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I’ll admit, when I first started knitting, I enjoyed it because it was something I could do on my own, but knitting with friends (in person or virtually) surprised me by how fun it is. I have a group of girlfriends who are my fiber best friends. We are at different levels: from newbie to someone who works in a yarn shop part-time and helps people with their projects.

It’s the best when we get together and knit, and over the last year we’ve been knitting more projects together—kind of like mini-knitalongs. This year we extended our Rhinebeck trip and came up earlier to hang and knit and plot out our yarn purchases. I got us to take a few pics of some of the knits we made together.

Sheep Camp Sweater by Jennifer Berg

What I love about knitting and knitalongs is how different each project is even though we are all using the same pattern. For our group, we all used such different color palettes and yarns, but they all still turned out beautifully. Some of us did rolled necklines (per the pattern) and some added ribbing. One even shortened the yoke to suit her tastes. It’s a great way to work together and encourage each other through the process.

Lento by Jonna Heitala

If you want a quick and easy pattern that is super customizable, you want the Lento sweater. It can be knit holding two strands of yarn together or with a single strand of DK weight yarn, and it is worked on larger needles for a quick and satisfying knit. For our group, variations included: holding one strand of mohair with one strand of fingering weight; one strand of a slub yarn with one strand of fingering weight; one strand of a feather yarn for texture with one strand of fingering weight—and my version was all DK. We all opted for different sleeve lengths, body lengths and textures, so each sweater became a unique interpretation.

Ferda Fingering and Ferda Worsted by Anna and Heidi Pickles

My girlfriend Kanitta and I both fell in love with the Ferda sweater. I decided to knit worsted weight and Kanitta chose fingering weight. The construction was the same, she just had more stitches to cast on than I did.

We found the raglan increases a little confusing on the first read, so knitting with a friend was especially great. We would take pics and Facetime each other as we worked to make sure we were doing the same thing. I decided I wanted mine to be a rainbow because that’s what I love to do, and Kanitta decided she wanted to highlight some of her favorite green yarns she had been itching to use.

I modified my neckline after the fact and she shortened her yoke (which I would do if I knit it again). I also went with a short cropped sleeve so I could match my rainbow with the body. Same sweater, two beautiful interpretations.

There are already more sweaters we are knitting together and plotting to knit as a group in the future. It’s the most fun when we get together to knit and show off our progress, or share what yarn we want to use, or try on a finished sweater so we can cast on next.

If you’ve been hesitant to start a project, try it with friends! It will definitely make it more fun.

Save it for later. Keep Dana’s Edit recommendations handy in your MDK account. Here’s how.

About The Author

Dana Williams-Johnson knits every day. Knitting is what brings Dana joy, and she shows that through her use of color (hello, rainbows) and modifications of favorite patterns into replica sweaters for her dogs.

You can read about it all on Dana’s blog, Yards of Happiness, and watch her video podcasts on YouTube.


  • Inspiring. Beautiful to see each individual’s creativity shine through using the same pattern modified to fit their needs and personality.

  • My daughter lived in LA for several years and I’m in New Hampshire. We did a mini KAL and loved it!! Hoping to do another soon now that she’s in Austin. It’s really fun yo model when we’re together.

  • Where can I get the pattern for the Lento sweater?

    • If you click the name of the sweater in the article it takes you to the Ravelry page for it. I just did!

  • I love this post!! It is so much fun to be introduced to some great patterns. All the variations were so well explained and so inspiring! … and seeing five beautiful smiles looking back at me so early in the morning was a vitamin for my morning grumpies!!! Thank you!!

  • I loved this story: I loved hearing about your group, and seeing the pictures, with all the pictures; every sweater the same but different, just as friends are. This spring, an online KAL with online friends coerced me into making a sweater I probably would not have chosen to make, but it has become my favorite of the season. I hope you show us what your group does next!

  • This was a great pattern review — love love love seeing the sweaters on every one with the slight variations. Queuing up the Lento…..thanks Dana!.

  • So glad you’re back, Dana — I’ve missed you! And thanks for sharing this wonderful kaleidoscope of creativity.

  • I love this idea! Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Dana, you are all the rainbows! 🙂

    Was super happy to see todays post is from you. And your Ferda. The rainbows. So! Much! Good!

    I’ve been classically TERRIBLE at being part of KALs, but I was just thinking one of my goals for 2023 is creating more intentional community – thank you for the reminder of this way to do it.

  • I love Dana’s sweaters for her and her pup! She has a great eye for color and patterns.

  • I love this story! Thanks for sharing 😀

  • Thank you, Dana for bringing the joy we experience with our knitting 🙂 sweater joy, friend joy, color and texture joy – all that’s missing from this post are those incredibly adorable dogs!!

  • I love seeing the variety of colors, fabrics, and modifications you came up with from the same pattern – it’s part of what makes knitting magical, isn’t it? Every combo of these three sweaters is absolutely gorgeous. I’m not a rainbow knitter but every time you show something new in rainbow colors, I feel the itch to do some rainbow knitting!
    I have a small crafting group I love getting together with, though two of us usually knit and two usually crochet. We’ve yet to figure out a KAL or CAL, but getting together for our craft parties is truly joyful.

  • The happiness and friendship is palpable from your photos, thanks for your lovely post Dana! After searching for a local knitting group to join with no success, I helped to form one recently and it truly is a highlight of my week, for all the reasons you mentioned. Knitters are the best!

  • What a great post to read this morning. And I love the idea of a strand of feather yarn or mohair with a strand of fingering!

  • What fun! You all look great, and so do your sweaters.

  • I keep going back to that Sheep Camp picture! You are lucky to have this group (and those sweater 😉 )

  • Marvellous! As a reader, I love seeing the variations. What fun and what great support. I’m also interested in combining yarns, and I needed this encouragement.

  • Love, love, love the knitting friends and the variations on the sweater patterns!! I love all those smiles that show friendship and knitting projects well done. Congratulations ladies!!

  • Thank you Dana, for sharing all the sweaters and your friendships! It is fascinating how small changes make a big difference.

  • I have always loved Jennifer’s Sheep Camp Sweater. To see it up there times 5 makes it even better.

  • This is so fun! I love seeing the variations of the projects and how they look on different shapes and sized. Makes me long for a knitting group of my own.

  • Another fun and I spring column, thank you. Your rainbow sweater is FANtaboulous!

  • I agree, knitting or crocheting with friends is so much more fun! A few years ago I hosted an online group where we each made a throw blanket from squares. We shared our progress weekly and allowed 3 months to finish up. Only one person didn’t finish in the time allowed, but it be wasn’t a strict deadline anyway. Each of us had different interpretations and all were beautiful. For mine, I made a checkerboard pattern using flower grannies in many colors, alternating with various crochet cable blocks in sage green. I still use it often and it reminds me of my friends – almost like getting a hug from them.

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