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In 2014, I signed up for my first sweater class at my local yarn shop, Fibre Space. The pattern was Jane Richmond’s Gemini, and it had a little bit of a lace pattern to it. I was excited because if it turned out well I could wear it in the summer, since I was using Hempathy yarn. I had learned to knit in 2011, but until then, I had been hesitant to knit a sweater.

It Started with Cute Hats

I learned to knit because I wanted to make myself cute hats. That was all. And then I got introduced to Ravelry, and knitting magazines like Interweave Knits and Knitscene, and I saw all these pictures of sweaters, intricate lace weight cowls, and socks—so many socks. I felt my hat knitting didn’t qualify me as a real knitter, which translated into believing I couldn’t knit a sweater. But here’s the thing: I could knit a sweater—I just let my fear convince me otherwise.

After years of looking lovingly at sweater patterns, I decided to get help, and take a class so that my first sweater wouldn’t be a complete disaster.

It Isn’t That Hard

I took the class and quickly realized, sweater knitting isn’t that hard–what was I so afraid of?

2014. Sweater number 1: Gemini by Jane Richmond.

Now, whenever someone says to me, “I’m scared to knit a sweater,” my first question is always: why? And my second question is always: what’s the worst thing that could happen?

Tecumseh as a tee.

Here’s a smattering of the responses I get, and my responses to those responses.

  • You: I make a mistake or I misread the directions. Me: OK, so you rip it back or frog it and start over.
  • You: I didn’t make a gauge swatch. It might not fit. Me: OK, you can frog it and start over after you make a gauge swatch.
  • You: I don’t like the pattern I picked. Me: OK, frog it and pick another one.
  • You: I am afraid it will take forever. Me: What’s the hurry? It’s not a race.

Do you see where I’m going here? The beauty of knitting is that with every project we get the chance to learn something, and possibly challenge ourselves. You can learn a new stitch, a new cast-on or bind-off, a new fiber, or a new way to fix a mistake. Every time you pick up your needles, there is a chance to grow your knitting knowledge.


The Pink Professor (Dana’s own design).

For me, knitting is an act of resilience. Your finished sweater is a physical record of you knowingly applying positive energy in the face of a challenge. Despite doubts and reservations, you can persevere. Even if your finished sweater has a mistake (I’ve dropped a stitch in a sleeve and didn’t notice it until after I blocked it) or it took you two years to make, it’s still a sweater that you made with your two hands.


And yes, you’re definitely a real knitter, whether you knit a sweater or not.

But Who’s Counting?

Since I knit that first sweater in 2014 I’ve knit 164 sweaters so far (with another on my needles). The tally:

  • 19 dog sweaters
  • 42 sweaters for babies and toddlers
  • 103 adult-sized sweaters
2019. Sweater number 164:  Sweetheart sweater for jellybean (Dana’s own design).

I stopped letting my fear keep me from trying things that piqued my interest, and my knitting blossomed.

Last year, I tried stranded colorwork for the first time. It wasn’t as scary as I thought, even with cotton yarn.

After watching a million YouTube videos, I couldn’t get two-color brioche right, so I went back to Fibre Space and took a class. Now I’m a brioche fanatic.

When I’m stuck or confused, I reach out to knitting buddies, online and in person. That’s the other wonderful thing about knitting: there are always people willing to help you learn and fix your mistakes.

So maybe 2019 is your year of the sweater, or your year of socks? Or maybe it’s just time for you to try something new.

Whatever you do, don’t give up on yourself. You can do it. I know you can.


Editors’ note: We asked Dana to put her needles down overnight so that the numbers in this article would be accurate at the time of publication.


A Sweater Sampler

Here are a few of the 164 sweaters that Dana Williams-Johnson has made since her first sweater in 2014. For pattern and yarn details, we recommend that you click on over to Dana’s blog, Yards of Happiness, or her Ravelry notebook, where everything—including hats—is meticulously documented.

For the moment, just take a leisurely scroll, and marvel at the joyful productivity of one resilient knitter. 

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.


  • Wonderful post! You convinced me I can knit a sweater, but I will have to knit lightweight ones because I’m bothered by heat. My fur babies love being naked,but I think I can convince them too.

    • The only thing more beautiful than your knitting is your attitude! I read this early this morning and it brightened my entire day.

    • Try cotton! I love a cotton knit.

  • Oh man. I’m in awe of your knitting! Looking at all your sweaters and the pride that shines through in every photo made me feel so happy. Thanks for sharing your passion. 🙂

  • She has inspired me to start knitting sweaters!! Beautiful!

  • What an amazing knitter and portfolio of work! I’m in awe!

  • Wow! What fabulous sweaters!! Thank you for all the inspiration.

  • Amazing! And so beautiful!

  • Wow!! Thank you, Dana! What a gift to wake up to your beautiful work and positive message:)!!!

  • Love it.

  • WOW! That is the most inspiring story ever…maybe I CAN do it! The colors are just stunning and happy. I started the Hadley “bang out a sweater” (yes, in 2017) … and today I will did it out of my bag and start it up again and finish it this time! Thank you!

  • I love this ! You could put the entire column on continuous loop and I could set it so I would always either see Dana’s positive message or that mesmerizing beautiful flow of Dana’s many varied sweaters worn by gorgeous people/ cute dogs/ adorable dog+adorable baby OMG/.
    Dana can do anything, such inspiration for me. thanks!!

    • Thanks for saying exactly what I feel!

  • I love your smile. I love the matching sweaters with you smiling and your doggies smiling too! Thanks for starting my day off perfectly.

  • Dana, you are amazing! I so related to your post….I haven’t knitted a sweater for about 25 years & thought I lost the knack. At the beginning of Feb I plucked up the courage to knit a sweater for myself & attended a knitting class at my local yarn store. I too asked myself what’s the worst that can happen? I’m almost finished & it’s looking pretty good. Thanks so much for the words of wisdom & inspiration!

  • Dana is so inspiring! I love following her blog every week. I, too, was afraid to knit a sweater until a wonderful person at my lys said ( lovingly) ‘go big or go home’! I laughed and bought yarn for my first sweater and have been learning more and more each day since then!

  • Dana, you are a breath of fresh air!

  • The beauty of the knitting is only exceeded by the beauty of your spirit!

  • Brava! This post already made my day and I’m not even out of bed yet !

  • Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Dana–you are delightful and inspiring. Thank you. Reading this article has started my day in the most delicious way possible.

  • Since moving “South” to Maryland from New England in 1992, I haven’t knit a single sweater. It’s too hot here is one reason and sweater patterns have gotten too complicated. BUT I am just about to start the sleeves on a cardigan. I bought the yarn in 2016 at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and will be wearing it there next month. Dana you have inspired me to keep going!

    • Go Barbara! Do it!

    • I’m also in Maryland and I love a good cotton knit. They don’t all have to be wool!

  • I cannot ot wait to run into you at fibre space in alexandria and admire what you are wearing! You give me inspiration! Sending good vibes from nw.

  • LOVE your Giants pully!

  • I love Dana’s use of color. Beautiful smiles and beautiful sweaters. Especially love the dog matching baby sweaters! Knitting is indeed an opportunity to learn and develop our art every time we try something new. I recently revisited a lace shawl. Made mistakes and I put it aside. I tried again and it is working out. All I needed was a positive outlook.
    Thank you, a great post.

  • “Every time you pick up your needles, there is a chance to grow your knitting knowledge.” I completely agree. Sometimes you have to be fearless or you’ll just stagnate. If I don’t know it’s supposed to be hard, I just go.

  • Absolutely beautiful!

  • This is so inspiring–thank you for sharing!!!

  • This post just makes me so happy. The joy shining on Dana’s face has made my day.

  • What an inspiration! I better get busy. I love her “color courage”!

  • What a fantastic sense of style! Your sweaters — and you! — are inspiring and gorgeous. After I finish the little project on my needles (fingerless gloves) maybe I’ll start a sweater!

  • I love, love, love your sweaters! They (and you) are beautiful!!! 🙂

  • Amazing collection. They are all beautiful. I would love to knit the Pink Professor. They are all lovely and fit perfectly. I’m just getting into knitting sweaters and you are an inspiration.

    • I totally agree. Dana, you should sell the Pink Professor pattern on Ravelry. I’d buy it. 🙂

  • Wow! I am so impressed and inspired. Knitting a sweater for myself is my goal this year. After reading about you and your knitting and seeing all your gorgeous sweaters, you are absolutely right. I don’t know what I’m afraid of or what is holding me back. I can and will do this. Thanks!!

  • Beautiful and inspiring work. Thank you.

  • This is what I love about knitting. I recently knitted Hinterm Stein’s Big Sister Sweater. Before I started, I read the pattern over and over, but it never made sense. I finally just decided I understood row 1, so I’d start there. Once I finished a row, the next one made sense. And then suddenly, I had done all the rows and had a sweater! It’s a great metaphor for life. We may know where we want to end up, but have no idea how to get there. Just keep making that next stitch, and something beautiful emerges at the end.
    Also, Dana, your smile is infectious and is a great way to start my day today!

    • Your comment made me smile. My very artistic MIL told me to always just go at a knitting pattern row by row and you will get it done. I’ve found reading ahead intimidating too!

  • Love every sweater! Everyone is more beautiful then the next. I love love all the colors ! Keep on knitting!

  • LOVE this! I have only knit a Hitchhiker scarf and washcloths, but you are so encouraging. Those sweaters are beautiful! And may I add – Best Smile, Best Glasses and Best Jewelry!

  • Dana you are the greatest! I love your smile and your sweaters are pretty great too.

  • Dana

    • Dana, I’m so inspired with your creativity, your positive outlook and your generosity !
      Your Mom,
      T. Williams

  • I’ve been knitting off and on since I was 15. I just turned 69. In all that time, I don’t think I’ve knit as many sweaters as you have in a few years. Beautiful work and presentation. I’m inspired!

  • Does anyone know what the 7th and 17th patterns in the sampling are? I want them so much…

    • You can find all the details on Dana’s Ravelry page or blog (linked in the post), but assuming I counted right (ha!), those are the Off-Rib Cardigan by Stefanie Japel and the Angelina Pullover by Mary Anne Benedetto. Lovely sweaters!

  • Such color joy! And that tartan pencil skirt!

  • Wowie zowie, I am impressed & inspired! Thank you for sharing your knitting journey – you’re amazing!

  • Now that is inspiring to say the least and momentum for me to get a sweater on my needles when I get these socks done.

  • Thanks for the perfect words to inspire new knitters! You are the best!

  • 2019 will be my Year of the Cardigan, and today’s column has given me extra inspiration. Your cover of Dana in late 2018 got me started—I began following her blog, Yards of Happiness, and indeed, it did make me happy. Dana’s message of “Go for it; challenge yourself, create” gave me the push I needed. She’s my unofficial life coach. 🙂

    Sheila, aka Latvianmittens on Ravelry

  • I love your fearlessness. Your wardrobe of sweaters is marvelous. I will heed your message: Go forth and knit!

  • Dana you are just completely amazing. Thank you so much for the lesson about resilience and letting go of fear! I’ve been knitting for nearly 50 years and can not get the hang of brioche patterns. But now I want to give it another shot.

  • What I love about Dana is the way she just owns them all! Her face, her stance–she’s saying look what I did and isn’t it fabulous!

  • What a happy, wonderful post! Totally made my day. What an accomplishment to knit that many sweaters. I am inspired to finish my first of the year!

  • Dana, what a prolific knitter you are! I think I need a little more colour in my knitting ( other than fun socks!) Too bad the sweater photos weren’t captioned because there are a couple of patterns I would like to knit!

    • Just go to the link for my Ravelry page and you can get all the details.

      • Of course, duh! I wrote this pre-caffeinated LOL

  • Oh, I <3 this so much! I think you are such an inspiration, Dana!! Besides your smiling dogs (whom I adore & wish they'd tell my dog that she should also wear sweaters), your beautiful sweaters inspire me that I can achieve a hand-knit wardrobe, too. Thanks, MDK, for featuring Dana.

  • Your joy is so evident! What a postive, inspiring post. Thank you!

  • Thanks for the great post. I knit sweaters, but I’m no where near Dana’s level of productivity! I love her sense of color, and they all look fabulous on whoever is wearing them whether it be woman, man, or doggie!

  • Love it all! The story, the sweaters, the matching dog sweaters! And you’re bravery in using bold colors. I will admit, I am a tad timid with color.

  • You make me happy!

  • She is AMAZING!! I want to do this. I live in a rural area so You-Tube is my friend. Found a local yarn shop recently. Gonna give this a try.(Oh did I mention I have a whole stash of needles and yarn waiting for me to make the move?)

  • Wow!

  • So! Much! Color!❤️❤️

  • Holy cow – this is prolific! I’d like to know if Dana actually wears them all (all the ones for grown ups that she hasn’t given away). Do some of them just sit in the drawer because, even as great learning experience, they’re not “sparking joy”? (Hate this term, full disclosure!) I’ve made a lot of sweaters and I barely wear any of them. Admittedly, I have no issues ripping them out (most of the time) or giving them away, but still. It’s a lot of work – albeit with terrific learning – for an item I’m not going to wear, realistically.

    • I do loan some sweaters to they get love and I have some that have seasons – meaning I don’t love it this winter but I might wear it to death next winter. I also have several cotton pieces in the ones I keep so I’m able to wear knits all year 🙂

  • Love all your sweaters….this is MY year to knit sweaters ♥️

  • Dana, I love your posts. Your gorgeous smile and Cher and Jellybean just fill me with joy. Not to mention the beautiful sweaters. You certainly do motivate a girl to knit sweaters!

  • Dana’s smile, knitting, and photos make me smile and feel inspired!

  • Thank you -I have a vest and a sweater for myself both 2/3 knitted—now I’m inspired to finish both of them ! Once I finish the sweaters I’m currently knitting for a friend’s granddaughters. I’ve knit ( and finished) many baby and children’s sweaters – but never finish the sweaters I start for myself….now I’m wondering what my fear is aroundvall those WIPs I have for myself???? Or around adult sweaters? Your sweaters are all gorgeous— thank you for sharing.

  • Every day I read two knitting blogs, MDK and Yards of Happiness. I think it is wonderful that they’ve come together. Dana, your sweaters are such an inspiration!!! I love that you use so many bright colors; they’re all absolutely gorgeous!

  • Your color choices make me glad to be alive.

  • Your sweaters are beautiful- but it’s your smile that really makes them pop!

  • Thank you for sharing your joy ~ the radiance you emanate and the beauty of you (and your sweaters) is an inspiration to all of us.

  • Dana has inspired me! I have only knit three sweaters but am currently working on one that I pulled out of the closet after reading this post this morning! Go Dana – love the colors and the joy!

  • Oh, the colors!

  • Such a wonderful blog post! She is the “oonaballoona” of color knitting!

  • Good gosh! The damage she could with my yarn stash! We won’t let her anywhere near it! I’d love to meet her though! She’s FANTABULOUS!

  • You are fantastic! Your enthusiasm and skills are so impressive. Just reading your story makes me smile! Thanks.

  • Thank you! Your sweaters have wonderful color and spark joy!

  • She’s such an amazing, joyous woman—truly a role model for all the world!

  • Wow! Just Wow!

  • Holy canolli, you have made a tonne of sweaters!!! I am amazed!! That is a lot of hard work.
    They are all so beautiful. You are wonderfully talented.

  • YOU are amazing! and so are your sweaters! LOVELOVELOVE

  • Great article, plus i love your blog. Do you share this with your students? Maybe some of them will become knitters too! When i was teaching i brought knitting to the Friday afternoon tea we had every week for everyone, a few of the young teachers learned to knit. It was a fun end of the week thing—of course the fact that i brought brownies helped.

    • My students ask me every day if I’m wearing a ‘custom knit.’ They also always love to ask me to knit them things too.

  • the colours are wonderful

  • I am in awe. A beautifull inspiration and those dog sweaters slay me.

  • I liked her comments on frogging it when it doesn’t meet your expectations. I knew a knitter once who called it un-knitting. You have to be willing to unknit if it won’t be worn. That is the joy of knitting, that this can be done.

  • Dana, you are awesome!!! You always bring a smile to my face. What a great read. The downside (could there be a downside?)… I’ve got at least 5 more sweaters to add to my must make list

  • Now I’m embarrassed. I’ve started quite a few sweaters, but I when I get to the finishing process, I abandon them. Usually it’s because the sweaters get too unwieldy for carry-along or I don’t have time to sit down & finish them. They’ll get put aside while I start something new, but then I don’t end up going back to them to finish. This is motivating, Dana. Thanks. I will get them finished!

  • wow wow wow! And I WILL finish my February Lady which is languishing in a bag… my first cardigan.

  • A great reminder to everyone that a smile is your best fashion accessory. Love all the colors, Dana!

  • Her knitting and her infectious joy about knitting are impossible to resist!!! Such gorgeous bright colors, such interesting yarn choices (colorwork with cotton = fantastic) – throw in matching little doggie sweaters and I just want to stare and read about her projects all day! I love her blog!

  • A true sweater girl! Beautiful!

  • Your sweaters are beautiful and you’ve inspired me to finish/start some sweaters.

  • Agree! This is one of the happiest, best posts I have ever seen. Dana, you are a force of nature and to hear your voice and enthusiasm so clearly is pure joy. Thanks to MDK for bringing Dana into our knitting lives.

  • Wow! I want to make every single sweater that Dana has made! Gorgeous color and pattern choices. Inspirational!

  • While I am in awe of all those sweaters (and your meticulous notes), it’s your joyful use of color that blows me away. I am speechless.

  • Wow. Congratulations. That is quite an impressive feat!

  • Bravo!! I too have a fear of knitting sweaters and have three unfinished ones. Thanks for your words of encouragement!

  • Dana your work is beautiful!
    I am so jealous of the amazing amount of sweaters you have so joyfully knit!

  • Totally agree! And yet…. LOVE your sweaters!

  • Fantastic!! Your inspiration is infectious. I especially like the yellow one with pink bands!!

  • Wow! That woman’s not afraid of anything. No fear of color, style or fiber. She looks beautiful in all of them. Very inspirational.

  • I would like to know two things: 1) who came up with the GENIUS IDEA of using pegboard, yarn cakes and long pegs to create space-saving, beautiful stash storage so you can see all your colors, and 2) OH MY GOODNESS YOU HAVE THE BEST EYEWEAR what are those frames? Oh, and please give Jellybean a big smooch for her modeling chops!

    • I saw someone on Instagram years ago with the pegboard and asked my husband to do it for me and he obliged. It’s where my leftovers go, my stash is in drawers underneath my table with my swift and ball winder (I have a lot of yarn). And majority of my eye glasses come from Zenni Optical.

  • Wonderful! An Inspiration! Plus you are wearing fantastic goggels! And you are a very beautiful lady!

  • Everything DWJ does makes me want to start a new project. I’m not sure if it’s the sweaters, colors, or smile!

  • KUDOS! I wish I were able to knock out knitted items like you! I am a slow knitter and knit every day, but it takes me FOREVER and the fear of colorwork, brioche, and mosaic scares me to death! You have given me a bit of hope, start slow and kit steady! Love your sweaters, especially for the furry babies!

  • I was very disappointed with my first sweater. Never wore it. These sweaters are beautiful. Where can I get patterns?

  • Dana, I love your use of bold colors and the joy that exudes from your pictures. Brava!

  • Dana you are a truly amazing woman with an incredible spirt!!
    I love seeing your creations and matching 4 legged designs.
    You made my day.

  • How incredibly cool ! Wonderful sense of color and design and a true knitter ❤️

  • They are all beautiful! I love them all. Congratulations!

  • I love love love your love of color!! Beautiful sweaters! You had me with the picture of the infant and the dog, sleeping together!

  • What a joyous post: beautiful colours, such a positive message, great sweaters, cute dogs, great eye wear and all round inspiration. Loved it. And so pleased to have been signposted to your blog. Thank you Dana!

  • Your choice of color(s) is so much fun. I love reading your blog, your Instagram posts, and now your MDK posts.
    I’ve only been knitting for almost 56 years and I still get scared something won’t work, or I can’t do that, or, or, or, or….
    But then I go ahead and Do It. And it usually works.
    Your smile is totally enchanting.

  • Oh, wow! So impressive…and inspirational! You look great in all of these, as do Cher and Jellybean in their sweaters. (Off-the-chart cuteness!) I love many of them but that one that I really aspire to is the Superbulky Grandpa. I love a grandpa cardigan, and this looks so quick and easy! I love the look of it in the Woolfolk yarn, but if I’m not going to knit from stash, I think that readily-available Lion Brand Wool-Ease may be the way to go.

  • These sweaters, and your beautiful smile, are so encouraging!

    I’ve only one done sweater so far, for my toddler, and it was way easier than I expected! But for some reason I’m still intimated by sweaters, especially the ones where you have to knit them in separate pieces and seam them. But I’m committed to making myself a Flax sweater this year.

  • What an inspiration. Such a beautiful lady and beautiful sweaters!

  • Dana, thank you so very much for sharing your skill, sense of adventure, and color sense! You are a model for what happens when taking a chance to learn something new ends up creating something marvelous. I felt so inspired reading and viewing your story.

  • Love your smile Dana! I love learning something in knitting and found taking Jen Arnall-Culliford’s A Year of Techniques life changing. Making a small thing with a new technique gives you that confidence to try the bigger projects. Since taking that course, there is nothing I won’t try!

  • What do you do to enlarge the arm measurements so it looks right. I have 20″ upper arms and it is difficult to add stitches but get it to lay right.

  • I adore Dana, her love of color and the joy she has for knitting is so infectious. I look forward to her newsletter and start smiling as soon as I see an email from Yards of Happiness.

  • Wow…how awesome and inspiring! Your sweaters are beautiful, the “pink professor” is my favorite. I have saved this article to read over and over to get my juices flowing. Thank you for sharing your passion and positivity with us!

  • I love your story and couldn’t agree more! And i also love your sweaters, the color combinations, and your beautiful smile 🙂

  • The sweaters are so bright and cheery. Your personality shines through!

  • Wow! I’m in the process of knitting my first sweater and it’s a seamed one! Yes, I did have to rip back but as Dana said it’s a learning experience for my next sweater. Thank you for the encouragement and the inspiration!

  • Thanks for this fantastic post. It’s a very grey day in Toronto so it is very welcome.
    I have often been in the “two years to complete a sweater” camp but trying to change my stance by choosing better-fitting garments, well-written patterns, appropriate yarn, swatching and reading the entire pattern carefully …
    And yes taking it row by row.
    Thanks Dana!

  • Wow! Ok, you have inspired me to jump into the sweater pool!
    Gutless, you’ve got some really cute sweaters going on

  • So much beauty! Love the colors. You are amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  • I am not worthy! What an inspiration! Must dust off my Gemini, or rather frog and start over b/c I’m a different size.

  • You. Are. AWESOME!!!!

  • What a fabulous positive attitude. You are beautiful and your sweaters are amazing!

  • You knit such happy sweaters!

  • Love the dog sweaters…..SO MANY BEAUTIFUL SWEATERS

  • she is so beautiful and she’s SO right! Inspiring!

  • Resilient! Exuberant! I can’t wait to read your blog.

  • Your sweaters are WONDERFUL!!!! So exuberant!! So colorful! And your beautiful smile had me smiling back at the computer screen. What a JOY you are!!!

  • What an inspiring and encouraging post. You voiced the feelings and questions I have had about knitting sweaters, and I plan to break past them this year to knit my first sweater.

  • An inspiring post! Your color choices are joyful.

  • So much encouragement, fun, happiness & cute pooches to boot! Thank you!

  • Thank you for sharing your joy! Your sweaters are so fun and inspiring!

  • Awesome, very inspiring!

  • That infectious smile!! I’m smiling back, Dana, every single time… and wondering if my cat would wear a cute matching sweater with me if I knit one. 😉

  • Dana you are an inspiration! After taking a short haitus from knitting to have my daughter I am so ready now to start making her more sweet sweaters!

  • Dana, your joy and enthusiasm, and the beautiful colors of your sweaters, are inspiring. Thank you.

  • She’s amazing! I love how her personality shines in her knitwears.

  • You look beautiful in all of them and you are an inspiration. Of course I would have done the NY Giants sweater in NY Jets instead. LOL.

  • Jealous!

  • I knit a sweater than I don’t like – but now I am going to recycle that yarn into a different sweater. Yours look great and great on you! (And my next dog will be one that needs sweaters!)

  • This was so inspiring! I love the variety of sweater styles and the color choices. I need to start a sweater now!

  • You beautiful and your sweaters are fabulous! I’m feeling inspired! Thank you!

  • You. are. fabulous. Your message, your sweaters, your dogs, your glasses – all fabulous!

  • Your an inspiration! Love your choice of colours.

  • Enjoyed seeing all the beautiful sweaters. Amazing!

  • I love your sweaters!! They even have “fit” most are so boxy that they look terrible when you get them on. I find many are too big and so boxy they don’t look like they are designed for women. The other thing is they are designed for women without curves and are too small and clingy. Your’s however fit beautiful!! I look forward to seeing more of your sweaters.

  • LOVE your sweaters! You inspire me with the time and effort you put into your knitting. And, could your dog get any cuter???

  • Wow! Just beautiful and amazing. They all fit so nicely. I love the matching dog sweaters too!

  • I LOVE your positivity, bright colors and even brighter smile!!

  • Your exuberance and creativity are so Uber-Knitterly! I especially love your Sweetheart Dog Coat. Thanks for such a joyful post on a drab day!

  • Thank you, Dana, for your sweater coaching and for sharing your sunny attitude and beautiful work.

  • Beautiful and inspiring! I love your use of colors.

  • Dana, you are awesome! Love your knitting and your outlook!

  • So inspiring! I love to knit sweaters too and as soon as I finish a scarf for my daughter, I’m casting on a sweater! Bravo Dana!!

  • This is so inspirational! I first learned of you and your beautiful sweaters through House of A La Mode’s IG posts. I love your can-do attitude. Thank you for sharing!

  • Omigosh, these are amazing (and inspiring, as are you, Dana 🙂 I tried knitting a sweater once and it went badly – got confused at the sleeves, tried to frog back, got even more confused, frogged back too far, and it was all over. But you make me want to try again.

    Quick question for everyone…How do you deal with screwing up/perfectionism? Because I think that’s my real problem. The combination of the two makes knitting really stressful instead of fun, so I end up putting things down only to get interested again a few weeks later. Am starting to wonder if I should just give up knitting and just collect yarn and knitting books instead…

    • Perfectionism often is rooted in the fear of making mistakes. Knitting is helping me cure my perfectionism. Every time I make a mistake, I have had to figure out how to fix it. Repeat 1000 times. Now I just shrug, maybe fix it, maybe rip it all out, maybe rig it up to work with the mistakes. No more painful feelings, fear, or anger at myself. Just more knitting. It’s taken about 11 years, but I am almost there, and all without expensive therapy.

      • Thank you, Sarah. I’ll try to approach it more like that.
        It did strike me later that when I code, I pretty much go in expecting to break things, and if anything, try to keep a playful “growth mindset” going. I think I need to do that with knitting too.

    • P.S. After leaving the above comment, I did find this:
      Much wisdom, even if I’m not quite ready to hear it!

  • I literally love every single one. Dana has an amazing eye for color, and looks amazing in every color as well, apparently. The one with the dog and the baby made me make some involuntary noise I can’t describe, and I had to keep going back to look at it.

    This is truly inspiring!

  • Love this knitter and her smile and zest for life ! Very inspirational and joyful!

  • What a fabulous story – thank you for sharing this inspiration!

  • She is exuberance in knitting personified!

  • So Wonderful! I love that Dana makes matching sweaters for her littles.

  • Thanks for this post! Dana is such a fantastic knitter (with the cutest dogs), and so encouraging of others – I credit a comment from her on one of my instagram posts with helping me past my uncertainty about short rows to finish a big, cozy shawl collar on the first cardigan I ever knit myself. And seeing so many of her sweaters all at once is so inspiring!

  • inspirational!!!!

  • Where can I find the pattern for the collar-less sweater you are wearing in the cameo (main) photo?

  • Amazing- Your sweaters are like a beautiful summer garden in full bloom. I need to branch out beyond grays and muted tones. Lovely!

  • This post made me smile so much. Beautiful sweaters! A baby in a sweater! Dogs in sweaters! A baby and a dog in coordinating sweaters! Thank you.

  • Love your work, and so agree about not being afraid to try something, so many times i read post or comment from people saying ‘ooooo, i couldn’t do that’ well if you don’t try you will never know. Thank you

  • Great sweaters, great colors, great attitude! Thanks for sharing it all with us!

  • I would love to knit more sweaters- but I do not get a good fit. Yiu have just inspired me to try again. Thank you! Love your smile, and attitude!!

  • your sweaters are gorgeous, but your smile is the best part! Thank you for all the inspiration

  • I love your attitude. This is so awesome and inspiring. I never connected knitting and resiliency before. At work we talk about resiliency. At home I knit. This post shows how the two can go together. Thank you.
    A friend of mine said “be afraid of parachuting, not of knitting”

  • Do you buy your patterns or do you create your own? If you do make your own patterns, are they on Ralvery? I want to knit a sweater but I’m would like a very simple one.

  • This is so inspiring!! They are all so beautiful, I can’t pick a favorite. I am currently working on my second sweater ever (the first one was worked in pieces and I still haven’t seen it together) and I needed to hear/see this! I WILL finish this sweater and I will be a better person for it. Thank you so much for sharing this. <3

  • Just what I need to read this am! Ive want to do some sweaters as Christmas gifts and well, totally identify with not a real knitter. Living in Fl it’s not really a skill people are dying to learn. Any recommends for learning seams?

  • Love this! So inspiring! Okay, I’m going to do it. I’m knitting a sweater. BTW – I have a sweet Chihuahua mix too. My buddy.

  • I subscribe to Dana’s blog and she is ALWAYS so happy, one has to be happy just receiving an email from her. I love the sweaters, the doggies, the husband, etc. but Dana’s smile and positive energy is ‘the ticket.’ Thank you for showing and giving us so much happiness.

  • Dana your an amazing and inspiring knitter. I to love to knit garments. Do your hands not get sore from all the knitting. I work in a yarn store and do knits for the store and then for my family and find my hands get sore at times.

  • My first knitting project after I learned to knit was a cuff to cuff dolman sleeve sweater, with intarsia and fair isle.

  • I love you, Dana!!!! I am also an avid knitter who makes a lot of sweaters. I love your positive spirit and creativity. So inspiring.

  • Jellybean looks exactly like the dog I had for 13 years as a child, Todo. She was amazing. Give Jellybean a hug for bringing back precious memories.

    • Hugs happily given

  • Dana, you are an inspiration!! Thank you for your beautiful smile and for sharing!!

  • Dear Dana,
    Thank you so much for sharing your sweater photos. I think you’re amazing! I’m one of those sweater-knitting fraidy cats. Maybe, if I get the chance, I’ll take a class. You truly are an inspiration. Your dogs must be the best-dressed, anywhere! I get such a kick seeing them in their sweaters. Thanks, again.

  • Wow, in only six years and all those beautiful knitted garments! I love so many of those designs too, the sort that I try to find to knit for myself. I take my hat off to you Dana. Well done, you are an inspiration to those that want to knit!

  • i’m looking for women’s sweater kits for beginners

  • Dana, I love your enthusiasm for color in knitting. And I adore the matching dog sweaters! This may be the year I tackle brioche knitting. Hey, it’s just yarn.

  • Oh my! Seeing all of your FINISHED sweaters makes me wanna go hit up my WIP stash! 164 sweaters! That’s impressive! Keep on knitting and thanks for sharing!

  • Dana, I believe you are wearing my top under your Rumo test knit! I love that top! I got it at Nordstrom’s on sale a few years ago. I feel like a million dollars in it. It looks great on you, too!

  • A feast for the eyes Your sense of color is designer-class…so glad to see this again.

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