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Dear everybody who wants February to be awesome,

The time is nigh! On the horizon! Just around the corner!

Everybody’s favorite 28-day dash is back: our annual effort to knit an entire sweater during the shortest month of the year.

Bang Out a Sweater? You bet. And this year, the sweater is already a huge favorite.

Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Daytripper Cardigan.

It is the star of Field Guide No. 17: Lopi.

Why This Is Something You Should Do

Over the years, we have seen first-time sweater makers and seasoned veterans jump on this bandwagon to amazing results. Sweaters completed. Friends made. Goals achieved. The exhilaration of making a beautiful sweater to wear cannot be overstated. It’s just so satisfying.

This year, there are even more reasons to join us:

Cute pattern. Mary Jane’s Daytripper Cardigan is a jolly thing, a mood lifter if ever there were one.

Classic yarn. Léttlopi is the worsted weight of the famous Icelandic yarn, lopi. It is airy. It is lofty. For Mary Jane’s design, the gauge is 13 stitches = 4″ (10 mm). In other words: big stitches = fast knitting. We carry 38 colors of Léttlopi, so there are endless options available.

A steek! This thrilling bit of work will make you feel like a genius.

Caring and sharing. We’ll provide tons of support and encouragement in the MDK Lounge, our virtual rec room where you’ll see what everybody’s working on and get answers to your questions.

Prizes! We’ll randomly be doling out prizes to knitters who post their progress in the Lounge and on Instagram tagging pics #BangOutADaytripper.

How to Join In

It’s easy.

Get the pattern. Many of you already have Field Guide No. 17: Lopi, so you’re already halfway there. If you need the pattern, you’ll find it here, in print and ebook editions.

Get yarn. We suggest that you’ll want to get Léttlopi yarn for this sweater, given the way Mary Jane has designed the gauge to work on larger needles than typical. All yarns are welcome, as with all our knitalongs. But we think this pairing of pattern and yarn is ideal. Kay and I have both knit one of these babies; we’re back for more.

Picking Your Colors

What will your seven colors be? Here to help, as always. Check the pattern here for the quantities needed of each color. Basically, it’s one skein each of five colors for the yoke, then 2-3 skeins for the trim and 6-9 skeins for the main color.

Want to see 117 color ideas? Ravelers have posted all kinds of combinations.

Want to get out your colored pencils? Jen Geigley’s blank Daytripper templates let you try out color combinations. Find the downloadable PDF links in this post from Kay.


Ann and Kay


  • I’m losing my mind! What a great bang-out-a-sweater choice! I’m thinking bold – maybe Crimson Red for a main color? Excuse me, I must run to find my colored pencils!

    • I used red for my first Daytripper and it turned out beautifully! I did gray for the trim and the yoke was a rainbow. Go for it!

      • That sounds AMAZING. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • I’m in! I got the pattern, I got coloured pencils…and yarn! It shouldn’t take more than two weeks to figure out colors…(?)

  • I’m not going to join in this one, but what I am going to do is use this as inspiration to FINISH the TWO sweaters that are currently languishing in the “needing sleeves” basket. I’ll look enviously at everyone’s projects and get all excited and knit those damned sleeves. I promise!!

    • This may have been suggested before, but here it goes: Sleeves are a nuisance, taking almost as much time to knit as the body of a sweater or cardigan. Change the routine and work as follows: work the back first, THEN sleeves and finally the front. This approach has the benefit of getting rid of the onerous part of the project while you still have energy. Knitting the front of the sweater last makes sure that you have the pattern, tension, etc under complete control and the front will be as close to perfect as you can possibly make it.

      • Brilliant!! I had never heard of doing it in the sequence you mentioned but I will definitely reconsider a peeved sweater now!

        • Pieced

      • Or knit the sleeves first, or at least get them started a good distance. This not only gets them out of the way while enthusiasm reigns, but if you are at all worried about gauge, they serve as a good swatch

      • What a great idea! Change the paradigm!
        This is supposed to be fun!

        • This yarn is just too scratchy for me. Is there a combination of Lopi yarns that will work instead?

      • Agree! And for top down I knit to the sleeve separation, do the sleeves, then the body. Added benefit is you can then stuff the sleeves into the body cavity while you finish, and they are not flopping around on your lap. And if yarn quantity is an issue, you won’t end up 2” short on one sleeve, because they’ll be done. I learned this method from Barbara Walker’s book ‘Knitting From the Top Down’, and oldie but goodie.

        • I’m really keen to join in as I love being part of something like this AND I love the pattern choice. However, I live in sub tropical KwaZulu Natal, South Africa and whilst our winter temperatures are chilly to me, I think the yarn choice for the cardigan will be much too warm for me. My question is- can I knit it using a lighter weight yarn? Which light weight yarns can handle a steek?? Thank you in anticipation

        • Great idea! I plan to give this a try.

  • I’m in! Actually I already started. Last time I tried to bang out a sweater, it took three years. It really shouldn’t take ten months to sew on buttons. In the end it didn’t fit me, but my best friend got a new sweater. Maybe it will only be 28 months this time!

  • Yippee! I made this sweater and it was a daring fun challenge. I learned new things. Steek!!! And it turned out beautiful! The colors! The style! The fit!

  • I think what has been holding me back to knit this sweater is choosing colors. I think I’ll order one of the suggested color combinations and just go for it!

    • If you haven’t already ordered your yarn you should really check out the Ravelry page. Soooo many beautiful sweaters with some unexpected color choices.

  • Any chance we could add a sub-category for those of us living in climates generally too hot for a sweater? The Shakerag top from Field Guide Number 6 by Amy Christoffer? The shop appears to have plenty of Rowan Summerlite 4 ply and I have a sweater’s worth in my stash!

    • I like that idea!

    • We’re here to provide companionship for any knitting you’d like to see through to completion in February. Go for it!

    • Excellent fall back. I like it.

  • I have to confess that I don’t do gauge swatches. For sweaters knit in pieces, I start with the sleeves–kniting them both at the same time— to see if the gauge works and I like the way the yarn works. So sleeves get done first, then it feels like it’s all downhill to a finished sweater!
    And as for sewing on buttons, if I can just focus on getting one on, the rest seem to take care of themselves!
    I’ll have to see if I can redirect my attention from the zillion WIP’s to join the Banging out…..

    • This gives me hope. I have everything ready for this sweater except I haven’t done swatches. Sleeves! I am enthused again.

  • I already have my second Daytripper in progress, in green. It was my New Year’s cast on. So now I need to bang this one out in January so I can bang out number three in February! (How lucky that I just bought enough gray lopi for the next sweater from the MDK shop!)

  • I missed the last bang. Hope I can rally for this one.

  • I can’t resist the Bang Out a Sweater challenge!! And it looks like this will be my first steeking project. Now… to choose color combos!

  • I hate to miss a party so yeah, I’m ready! I’m going to use the lettlopi I bought 3 years ago in Iceland.

  • I have no words for how happy I was to read the email about this project! I took a 5 yr knitting hiatus when I decided to go to nursing school (at 52yrs. old!), and after the last two years of soul-crushing work, I realized I needed to make time to pick up my needles again. I was going to dive into an Alice Starmore fair isle (have had the yarn in my stash for 20 years…), but felt like I needed to ride with training wheels for a bit. THIS sweater is the perfect baby step, with added bonus of community camaraderie, which I have been sorely missing. Thanks ever so much for providing exactly what I need right now!

    • Congrats on completing nursing school!! An amazing achievement!!!!

  • I’m in! Looking forward to knitting with all of you and benefiting from your brilliant ideas!

  • I’ve never done a steek or color work but I’ve been knitting for years. Will there be tutorials or assistance to get started. It looks like the color work comes first. I would love to try this if I knew that I could get through it.

    • I’ve never steeked either, but I do color work all the time and love it. It is the simplest, most fun of any knitting I’ve ever tried and goes really fast—you can’t stop because you’re dying to see how the next row will change everything. If you are hesitant, remember that for every knitting technique there are a gazillion online tutorials to learn from.

  • I’m in and loving the inspo combos. Are you suggesting the far left skein for main color? And next in for trim? Or?

  • Pefect! Iwas just wearing my Stopover this past chilly weekend. And I have a MJM Solbein that I will steek at the same time, since that stopped me a few years (!) ago. Off to find the Stopover leftovers and my colored pencils!

  • I just received my swarf bundle, Elizabeth. I was wondering if you could recommend which color is “A”? B? C? D? and E? I was hoping they would be labeled to go along with the pattern. Sorry, I am a scientist and need a recipe to follow in my first ever marl experiment. My assumption is to start dark and move up to the lightest, but need direction. TY so much. Can’t wait to start!

    • Reading the layouts from left to right with the leftmost shade as the MC and so on from A to F is our suggestion. But taking time to shade in the yoke colors using the illustration by Jen Geigley linked in the post will give you the accent colors just where you want them. Thanks for joining us!

  • I’d like to join the fun but I have the yarn for the Main Squeeze Cardigan in FG #12 — Big Joy. Can I participate?

    • Yes!

  • I have the pattern and ordered yarn, is there anything else I need to know to join the fun?

    • Tune in on February 1 for the kickoff!

  • Should I have ordered the needle felting kit today when I ordered the book and yarn?

    • You won’t need the felting kit until all the knitting is done. No hurry!

  • This one is not for me, but maybe, if I finish my Chai, I’ll take the opportunity to bang out the Carbeth that I missed a few years back!!!!

  • I am going to try and knit the PORTY PULLOVER by Gudrun Johnston. I have the wool, I have the pattern. It is for my son who is 21 on the 15th February. There is no way it will be done by them because…work….but it will be on the way in time to see the winter out with him. Ai will watch all the day trippers and reward myself for finishing the PORTY and the Noro cardigan my Mum wants after it, by knitting myself a Daytripper in April! Good luck everyone!

  • I’m a pretty new knitter, is this something I should try?

  • First: I love the HAT, too! Is there a pattern? I have some Lopi in stash… Gonna pull it out and see how much more I need!

  • Will you have kits for the sweater?

  • Yay! So glad this is back! I am in!

  • I’m so excited for this! I bought my yarn last year and have the colour combo that I’m 99% sure I want to use! This will give me motivation to start! Still a bit intimidated by stranded colourwork.

  • Good.Grief. I bought a car with less hemming and hawing, but I finally chose my colors and submitted the order before I changed my mind AGAIN.

  • I made up an Excel spreadsheet and a Word table to help me figure out the size and the yarn needed. It’s really not that hard but it seemed like it was before the table and spreadsheet. If anyone is interested, please email me and I am happy to share both. Please mention it is for the Daytripper Cardigan 🙂

  • After spending way too much time browsing the Ravelry page I finally narrowed it down to 3 choices. And of course, none of the colors were available from MDK. Soooo, I ended up spending considerable time finding the colors I wanted, and ended up with 2 substitutions. Hopefully they will work out.

  • Do need to check my gauge before February 1? The pattern instructions cause me stress! I need to knit both st stitch AND stranded st st AND THEN I need to block them???

    Seriously, this stress is why I haven’t started the sweater even though I have everything necessary and have been planning to make it for months!

    • Lopi responds beautifully to a quick steam-blocking. Hold the iron over the swatch and steam it without any pressure. A stockinette stitch swatch will give you the information you need to pick the right needle size. And if the idea of completing the sweater in February stresses you, feel free to let it go.

      • Thank you. I am in!

    • MDK rule number 1. Knitting is supposed to be fun. Don’t stress just enjoy the ride!

      • Ooh I like this rule!!

  • Yay! This is the event I need to get me started on the Daytripper. I have the pattern, yarn, swatch, and plan. I’m ready!

  • Sure I am in the middle of numerous projects but I am in. Now to find my stash of Lopi yarn

  • I’m in! Always wanted to do a second one with Mimosa as the main color.

  • Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration,I am going to gather materials and participate too. And because I get easily distracted: Ann, what tunic top are you wearing in the picture? Is it a pattern? I love it!

  • As much as I love this sweater, I’m not a fan of Lopi. I know the Lopi is ideal for the steek and the look, but it’s just too hairy for me. Are there any yarn subs that don’t have that halo?

  • How do I get in the “Lounge”? I’m busily ordering the pattern and choosing colours but I’ve never done a KAL before.

  • Hey Kay, can I join the group? The discussions are all so interesting. I am updating my health care proxy and will as we speak. Thank God I checked the proxy as the address and phone number are out of date. Good Lord! Love the Zen quote!!!!

  • Any suggestions for a non- wool alternative?
    I know- a long time knitter allergic to wool, a burden I have to bear!!!

  • How do we sign up for the Feb 1 meeting?

  • I love this idea but with poor eyesight I have joined in too late in the game. Also, I live in /southern CA and could not wear this particular sweater. Please put me on your email and let me know how to get your podcast. Thank you

  • Thank you for any otther fantastic post. Thhe plaqce ese coud anybody get
    that kind of infoormation iin suuch an ideal method of writing?
    I’ve a prdesentation next week, aand I am att tthe search ffor succh information.

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