February: Bang Out a Sweater!

Hey there, Jess jumping on the blog after a long hiatus! I’m so glad to back! The newest addition to our family is settling in nicely, even if he’s still spitting up and not quite sleeping through the night. But he’s only 10 weeks old, so I’ll cut him a break.

You may recall that I set myself a knitting challenge last year (see: Disciplined Knitter post). Sadly, it fizzled out, largely because it was too ambitious and too rigid for my knitting needs. For 2022, I’ve set myself a more doable challenge: Finish or Frog! Each month, I need to finish or frog two projects (from 2021 or earlier). I’ve already finished January and had two bonus finishes as well!

As part of my Finish or Frog challenge, I dug out my Daytripper Cardigan, which had been languishing in my closet. All it needed were sleeves and the steek (shout out to our very own Gretchen Funk for the needle felted steek technique that I used!), so it was a fun, quick knit to finish in January. I learned a lot from it, which you can read more about in my Project Review over on my blog! This was a project where I lived dangerously (i.e., no swatch), and it’s a bit more snug that I would ideally like, but I’m still delighted with the finished project.

As we’re approaching February, there are stirrings in the knitting communities about the Bang Out a Sweater challenge. For those who aren’t familiar, the challenge is to knit an entire (adult sized) sweater in the shortest month of the year. I’ve never participated, but I think 2022 is my year!

The folks over at Modern Daily Knitting have selected the Daytripper Cardigan as their Bang Out a Sweater pattern for 2022. I think it’s a fantastic choice for a lot of reasons:

  1. You may already have some Lettlopi floating around in your stash;
  2. If you don’t, loads of local yarn stores here in Minnesota carry Lettlopi (see below);
  3. The loose gauge makes it a truly quick knit;
  4. If you’ve never done a steek, Lettlopi is pretty forgiving; and
  5. It’s got a smattering of colorwork to keep things interesting, then a nice long stretch of single color to let you build up some momentum to the finish!

That being said, I felt the call of the Destination Pullover (also from MDK’s Field Guide No. 17) and it was impossible to resist! Armed with my actual gauge for Lettlopi on size 10s thanks to my Daytripper Cardigan, I’ve confidently cast on the 42-44 inch size and am cruising through the body of this bottom-up sweater. My friend liked the design so much I’ve been chatting about knitting one for her as well, though I imagine she’ll go with different colors than I did.

I’m clearly not the only one feeling the siren song of Lettlopi in Minnesota. If you want the chance to dream up your palette in person, check out these LYS:

  • BeWoolen has an entire wall FULL of Lettlopi, in nearly every shade imaginable;
  • Yarn Harbor up in Duluth has a number of shades that are sold out, but still a pretty great selection;
  • Northfield Yarn also has a great selection, with some shades being sold out;
  • Ingbretsens has a nice selection as well;
  • Yarnology does too; and
  • StevenBe has a small selection as well.

If I finish in time, I’ve been batting around a few ideas for modifying the colorwork charts in the Daytripper Cardigan to fit the odds and ends I’ve got in my stash. Should I do an all over design of colorwork charts from Mary Jane Mucklestone’s fantastic 200 Fair Isle Motifs book? Or should I go with a more modern design of bold stripes? Let me know in the comments on my Project Review post!

For those interested in following my Finish or Frog challenge for 2022 or reading my knitting ramblings, please check out my blog or my Instagram!

Jess Dahlberg

Newsletter Editor

Jess learned to knit in middle school and attempted (but never quite finished) a few garter stitch scarves. Years later, she picked up crochet with her best friend in law school and eventually fell back into knitting. Ever since then, she's been a daily knitter (commuting time for the win!) and has never looked back. She enjoys knitting gifts for friends and family and loves trying new techniques. (she, her, hers)

Laura Haave

Great Guild Getaway Committee Chair

Laura learned to knit in 2003 by taking a four-week class during MIT's annual January Independent Activities Period. The class project was a striped hat knit in the round, and since that time, Laura has been a big advocate of 1) helping other adults learn to knit for the first time, 2) hats as a manageable first project, and 3) circular needles for everything. She enjoys thinking about knitting and planning her next project almost as much as she enjoys actually knitting. Laura is highly motivated by knit-alongs and loves to knit in community. (she, her, hers)

Anne Rojas

Librarian

Janese Evans

Yarnover Committee Chair

Bio to come. (she,her,hers)

Kate Westlund

Social Media and Technology Director

(Term 2, Year 3)

Kate became enthralled with knitting when she was a young girl and saw a fellow young person knitting on a plane. She implored her mother to teach her everything she knew, which as it turned out was only casting on and the knit stitch. Once Kate learned to purl froma beginner's kit, there was no end in sight. Kate is the type of knitter who doesn’t always swatch, which is often obvious in her finished projects.

Melissa Mintern

Marketing and Outreach Director

(Term 1, Year 2)

Melissa has been knitting for 15 years. She loves socks and sweaters. She is a new member who hopes to use her marketing background to lift up the MKG. While she isn't local to MN, she really loves the atmosphere created by the Guild. Melissa and significant other Al enjoy traveling, wherein Al graciously offers to drive so Melissa can knit in the passenger seat. (she, her, hers)

Nikky Heidel

Membership Director

(Term 1, Year 2)

Nikky was first introduced to knitting in 2012 when her visiting sister-in-law taught her the basics of casting on and the knit stitch. A few weeks later, she learned how to purl from her mother-in-law. From there, it quickly became a passion and she has taken on each new project with a desire to expand her skill and discover new techniques. She loves a good mystery (knit-a-long) and knits way more shawls than a single person can wear in a month.

Betsy Preston

Service Director

(Term 1, Year 1)

Betsy never had patience for knitting, until she found herself spending a lot of time at little league games and waiting for the last kid to emerge from the locker room after swim practice. With her background in graphic design, stranded colorwork has a natural appeal. Not to mention the practicality of an extra layer of warmth. Betsy has recently begun publishing her original hat and cowl patterns, which are available on Ravelry. (she, her, hers) (See our Service Knitting Page for more information about our current projects and donation process.)

Sandra Wright

Programming Director

(Term 1, Year 1)

Sandra’s mom taught her to knit as a pre-teen. Together they knit slippers with pompoms, exclusively. She returned to knitting off and on in her adult years, taking classes at local yarn shops to build her skills. After joining a newly formed knit group back in 2013, knitting become a daily practice. Today a sweater, pair of socks, and a gift knit are always on the go, with way too many projects in queue. (she, her, hers)

Rose Tobelmann

Treasurer

(Term 1, Year 3)

Rose learned to knit from her mother at the age of ten. She started knitting on the ends of small paint brushes. She continued to knit off and on through her teenage and young adult years and became a more avid knitter after taking a Norwegian sweater knitting class through community education. Today, knitting has become a passion and she knits for charity, herself, and her family her stash. She enjoys meeting other knitters and learning new techniques.

Kelsey Sorenson

President

(Term 1, Year 2)

Kelsey learned the knit stitch from her grandmother in middle school, and filled in the gaps enough to make lots of scarves for quite a few years. She began expanding her skills in college and is always looking to learn more. Kelsey is drawn toward projects that are seamless or include stranded colorwork. (she, her, hers)

Kelly Amoth

Vice President

(Term 1, Year 2)

A visiting friend from Seattle taught Kelly the very basics of knitting (a twisted loop cast on and just the knit stitch) in 2008 before flying home. Turning to the internet (thanks knittinghelp.com!) Kelly taught herself through a lot of trial and error. Uncontent to keep knitting the scarf she’d started as her first project, she jumped into knitting a pair of striped mittens for her non-knitter, but very knitworthy, twin sister. Twelve years later the mittens are still in her sister’s glove box, and Kelly is usually horrified when she pulls them out and sees the mistakes she made using double pointed needles for the first time. Kelly loves knitting socks and is thankful for the many months of cold weather when she gets to exclusively wear her handknits. (she, her, hers)

Kathy Lewinski

President

(Term 1, Year 2)

Kathy has always been into crafts, but didn’t teach herself to knit until after college. She really got hooked while living in San Francisco when a friend opened a knitting store. To pitch in, Kathy started knitting up fun (and odd) things for window displays, as well as teaching classes. In the last couple of years, she has started designing her own knitting patterns (many of them available for free on Ravelry!) with toys and mittens being her primary obsessions. (she/her/hers)