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 @ oliveknits.com 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 oliveknits.com 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 https://www.lolodidit.com Sponsor Online
A Likely Yarn http://www.alikelyyarn.com/ Abingdon VA
A Piece of Ewe http://www.apieceofewe.com/ Bay City MI
Amanda Hope Yarn https://amandahopeyarn.com/ Online N/A
Annie & Co Knitting http://www.annieandco.com/ New York NY
Back Porch Quilts http://www.backporchquilter.com/ Livingston MT
Big Foot Fibers https://bigfootfibers.com/ Online N/A
Big Sky Fiber Arts https://store.bigskyfiberarts.com/ Online N/A
Blue Heron Knitting http://www.blueheronknittery.com/ Decorah IA
Cameo Yarns http://www.cameoyarns.com/ Online N/A
Chelsea Yarns https://www.chelseayarns.com/ Red Bank NJ
Crazy for Ewe https://www.crazyforewe.com/ Leonardtown MD
Cream City Yarn https://www.creamcityyarn.com/ Brookfield WI
Creation Station https://www.theyarnstation.com/ Newton KS
Dixie Knits https://www.dixieknits.com/shop.htm Pensacola FL
Do Ewe Knit http://doeweknit.com/ Fanwood NJ
Elgin Knitworks http://elginknitworks.com/ Elgin IL
Ewe & Company https://eweandcompany.com/ Kingston Springs TN
Ewe Ewe Yarns https://www.eweewe.com/about Online N/A
Fabs & More and The Whole 9 Yarns https://m.facebook.com/FabsandMore Vicksburg MS
Fancywork yarn shop www.fancywork.com Bend OR
Fiber & Fusion Studio http://www.fiberandfusion.com/ Vandalia OH
Fiber House https://fibrehouse406.com/ Great Falls MT
Fillory Yarn / f.Green Planet Yarn http://www.greenplanetyarn.com/ San Jose CA
Freedom Fibers https://www.freedomfibersict.com/ Wichita KS
Great Yarns http://www.greatyarns.net/ Raleigh NC
Hands On Knitting Center http://www.handsonknittingcenter.com/ Redlands CA
Harriet & Alice https://www.harrietandalice.com/ Edina MN
Hazel Knits https://www.hazelknits.com Online N/A
Huckleberry Knits https://huckleberryknits.com/ Online N/A
It’s All About Ewe https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/ItsAllAboutEweYarn Online N/A
Jem’s Luxe Fibers https://jemsluxefibers.com/ Online N/A
JP Knit & Stitch http://jpknitandstitch.com/ Jamaica Plain MA
Jubie’s Laine & Tricot https://www.jubies.ca/ Chicoutimi QC, Canada
Just Yarnin http://www.justyarnin.com/ St. Germain WI
Kid Ewe Knot http://kideweknot.com/index.html Bridgeville PA
Knit Knot Studios https://www.etsy.com/shop/KnitKnotStudios Online N/A
Knit Locally https://knitlocally.com/ Gaithersburg MD
Knit One Purl One https://www.knitonepurltworockford.com/ Rockford IL
Knitique http://www.knitiqueyarns.com/ Elk Grove CA
Knits & Pieces https://knitsandpiecesofannapolis.com/ Annapolis MD
Knitted Wit Yarn https://www.etsy.com/shop/KnittedWit Online N/A
Knitting B https://www.knittingb.com/ Richmond VA
Knot Another Hat https://www.knotanotherhat.com/ Hood River OR
la Vie laine https://www.lavielaine.com/ Rimouski QC, Canada
Lancaster Yarn Shop http://lancasteryarnshop.com Intercourse PA
Little Yarn Shoppe http://www.littleyarnshoppe.com/ Saginaw, MI
Longmont Yarn Shop http://www.longmontyarn.com/ Longmont CO
Lorna’s Laces https://www.lornaslaces.net/ Online N/A
Mad Knitter’s Yarn http://madknittersyarn.com/ Henderson NV
Makers Mercantile https://www.makersmercantile.com/ Kent WA
MC Walker Yarns https://www.facebook.com/McWalkerYarns/ Millville, PA PA
Miss Babs https://www.missbabs.com/ Online N/A
Mohair and More https://mohairandmore.com/ New Waverly, Texas Texas
Monarch Knitting https://www.monarchknitting.com/ Pacific Grove CA
Mont Tricot http://monttricot.com/ Sutton QC, Canada
Mosaic Yarn Studio https://www.mosaicyarnstudio.com/ Mount Prospect IL
New England Yarn http://www.newenglandyarn.com/ Southington CT
Piney Creek Yarn http://pineycreekyarn.com/ Centennial CO
Pioneer Yarn Co. http://www.pioneeryarn.com/ Minden NV
Purl 2 (Walla Walla) http://www.purl2w2.com/ Walla Walla WA
Quixotic Fibers http://www.quixoticfibers.com/ Whitesboro TX
Raggz Fiber Arts https://raggzfiberart.com/ Forbes Road PA
Red Fox Yarns http://www.redfoxyarns.com/ Vienna VA
Rising Tide Fiber Co. https://www.risingtidefiberco.com Online N/A
River City Yarns https://www.rivercityyarns.com/ Edmonton AB, Canada
Rumpelstiltskin Yarn https://rumpelyarn.com/ Sacramento CA
Scratch Supply Co https://www.scratchsupplyco.com/ lebanon NH
Sheep’s Clothing http://www.aknottyhabit.com/ Kennewick WA
Skacel Collection http://www.skacelknitting.com/ Online N/A
Skein Sisters https://www.skeinsisters.com.au/ Dulwich Hill Sydney, NSW, Australia
So Happy Jane https://sewhappyjane.com Online N/A
Sons of Norway Sonja Lodge https://www.facebook.com/events/2736068329751219/ Eugene OR
Starstruck Cat Yarn Studio http://www.starstruckcatstudio.com/ Greenwood IN
Stitch Central https://www.mystitchcentral.com/ Huntingdon Valley PA
String Theory Yarn Co https://www.stringtheoryyarncompany.com/ Glen Ellyn IL
Studio S Fiber Arts https://studio-s-fiber-arts.myshopify.com/ Delavan WI
The Black Sheep Yarn & Fiber https://www.facebook.com/theblacksheepyarnandfiberarts/ Noblesville IN
The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers https://thefarmersdaughterfibers.com/ Great Falls MT
The Fiber Gallery http://www.fibergallery.com/ Seattle WA
The Fibre Shop https://www.thefibreshop.com/ Neenah, WI WI
The Knitters Nest https://theknittersnest.com/ Clarkston MI
The Sock Peddlers https://thesockpeddlers.com/ Lakewood WA
The Studio Knitting & Needlepoint http://www.thestudiokc.com/ Overland Park KS
The Tinsmith’s Wife www.tinsmithswife.com Comfort TX
The Yarn Club https://yarnclubknits.com/ Virginia Beach VA
The Yarn Maven http://www.theyarnmaven.com/ Smyrna DE
Threadbender Yarn Shop https://threadbenderinc.com/ Grandville, MI MI
Three Kittens Needle Arts https://www.3kittensneedlearts.com/ Mendota Heights MN
Unwind Yarn Shop http://unwindyarnshopmn.com/ Burnsville MN
Village Yarn Co. http://villageyarncompany.com/ Zionsville IN
West 7th Wool http://west7thwool.com/ Fort Worth TX
Wolseley Wool https://www.wolseleywool.com/ Winnepeg, MB Canada MB, Canada
Yarn Bar https://yarn.bar/ Billings MT
Yarn Cloud http://www.yarncloud.com/ Occoquan VA
Yarn In Eureka https://www.yarn-fun.com/ Eureka CA
Yarn Kandy https://m.facebook.com/Yarnkandy/ Little Rock AR
Yarn Matters http://www.yarnmatters.com/ Williamsburg VA
Yarn Refuge https://www.yarnrefuge.com/ Reno NV
Yarn Scout https://yarnscout.com/ Bozeman MT
Yarn Social https://www.yarnsocialkc.com/ Kansas City MO
YarnFolk https://www.yarnfolk.com/ Ellensburg WA
Yarnology http://www.yarnologymn.com/ Winona MN
Yarns by Homeplace Farm https://www.facebook.com/YarnsbyHPF/ Jacksonville AL

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

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