Introducing the Tag Team Sweater Project

Introducing the Tag Team Sweater Project

That night in San Diego, after the trade show, when I was hobnobbing with the yarnerati while wearing my one-armed Acer, there was a moment when Anna Dianich confessed that her problem with sweaters is she hates to knit the sleeves. We all have things we get bogged down in. For me it’s long rows of back-and-forth knitting, as in, for instance, a sweater body! So I yelled across the circle to her that we should knit sweaters together — she could knit the bodies and I’d knit the sleeves and we’d both get our sweaters done a lot more quickly. When she made a joke about it in a comment the other day, I decided it’s more than a funny moment in a bar — it would be really, really fun to actually try it. If we both chose bottom-up sweaters, I could knit four sleeves, she could knit two bodies to the underarms, and we’d each be responsible for our own yokes. So while she suffered through the flu last week, she also put up with me haranguing her about the idea. Yesterday she said yes, and thus the Tag Team Sweater Project was born.

Our strategy is very loose. Today I’ve sent her a box of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter (in Thistle!) for my chosen pattern, Michele Wang’s Trillium. (You saw that coming, right?) She has sent me a box of Swans Island Pure Blends for hers: Carrie Bostick Hoge’s Lila. We’re both buying both patterns. I need to have all four sleeves done and hers sent to her by the 28th; she’ll send me my body by the same date. Then we’re to have finished sweaters for wearing and photographing when we meet up at Vogue Knitting Live in Seattle* on March 14th. Yikes!!

I don’t know how this will unfold, but it could be harrowing! Apart from questions like Will they be able to match each other’s gauge, this is a pretty short timeline, even for tag-teaming. I’m not worried about Anna’s sweater — she’s chosen wisely. With that wide neck and stockinette, she’s home free by the time the sleeves and body are joined. The fun part of hers is that short-row hemline. For me, there’s a lot of knitting left to be done at the point of the join: the whole circular yoke with short rows and bobbles, plus button bands and neck. Will my sweater have buttons by the time we meet up? Will it even have bands? Or will it be another episode like this.** You’ll have to watch to find out!

We’ll both be blogging about the project and posting regular updates on our Instagram feeds — so make sure you’re following Anna’s Tolt blog as well as @karentempler and @toltyarnandwool on Instagram.

Do you think we can do it?


*I’m going! Will you be there?

**One-armed Acer documentary photo by Anna Dianich, taken in the darkest lounge of all time. That’s me with Courtney Kelley of Kelbourne/Fibre Company. If you look closely at our right hands, you can tell we’re just about to give the camera the bird. Fun times!

33 thoughts on “Introducing the Tag Team Sweater Project

  1. I hate sleeves, too. I try to have two going at the same time, but it can get confusing. But that way, you have a better shot at having the same length on both sleeves. I hate the idea that once you are done with one, you have to do it all again with the other one. (One of the reasons I don’t do socks.) I just realized…I’m a lazy knitter.

  2. I think you can do it Karen. This sounds like a fun way to knit a sweater and I look forward to seeing it all unfold. You and I seem to have the same taste in knits and I love the sweater you have chosen;
    I am still drooling over Little Giants T-Shirt by Wool and the Gang.

  3. This is such a fun idea! I can’t wait to hear about your progress and see how these 2 turn out. Lila is on my sweater shortlist (with, oh, 10 other patterns) after I finish my Pomme de Pin and Levenwick cardigans.

  4. what a great idea! I want to find a buddy that will do this with me! I’m like Anna – I don’t like knitting the sleeves!

  5. Two ladies in my knitting group trade knitting. One loves stockinette and the other is bored to death by it, but loves cables. So they trade knitting.

  6. I think the word yarnerati should be mention to Merriam-Webster for a new entry in the English dictionary…
    this experiment sounds very promising!

  7. This is such a cool idea! I love the patterns that you each picked and I’m so curious to see how it turns out.

  8. I love your choice, Karen. That’s exactly the sweater I want to knit, once my skills get to that level. As for finding myself a knitting partner, that would be hard. There’s no part of knitting I don’t like. It’s all the fiddly bits associated with knitting that I hate. Casting on, weaving in ends, and, most of all, any kind of “sewing” like grafting, etc.

  9. Absolutely you can do it! Nothing like a deadline posted in blogland to get you moving! I LOVE the yarn you picked-stunning!

  10. What a great idea! Can’t wait to follow along. :)

    I read once about a similar thing BT did – they sent a garment to several different designers, and each designer was responsible for knitting a piece (the difference being that each person could design their own piece of the garment). The result was stunning!

  11. I LOVE this project. And I’d totally knit your body if you’d knit my sleeves! Lila is #2 in my sweater queue… can’t wait to see how it goes!

  12. Fun idea! Look forward to seeing the results. This is why I usually do back -> sleeve -> sleeve -> front (sometimes sleeve->back->sleeve-> front if I’m using a sleeve as a gauge swatch). It makes the sleeves seem more important and less like the thing that’s standing in the way of you finishing. Of course that only works for seamed things – but then with seamed things no long rows, so win:win!

  13. Fun project! Best of luck on matching one anothers’ gauge. I have friends who have a similar type of setup for socks, and they’ve been happily knitting one sock apiece per pair for a few years–

  14. That’s a brilliant Idea! I’m more like Anna, I love to knit body sweater but doing sleeves is lake knitting the 2nd sock! I count on you to post a pic of you both finished sweater during VK live!!

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