Let’s talk about this Amanda knitalong

Let's talk about this Amanda knitalong

I’m thrilled that so many people responded positively to my suggestion that maybe you might want to knit the Amanda cardigan along with Anna and me this fall. I’m also a little nervous because I don’t really know anything about hosting a formal knitalong, having only barely hosted very, very informal ones in the past. So I’d love your input on this. Here are some questions I have:

1) Shall we all knit Amanda, or shall I declare it a Fisherman Knitalong and suggest some other patterns as candidates? (Both cardigans and pullovers.) It would be nice to all be knitting the same thing, so we can compare notes and strategies on very specific aspects. On the other hand, Amanda is available only in a book (albeit a very good book, “Essentially Feminine Knits,” with lots of appealing patterns) and is written for just four sizes (33, 35, 38, 40). So I can see the benefits of going either way with this. I can also imagine a Fisherman Knitalong becoming an annual (biennial? triennial?) event.

2) How formal or structured do we want this to be? Knitting to a deadline tends to make me dislike knitting, and I don’t have the bandwidth to create and monitor a Ravelry group or anything like that. But I also feel like a total lack of structure will not help any of us accomplish our sweaters. What if we set a fairly loose deadline for each stage of the sweater. I can do a kickoff post for each part, discussing things to consider before casting on, etc, and then we can have ongoing discussion of that component in the comments on that post. Everyone can post progress shots on Ravelry, their blog, Instagram, whatever publicly accessible web-based location they prefer, and link out to those from comments. Does that work? (Scheduling it out according to parts/pieces is an argument in favor of us all knitting the same sweater, or at least sweaters with the same basic construction method. Amanda is bottom-up pieces, joined at the underarm, then knitted upwards from there in one piece. Plenty of other sweaters take that approach.)

3) Can we start on September 15th? (Or maybe swatching starts on the 1st?) I need some more time with my Channel before shifting gears, plus I don’t have yarn for swatching Amanda yet, much less a decision and a sweater’s worth. I imagine many others will also need time to pick yarn and swatch. Swatching will be very, very important for a heavily cabled sweater, my lovely friends — you really want to be sure it’s going to match the pattern measurements and come out to the size you want! (We’ll talk about how to adjust for gauge, etc., no worries.)

4) How much time do we all think is reasonable for the various parts? Swatch, back (hem to underarms), left front (ditto), right front (ditto; and some people will no doubt opt to knit the body as one piece instead of three), sleeve 1, sleeve 2, yoke, button bands, neck, and seams if you’re doing them.

I don’t expect we’ll have unanimity on any of this, but let’s talk it over and then I’ll post a follow-up with details, yarn recommendations and some other thoughts before we get started. Yes?

57 thoughts on “Let’s talk about this Amanda knitalong

  1. Love the idea of a Fisherman KAL or even a Heavily Textured KAL.
    Agree that with flexibility if pattern, general goals are appropriate: swatch, back, front, sleeves, assembly, Ta-da. Gives the opportunity to discuss, among other things, how to swatch, appropriate cast ons, cabling without a cable needle, mattress stitch, casting off techniques, bathing & blocking.
    Also, you’re great at telling stories and I’m sure could find some stories about the evolution of different patterns.

  2. I’m still waiting for the book I ordered 8/1. Hoping it arrives before the first of September so I can get the appropriate yarn and swatch. I haven’t made a sweater since the 80’s when I was young and naive.

  3. I agree with Catherine! I’d prefer a few more options of patterns, flexible goals, and lots of tips, tricks, and checking in along the way. I’ve never done a KAL but I would totally be on board for this! I’ve been wanting to make Chloe by Amy Miller for a while (would that count?). Will there be any Fringe-y prizes?

  4. I’m tempted by this lovely pattern. Have never knit a fisherman’s sweater but have felt the urge recently. I like the idea of all knitting the same sweater. I’ve got the book on order from my library, a good way to go if you would rather spend your money on the yarn.

  5. Hands down a Fishermen’s KAL. I am certain we all have a few deeply textured pieces hiding in our favorites that we haven’t mustered the gumption to knit. On my list: Breena by Norah Gaughan; Topiary by Michele Wang; Sisal Sweater by Carolyn Wyborny.

  6. I hope it will be a Fisherman or Aran KAL as seeing you enthusing over this pattern rekindled my longing to knit the Landgirl cardigan by Cotton and Cloud because for me Aran cards are always V neck. I’d like to be be fairly flexible as I have a demanding day job but knowing that others were doing similar projects and sharing thoughts about them would help motivate me.

  7. I would love to participate in a loose cable KAL. I’m working on Timberline for my dad, and I’m planning on casting on a quick cropped cable pullover for myself, and it would be lovely to follow others’ progress.

  8. I would much prefer a fisherman/cabled/textured KAL. The Amanda sweater is lovely, but the largest size listed is still a not insignificant amount smaller than what I would be able to get buttoned.

  9. Nice pattern. I need me a cabled cardigan like that.
    I might join in.

    I’ve always wanted a knit-along that allows you to “unlock” tips and tricks for the next round as you progress. Take a photo of where you are at the end of round 1 and post it to get access to the tips for round 2, or something like that.

  10. I love this pattern, but really don’t want to purchase the whole book. I think it would be great if you give some other great pattern options with the same construction so that we would essentially all be building the same sweater. So all the tips, questions would apply. I love all the other thoughts with flexible timeline. All Great! Looking forward to it! :)

  11. How about just two or three patterns (including a pullover)?
    And I will definitely love some loose deadlines like you said, otherwise it will happen like my other wip, the sweater is almost done but I get stuck at the sleeves or at the collar.

  12. Count me in for a Fisherman’s KAL! My swatching is complete already, but I am going into a demanding semester of teaching so I’ll likely fall behind. Should be a really fun respite from the stress! Looking forward to seeing everyone’s progress on this

  13. I’m in, would love to knit Amanda but understand the book vs pattern purchase issue. As this would be my first fisherman’s, I’d love to follow along with tips/progress for the same sweater, but I’ll do anything. Great idea, thanks for getting the ball rolling!

  14. I want to add myself to your group! Let’s knit-along-together! I’m in New Hampshire. Time for warm sweaters coming right up!

  15. Yes! I love the idea of a Fisherman knitalong. My vote is for open pattern selection, since they all have the same basic parts – ie: yarn selection, swatching, back, front(s), sleeve 1, sleeve 2, assemblage. It would be interesting to see what patterns are selected too. I want to knit a cozy classic Staghorn (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/staghorn).

  16. I’m loving the idea of a Fisherman-type sweater KAL, that way we can all choose the pattern/yarn combination that we love! I have always been in love with Kim Hargreaves’ Craft Pullover*, and I have had the yarn sitting in my stash for months…this might just be the incentive I’d need to finally start and finish it!

    Either way, watching everyone’s pieces work up will be thrilling and pin-inspiring!

    * http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/craft

  17. I’ve never done a KAL, formal or in, so whatever you decide would be fine with me.

    Congrats on being a Hot Pick on the Spotted page in the latest Vogue Knitting! Page 10 if you didn’t know. :-)

  18. When you first chatted about Amanda on your blog, I went out and collected that pattern and yarn because I loved it so much. It helped that the yarn was on sale, too. Count me in. I haven’t knit a cabled sweater in a long time.

  19. I want to join in the fun but I need time to order yarn from my favorite people at Haus of Yarn. I love the fisherman idea and working through your suggested options. Can’t wait.

  20. i prefer that we all do the same sweater and i LOVE this one.
    can we find a way to all purchase the single pattern through the designer?

  21. I would do either Amanda or Fisherman KAL. I bought wool last week to make a fisherman sweater as a gift. However, I happen to have bought the book with Amanda pattern 2 years ago–so I either make progress on a gift or make something awesome for myself. No bad outcome! I like the idea of looser dates but not completely open-ended. September 15 is great. Maybe 1 week for back, 1 week for fronts, 1 week for each arm, 1 week for yoke, button bands, etc.?

  22. I’d love to do this KAL. I’ve looked over the pattern ideas proposed thus far and also did a Ravelry pattern search and would like the construction to be the same but any pattern with cables/texture and flat knitted pieces rather than the top-down or raglan sleeve options that are also lovely. Cold weather is coming soon where I live on the south shore of Lake Superior so a September start date is just barely in time. Thanks for your thoughtful flexibility.

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  24. Count me in . It sounds daunting but definitely more fun and helpful Ina KAL. I haven’t done cables in forever and need the support .

  25. Love this cardigan & I’d love to do a KAL. I could go by the first w/ swatching — heaven know I’ve got yarn in my stash that will work.
    Thanks Karen,

  26. I think the idea of a Fisherman’s KAL, with several pattern options, sounds like fun. Question: would it be possible to find/suggest a men’s sweater pattern or two? I love giving finished pieces to my women friends and family, and I’ve always wanted to participate in a KAL… but besides (like you) having a lot of projects on the needles and finding that deadlines often kill the fun of knitting, I’m also feeling a bit selfish these days. I’d like to knit something for me!

    So, in the spirit of selfishness… a pattern that is masculine, uses cables and other patterns/techniques (but not to excess — I like simple features in my clothing), and is designed to be fairly fitted (I’m on the thin/athletic side of the body types), would be awesome.

    Me, me, me. LOL.


  27. Check your libraries! 4 of them in my area have this book on the shelf. I just put one on hold for pick-up.

    • Thanks for the reminder. I just put a copy on hold through inter-library loan. I’m first in line to get it.

  28. I think I am going to join you if it is a Fisherman’s KAL. I’ve got the yarn ready to go for Stonecutter, so a KAL would be great motivation!
    (Also, first time commenter, love your blog and shop!)

  29. I’m keen on doing the cardigan, but really need to try a swatch first. Hoping that the grey cormo from tonofwool is going to work in aran weight – tempted to swatch 2 (3?) strands of fingering wt together.
    FYI – ERRATA!!! available on knitting daily: http://www.knittingdaily.com/media/p/109491.aspx
    (it’s just sizes on the chart – however for those waiting for books – chart is available)

  30. I’m in too! Just ordered the book and trying to decide on yarn so looking forward to your thoughts on that.

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  32. I hope I’m not late to the party, but I’d love to join up. :) I like this sweater a lot, but I really like the idea of a fisherman’s sweater knit-along!

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