Knit Your Own “WORD NERD” Drink Sleeve: Free Pattern

Rachel Smalter Hall

Staff Writer

Rachel Smalter Hall may be a professional Book Rioter, but she still hangs out in the public librarian clubhouse. Two of her top three loves include audiobooks and knitting, and her favorite song is Cold Hearted Snake as performed by Alyssa Edwards and Coco Montrese on season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. She co-runs a boozy book club in Lawrence, Kansas, in her spare time. Twitter: @rach_smalls Website: Rachel Smalter Hall

word nerd with books

Hey word nerds! I made you guys this free knitting pattern for a bookish drink sleeve to wrap around your sweet tea in warm weather and your latte in cool weather. Send out your bat signal and let the world know what a big nerd for words you really are! And if literary crafts are your thing, check out more bookish knits on my Instagram, @ladybitsknits.

word nerd on leaf 2

10 yards / 5 grams sport weight yarn in main color (MC) – I used blue
10 yards / 5 grams sport weight yarn in contrasting color 1 (CC1) – I used oatmeal
4 yards / 2 grams sport weight yarn in contrasting color 2 (CC2) – I used orange


US 5 (3.75 mm) dpns or size needed to obtain gauge.

Tapestry needle to weave in ends.


13 sts and 15 rows = 2” [5 cm] in stockinette stitch.

Finished dimensions: 3.25″ tall x 4″ wide lying flat. Fits most standard sized to-go cups, travel cups, tumblers, beer cans (!), and mason jars that are 9″ circumference; stretches up to 10.”

Knitting Level:
Easy – Intermediate.

The only stitches you’ll need are the knit and purl stitch! It will also help if you’re familiar with basic stranded knitting. You’ll want to know how to read a color chart, maintain loose, even tension while you switch between colors, and carry up unused colors until you’re ready to bring them back in.

See Knitty’s great introduction to stranded knitting for help mastering these techniques.

word nerd on leaf 4

Ready, Set, Knit!

Cast on 48 stitches with MC

Divide stitches evenly between 3 dpns and join to work in round, being careful not to twist the stitches

Rows 1 – 4: k2, p2 in MC

Rows 5 – 6: knit MC

Row 7: join in CC1, *k2 CC1, k2 MC, rep from * to end

Row 8: *k2 MC, k2 CC1, rep from * to end

Rows 9 – 10: knit CC1

Rows 11 – 15: work color chart with CC1 and CC2:wordnerdchart

Cut CC2, leaving 6″ tail

Rows 16 – 17: knit CC1

Row 18: *k2 MC, k2 CC1, rep from * to end

Row 19: *k2 CC1, k2 MC, rep from * to end

Cut CC1, leaving 6” tail

Rows 20 – 21: knit MC

Rows 22 – 25: k2, p2 MC

Loosely bind off all sts knitwise (I go up 2 needle sizes to bind off)

Cut MC, leaving 6” tail

Weave in all ends and steam or wet block the finished sleeve. Don’t skip blocking — it will transform your color work from weird and lumpy to perfect and awesome. Craftsy’s blocking tutorial is excellent.

Now go drink beverages, read books, and be your bad self!