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So there’s a group on Ravelry which is doing a NaKniSweMo dodecathlon. Which is a fancy way of saying that they’re taking the NaKniSweMo idea and multiplying it by twelve.  NaKniSweMo is, of course, an adaptation of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, where you write 50,000 words in the month of November). I personally think it should be NaSweKniMo, for National Sweater Knitting Month, but I think it’s meant to be National Knit a Sweater in a Month.  Not that it matters.


The Ravelry group, NaKniSweMoDo (National Knit a Sweater in a Month Dodecathlon, I think) sets the worthy amibtion of twelve sweaters in twelve months.  The rules stipulate that by ‘sweater’, they mean ‘any adult-sized top’, including, but not limited to, vests, shrugs, cardies and tanks.  And just beause there are twelve sweaters and twelve months, you don’t have to knit (and complete) a different sweater in each month.  You can chop and change, and restart according to whim.  Sounds interesting!

I don’t think I’ll join the group, largely because I’m a chronic lurker and a little shy, but mostly because I don’t want to commit to knitting twelve sweaters in twelve months — I’m guaranteed to get huffy by March, and by April I’ll be flinging yarn about shouting “you’re not the boss of me!” and refusing to knit anything except toy snails.

But if I was going to knit twelve sweaters in the next twelve months, what would they be? I won’t tell you how long I stayed awake last night mulling that issue over: I found it remarkably posing.  Here’s my short list: I’ve divided it into ‘Challenging’ and ‘Less challenging’ patterns (calling them ‘Easy’ would just be asking for trouble), in the belief that, if I were to undertake the twelve-sweaters-in-twelve-months challenge, I would want a pretty balanced diet.


  1. La Bella Paquita — Oh, Marnie MacLean, how your patterns taunt me.  This top is gorgeous, and the challenge comes from the construction, which is unique and completely brilliant.  The pattern isn’t so much written out as charted: you download the chart for each size, for the bodice, body, sleeves and neckline lace.  And then these are assembled using a combintion of voodoo and genius (I think).  The whole thing is knit in the round, and Marnie gives detailed instructions on her website about construction and assembling.  Once I took the time to read through and really grok what was happening, I realised she has applied an exceptionally logical approach.  Of course, the whole thing might fall apart as soon as I try to put it into practice, but we’ll see.
  2. Corona — I am just in love with this hoodie.  It’s available as a Ravelry download, something I’m yet to try, and it’s just so funky and awesome.  There’s nothing I don’t love about this pattern, which is a double-negative way of saying I love everything about it.  I have listed it as challenging because of the honeycomb cables around the neckline/hood edge, and also because I can predict that sizing might be a problem for me: this is a design that really wants to be fitted close to the body, and that’s something I’m still learning how to do.
  3. Vivian — Holy crap, how cool can you get?  This hoodie would take me anywhere.  If I can I pull it off: this is gorgeously fitted, but, as already mentioned, I’m a bit hesitant about fitting — I just can’t seem to get it just right, and when you don’t get fits right, you might as well give up.  And I suspect this isn’t a memorisable pattern, either: it would need to go everywhere with me that the in-progress project goes.

Less challenging

  1. Valia — How the Hell does the Twist Collective do it?  One moment, I’m a normal knitter, lusting after a reasonable number of patterns; the next moment, I’m an obsessive. They have the most awesome patterns.  This is a gorgeous tunic with a rolled neck and some intricate but very effective cables down the front.  I’m pretty good with cables (she said optimistically, while waving a foil-wrapped golf club at the thuderstorm), so I think I’d get on top of these ones, as intricate and impressive as they are.  And there’s enough ease in this pattern that I think it will be fairly forgiving if I don’t get the sizing exactly right.
  2. Gytha — Since I’m at the Twist Collective website anyway…I just love the shape of this sweater. I think it is perfectly casual and fun.  I probably wouldn’t do it in the colourway featured on the site, but maybe in a variation on black — black with purple and green colourwork down the bottom, or something like that.  Anyway, I estimate that this knit would be fairly straightforward, so it gets to go on the ‘Less challenging’ list.
  3. Silken Scabbard — I really like the look of this Stitch Diva pattern.  I have a bit of a thing for tunic tops, and I really like the long lines reated by the cables along the sides, the sleeves and the raglans.  Really nice.  However: boat neck.  Not sure how it’s going to go. It looks like the neckline is really well designed, but I’m concerned that it’s just going to stand up, all stiff and weird looking around my neck, like an empty moat.  If that’s the case, though, I’m sure I can wrangle something (remind me I said that when I’m in the middle of a sea of horrors while I try and recalibrate the neckline without Ruining Everything).  Despite this concern, I think that sweater is going to be mine.  Oh yes.
  4. Very Necessary Sweater — Ahh, a sweet vanilla sweater for all seasons.  Well, just Winter, actually. Maybe the tail end of Autumn.  But it’s a lovely, plain turtleneck.  Just what I need.
  5. Tubey — The design of Tubey looks pretty appealing: knit a tube for the body, knit a tube for the sleeves, whammo.  Got time on your hands?  Go knit an Aran.  I’m not 100% sure the design will look good on me — something about the neckline is making me hesitant — but I’m willing to give it a go.

Okay, I’m going to stop there.  I’ve only listed eight tops, but I’m up to around 1,000 words. There aren’t even any pictures in this post, for God’s sake.

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