How about a mini sleeveless turtleneck knitalong?

How about a mini sleeveless turtleneck knitalong?

Dear friends, I know you feel I’ve teased you with promises to publish the pattern for this sweater (see v1 and v2) over the last couple of years, and it was never my intention to withhold it from you. Look, Kathy even shot these photos for me a year and a half ago! When I was knitting the two of them, I kept what I believed to be very detailed notes and diagrams for this very basic pattern. But when I finally got time to pull out those notes with the intention of writing it up, ages later, it turned out to be, mmm, lacking. I have my work cut out for me getting it deciphered and written, and then there’s tech editing and laying out the pattern and all the other stuff that comes with … and I just don’t have the bandwidth!

But in the meantime, I had a thought. I know a lot of you really want to have a better understanding of how to manipulate patterns — and I want you to have that, too! — and this one, being so broad strokes and bare bones and sleeveless, is a great opportunity to experiment with it. So here’s what I’m proposing. On Monday May 1st, I will publish this in the simplest possible form: a chart and some footnotes. Kinda like a Japanese pattern only minus the inscrutable annotations. I’m calling it Sloper — the name sewers use for a basic pattern/template with no seam allowances that you can manipulate as you wish. I’ll spend a few blog days, I imagine, walking you through how simple it is to make key changes — to widen it, lengthen it, add waist shaping, tinker with the armholes and neckhole and the finishing details, make it a crewneck instead of a turtle. And then we’ll do it as a mini-knitalong! (Hashtag #sloperKAL) That way everyone can see what changes everyone else is making to suit their size and shape, and we can all learn from each other.

This is a fun one to play with, especially since it’s multiple strands held together, and a total blank canvas begging to be messed with. You can play around with marls, colorwork, stripes, whatever comes to mind, if you want. And this is such a quick and simple knit, it’s great for a spring quickie — and your finished garment will prove useful in the transitional weather and air-conditioned offices, etc. I’m willing to bet you’ll make more than one!

What do you think — are you in?

To get the wheels turning in your mind, and so you can do some advance planning: The [CORRECTED] gauge for the pattern is 2.25 sts and 3.75 rows per inch (aka 9 sts and 15 rows over 4″). You can use any yarn and needle combo that will give you that gauge, measured after blocking. The black sample is knitted in Quince and Co Lark (in Sabine) held triple on US15 / 10mm needles, and weighs 411g, so just over 8 skeins. (The flax one is discontinued yarn, also worsted held triple.) The sample size is 38″, but again, the point will be to show you how to adapt that to whatever size you want!


PREVIOUSLY in Knitalongs: Top-Down Knitalong

105 thoughts on “How about a mini sleeveless turtleneck knitalong?

  1. Karen, I’m so in!
    And, I know so much more about knitting and will do better with this #kal
    Also, I’d love to have a version of this in a toasty warm, soft Alpaca yarn!

  2. I like this idea!! I still don’t like the idea of a sleeveless turtleneck but what if I used the chart to make the body and my gauge to make sleeves. it wouldn’t be different than making sleeves for an improv, they would just be seamed in at the end. is this worked flat then seamed?

    • You could make it a crewneck!

      Sleeves would be a completely different beast for this than a top-down raglan. You’d either have to shape a proper sleeve cap to fit the armhole, or do a picked-up top-down sleeve with short rows, and I would not be qualified to help you with that! And for a sweater this dense, you’d also need to give it some serious ease for it to work with a sleeve.

    • You could pick up stitches and knit in the round. Many old fashioned sweaters are shaped that way.

  3. yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! all over it
    thanks Karen !!!

  4. I am very tempted though I shouldn’t get distracted! I’m thinking Quince Ibis on 13’s. Not crazy about needles larger than 9 haha but I’d like to do it once at least. I really love your black one.

  5. This sounds so fun! I’ve promised myself not to buy any more yarn until I burn through my stash, but I really want to make it work! With the last kal I ran out of yarn (tears) but I’m really excited about this one!

  6. I’m intrigued. This would look beautiful on my daughter, and I’d love to learn more about adjusting patterns as you do.

  7. I’d love to participate in something like this. I watched longingly at the improv sweater kal amidst knitting my first sweater for my husband. This sounds like a great entry point for me from which to dive into the three sweaters worth of yarn to improv! Thanks so much for circling back around!
    What fun.

  8. Second thought that occurs to me–I’ve really been wanting a lighter weight knitted tank–would it still count for the kal if I modified your pattern as far as modifying the gauge to fit a lighter weight yarn? Or would that be taking it too far…

    • That would be great! I’m thinking of trying it with multiple strands of linen, and seeing what happens. Might even make it a V-neck. Please do get creative!

      • This sounds more like something I could wear here in New Mexico. I want to push my boundaries and this looks like a good way to start! Thanks, Karen. I’m in!

  9. Definitively in! Perfect timing, as I’m starting to play around with changing patterns – it would be great to have some guidance when some of my ideas may lead me astray…

    • I have done the swatch (with 10mm needles and three strands of DK). I am nearly a complete beginner so I want to blog about this (and have already IGed!). Would it be OK to use pictures of the Sloper on my blog please? Thanks. I am so excited!

  10. I’m frogging my last sweater made in hygge and ready to cast on for this one!! I had a chunky turtleneck tank from The Limited (!!!) 20 years ago that I loved! This will be a lovely trip back in time. Xoxo

  11. Very interested in joining in and learning learning these new skills. I may be working at a DK weight. Time to check out the gauge – I have the yarn all ready.

      • I would be holding fingering weight held double – or perhaps triple – so close to DK weight. I will definitely need to do the math to adjust for my different gauge.

  12. Ha! Have been thinking about a sweater like this made from Quince’s Kestrel (I have a bunch leftover from a Togue Pond frog). I know I’d have to tinker (possibly alot) with gauge, but I think it could be gorgeous in that minerally purple-brown byzantium shade. Can’t wait to see your notes. Thank you!

  13. I’m in if I can get this gauge with the TN Textile Mills bulky I got on closeout!

    • The swatch I did with the bulky and DK held together is very close to gauge. I knitted it on 13s and it’s about 10.5 sts / 4 in. Much lighter weight and less dense than the tripled-Lark-on-11s fabric. It would be beautiful for this.

  14. I have 8 skeins of Quince Puffin in color Sabine. Will that work? I so want to participate!!!

  15. I’m in on this! I have baby Llama Grande and I’ve been waiting for something to use it on.

  16. Count me in!!! This is the perfect challenge to beginning design :))! Thank you!

  17. Yes!! I’ve been wanting to make one of these for awhile, ever since you posted the Lark version on the blog. I’m thinking about a version in O-Wool Balance for a nice spring transition piece…what was the yardage used? I’m trying to figure out how many skeins to buy!

    • This one is 411 g of Lark, just slightly over 8 skeins — so maybe 560-ish yards. Always buy a skein or two more than you think you’ll need, to be safe.

      • According to the Quince & Co. site, Lark has 134 yards to each 50 gram skein, so 411 grams would be just over 8 skeins (as you said), but those 8+ skeins would be over 1,100 yards. I’m not sure whether the put up of Lark has changed or whether I did something funky with the math, but I’m looking more at buying at least 1,200 to 1,300 yards of worsted weight to knit held triple.

  18. Can’t wait! My style. And versatile both in the making and wearing. My menswear vest from the last KAL I participated in is one of my favorite things.

  19. Karen, I love this idea – I would love to learn to adapt designs this way. What’s holding me back is a hatred of bulky-gauge garments. Could I join the KAL and have some hope of success if you used a more delicate yarn to get gauge that’s a perfect multiple of yours?

    • You can either use a finer yarn on oversized needles for more of drapey/lacy fabric (in which case you would probably want a different neck treatment). Or you can definitely knit it at a different gauge — it just means you’ll have to do more math than if you were knitting at the pattern gauge.

  20. I think I’m in…I have a bunch of bulky handspun that I don’t know how to use. The yarn isn’t really in colors I wear frequently (marked dark and light purple) but I’d like to try out this style of sweater/shell so I might as well destash!

  21. Oh my, would totally love it, if the mixture bulky gauge, sleeveless + turtleneck wasn’t precisely the worst possible shape for me. But it would look fantastic on my daughter with her slim frame and square shoulders….now to convince her….hum….

  22. I have neither the climate nor the figure for bulky-weight garments, but I’m in with a finer gauge, in linen.

  23. This is exciting! I have the perfect yarn for it – some hadspun of my grandmothers. I’ve already swatched and have it soaking. It will be a great layering piece for our New Zealand weather. Can’t wait.

  24. I am so tempted. . . and so bogged down with work until end of April. But I’m going to think on it. . .I, too, live in Texas, so it needs to be cotton and crew-necked–or even scoop-necked. Sleeveless is great . . .

  25. I’m in! My first KAL. Can’t wait to dig through my stash and find the perfect yarn.

  26. Love the idea, I have a store-bought black sleeveless turtelneck made partially of yak fibre and I wore it all winter-it is one of the most versatile piece of clothing I own. Personally, like another commenter, I too would be interested in trying a lighter yarn version, but I am a bit hesitant to change the gauge (not confident about that part!) Also a question: why do you often use a yarn held double or triple, as opposed to getting a thicker yarn held single? Just because you love that chosen yarn color/texture, or are there other “consequences” of holding a yarn double that I am missing?

    • Any number of reasons, really. The original sweater here (the flax colored one) was a way to use a bunch of yarn I had in stash. For chunkier stuff, there just aren’t as many great yarn options out there, so compiling your own opens up possibilities. And it’s also possible to get different fabrics and blends by combining yarns.

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  28. Love the shape of this sweater, the idea of a KAL to get me to knit it, and will be in the lighter gauge camp! Not afraid of the math, will simply knit to the schematic dimensions. Thanks for this great idea!

  29. I would like to say I’m in but that invariably says I won’t get it done. My rebellious nature won’t allow it. Ha! Loving your ideas and challenges though. I especially love the sleeveless turtle. I should make one for myself. It is especially great as a transitional piece for spring and fall. If I do make it I will make a longer back tail than front. I especially like the challenge of filling gaps in my wardrobe. Between aging, moving and my new lifestyle my clothes are out of style or generally don’t fit correctly. Yes, this is your warning. Enjoy your body until age 53 because suddenly it changes and, at least I, got to start all over with new sizing. Blegh. Keep up the great inspiration!

  30. In…already looking at yarn, which is a great coincidence, since the Metro Yarn Crawl starts today here in DC!

  31. Karen – if you haven’t already (had to skim the comments) will you suggest some other yarns (bulky) or combos that might work well? Thank you – I love this and have been not so patiently waiting for the pattern!

  32. I have some handspun yarn purchased from Rebekka last winter that I still didn’t find a good use for it. Maybe I will rework the math to make it work for this one! Fingers crossed!

  33. I’m in too! This is my first knit-along where I knew what I was making. I am so excited. This is a piece I will wear often if my daughter doesn’t have it on her back.

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