The Who, What, When, Where & Why of the Infamous 4 Day Sweater Knitalong

It all began with a long weekend and a sweater that needed to be knit.

I’d never actually knit a sweater in four days (was that even possible?), but I had four days at my disposal before another bundle of deadlines hit and I wondered if maybe – just maybe – I could pull it off. What could it hurt?

To make things a bit more interesting, I made my wager public; I told my knitting community what I was up to and invited them to follow along as spectators (knowing that others were watching made me all the more motivated to see if I could do it). It was a nail biter. But at the end of the fourth day, I had a sweater. A whole sweater! I’d done it!

Stillwater: The first 4 day KAL sweater

What followed were a slew of requests from knitters asking if I’d consider making it a knitalong. Really? Yes, really. The knitters had spoken and the first 4 Day Knitalong (for a sweater called Stillwater) was born.

The first year we had a host of participants who were energized and excited to be part of a super-charged knitting experience with hundreds of other knitters. Friendships were made, fun was had, and quick sweaters were knit in the process.

I hadn’t planned on doing it again, but when the next summer rolled around I was knee-deep in deadlines for my first book and thought maybe I’d throw together another quick little knitalong for the knitters in my Facebook group. I shared my idea for a second 4 day knitalong (this time it was the Beekeeper Cardigan), and was not remotely prepared for the response. It was a knitting tsunami! Thousands of knitters all over the world joined along for our second year. We laughed, we cheered, we celebrated, and we knit thousands of Beekeeper Cardigans together as one giant, cozy knitting community.

Beekeeper Cardigan: The second 4 day KAL

By this point, I realized that my crazy sweater challenge wasn’t a fluke. It was a full-blown knitting adventure, and it was getting bigger and more exciting every year.

Q: Can these sweaters really be knit in 4 days?

A: Yes. Absolutely. Each year I’ve knit the sweater sample (twice each, actually) in size 38 in 4 days. Really!

Q: Do we all have to knit a sweater in 4 days?

A: Nope. There’s a sliding timeline that adjusts for sizes (32-52″ bust size with positive ease built-in), so knitters have between 4-8 days for the official “challenge” portion. We leave the knitalong group open for 2 weeks so everyone has plenty of wiggle room to work on their project and spread their days out (the days don’t have to be consecutive). Whether you knit it in 4 days or 4 weeks, the goal is to simply to knit a sweater more quickly than you thought you could. That’s it. There is NO pressure to make it in 4 days (knit at a pace that works for you); the crazy timeline is just for fun, and only if you feel like giving it a shot.

Q: What if we don’t knit it in 4 days?

A: Keep on knitting! Like I said above, the goal is to knit a sweater more quickly than you thought you could, but not to knit until your arms fall off. Do what works best for you.

Q: How do we participate?

A: If you’re a knitter, sign up to my newsletter here, and join the Olive Knits Knitters’ Lounge Facebook group (if you like). These two sources are the best way to get all the juicy tidbits, find out about the launch date and more. If you don’t use Facebook, that’s okay – just be sure you’re on my newsletter.

Q: My yarn shop wants to participate. What do they need to do?

A: Easy breezy. Have your yarn shop send an email to hello @ and let us know they’d like to join us and we’ll send along all the details. See the list of participating shops below.

Q: My knitting group wants to participate. What do we need to do?

A: Just sign up for my newsletter (and join the Facebook group, if you’d like) so you know all the important dates and particulars. Then get your needles ready and join us when we cast on. That’s it!

Q: How much does it cost to participate?

A: All you have to do is buy the pattern (And have the yarn to knit it – this year’s yarn sponsor is Lolodidit. Check out their gorgeous tonals!) The retail pattern price is $9 USD. During the preorder launch period (May 23 – June 26th), the pattern will be discounted to $8 USD. During the preorder period you will be able to see photos of the pattern and download the knitalong itinerary, yarn details and swatching guide with your pattern purchase. The pattern itself will land to your Ravelry library and here on on June 27th. The official cast-on day is July 4th and the knitalong will run through July 18th.

Q: Tell me about the yarn?

A: I’m thrilled to be featuring Simple Worsted from Lolodidit for 2019. Lolodidit has excellent service, gorgeous colors, and a quick turnaround for dyed-to-order colors. They also offer swatch skeins so you can try before you buy a full sweater quantity. Check out their sophisticated tonals and tonals that we’re recommending for this year’s sweater. And a note: They are extra stocked and staffed and ready to dye and ship your sweater yarn with a super quick turnaround.

Q: Do I have to use the recommended yarn?

A: Nope. While we’d love for you to support Lolodidit – this year’s yarn sponsor – we know that not everyone has the same budget or access. Use whatever works for you and allows you to get great results.

Third Annual 4 Day KAL Participating Yarn Shops 2019

LOLODIDIT Sponsor Online
A Likely Yarn Abingdon VA
A Piece of Ewe Bay City MI
Amanda Hope Yarn Online N/A
Annie & Co Knitting New York NY
Back Porch Quilts Livingston MT
Big Foot Fibers Online N/A
Big Sky Fiber Arts Online N/A
Blue Heron Knitting Decorah IA
Cameo Yarns Online N/A
Chelsea Yarns Red Bank NJ
Crazy for Ewe Leonardtown MD
Cream City Yarn Brookfield WI
Creation Station Newton KS
Dixie Knits Pensacola FL
Do Ewe Knit Fanwood NJ
Elgin Knitworks Elgin IL
Ewe & Company Kingston Springs TN
Ewe Ewe Yarns Online N/A
Fabs & More and The Whole 9 Yarns Vicksburg MS
Fancywork yarn shop Bend OR
Fiber & Fusion Studio Vandalia OH
Fiber House Great Falls MT
Fillory Yarn / f.Green Planet Yarn San Jose CA
Freedom Fibers Wichita KS
Great Yarns Raleigh NC
Hands On Knitting Center Redlands CA
Harriet & Alice Edina MN
Hazel Knits Online N/A
Huckleberry Knits Online N/A
It’s All About Ewe Online N/A
Jem’s Luxe Fibers Online N/A
JP Knit & Stitch Jamaica Plain MA
Jubie’s Laine & Tricot Chicoutimi QC, Canada
Just Yarnin St. Germain WI
Kid Ewe Knot Bridgeville PA
Knit Knot Studios Online N/A
Knit Locally Gaithersburg MD
Knit One Purl One Rockford IL
Knitique Elk Grove CA
Knits & Pieces Annapolis MD
Knitted Wit Yarn Online N/A
Knitting B Richmond VA
Knot Another Hat Hood River OR
la Vie laine Rimouski QC, Canada
Lancaster Yarn Shop Intercourse PA
Little Yarn Shoppe Saginaw, MI
Longmont Yarn Shop Longmont CO
Lorna’s Laces Online N/A
Mad Knitter’s Yarn Henderson NV
Makers Mercantile Kent WA
MC Walker Yarns Millville, PA PA
Miss Babs Online N/A
Mohair and More New Waverly, Texas Texas
Monarch Knitting Pacific Grove CA
Mont Tricot Sutton QC, Canada
Mosaic Yarn Studio Mount Prospect IL
New England Yarn Southington CT
Piney Creek Yarn Centennial CO
Pioneer Yarn Co. Minden NV
Purl 2 (Walla Walla) Walla Walla WA
Quixotic Fibers Whitesboro TX
Raggz Fiber Arts Forbes Road PA
Red Fox Yarns Vienna VA
Rising Tide Fiber Co. Online N/A
River City Yarns Edmonton AB, Canada
Rumpelstiltskin Yarn Sacramento CA
Scratch Supply Co lebanon NH
Sheep’s Clothing Kennewick WA
Skacel Collection Online N/A
Skein Sisters Dulwich Hill Sydney, NSW, Australia
So Happy Jane Online N/A
Sons of Norway Sonja Lodge Eugene OR
Starstruck Cat Yarn Studio Greenwood IN
Stitch Central Huntingdon Valley PA
String Theory Yarn Co Glen Ellyn IL
Studio S Fiber Arts Delavan WI
The Black Sheep Yarn & Fiber Noblesville IN
The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers Great Falls MT
The Fiber Gallery Seattle WA
The Fibre Shop Neenah, WI WI
The Knitters Nest Clarkston MI
The Sock Peddlers Lakewood WA
The Studio Knitting & Needlepoint Overland Park KS
The Tinsmith’s Wife Comfort TX
The Yarn Club Virginia Beach VA
The Yarn Maven Smyrna DE
Threadbender Yarn Shop Grandville, MI MI
Three Kittens Needle Arts Mendota Heights MN
Unwind Yarn Shop Burnsville MN
Village Yarn Co. Zionsville IN
West 7th Wool Fort Worth TX
Wolseley Wool Winnepeg, MB Canada MB, Canada
Yarn Bar Billings MT
Yarn Cloud Occoquan VA
Yarn In Eureka Eureka CA
Yarn Kandy Little Rock AR
Yarn Matters Williamsburg VA
Yarn Refuge Reno NV
Yarn Scout Bozeman MT
Yarn Social Kansas City MO
YarnFolk Ellensburg WA
Yarnology Winona MN
Yarns by Homeplace Farm Jacksonville AL

Stay tuned for more details and check your inbox every Thursday for updates.

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  1. […] We are excited to announce that Northfield Yarn is participating in Olive Knits’ 4th Annual 4-Day KAL! Each summer, designer and author Marie Greene of Olive Knits invites knitters to join her in making a sweater more quickly than they thought possible. Read her 2019 blog post about the history of the KAL for more information! […]

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