NaKniSweMo 2017 is right around the corner

NaKniSweMo is right around the corner. Are you ready? If you’ve never heard of NaKniSweMo, you can read about it in the group on Ravelry. As usual, we’ll be doing our month long series, NaKniSweMo Sweater Workshop, where we take you through the basics of sweater construction.

I haven’t even started looking at patterns, yet. I’ve been working so hard on 12 Weeks of Christmas patterns and samples, and The 2017 “I Love Yarn Day” Community Blanket 24 hour Knitting Marathon extravaganza that I haven’t even thought of knitting anything for myself or for fun, since early spring. And I have so many things in my queue.

Right after The Marathon, I’m going to start Spiral Euphoria a true mobius with switchback twists that make delightful spiral looking chevron things in both directions. It looks like a fun knit that will keep my attention, but not so hard it’s going to keep me from chatting or watching tele while I knit. If you’ve never done a true mobius, starting with the cast on, I’m inviting you to join me on Wednesday evening, October 15, 2017 to learn the mobius cast on and knit this fabulous thing with me.




And since I plan to knit it in Lang’s Mille Colori 200 gm, I’m even more excited about how it’s going to work up. So much delicious color, just when and where I need it most.



But none of that helps me make a decision about what I’m going to knit fir NaKniSweMo. If you remember back that far, I never finished my 2015 sweater. And I didn’t even start one in 2016. So, I’m due, and I want to make it a dusey. (And does anyone know where the word “dusey” came from?)


What do my lovelies think of these? Top to bottom, they are 


Field Study by Ann Kingstone   

    Love the color work and the shaping.  





Poema by Vera Sanon

Love the simple elegance of the shaping and the lace interest on the sleeves.






Khione by Elizabeth Sullivan

Love, love, love the square neckline and the little bit of texture detail. 




November is almost upon us and I will be starting a sweater on the first of the month. I’ll have to pick soon. Will you be starting a sweater for NaKniSweMo? Which one do you think you’ll do?

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, 4–6pm):

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

Week 2 (November 11,4–6pm):

  • Armhole shaping
  • Neck shaping

Week 3 (November 18,4–6pm):

  • Sleeves
  • Picking up stitches

Week 4 (November 25,4–6pm):

  • 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!