NaKniSweMo Sweater Workshop

November is National Knit a Sweater Month!

Or as it’s more commonly called, NaKniSweMo (na-nee-sway-mo). NaniSweMo is the knitters’ answer to NaNoWriMo (national novel-writing month) in which writers buckle down to complete a 50,000-word novel within the month of November. It began with Shannon “knitgrrl”Oakey in 2008. Now, there’s a Ravelry group with 1383 members and counting dedicated to NaKniSweMo.

We believe that everyone should knit a sweater this November, so we’re offering a four-week workshop throughout the month of November! Mim will instruct you from start to finish through the creation of a sweater. If you do your homework, you’ll have a complete sweater by the end of the month.

We know you can do it. Every knitter can knit a sweater! And we’re here to help.  Because we only have 4 classes to accomplish our goals, we’ll be limiting the choices to a simple set-in sleeve pullover in a worsted-weight yarn with either a v-neck, crew neck, or turtle neck. Sweaters will be knit flat in four pieces (front, back and sleeves) in order to clearly illustrate the shapes that comprise a knitted sweater. Throughout the workshop, we will address customization and design potential. By the time you finish this workshop, you will understand how a sweater is built, and feel empowered to make design choices in future knitted sweaters.

Week 1 (November 4, 12–2pm):

  • Figuring out your size
  • Finding your yarn
  • Swatching
  • Casting On
  • Choosing an edge treatment
  • Getting started

Week 2 (November 11, 12–2pm):

  • Armhole shaping
  • Neck shaping

Week 3 (November 18, 12–2pm):

  • Sleeves
  • Picking up stitches

Week 4 (November 25, 12–2pm):

  • Seaming
  • Blocking
  • Finishing


Prerequisites: We’ll be moving pretty fast through the material, so basic knitting skills are a prerequisite.  But if you’ve been wanting to knit your first sweater, this is the perfect class for you. Join the movement; knit a sweater during NaKniSweMo and wear it proudly!

Materials: Worsted-weight yarn, US 7-8 straight or circular knitting needles

Cost: For $100 you’ll get the Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd  ($29 retail) and 4 classes!

Please Note: If you sign up online, we will reserve a spot for you, but you’ll have to pay in-person when you arrive.

Modern Drop Shoulder Sweaters

I never thought I’d be a fan of drop shoulder sweaters. You know the type – the sleeves stick straight out from the body with no shaping whatsoever in the shoulders or the waist. They typically consist of four rectangles sewn together: a front, a back, and two folded rectangles for the sleeves. On the plus side, drop shoulder sweaters are incredibly simple to make! In fact, Mim recommended the basic drop shoulder sweater as an excellent choice for a complete beginner in her 7 Best Knitting Projects for Beginners post from November 2015. I thought of them as boxy nightmares from bygone days (particularly the 1980’s) until quite recently.

There’s something to be said for the coziness factor, but in my opinion, not even these attractive ladies can make these vintage drop shoulder sweaters look good. You can clearly see what a drop shoulder sweater is in that middle photo. The shoulder seam goes partway down the side of the arm because the shoulder width is equal to the body width.

It’s definitely not the most flattering of photo of yours truly, but here’s me wearing my Cullum sweater thrown on over a dress.

This summer, I knit the Cullum sweater in Sparrow from Quince & Co. as a shop sample. It doesn’t have sleeves, but it’s a standard drop-shoulder shape. Something shifted in my brain while I was working on it. Sparrow is a fingering-weight 100% linen yarn. It drapes absolutely beautifully because linen is a drapey fiber and thinner yarns are automatically more drapey. (Apparently “drapey” is not a word but I firmly believe it ought to be.) It’s nothing at all like the drop-shoulder sweaters of yore depicted above!

I’ve decided there are three factors that make the modern drop shoulder sweater more flattering than the vintage styles: 1. Thinner yarn, 2. Fibers with better drape, and 3. SLEEVE FIT! How did I never notice that all of my most reviled examples of drop shoulder sweaters all had ridiculously oversized sleeves? I’ve come around to the idea that drop shoulder sweaters can be comfy, flattering and totally stylish looking! All the best things! Here are some of my favorite modern drop shoulder sweaters on Ravelry.

First, Tegna by Caitlin Hunter. Oh my word, isn’t it dreamy? This drop-shoulder sweater is the opposite of stiff and boxy. It’s knit in a fingering weight yarn and the short sleeves are fitted.

The Barbatre sweater by Sandra Braida is knit in a DK-weight yarn, but notice that she picked a blend of viscose, cotton, linen and nylon because the drape is important! Doesn’t it look perfect for a lazy day on the beach?

The Anneke Sweater by Pam Allen looks oversized enough to be cozy, but the fitted sleeves keep it sleek looking! It’s knit in Tern from Quince & Co., a fingering-weight wool blend with silk. What’s the ultimate drapey fiber? Definitely silk.

The East or West sweater by Joji Locatelli is one of my favorites! I’ve shared it with you before, but I just looove it. It’s knit in fingering-weight yarn, has relatively fitted sleeves and a swingy hem even though it’s knit straight up without any waist shaping!

Finally, the Camden Hills Poncho by Elizabeth Smith. This garment that skirts the line between sweater and poncho is everywhere these days! I knit another called the Mei Pullover as a shop sample. It’s wide enough for the dropped shoulders to go halfway down the upper arm, and you can throw it on over whatever. Ultimate cozy, modern styling. Also: this pattern is an homage to our neighboring town of Camden!

Holiday Knitting – The 12 Weeks of Christmas 2017


Hello, my lovelies, and welcome to The 12 Weeks of Christmas Holiday Knitting series 2017. 

This is our 5th season knitting along with you for the holidays! as usual, we’re publishing 12 original patterns for knitters and hosting 12 knit-alongs with free instruction every Saturday from September 30 through December 16. If you complete all 12 projects, then you’ll have 12 hand-made gifts to give to your friends and family by Christmas time! Patterns will be released the week prior to the knit-along and shared in our weekly Pot O’ Gold e-newsletteron Facebook, and on this event page.

We design our 12 Weeks of Christmas projects with three criteria in mind:

  1. It must be possible to finish within one week with moderate diligence.
  2. Materials must cost $25 or less.
  3. It will make a good gift for someone you know.

Patterns are free with the purchase of the recommended yarn for the duration of the season. Knitting instruction is free with attendance at any of our Saturday morning knit-alongs.

We will also be posting all 12 patterns in our shop on for purchase on the Saturday of each knit-along. See our Ravelry shop here:

For those who live away, if you purchase the recommended yarn from our online store at and include a comment with the 12 Weeks pattern you’d like us to include when you place your order, we’d be glad to send it along with your yarn. We’d love to see photos and comments on our Ravelry pattern pages! If you’re on Facebook, you can also post your comments+photos to our Facebook page.

Each knit-along is a stand alone, so you don’t have to come to all of them. But if you do, and if you’re moderately diligent in doing your homework between now and December 16, 2017, you’ll have 12 finished knit pieces to give as gifts. No need to register in advance. All levels of experience are always welcome!

Here’s the schedule with a thumbnail photo of each project.

Week #1: Saturday, September 30 @ 10 am – 12 pm

A tiny Nativity Scene. The pattern has instructions for a general figure that you can embellish in your own way to make The Holy Family, or Wise Men, Angels, Shepherds, anything you like. They will stand on a table top, hang on a tree, or you can use them as finger puppets. They’re adorable and will appeal to children and adults alike.


Week # 2: Sat. October 7 @ 10am – 12pm

Foxy Mittens. The pattern is sized for children through adults and features duplicate stitching on the tips of the hand to make an adorable fox face. 



Week # 3: Sat.October 14 @ 10am – 12pm

Felted and belted, the headband hat is great for those of us who don’t look our best in beanies or watch caps. The pattern has instructions for three brim widths and may be hand shaped to fit. Our version of this felted classic features belt loops that hold separate bands in place. You can make as many bands as you like using whatever stitch pattern you like and change your hat with every change of mood.


Week # 4: Sat.October 21 @ 10am – 12pm

Little Speckles Table Runner. Using the simplest form of brioche stitch, Stockinette Brioche, this graceful piece is as pretty on the back side as it is on the front. The fringe is worked along with the body.


Week # 5 Sat.October 28 @ 10am – 12pm

This Mitten Scarf. This pattern is sized for children and adults. Simple to knit and fun to wear, this generous scarf wraps twice around your neck, and has mittens knit right in at the bottom. Children will never lose their mittens now! And adults, if they don’t want to use mittens to warm their hands, can use them as pockets to carry cell phone, wallet or car keys. Fun and quick to knit!


Week # 6: Sat. November 4 @ 10am – 12pm

Foxy Slippers. Using the same duplicate stitch chart as the Foxy Mittens, these slippers have ears added at the cuff. These little darlings will keep your feet toasty indoors, but light enough to be stuffed into boots for a quick trip to the mail box or the grocery store. The pattern is sized for children and adults up to women’s large. 


 Week # 7: Sat.November 11 @ 10am – 12pm

Twinkle Lampshade. Knitwear doesn’t have to be confined to the human body. Adding some simple lace to a table lamp will add color and coziness to any room. 


Week # 8: Sat.November 18 @ 10am – 12pm

Florentine Frieze Swag Mittens. Using Barbara Walkers Florentine Frieze stitch pattern, and sized for small or large women’s hands, this pattern incorporates several simple stranded color techniques to make a truly fancy mitten that is as warm as it is beautiful. 


Week # 9: Sat.November 25 @ 10am – 12pm

The Rock City Hat. Inspired by a hat seen at Rock City Cafe, here in Rockland, this hat is easy to knit and fun to embellish with colorful buttons. 



Week # 10: Sat. December 2 @ 10am – 12pm

The Clock Cozy. Add a bit of knitting coziness to any decor with this easy and super fast project. This pattern is more of a recipe with suggestions for how to fit any clock (or round or oval picture frame). 


Week # 11: Sat.December 9 @ 10am – 12pm

Gorget. Knights of old wore gorgets to protect their necks, throats and upper chests in battle. Our gorget will protect necks, throats and upper chests from the cold. An updated version of a classic dickey, this chill chaser can be worn under a sweater or shirt for an added layer of warmth, or under a coat as a splash of color.


Week # 12: Sat.December 16 @ 10am – 12pm

Last Minute Muffatee. This pattern is so simple and quick, you can probably finish it in an evening. This pattern is perfect for office party Yankee Swaps, last minute additions to your gift list or even as a stocking stuffer. The yarn does all the work and you look like a hero.