What I Learned: Lessons from the Harbor Springs Knit-Along

Congratulations to all of the knitters who have finished their Harbor Springs Sweaters so far—and for those of you that are still working on them, take it at your own pace! Your fellow knitters and I can’t wait to see your results. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and the KAL materials stay live on Ravelry forever, so keep at it!

If you haven’t already checked out the amazing finished projects in our Ravelry Group, I highly recommend scrolling through them for inspiration.

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Along the way, participants have learned a TON. Here are just a couple of the best lessons or skills learned that our knitters shared.

Selecting and Adjusting Size

“This was a great confirmation of how to choose a sweater size. I’m rather busty, and often this results in choosing a sweater that is too large overall. Based on Patty’s recommendations, and her explanation of the lovely stretchiness of ribbing, I went with a smaller size, and LOVE the fit. This will make knitting sweaters better across the board going forward.”

“Best lesson learned: how to adjust raglan shoulders and neckline for a better fit. Using what I learned in the video lessons, I tweaked the neckline bind-offs (tighter to narrow and stabilize) and shortened the neckline ribbing (I don’t like high collars). I also narrowed the wrist and shrunk the V detail, also aided by lessons learned in this KAL.
Now I’m waiting for cool weather so I can wear my cozy tunic.”

Forming Stitches More Effectively

“This was such a fun sweater to knit! The videos were so helpful. Without looking at my pattern or notes, there are two things that stick out as GREAT new skills learned:

1. How to size the yarn overs to make the holes smaller or larger! Brilliant!

2. The lazy purl. Not only did it make a nice fabric, but it was easier for me to knit the purl…ah…maybe why it is called lazy purl! Both of these new skills also really reinforced how to read my knitting and how to address how stitches are seated on the needle.”

“I think the best thing I have learned from this KAL is working with yarn overs. Seems so simple, but to see that I was sometimes making a M1 instead of a yarn over was eye opening. And then as an extra, I have learned to match my yarn overs and control if they are large or small yarn overs. This will be invaluable knowledge on future projects!”

“Best lesson learned: long-tail cast-on in pattern, using both sides of the hand. Much easier than other methods of cast-on in pattern.”

“Each sweater I make with Patty is a win for me. I grow as a knitter with each project. If I had to choose one thing I learned in this project it would be how to cast on in pattern. I have a library of cast-ons and bind-offs but CO in pattern isn’t even mentioned!”

Getting Back to Basics

“The best thing I learned in this KAL is how to actually use my needle to size my stitches. I had never heard of this before and was so thrilled with it that I completed 4 gauge swatches to make sure I had actually learned this lesson.”

“Splicing chainette yarn was a revelation; [it] makes the work pretty on the reverse side as well as the front. My second thing learned is to use a larger needle for the hip area of my sweater to make it just a bit bigger. (Don’t know why I couldn’t have figured that out before). My third ‘ah-ha’ moment was a design element: seeing how the placement of the M1 made a difference on the angle of the rib. I need to add the lazy purl to the list: I am an English style knitter and I love the lazy purl, as it seems faster and makes my knitting more even. So many things learned from Patty Lyons. Love her teaching style.”

As always, I would LOVE to hear from you. If you’ve participated in this KAL, share with us what you learned along the way. And let me know what you’d love to see in future KALs—I’ve already got some fun ideas lined up for our next couple of KALs, and I can’t wait to show them to you!

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