Updated: Dec 8, 2022
and change it up next year!
Don't want to waste money and resources on a jumper you'll only wear for a few weeks each year?
No problem! Use the Wombleknits "Bubble Writing" Knit Alphabet to turn any regular sweater or sweatshirt into a Christmas jumper, and then turn it back once the holiday season is over!
The "Bubble Writing" Knit Alphabet is really easy to knit, suitable for near beginners - you only need to know basic knit stitches and casting on and off. Full instructions are given in the pattern for the increasing and decreasing methods used, along with a lot of useful tips on what yarns and needles to use to create different things with the letter patterns.
A great set of letter patterns. Will be useful in so many ways. –Tracy
So how do I use it to make a DIY Christmas jumper?
Any jumper can become a Christmas jumper by having decorations added. This can be anything from pinning on a few baubles or tinsel to sewing on fabric or knitted appliqués.
Here, I want to show you how to create a unique Christmas sweater by knitting a few letters from my "Bubble Writing" Knit Alphabet and sewing them onto the sweater.
Bingo – instant Christmas jumper!
You can even use the same letters again on different jumpers – fantastic for children who are growing fast enough to need a new jumper every year.
Or you can use the same sweater, but add different words onto it instead - great for dressing up a micro-wardrobe in different ways!
How to make your own Christmas jumper
1: Choose your letters
I used "HO HO HO", but here are some other suggestions:
2: Choose your yarn
Unless you have an enormous sweater, you're probably going to want to knit your letters in DK or thinner yarn. My red "HO HO HO" was knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners' ColourLab Wool DK on 2.75mm / US 2 / UK 12 needles.
For a small child's jumper or a more closely fitted top, you'll want to go down to something finer, and probably go down a needle size or two from what's recommended for the yarn.
Alternatively, if you have a big, bulky sweater and you're only going to put a couple of letters on it, you could go with a thicker yarn like worsted or even bulky!
If you're at all unsure your letters will fit on your chosen jumper, do a swatch first so you can calculate how big your letters will end up.
For the most environmentally friendly Christmas sweater, use a natural yarn (e.g. wool or cotton) that will eventually biodegrade rather than polluting the world with plastic. But if you already have a stash of manmade yarn, using up some of what you have is always a great step towards sustainability!
3: Buy your pattern
Visit the "Bubble Writing" Knit Alphabet page on my website for links for where to buy the alphabet pattern or follow the links below:
Buy the whole alphabet as an instant download on Ravelry.
Buy the whole alphabet as an instant download on LoveCrafts.
Buy the whole alphabet as an instant download on Etsy.
Buy the whole alphabet colour printed and posted out to you on Etsy.
Buy individual letters to be emailed to you on Etsy.
6: Knit your letters
Follow the easy instructions in the pattern to knit the letters needed to spell out your chosen word.
The patterns give instructions for knitting two of each letter so you can sew them together and stuff to make a stuffed, three-dimensional letter, but for this purpose you only need to knit one to be sewn flat onto your jumper.
5: Block your letters
Once you've finished knitting, it's really important to wash and block your letters, even if you're the sort of person (like me!) who doesn't normally bother.
Firstly, if there's any chance the dye in your yarn is going to bleed, you want it to do so now and not when you wash your finished garment.
Secondly, you can shape your letters whilst damp to get a better defined shape and smoother outline.
If you're lucky, you may be able to find a cat to sit on your letters while they're blocking to help them dry...
7: Decorate your jumper
If you're feeling lazy or in a hurry, you can just about get away with pinning your letters to your sweater, though it won't look as even as sewing. (It's what I did for the photo here and if you look closely you can see the indentations of the pins.) Also obviously please do use safety pins, not sewing pins as I did - you really don't want to get stabbed as you're wearing your lovely jumper!
For the best results, either use some remnants of your yarn or some fine sewing thread in a matching colour and tack the letters onto your jumper. Stitch all around the perimeter of each letter – you can use pretty big stitches on the back, just make sure they're small on the front!
8: Reuse year after year
You can keep your letters on your jumper until the holiday season is over, and then simply remove them to convert it back to a normal jumper.
And then you can sew the letters onto a different jumper (or someone else's) for a totally new look next year!
You could even add a knitted heart for a Valentine's jumper (heart pattern included with the whole alphabet or available separately here).
The possibilities really are endless.
Whatever you choose to do, I'd love to see it!
Share your pictures in a comment here,
or in your pattern review on Ravelry, LoveCrafts or Etsy
Or tag @wombleknits on Facebook or Instagram