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Have you ever knit a project and just absolutely loved it? It could be the yarn, the color combination, the ease of the pattern … it’s just a good knit. Well, that’s how I feel about my recently finished Coven Cardi by Shay Johnson.

I’m very fortunate to be a part of a group of girlfriends who all knit, crochet, weave or some combination of all of those things. We call ourselves the knitting coven since we make magic with yarn. Designer Shay Johnson is in the group—she’s well-known for her As If Tee and As If Tee Lite patterns.

In 2021 the coven asked Shay if she would design a sweater for us to knit for the New York Sheep & Wool Festival at Rhinebeck that year. It was a tall order, asking Shay to design something that all of us would like, knowing how different we are and the different types of projects we all take on, but Shay said she was up for the challenge. We agreed on a cardigan, and for quick knitting, Shay picked worsted weight and designed the Coven Cardi

The beauty of this pattern is that it can be knit with so many different combinations and options. Shay’s original intent was for it to be a striped cardigan, but the striping pattern was one you get to choose. Perhaps you want to start your stripes after you split from the sleeves, or maybe you want two colors and to alternate throughout. You could be like my girlfriend Kanitta and decide you want a rainbow of colors.

Cider Donut: Check. (editor’s note: That’s Kay in her Simple Swoncho by Karida Collins with dana at rhinebeck 2021.)

I picked a bunch of colors and just went with bold stripes. You can add pockets or not. Add buttons or just make it an open cardigan and skip the buttons. The possibilities are endless and every version of the cardigan you make can be completely different than the last.

Come on, Rhinebeck 2023

When the Coven Cardi pattern was published in September, I decided to knit another version with big bold stripes after I saw a version Shay made. I loved the combination of a deep teal and mint from when I test knit Shay’s PYP Pullover, and I still had yarn left over that went beautifully with a really saturated red in my stash.

Knitting it was a delight—maybe because it reminded me that Shay created the pattern originally for our coven, or maybe it was just the joy in knitting a well-executed pattern. I was so delighted by the finished object that I immediately made Jellybean a matching sweater in the same striping pattern. I haven’t felt the urge to knit her a matching sweater in a while—clearly, I just needed to be inspired by the right pattern. 

I knit because I love it. I don’t knit on deadlines, don’t take requests (unless they’re from my Mom or husband) and I don’t ever feel bad about knitting for myself. Knitting is my joy and when I find a pattern or create a project I love, it just reinforces why I knit what I want when I want.


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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.


  • Dana, you are back!!! I have been missing your post. Beautiful cardigan, and nicely written post.

    • Amen.

  • Beautiful in all versions! I love your colors.

  • I have been thinking it has been a while since I had seen you Dana and here you are, with the equally fashionable Jellybean! Such gorgeous colours in your cardigans. Great Swoncho on Kay too, also looking casually chic. Have a great time at Rhinebeck.

  • Hi Dana!! I have missed you here. Jellybean looks dashing. I love this cardigan and especially the shot of the Coven!! It is wonderful to see each individual’s personal interpretation of the pattern. Thank you for this.

  • I was just thinking the other day that it had been a long time since I had seen you on these pages, and here you are and with great sweaters as well! Your last paragraph sums up my philosophy perfectly. Thank you.

  • So good to hear from you. You and jellybean are adorable.

  • I’ve missed you, Dana and Jellybean! What a glorious sweater, and so glorious to hear from you again!

  • Dana, so wonderful to see you and Jellybean sporting amazing sweaters. Your color choices are spectacular. Having just finished reading Hester, I especially like learning you call your knitting group a coven. I hope the magic continues.

  • It’s so good to hear from you again, Dana! Congratulations on completing your degree. It’s so fun to see the new things you’ve created, and thank you! I’m finally working on my own Sheep Camp sweater.

  • It’s great! You do the best color combinations.

  • So happy to hear from you and see your creativity at work
    The sweater pattern with the variety of ways to knit has me looking to knit it

  • Gosh, Dana, it’s so great to see you and Jellybean! If your smile is any indication, the Coven Cardi must be a great knit. Thanks!

    • So great to hear from you and Jellybean again! Your coven sounds delightful! Thanks for sharing with us!

  • Lovely letter and lovely sweaters! Thanks Dana, always love to read about what you’re knitting, its always a delight.

  • Good to see you again—and Jellybean! Terrific cardigan, great options, both in your bright and muted versions. Will purchase on Ravelry. Many thanks.

  • It’s so great to see your posts again, Dana! Have missed your lovely articles. You and Jellybean look fabulous!

  • I loved the Coven Cardi when it was shown on Instagram and love the story of how it came to be! Your version is beautiful! I am off to look up Shay’s other patterns. Thanks for the inspiration about knitting. I knit

  • YAYYY! So glad to see a post from Dana! Love the photo of the knitters – that looks like a really fun group. Now I have a new pattern to add to my “Things to Knit” list!

  • I always enjoy your color inspiration!!

  • I love the sweaters, especially Jellybean’s

    I’ve been on a social media diet (I feel great) but I really miss Dana’s voice & pictures

  • Witchcraft!!! What a beauty. Welcome back Dana. As usual, you made my morning.

    • Curious about the name. Why is the pattern called coven? Is it meant to be a a reference to witchcraft?

  • So glad you are back, Dana. Love the little turquoise stripe at the bottom hem! Also love the way the designer defined the group, and honoured each individual by offering so much choice.

  • i loved your column today. the words and photos of fabulous colorful versions shared by your coven of friends with all the smiles was very much what i needed to dispel some of the cloud of worry and anxiety i’m currently swimming through. also glad to see jellybean in such gorgeous colors to match “mom.”

  • I love it!! What pattern did you use for JellyB?

  • Glad you’re back! I like your color combo & Jellybean looks dapper, as usual!

  • The photo of you and Jellybean brought such a smile to my face. I love the look of the CovenCardi….a great classic style, and so fun with the bold stripes. This might be what I’m looking for to use up some of my odds and ends.

  • This may be my favorite of all your sweaters so far. You and Jellybean just keep on hitting the home runs.

  • Absolutely love a versatile knit pattern. Thank you for sharing all the smiles in cardigans.

  • I have missed your smiling face and Jellybean!

    It must be cosmic because I was wondering how you were doing and how school was progressing.

    Love all the coven options. Thanks so much for sharing. Margaret

  • So good to see you and Jellybean – hi! I love how you do color – *never* would have thought of adding that rich slightly orangey red to the dark teal and mint, but the three look fantastic together in the proportions you have of each. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Your statement from above says it all for me.
    Lately my focus has been poor & not knitting much. I love the cardigan you’re wearing and may just look through my giant stash. I bet there’s enough of something.
    Happy knitting, Kristine

    “I knit because I love it. I don’t knit on deadlines, don’t take requests (unless they’re from my Mom or husband) and I don’t ever feel bad about knitting for myself. Knitting is my joy and when I find a pattern or create a project I love, it just reinforces why I knit what I want when I want.”

  • You and Jellybean look so good!

  • I echo everything already said! I do miss Yards of Happiness. I am not on Instagram so am very happy to see you here, Dana

  • Beautiful sweater, Dana! I especially like the way you made bold, substantial stripes. I also like the versatility of the Coven Cardi. The sweaters in the picture above are all different in their color and stripes. They each, however, look beautiful!

  • So happy to read this. I was just showing your version of the Ferda sweater to…well basically everyone, after I got an unbelievable deal on some Estelle Rustic Aran that I got a whole bunch of colours of. Your rainbow version is one of my favourite sweaters!

  • Dana, you are an inspiration!!

  • Dana, you are an inspiration !

  • That last paragraph says it all. I admire all your projects but I feel inspired to give the Coven Cardi a try. All those variations! Yummy

  • Such a great article, thank you! So nice to see you and Jellybean again! Your sweaters are amazing!

  • Dana, you and Jellybean look amazing! It’s great to see you back…have a wonderful time at Rhinebeck!!

  • Hi Dana! Beautiful cardigans from your coven. I really like the red added to the PYP colors. A whole new vibe and still beautiful. You’re inspiring me to go stash diving. Love it on Sweet Jellybean too. ❤️

  • You two look gorgeous together in your sweaters!

  • Happy sweater!

  • All versions are lovely!

  • So happy to see you back, Dana! Your articles are always inspiring!

  • Great article – thank you for being you!

  • Lovely post! Thank you Dana, it is such a delight to read your updates.
    Now, this brings the urge to cast on a Coven cardigan, even with the Socktober KALs in progress, a pullover yarn wound and a wrap with the finish line actually in sight.
    Have a wonderful fall!

  • I love every single thing about this post: seeing your smiling face and learning about your coven, adding a few more must-makes to my queue, and that last paragraph!

  • Thank you for sharing your joy. Your final paragraph is spectacular.

  • Love that sweater! Its so nice to see you and Jellybean in matching cardis. One of these days I hope to attend Rhinebeck and meet you!

  • I’ve missed you and Jellybean and your joyful sweaters. So glad you’re back.

  • WELCOME BACK! Couldn’t be more pleased.

  • Love those little Dogos in their funky sweaters!! Only someone who loves them deeply could knit all those sweaters!!

  • Welcome back, Dana! I love your color choices. I would never have thought that bright teal would work with your other colors, but it looks wonderful. Thank you.

  • Dana! So good to see you back here, although I follow you on IG, because, dogs.
    Love this sweater and the story that goes with it. Thank you!!

  • Dana, you are a gem! And Jellybean is adorable in her striped sweater. Thanks for sharing your group’s beautiful cardigans. And…thanks for that last paragraph about why you knit. Amen!! Exactly how I feel about my knitting. ❤️

  • I thіnk this is one of the most important info for me. And i am glad reading your article.
    But shoսld remark on some general things, The web site stylе is wօnderful, the artіcles is rеally great :
    D. Good job, сheers

  • It’s beautiful and vibrant, as are you and Jellybean. 🙂

  • I love your color choices, and the pup sweater is adorable! Thanks for sharing, I’m feeling inspired to play with colors and make a cardi now.

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