Join our Norma Sweater KAL!


Sarah wearing our Norma sweater sample in gray, black, and cream.

Our Norma Sweater KAL is going strong. Join us and find the chatter on our Ravelry group thread here!

Here are some of our tips for working through this fabulous pattern! We hope we address most of your questions here but be sure to call us at the shop, or email if you have anything further. 

The Norma is a top down raglan sweater with colorwork bands. You'll cast on for your neck and work through the short row sections (to raise the back of the neck and allow the sweater to sit nicely on the body) before beginning any colorwork. If you've made another top down sweater, you'll be familiar with the main elements of this pattern!

A note if you bought one of our Norma kits -- we chose a worsted-weight yarn, Dimond Laine Elmer Worsted, for most of our kits. The original pattern calls for lighter weight yarns held together, but with our kits, you'll be swatching and working your sweater with one strand of yarn for each color. And the yardages included in each kit have been calculated accordingly.

A sweater folded on a table next to a knitted swatch.


Here are some of our top tips based on questions we've had in the shop:

1. Choosing a size is personal but it's always helpful to understand a designer's intent and the proportions built into the finished object. In this case, 9.75" of ease in the chest is recommended and My Favorite Things Knitwear explains this and how to figure it for your size on page 3 of her pattern. In fact pages 3 and 4 of this pattern offer a lot of great information so we recommend taking the time to read through them. This pattern also includes video links for some of the techniques covered -- super helpful!

2. Yes, you will use three needle sizes as you work through your pattern and they are marked clearly. You'll swatch on the largest size needle and once you've determined that, set your other needles accordingly. If you swatch on a US 8 and get the stated gauge, you'll use the needles listed. If you swatch and get gauge on a US 7, you'll adjust your other needles down too, to a US 5 and a US 3, for example.

3. It can be helpful to color code your raglan markers in some way so that you can easily distinguish between your sweater's back, sleeve, and front sections. The designer refers to markers by numbers throughout this pattern, so you could use a different color for each of the 8 markers. If you're a list maker, make a marker cheat sheet and note what each color means! In this pattern, your beginning of round marker, or marker 1, is at the right back shoulder.

4. This pattern recommends German short rows to shape the back neck, and includes a helpful video to introduce this technique. If you're not familiar with German short rows, give it a look! We also like Brooklyn Tweed's technique videos and their German short row video is typically excellent. This is a technique well worth learning -- you'll use it in project after project!

5. After you finish the short row sections, you'll get into the colorwork. It's knitter's choice whether to carry your colors up the inside of your work but if you do choose to carry without cutting your yarns, do so with some give to allow for stretch and blocking. Our sample was knit with Color A carried along throughout; we began each colorwork section with new lengths of Color B and Color C.

6. This may sound obvious, but this pattern invites you to read carefully. There is a lot going on as you work through the raglan yoke -- you're working increases on some rounds but not others and maintaining a colorwork pattern all at the same time. Our advice is to be deliberate in following the directions and use highlighter tape or pencil and paper to track your place in the pattern. If you get stuck and have a willing partner or knitting friend, have them read out loud while you knit -- at our teaching table sometimes that is all it takes to get someone back on track.

Don't forget to post your finished -- or in progress -- sweater to our KAL thread on Ravelry or tag us on Instagram. We'd just love to see it!

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