The pattern tells you what materials and equipment you need to make your sweater. In the "Materials" section of the pattern, you can find the following:

I The brand and specific name of the yarn used: It gives the fiber content of the yarn, the weight and often the number of yards per skein, the color number and name of the yarn, and the number of skeins or balls required for the sweater. If the sweater hasn't been designed for a specific yarn company and isn't a vehicle for selling a particular brand, the pattern may simply call for yarn in a specific weight — for example, worsted-weight (see Chapter 2 for more on different yarn weights).

I The size and type of needles you need: Often, needles in two sizes are listed — the smaller for cuffs and bottom borders and the larger for the body of the sweater. If the pattern uses double-pointed or a circular needle (say for a neckband or collar), or if the entire sweater is worked in the round, the pattern tells you which size needle(s) to use and in what length.

Following the particular needles specified, you always see the phrase, "or size to obtain gauge." This phrase typically appears in full capitalization or in italics. Why? Because gauge matters. Head to Chapter 3 for everything you need to know about gauge and why it's so important.

I Any special equipment or gadgets required: Constructing some sweaters requires special tools — for example, a cable needle, stitch markers, stitch holders, and so on. These tools are listed after the needles.

I Buttons or other finishing materials: If the sweater is a cardigan, the number and size of the buttons called for are listed. If pompoms, embroidery, or other embellishments are in order, the materials needed to make them are listed here.

Check this list and make sure that you have what you need when you're purchasing yarn and needles for a project. You don't want to find yourself unable to continue working on your project after the stores have closed because you don't have a particular tool in your supply box.

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