Top-Down Knitalong: Kickoff and PRIZE news!

Top-Down Knitalong: Kickoff and PRIZE notes!

Happy Top-Down Knitalong kickoff day! I have so many important points to make, I’m resorting to a bullet list!


– First things first: Let’s talk about PRIZES! I’m returning to the WIP of the Week format this year, where I’ll feature one sweater in progress from the community on the blog each Friday, and that person will win a jaw-dropping prize, y’all. There are seven Fridays between now and the end of September, and each Friday I’ll be awarding a sweater quantity of yarn from one of my favorite yarn companies. This week’s prize comes from my friends at Shibui and comprises 12 skeins of Pebble in the color of the winner’s choosing. (That’s mine in the photo, hands off!) So make sure you’re posting your progress somewhere publicly online, and either use the #fringeandfriendsKAL2016 hashtag at Instagram (which I’ll be monitoring most closely) or leave a link in the comments below if you’ve posted anywhere else. (For this particular week I’ll be pulling from everything posted so far, not just this week.) Thanks so much to @shibuiknits for this week’s prize!

– The top-down tutorial is now completely updated with new photos and more up-to-date thinking (most importantly how to add basting stitches and/or knit flat along the way, if you like!)

– As of yesterday, there’s a new front-end on it which is a concise outline of the process, in the form of a “pattern” called Improv, where every step is linked to the corresponding section of the tutorial. So you can see the whole process at a glance and dig in deeper wherever you need to.

– This is now also a pattern listing at Ravelry, so if you’re knitting along or have ever knitted a sweater from the tutorial in the past, please link your project to the new Improv pattern page so I can see everything! And it would mean the world to me if you’d Favorite that listing!

– For those about to ask: As long as you are knitting a sweater in one piece, from the neck down, and doing all of your own planning and calculations, you qualify for this knitalong! There are no other rules or sign-up procedures. Just knit and share.

– I’ll be introducing the panel tomorrow! (I know, it’s so hard to wait! We all feel the same.)

– The next day I’ll have a post on how to incorporate a stitch pattern, so if you’re planning to do anything but stockinette, look for that on Wednesday.

– If you’ve never read Hot Tip: Save time at try-on, do it now! And if you missed How to knit the right size sweater last week, give that a minute, too!

– Don’t forget to use the hashtag #fringeandfriendsKAL2016 across social media so everyone can find you. There’s already a lot of great planning and discussion happening on the feed over on IG.

– And we’re overlapping with Shannon’s #sskal16 this year. For more on how to participate in that and this at the same time, see her knitalong page.

I’ll be back tomorrow with our Meet the Panel post for this year — and see you on the hashtag in the meantime!

(Yarn notes: The Pebble was given to me by Shibui. The purple pullover is Lettlopi Color 1413 purchased from Tolt; the black cardigan is Purl Soho Linen Quill given to me by Purl.)


PREVIOUSLY in Top-Down Knitalong: Improv: A basic pattern for a top-down sweater

41 thoughts on “Top-Down Knitalong: Kickoff and PRIZE news!

  1. omggggggg thank you karen!!! so exciting!! can you post a pic of how your quill cardigan is looking these days?

  2. You might have just convinced me that yes, I need to cast on a sweater today. I have been going back and forth on this one, but these prizes are too good to not take a stab at!

  3. I can’t wait to get started! However, I have a private IG account-how does that affect my ability to participate? I keep it private, because the idea of having random followers that I can’t approve or reject wierds me out, but I’d love to connect with more people in the knitting world and have no problem with my photos being reposted by you guys. 🙂 Is there a way to finagle this or can I participate via Ravelry with the ability to share photos and win prizes? Thanks!

    • I’m pretty sure your pics will show up in any hashtag feed you tag them to, even if your account is private. Test it and confirm. But otherwise yeah, like I said, just post a link here to wherever you’ve shared to make sure I see it. And use the hashtag everywhere. There are just too many platforms for me to be able to be sure of seeing every photo everywhere, but I will be checking the tag on IG and Twitter and Rav as much as possible.

      • Sounds good! I double checked and… tagged posts show up in my feed and the feeds of people following me, but they’re not public. (Which I suppose is good to know!) So I’ll make sure I tag everything on Ravelry. Thanks again for hosting this amazing knitalong!!

  4. Thank you for all of the work you put into this! I am so excited! This is my very first KAL. I have been wanting to learn how to custom-fit my knitting for a long time. I wasn’t sure I should join in with my crazy work schedule. My desire to do something for me won out.

  5. So much work you have put into this! I’m sure this is going to be a great KAL. Such great prizes! Job well done, Karen. Looking forward to seeing the pics!

  6. Well! I’ve been so excited about this kal, I’ve even been trying to recruit more people using your adage, “If you can knit a mitten, you can knit a sweater.” I can’t wait to see what everyone makes!
    You’ve mentioned that you will be checking ravelry (I don’t use other social media), but I was wondering how you will be picking winners? Random postings, most photogenic, most progress?

    Thank you for hosting such a fun kal, and for all the helpful, interesting, and beautiful posts!

    • Just whatever stands out in whatever way as interesting and worth sharing! Photo quality definitely counts, but it could be a great plan, a good story, a sense of humor, anything really.

  7. Thanks so much! Your blog has been such an inspiration and started me on sweater knitting. I’m super excited for this knitalong.

  8. Pingback: #fringeandfriendsKAL2016 (1): Unintended Head Start | BEASTLY KNITTING

  9. Thank you so much for all the effort you put into this! As I am probably the last person in the world without a smartphone you cannot find me on Instagram, but I am kielsky on Ravelry – moreover I have a blog where I already post (and will do during the next weeks) about this fabulous KAL! It’s
    I am very much looking forward to seeing what everybody is up to. How exciting! A warm “Hello” to everybody!

    • Thanks for posting the link! I don’t think you can post from the web interface at IG, but if you wanted you could at least create an account to be able to join in on the comments. No account needed to just look at the feed and see what everyone’s up to.

      And do use the tag on your Ravelry project page, too!

      • Thanks for the hint! The tag is already on my Ravelry project page and also can I look at the posts of others on Instagram – but I’ll check out the comment option thing during next days, did not know that this is possible (I am so 20th century…)

  10. Wow–I was all excited to join my first KAL because I wanted to learn more about sweater fitting, and now you’re telling me there are AMAZING prizes in the mix?!! Doesn’t get any better than that :)

    Thanks for putting so much work into this!

  11. thank you a lot for the challenge and all the helpful informations – first time ever to do a kal and a top-down-sweater – i am really looking forward to it and wouldn’t have done it without your blog/tutorials, linked my project on ravelry to your impro-page (sabellan)

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  13. Hey there! I was curious about something. In other posts, it seemed like doing any top-down sweater from scratch was cool for the KAL. However, this quote from your blog post above makes it seem like only doing raglan or contiguous set-in sleeves are okay.

    “As long as you are knitting a sweater in one piece, from the neck down, and doing all of your own planning and calculations, you qualify for this knitalong! There are no other rules or sign-up procedures. Just knit and share.”

    The sweater I drew up recently fits the bill by being top down, but the body requires some intarsia. Because of that, I was thinking of doing a seamed body with short-row sleeves in the round from picked up armhole stitches. But if the body is seamed, then it doesn’t fit your requirements for the KAL!

    Anyway, curious about if my thing can work or not. I’m going to be posting my sketch on insta soon with the hashtag though.

    • Hi, Amalia — I’m not sure how what you’re describing differs or what the point of concern is. If it’s top-down and you’re doing your own planning and math, it counts!

  14. I guess I was confused by the “in one piece” requirement – if I do intarsia, it requires separate body pieces to be seamed together, losing the ability to call it one piece. Because it’d be at least two becoming one :)

    • You’re knitting the yoke in one piece, top-down, and then working the front and back separately but still attached, right? Same as like when I knit top-down sleeves flat?

  15. I am considering joining in with this but would like to use a colourwork yoke pattern from a pre existing pattern but modify it to steek the front and would do all the calculations as to size and fit etc myself.
    Would this still count? I’m just not sure I can manage working all the sizing/ math myself as well as coming up with a colourwork yoke as well.

  16. It is harder to figure out how to use instagram than to figure out how to incorporate increases into the stitch pattern!! Posting on ravelry in the meantime. Anyway, I’m excited to be part of this KAL. And thank you for all the tutorials!

  17. OK, so. The universe wants me to do this KAL. Here’s why:
    1. I’ve been reading (stalking?) this blog for two years or so and I absolutely love it, yet somehow I’ve never quite jumped the hurdle of actually commenting or joining in.
    2. I have been dreaming about a “perfect” (for me) turtleneck jumper with a smooshy cable running down the sleeves but couldn’t quite find the right pattern for it.
    3. I was slightly to timid to attempt a “no pattern” garment by myself, but maybe with a hivemind…?
    4. As I began to think about the cable, I kept leaning towards a braided one (which I haven’t done) and then, what do you know, a whole blogpost on aran/braided cables appears on the blog.
    5. I did just score a jumper quantity of Rowan Finest in a gorgeous pewter gray which would really lend itself to cables.

    BUT: I have zero time at the moment and a massive event coming up on Sep 6 and I really shouldn’t get into anything time-consuming right now, come on, must be sensible, and oh look I made a swatch and oh gawd now I appear to be on Instagram!
    Isn’t that just how it goes? :D

    I am Cymru81 on ravelry and bookishnathalie on Twitter and now Instagram and I would love to join the fun with you all!

    P.S.: It’ll be a turtleneck contiguous construction and I might do short rows to raise the neck, so might (!) have advice on how to incorporate a stitch pattern in short rows.

  18. Sooo tempting! I’ve been mulling over a top down cardigan shruggy thing for months now. wonder if this qualifies? I have some lovely Lino laceweight that needs attention!

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