If you use an online pattern, print a copy so you can take it with you if you will be knitting in various places.
Select yarn. Again, take your time because the yarn you use will have a big impact on the appearance and durability of your sweater. Make sure the color appeals to you -- or that it will be a good color for the recipient if you are making the sweater as a gift. Get high-quality yarn, if at all possible.
Follow the pattern to create the sweater's front, back and sleeves. Keep your stitches even.
Wet the pieces and roll them in a towel to blot excess moisture. Place the pieces on a dry towel on a flat surface. Smooth the yarn with your hands, and gently shape the pieces. Let them dry. Sew the pieces together using a tapestry needle.