DIY vote sweater

When sweater weather and the midterm elections coincide, there is only one thing to do - make a sweater that says "Vote!" This is a really simple and quick DIY that you can whip up during an episode of tv (sidenote: I just started watching Schitt's Creek and I highly recommend it! It's so funny!) It's so easy I already made two in different colors (mustard and this pink one.) Of course you can also make this sweater with another saying, but I can't think of anything more important right now than encouraging people to vote :)

And if you're not crafty but you still want this design, I added it to my Threadless store here so it's available on sweatshirts, t-shirts, totes, etc.!

Materials needed:
- A plain knit sweater
- Thick yarn (I used medium size Red Heart yarn in Bordeaux)
- Large plastic needle
- Carbon paper
- Embroidery hoop (optional)
- Vote! template (Download here)

First you'll want to put a smooth hard surface in your sweater (I used a large hardcover book) and then lay the carbon paper on top of the sweater. Decide where you want to place the template, and then trace over the design. I used this stylus, but you can also use a pen with its cap on or the end of a paintbrush... anything with a pen-like tip that will apply enough pressure to transfer the design to your sweater.

Once the design is transferred, thread your needle (if it's hard getting the yarn through the needle eye, you can put some scotch tape on the end to get it through easier) and use a split stitch to embroider the design. I knotted off my yarn and started again each time I reached an end so that there isn't a lot of excess thread on the inside of the sweater. For the dot at the end of the exclamation mark I used a french knot stitch. You can find explanations of how to do all different stitches here.

You can also do a backstitch instead if that's easier for you. I tested a backstitch and a split stitch and this one created a thicker, more fluid line. But it was more time consuming and used a bit more yarn. It all depends on what you're comfortable with and how much time you have! I also tested this with and without an embroidery hoop. It's much, much easier with the hoop because you aren't really losing your design in folds of fabric. But it's definitely possible to do it without one as well. And it didn't really affect the design in any way (there wasn't more puckering without the hoop, for example.) So, again, just do whatever is more comfortable for you. I wouldn't necessarily go out and buy a hoop just to do this sweater if you don't already have one on hand.

And that's it! The last step is just wearing the sweater as often as possible between now and November 6th to remind people that they have to get out there and Vote! :)