Category Archives: cardigan

PROJECT Novice Cardigan

Photo: © PetiteKnit

Novice Cardigan – Mohair Edition

A simple sweater makes for a very satisfying project (and a great sweater), and Petite Knit is really, really, really good at that. Besides designing patterns for beautiful, simple silhouettes, she does a lot of combining of fibres, which creates a depth of colour and texture that goes beyond what you can get out of a single strand. The Novice Cardigan Mohair Edition is designed with 2 strands of a lace-weight mohair, like Drops Kid-Silk, held together. There are a few different ways you can go about this:

1. Same Yarn & Colour (Identical Twins)

You can use (ie. Drops Kid-Silk) like the designer has done in her sample (see the picture above for a closeup). Easy, peasy, no thinking, falls under Keep It Simple Sister.

Photo: © PetiteKnit

2. Combine Two Colours (Fraternal Twins)

A second option could be to use two different colours of the same yarn (ie. Drops Kid-Silk). If you want to create a depth of colour chose two that are close together, and their fuzzinesses will blend together and make them look like something new. Below are a few examples of to illustrate my point ….

3. Combine Fibres (Kissing Cousins)

The option that gets me really excited is to combine different fibres in colours that complement each other, thereby creating a dept of colour and texture – something you’ll never find in a store-bought garment. For this pattern I’m crushing on Fibre Co Meadow (On Sale to Sept 6) paired with Drops Kid-Silk. A lighter shade of kid-mohair will brighten up the base yarn, while a colour that is closer to the base will blend more, and create a halo. The most important thing is that the base tones match. For the the following examples I’ve eyeballed and scrutinized the skeins in natural light to make sure they work together, or as Erica says ‘make sense’. (FYI, if you’ve only got 1 skein of Meadow see the bottom of the page for a smaller project)

4. Single Strand of Yarn (Friends of the Family)

Lastly, you can use a single strand of DK Weight yarn (something that knits at around 22 to 21 sts/4″) … made in the right yarn, like Fibre Co Acadia, Malabrigo Arroyo, or even Kelbourne Woolens Scout could make for a very happy cardie!

Photo: © PetiteKnit

Size

  • XS (S) M (L) XL (2XL) 3XL (4XL) 5XL
  • Finished Bust circumference: 96 (100) 105 (111) 120 (129) 140 (151) 161 cm OR [37¾ (39¼) 41¼ (43¾) 47¼ (50¾) 55 (59½) 63¼ inches]
  • Length: 52 (54) 56 (58) 59 (60) 61 (62) 63 cm OR. [20½ (21¼) 22 (22¾) 23¼ (23½) 24 (24½) 24¾ inches] measured mid back
  • Designed to fit an approximate bust circumference of 80-85 (85-90) 90-95 (95-100) 100-110 (110-120) 120-130 (130-140) 140-150 cm [31½-33½ (33½-35½) 35½-37½ (37½-39½) 39½-43¼ (43¼-47¼) 47¼-51¼ (51¼-55) 55-59 inches].
  • Designed to have approx. 10 cm [4 inches] of positive ease, meaning it is designed to be approx. 10 cm [4 inches] larger in circumference than your body. (This means that if you, for example, measure 90 cm [35½ inches] around your bust or widest upper body part (measure yourself around your bust, or your widest point, using a measuring tape), you should knit a size S which has a circumference of 100 cm [39¼ inches]. This will give you 10 cm [4 inches] of positive ease.)

Yarn Options

  1. Drops Kid-Silk: 8(8-9, 9, 10, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14-15) balls in one colour
  2. Drops Kid-Silk: 5(5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8) balls in each of TWO colours (you may end up with an extra ball of yarn this way, but it’s better than running out)
  3. Drops Kid-Silk: 5(5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8) balls, AND Fibre Co Meadow: 2(2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4) skeins (ON SALE TO SEPT 6)
  4. Any DK Weight Yarn : 850(850 to 950, 950, 1060, 1060, 1166, 1272, 1378, 1484 to1590)m

Other Materials

Photo: © PetiteKnit
Photo: © PetiteKnit

Oslo Hat – Mohair Edition

FYI, if you’ve only got 1 skein of Fibre Co Meadow (On Sale to Sept 6) pair it with 2 balls of Drops Kid-Silk and you’ve got yourself a gorgeous hat!

Size

Fits head circumference: 47-48 (49-50) 51-52 (53-54) 55-56 (57-59) 60-63 cm [18½-19 (19¼-19¾) 20-20½ (20¾-21¼) 21¾-22 (22½-23¼) 23½-24¾ inches]

Materials

Photo: © PetiteKnit

NEW! Drops Wish + Projects

NEW! Drops Wish

Drops Wish is a dreamy, super bulky weight, blown yarn made from baby alpaca blown into a core of merino wool and pima cotton. Wish is cosy, light, airy, soft, fluffy and absolutely itch-free. Wish is a great choice for sweaters, accessories (hats, wraps, scarves, cowls, shawls, etc), blankets – you name it. To make for a REALLY thick knit, you can hold 2 strands of this yarn together and use 15mm/US19 needles. We also love that Wish is made in the first world, and made exclusively with natural, biodegradable fibres (no synthetics).

SEE OUR FAVOURITE PROJECT IDEAS

Needle Hack

If you do not already have the needles for this project we recommend buying interchangeable needles. They are very versatile for top-down sweaters and have more longevity for future projects (if you need a longer or shorter needle you can purchase an inexpensive new cord, rather than an entire needle. If you are buying individual tips and cords, that Knitter’s Pride are the most affordable option. If you are thinking about investing in a set, the Chiaogoo Twist Red Lace 4″ Tips: 2.75mm – 10mm have the best range and versatility for an assortment of projects.

Pattern Hack

I don’t love the way Drops formats their pattern, I find it makes them harder to follow. If you find you have the same issue consider copying the text into a free, cloud based text editing program like Google Docs and cleaning up the formatting to your liking – I find it’s worth the time to separate the sections. If you have a more pronounced learning disability you may even want to put it into a spreadsheet program like Google Sheets to break it down into line-by-line instructions – you can even make it into a chart and tick off your work as you go. 

Harvest Queen

Harvest Queen is a cozy, oversized pullover that’s knit in one piece from the top-down. It features a yoke construction with pretty cable and lace detail. It’s knit on 9mm needles, so it works up fast! The yarns recommend are blown yarns, making it a lighter, airier textile than expected. Video and written tutorials are provided at the bottom of the free pattern (they even have a place you can ask them questions about the pattern, and the pattern is available in 15 languages). 

Size

  • XS(S, M, L, XL, XXL)
  • Bust circumference: 36.75(40.75, 43.25, 47.25, 51.25, 56) inches or 92(102, 108, 118, 128, 140) cm
  • Fit is oversized

Yarn Options

  • Drops Wish: 8(8, 9, 10, 11, 12) skeins  
  • Drops Air: 7(7, 8, 9, 10, 11) skeins {2 strands of yarn are held together}
  • Illimani Amelie: 7(7, 8, 9, 10, 11) skeins {2 strands of yarn are held together}

Needles & Notions

Online Support

Drops has tutorial videos to support their patternsSee the bottom of the pattern webpage for links.

Shout for Winter

Shout for Winter is a cozy, oversized cardigan that’s knit in one piece from the top-down. It features raglans sleeves with a pretty mock English rib detail. It’s knit on 9mm needles, so it works up fast! The yarns recommend are blown yarns, making it a lighter, airier textile than expected. Video and written tutorials are provided at the bottom of the free pattern (they even have a place you can ask them questions about the pattern, and the pattern is available in 15 languages).

Size

  • S(M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL)
  • Bust circumference: 40(43.25, 46.5, 51.25, 56, 60.75)inches or 100(108, 116, 128, 140, 152) cm
  • Fit is oversized

Yarn Options

  • Drops Wish: 10(, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15) skeins  
  • Drops Air: 9(10, 11, 12, 13, 14) skeins {2 strands of yarn are held together}
  • Illimani Amelie: 9(10, 11, 12, 13, 14) skeins {2 strands of yarn are held together}

Needles & Notions

Online Support

Drops has tutorial videos to support their patternsSee the bottom of the pattern webpage for links.

Just Right

Just Right is a cozy, oversized pullover that’s knit in one piece from the top-down. It features raglans sleeves with a pretty cable detail and puffed sleeves. It’s knit on 9mm needles, so it works up fast! The yarns recommend are blown yarns, making it a lighter, airier textile than expected. Video and written tutorials are provided at the bottom of the free pattern (they even have a place you can ask them questions about the pattern, and the pattern is available in 15 languages).

Size

  • S(M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL)
  • Bust circumference: 40(41.5, 44.75, 49.75, 54.5, 59.25)inches or 100(104, 112, 124, 136, 148) cm
  • Fit is oversized

Yarn Options

  • Drops Wish: 10(, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15) skeins  
  • Drops Air: 9(10, 11, 12, 13, 14) skeins {2 strands of yarn are held together}
  • Illimani Amelie: 9(10, 11, 12, 13, 14) skeins {2 strands of yarn are held together}

Needles & Notions

Online Support

Drops has tutorial videos to support their patternsSee the bottom of the pattern webpage for links.

KITS Knits for Kids

Last week was baby week, and this week is brought to you by kids. When my niece and nephew were babies they were so cute and loveable that I thought I never wanted them to grow up. What I didn’t realizes was that the best thing about babies was that they grow up to be kids; interesting, cool, funny, silly, beautiful little people. Kids love a hand knit, as long as it’s soft, and in a colour they like. It doesn’t matter how obnoxious the colour is, just go with it – they’ll wear it until they can’t squeeze themselves into it anymore. Kids LOVE colour.

All of our kids kits & projects are HERE.

By the way, all of these knits are also available for adults, so you & the kid in your life kid can match. If you love the idea of a family of matching knits, check out the patterns by Tin Can Knits, they often designed with a FULL range of sizes, from newborn baby to adult 6XL.

Amari

Amari is a seamless tee that begins at the neck and is worked down. Easy eyelet stitches shape the yoke and add decoration to the neckline at the same time. Derecho is worked in one piece from the neck down. Neck and lower edges are shaped using short rows. For an adult version of this top see Derecho.

Berroco Remix Light is a multi-seasonal yarn that’s so comfortable you’ll find the garments made with it become some of your favourites (you know, the one you wear over and over and over again, until you get tired of the colour so you make another in a new colour … etc). It’s super soft, light, breathable, machine washable, and it’s made in France from an eco-friendly blend of 100% recycled fibres.

Skill level: Intermediate

Size

  • Chest: (22, 24, 26, 27½, 30)” / (56, 61, 66, 70, 76) cm
  • Back Length: (13½, 15, 16½, 17½, 19)” / (34.5, 38, 42, 44.5, 48.5) cm (front is ½” / 1 cm shorter)
  • Shown in size 8. Recommended ease: approximately 2–4″ / 5–10 cm positive ease

Skills: reading a patternpicking up and knitting stitchesshort rows (wrap & turn)increasing (M1L & M1R)yarn-overknitting in the round on double-pointed needlesstitch markersjoining in the roundusing circular needlesweaving in ends.

Kit Includes

Kit DOES NOT Include

Notes

Lawrence

Lawrence is a simple pullover with garter stitch texture, that’s cute for boys and girls. It is knit in a conventional way in 4 pieces and seamed together (a great option for beginners if working in the round is a bit daunting). The drop-shoulder construction makes it super easy to seam the sleeves, which is usually the scariest part of finishing. For an adult version of this pullover see Larry.

For the yarn, we’ve substituted the ultra wearable and very affordable Berroco Vintage  – a soft, worsted weight machine washable wool/synthetic blend. A knitting store staple, it features a wide color range, an incredibly soft feel and yardage that goes on and on. Its unique fiber blend makes laundering a breeze and perfectly suited for easy-care garments for both children and adults. 

Skill Level: Advanced-Beginner to Intermediate

Size

  • 2(4, 6, 8, 10, 12)
  • To fit Chest Size: 23(24-25-26-27-28)˝
  • Finished Chest: 25(26-27-28-29-30)˝
  • Finished Length: 16(16½-17½-18-19-20)˝
  • This garment was designed with approximately 2˝ of ease. Please take this into consideration when selecting your size.

Skills: reading a patterncast-on (long-tail/slingshot)knitpurlbind-offbind-off (in middle of row)picking up and knitting stitchesseaming (mattress stitch), weaving in ends.

Kit Includes

Kit DOES NOT Include

Jemison

Jemison is an adorable vintage-inspired cardigan. It’s perfect for layering on a chilly day, and has cute pockets for kids to hold all the little treasures they pick up in their adventures. This sweater is worked flat in pieces and seamed. We’re pairing Jemison with Berroco Vintage, our go-to yarn for sweaters kids love to wear. For a grown-up version of this sweater check-out Headland.

Skill level: Intermediate

Size:

  • Childs sizes: 2 (4, 6, 8, 10)
  • Finished Chest (closed): 25 (27, 29, 31, 33)”
  • Finished Length: 13½ (16, 18, 19½, 21)”

Skills: reading a chartseaming (mattress stitch), picking up and knitting stitchesweaving in endssewing buttons.

Kit Includes

Kit DOES NOT Include

PROJECTS Hikari Collection Fibre Co Meadow

While trolling for inspiration I found this really need little capsule collection for Fibre Co. Meadow by Japanese designer michiyo. I was really impressed, the designer clearly understands the fabric and makes the most of it’s natural lightness and drape. Meadow is a gorgeous yarn, a heavy lace-weight made with a very yummy blend of baby llama, silk, linen and merino wool. It’s great for layering pieces, light sweaters, and shaws and wraps.

Photos by Tommy Martin, shown in colour Fennel

Tsumuzikaze

Besides that fact that it’s a great combination of interesting, different and beautiful, I that this top looks really good on lots of people (see the finished projects HERE)! Tsumuzikaze is a Japanese word that means whirlwind, the design inspiration for this lovely pattern with an asymmetrical ‘whirling’ hem. This pullover is worked from the top down in the round. An eyelet pattern on the shoulders are worked as increases. The sleeves are worked separately, then in the round from the armhole. The lower edge is shaped with short rows.

Photos by michiyo, shown in colour Indigo

Size

  • To Fit Actual Bust Circumference up to: S 83(32¾), M 92(36¼), L 103(40½), XL 113(44½)
  • Finished bust: 102 (110, 120, 146) cm 40 (43¼, 47¼, 57¼) in
  • Finished Length: 62 (65.5, 70.5, 74) cm 24½ (25¾, 27¾, 29¼) in
  • Finished Hem circumference: 76 (80, 88, 99) cm 30 (31½, 34¾, 39)in
Photos by CozySunny Day, shown in colour Bellflower

Materials

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Photos by Tommy Martin, shown in colour Gentian Violet
Photos by Tommy Martin, shown in colour Gentian Violet

Kagerou

When I first saw this project I didn’t realize that it was a vest! It’s like a cross between a tank and a vest … a Vank Top? A Test Top? Is it a waistcoat? Feel free to throw in your two cents! Whatever it’s called, it is worked from the bottom up; the fronts and back are worked together back and forth up to the armhole, then the yokes are worked separately.  Short rows are then worked to make the back longer than the front. The back, left front and right front of the upper body are worked separately on smaller needles in a rib pattern. Finally the shoulders are joined and the piece is finished by adding buttons and blocking gently.

Photos by Handknitlife, shown in colour Pokeweed

Size

  • To Fit Actual Bust Circumference up to : S 83cm(32¾), M 92cm(36¼), L 103cm(40½), XL 113cm(44½)
  • Finished Bust: 90 (92, 102, 113) cm or 35½ (36¼, 40, 44) in
  • Finished Length (back): 70 (71, 73.5, 77) cm or 27½ (28, 29, 30¼) in
  • Finished Shoulder width: 32 (33, 36, 38) cm or 12½ (13, 14¼, 15) in
  • Finished Hem circumference: 142 (146, 162.5, 178.5) cm or 56 (57½, 64, 70¼) in

Materials

Photos by Tommy Martin, shown in Larkspur for MC and Pennyroyal for CC

Kinomi

Kinomi is a light top designed with minimal shaping and lots of flow. The pattern is written for two lengths; the shorter version is illustrated, whilst the longer version is designed to cover the hip.  Kinomi is worked in pieces separately from the bottom up. The neck band is made in two pieces in a contrasting colour with the ends grafted and then sewn onto the body. Ribbing is added to the armholes and the piece is finishing with light steaming. 

Photos by roko, show in Bedstraw for MC and Queen Annes Lace for CC

Size

  • To Fit Actual Bust Circumference up to: S 83(32¾), M 92(36¼), L 103(40½), XL 113(44½)
  • Finished bust: 115 (124, 133, 142.5) cm 45¼ (48¾, 52¼, 56) in
  • Short length: 53.5 (54.5, 56, 57.5) cm 21 (21½, 22, 22½) in
  • Long length: 71.5 (72, 76.5, 78) cm 28 (28¼, 30, 30¾) in
  • Centre back neck to cuff: 35 (37, 39, 41.5) cm 13¾ (14½, 15¼, 16¼) in
  • Hem circumference: 152.5 (163.5, 174.5, 185) cm 60 (64¼, 68¾, 72¾) in

Materials

Photos by Tommy Martin, shown in colour Alfalfa

Mori

Light and romantic, this cardigan is the perfect topper for sunny spring days and cool summer nights. It can be worn as a cardigan or a cape/shawl. This pattern is worked from the top down seamlessly and the lace is charted.

Photos by LilyLilyLily, shown in colour Prairie

Size

  • To Fit Actual Bust Circumference up to: S 83(32¾), M 92(36¼), L 103(40½), XL 113(44½)
  • Finished bust: 99 (105, 116, 128) cm 39 (41¼, 45¾, 50½) in
  • Finished Length: 44.5 (45.5, 47.5, 50) cm 17½ (18, 18¾, 19¾) in
  • Finished Centre back neck to cuff: 70 (72, 74.5, 77) cm 27½ (28¼, 29¼, 30¼) in
  • Finished Hem circumference: 155.5 (166, 182.5, 204) cm 61¼ (65¼, 71¾, 80¼) in

Materials

Photos by Tommy Martin, shown in colour Ladyslipper

Rourou

Rourou is a Japanese word that means hazy light, the kind that filters through the leaves of trees on a sunny summer day. The front and back of Rourou are worked in pieces separately from the bottom up creating the sleeves at the same time with side increases.

Photo by cosysunnyday, show in colour Queen Anne’s Lace

Size

  • To Fit Actual Bust Circumference up to: S 83(32¾), M 92(36¼), L 103(40½), XL 113(44½)
  • Finished bust: 110 (120, 130, 140) cm 43¼ (47¼, 51¼, 55) in
  • Length: 58.5 (60, 61.5, 62.5) cm 23 (23¾, 24¼, 24½) in
  • Centre back neck to cuff: 38.5 (41, 43, 46) cm 15¼ (16¼, 17, 18¼) in

Materials

PROJECTS Over Easy, Kelowna & Kinikin

In my last post I talked about tension, why it’s important and how to do it properly. In this one I’m sharing two projects that inspired me to swatch. In that post I mentioned that it’s a great idea to upload your swatch data to your Ravelry account for posterity, which is already proving handy today as I’m writing from home, without my swatch at hand! All the patterns today are beginner friendly, accessible and affordable.

Photo: Espace Tricot

Over Easy

This is the pattern that got me swatching, Over Easy. I thought it would make a great, quick ‘n easy fall knit, especially for the less experienced knitters. It’s knit in the round from the bottom up, the upper front and back are each worked flat, the shoulders are seamed, and then the sleeves are picked up and knit from the top-down. It’s worked up on BIG needles, and the yarn is fuzzy and hides a multitude of sins.

The yarn I was testing out is Drops Melody, a super soft, light and fluffy blend of alpaca and wool. What I really love about this yarn is that it looks like a bulky mohair, but it feels like a baby’s bum! Seriously, every time I touch a ball I’m shocked that it doesn’t have new-baby smell. The reason I was testing it was because I recognized that it would look great worked holding multiple strands together, but I didn’t precisely know how it would respond on different sized needles, or the difference between holding two or three strands together. It turns out my first instinct was right, I think this pattern would work best with12mm/US17 needles and holding two strands together. If you find you knit tightly on larger needles (some people do, but I don’t) then you’ll want to go up to a 15mm/US19 needle.

Photos: Espace Tricot

Size

  • Sizes: 1 (2, 3, 4)
  • Body circumference: 64 (69, 76, 76)”
  • Sleeve length: 8.5 (8.5, 7.5, 7.5)”
  • Length from shoulder to bottom: 18 (18, 21, 23)”

Use the following as a general guide for sizing based on bust measurement:

  • Size 1: if you have a 28″- 34″ bust
  • Size 2: if you have a 36″- 44″ bust
  • Size 3: if you have a 46 – 52″ bust
  • Size 4: if you have a 52″ + bust

Materials

  • Drops Melody (holding 2 strands together): 5(6, 7, 8) balls
  • 12mm/US17 – 32″ circular needles (15mm/US19 if you knit tight)
  • 12mm/US17 – 16″ circular needles OR double pointed needles (15mm/US19 if you knit tight)
  • Stitch marker to indicate beginning of round
  • Tapestry needle to weave in ends
  • FREE Pattern
Photo: Tara-Lynn Morrison

Kelowna

This is the other sweater that got me swatching, Kelowna. This one is knit in the round from the top-down, and is approachable to everyone- at any knitting level. For this sweaterI’d use two strands held together and whatever size needle gets you gauge (my swatch was closest with a 9mm/US13, but you might want go bigger … it’ll be a great opportunity to practice checking your tension!

This might be my next COVID sweater (I haven’t been especially prolific), but I’m not sure which colour …maybe the petrol green?

Materials

  • Drops Melody (holding 2 strands together): 6 balls
  • Check the pattern for exact needle size and lengths (they suggest 8mm/US11, 9mm/US13, and 12mm/US17)
  • Stitch markers (4)
  • Tapestry needle to weave in ends
  • Pattern

If fuzzy isn’t your thing but you like the bones of this sweater check out Frid by Tara-Lynn Morrison – You can use Malabrigo Rasta or Cascade Spuntaneous. If those options are a little too spendy for you right now, try Drops Andes and go down to a 9mm/US13 needle and go up to the larger size).

Photos: Tara-Lynn Morrison
Photo: Tara-Lynn Morrison

Kinikin

Kinikin is a cardiganzied version of the sweater above with a looser tension. Based on my tension swatches I’d use 12mm/US17 needles instead of 15mm/US19 and hold two strands of Drops Melody together.

Materials

  • Drops Melody (holding 2 strands together): 6 balls
  • Check the pattern for exact needle size and lengths (they suggest 8mm/US11, 10mm/US15, and 15mm/US19)
  • Stitch markers (4)
  • Tapestry needle to weave in ends
  • Pattern

FINISHED Cruz Bay Crochet Cardi

Cruz Bay

I finished my Cruz Bay crochet cardi! It turned out really nicely, it’s a great summer top, I’m very happy with it and wearing it in the store.

The Pattern

It wasn’t a crazy hard piece, but I’d say it was an advanced beginner to intermediate level of crochet pattern. I used a larger hook because my tension was looking too tight in the pattern stitch (luckily you start the pattern from the bottom of the sleeve so it sort of serves as an opportunity to check your tension). I had a few pattern questions that needed clarification and the designer, Donna Yacino, was incredibly fast and helpful. I put my modifications& details in my Ravelry Notes. Keep reading for more details from my project experience.

The Yarn

Berroco Estiva is a soft, machine washable 100% cotton, made in Italy. It works up in a gradient, from light to dark (or vice versa). It was easy to crochet with and worked up reasonably fast (for a tape yarn). I used 2.5 cakes of yarn for the smallest size. Each sleeve/side used its own cake of yarn. I started from the dark end of the cake and worked to the light. I used the remnants from the sleeves/sides to start work on the medallions around the neck and then started my third cake at the light end.

FYI: Berroco Estiva is 20% OFF until July 31st!

Size

The fit for this cardi is oversized and unstructured.

  • Bust (closed): 36 (40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64)“
  • Length: 13 (13, 14, 14, 15, 15, 16, 16)” including lower edging
  • Shown in size 36 this blog post (my finished size ended up: 40″ body circumference, 12″ sleeve cuff circumference, 16″ upper sleeve circumference. My tension was 3 stitch pattern repeats & 14 rows = 4″/10cm)

Materials

Notes

I didn’t always find the pattern instructions incredibly, explicitly clear … I don’t know if it was my limited experience with crochet sweater patterns or because the pattern was written during COVID and the designer and editors were totally stressed – either way Berroco and Donna Yacino were both great.

The instructions for the rows on the body were a bit vague and I kind of fudged it (crochet is more flexible than knitting, you can do this … and after previously emailing Donna twice I decided she had earned a break) except I didn’t really keep track of what I did on the first side … and then COVID brain kicked in. As you can see in the picture above, it’s a good idea to write down what you did. I didn’t. Ooops. My general approach to this project was “Does it look like the picture? Good enough!” I am very appreciative to Apple for making it possible for me to embiggen images on my iPad.

FYI: If you decide to make this pattern with another yarn I strongly suggest you swatch first.

Ron’s Patterns Review

My beau, Ron, is sitting next to me while I write this blog post and he doesn’t understand why I have so much to discuss. His review: “I sat next to her and she didn’t swear at all during it, so I’m guessing it’d be good for an advanced beginner or low level intermediate.” Sage words.

PROJECT Cruz Bay Crochet Cardie

Cruz Bay

I’ve been looking forward to this pattern since my sales rep visited last winter … I even bought extra yarn in my first order hoping I’d be able to get my greedy little hands on the pattern early. That didn’t end up happening, but that’s ok, better late than never! It’s a casual crochet cardie made with Berroco’s lurvly summer yarn Estiva. Estiva is a really versatile yarn; it’s a soft cotton tape, easy to work with, machine washable, and made in Italy. The colours range from muted to bright, so you’ve got lots of options.I don’t personally look great in yellow, but I can’t get my head around this sweater in it, it’s just so perfect! I was going to make it in the teal, but now I don’t know …

Size

  • Finished Bust (closed):  36 (40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64)”
  • Length:  13 (13, 14, 14, 15, 15, 16, 16)” including lower edgingShown in size 44″. 
  • Recommended ease:  2–4″ positive ease.

Materials

  • Berroco Estiva: 3 (3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5) cakes (2612 Curry)
  • 5.5mm/USI crochet hook
  • 1 removable stitch marker
  • Pattern

FINISHED Felix Cardigan

Felix Cardigan

After we finished the Felix Pullover I wanted to try the cardigan version of the sweater for myself, as a store sweater (as opposed to my home sweaters, or commuting sweaters – those are completely different categories of sweater). I was kind of dawdling, so it took me a while to complete, but it’s actually a very quick knit and I don’t think others would have a hard time getting through it. I also learned a few news things along the way! I love learning new things!!!

Fit & Style

So the style is a bit oversized and is supposed to fit with positive ease, and I’d describe the style as demure. I made the smallest size and it’s plenty roomy – after blocking it is 42″ in circumference in the bust (buttoned). The neckline is designed wide, and if you do a sewn/tubular bind-off it will be even wider (I’ll talk more the bind-off below) – which might be good if you have narrow shoulders like me. The fit feels cozy, comfy, and casual, and I don’t feel like you can see much body underneath, partly because of the design and the yarn I used (Cascade Eco+ Merino). There isn’t any shaping through the body, but if some A-line shaping suited you it would be very easy to include.

Things I like: 1. It makes my shoulders look bigger. 2. It looks good over a t-shirt, with skinny jeans . 3. It isn’t too warm. 4. It’s roomy for puffy days.

Things I don’t like: 1. It’s oversized so my shape gets lost (I always feel a bit lost in oversized garments).

The Yarn

After seeing clients make a few gorgeous Carbeths we made the Felix Pullover with Cascade Eco+ Merino, and since I wanted some new colours in my wardrobe this winter so I gave this pretty periwinkle blue/purple a go. Cascade Eco+ Merino is a soft, springy 100% South American merino wool, made in Bolivia. Its spongy, springy and has a ton of body and memory. I think it would hold texrure beautifully and make a dynamite cabled scarf or cowl.

The yarn was soft and easy to work with, and a nice quality at a good price. It wet blocked well, but it really looked fantastic after a good steaming. It’s a neutral feeling yarn, and I think it’s great for the price (by ‘neutral’ I mean it doesn’t feel like it was made from sacred sheep and spun in a mill run by Disney princesses, employing a unionized workforce of well paid small animals and home accents with a background in musical theatre). If you want an “OMG, did vestal virgins knit this sweater?!” experience treat yourself to some Malabrigo Mecha or Diamond Luxury Baby Alpaca Sport, you won’t regret it.

Yarn Alternatives

MALABRIGO MECHA: This hand dyed, incredibly soft singly ply merino wool would hands-down make the MOST Stunning cardigan EVER! 6(7, 7, 8, 9) skeins would make a cardigan you’ll never want to take off. I’d opt for one of the semi-solid colourways, otherwise you’ll lose the pretty lace detail in the shoulders.

DIAMOND LUXURY BABY ALPACA SPORT: For an extra soft and drapey version, try Diamond Luxury Baby Alpaca Sport: 6(7, 8, 9, 9) skeins. NOTE: alpaca is VERY stretchy and you can probably go down a size from what you would normally wear.

DROPS AIR: The pattern was originally written to be a looser knit on an aran weight yarn that blooms. If you want to try a lighter or airier version, try super soft Drops Air: 4(5, 6, 6, 7) balls. This would would make a sensational spring pullover which would look great over a tank top, or be a great sweater for warm climates and for people who run warm. This is also a super affordable option, running from $40 to $70 (depending on size).

BERROCO VINTAGE CHUNKY: For a machine washable sweater or something for someone who is extra itchy or allergic, I’d go with Berroco Vintage Chunky: 5(6, 7, 7, 8) skeins. Vintage Chunky is also a pocket-book friendly choice, running from $50 to $80 for the project (depending on size).

QUNICE & CO KESTREL: Do you winter down south or live in a warm climate? I don’t, but if I did I’d go for an aran/chunky weight, machine washable linen like Quince & Co Kestrel: 9(10, 12, 13, 14) skeins. NOTE: Linen is VERY stretchy and you can probably go down one or two sizes from what you would normally wear.

Size

Felix is supposed to fit a little bit oversized and casual. I made the first size, which is a small but fits oversized and loose.

  • S(M, L, XL, XL2)
  • Circumference at bust at underarm: 39 (43 ½, 48, 52 ½, 57)”
  • Length from right front cast on to right neck edge: 22 (24, 25, 27, 28)”

Materials

  • Cascade Eco+ Merino: 2(2, 2, 3, 3) skeins, colour 24
  • 5mm/US8-16″ and 24″ circular needles
  • 6mm/US10-16″ and 24″ circular needles
  • 5mm/US double pointed needles
  • 6mm/US10 double pointed needles
  • Stitch markers
  • Tapestry needle
  • Pattern: Felix Cardigan
  • My Ravelry Notes (for modifications for button-bands and neck ribbing)

Learnings

At the very start of this wall-o-text I mentioned that I learned things, so here are my learnings!

1. Sewn/Tubular Bind Off is STRETCHY

The pattern suggests using a tubular bind-off, but you can use any kind of bind off you like. I figured I would give the Tubular-Bind off a go to see how it worked out, what it’s benefits and deficits were. Just to make sure we are on the same page, I used THIS TUTORIAL for a Long Tail Tubular Bind-Off.

At first the sewn bind-off looked like it would pull-in a lot and I’d have problems maintaining the shape of the garment. I think if you did the bind-off too tight this could end up being a problem, but at a normal or loose tension it is definitely not a concern. I did not really understand how stretchy this bind off can be until I wet blocked the sweater, at which point it really went to town! The bind-off edge was most sensitive on the front button bands and the neck-line, the edge on the cuffs was the most resilient. To get them back into shape I gave them a good steam, but the neck-line might need reinforcing down the line.

Benefits of a Tubular Bind-Off: 1. It makes a nice edge. 2. It’s very stretchy.

Deficits of a Tubular Bind-Off: 1. It takes time and patience, since it’s basically grafting/Kitchener stitch. 2. It’s very stretchy.

Conclusions: Pick your poison. I would probably do it again for the sleeve cuffs and the bottom of the sweater, possibly for the button bands, but definitely not for the neck.

2. Steam is Good!

I bought a little hand-held garment steamer on Amazon and I really like it! The stitches all fell into place beautifully, the places where the fabric had stretched bounced back, and the fibre looks great. I am now pro-steamer garment blocking. (BTW, did you know that Amazon has a discount section called Warehouse Deals? I think it’s stuff people have returned, so mostly opened boxes and superficially blemished products.)

3. The Perfect Sweater

I’ve been mulling around ideas about my understanding of perfectionism, which seems to be something that comes into play when people are learning. I don’t know if I’ve nailed anything down yet, but I definitely see that I’ve been carrying around some perfectionist ideals, and they really hold me back and keep me from feeling satisfied. When I make a sweater for myself I usually have a subconscious fantasy desire, I want it to be perfect, which for me means it’s my favourite thing EVER. I made this sweater to explore a bit (and have a new sweater), and part of that exploration was how I feel about pursuing things that aren’t absolutely phantasmagorical. At no point was this sweater a “This is going to be my favourite sweater EVER” type of project, and that’s really forced me to put myself outside of the safe and familiar. Don’t get me wrong, its a good sweater, and a nice sweater, I’m wearing it right now and you’ll see me wearing it around the store on a regular basis, but it isn’t my fantasy sweater. But who knows, maybe I’ll come to love wearing it around the store, and it’ll be my favourite store sweater? Maybe I’ll make another? Or maybe it will help me to try something new, and then another thing that’s new, and then a whole bunch of new new things until “favourite” takes on a whole new meaning to me? Maybe this wasn’t so much a “Learning” as a “Growing”?

INSPIRATION Adrift

Adrift

Rosie finished her Adrift cardigan last week and I wanted to show you how gorgeous it is! The yarn, Urth Uneek Fingering (ON SALE NOW!) is absolutely gorgeous, the striping turned out beautifully for both the arms and the body.

The pattern isn’t specifically intended to be worn oversized, but you know how mannequins are – one size fits all. The pattern is written from the top down, so it’s easy to make it as large or small as you like, and the sleeves can be short, 3/4, or long, it’s super simple to make adjustments.

If stripes aren’t your thing you can also make it in a solid, semi-solid, or variegated colourway, so you can substitute any fingering weight yarn (the number of skeins required would be the same as in the materials below).

Size

  • To fit bust: 30 (33, 36, 39, 42, 45, 48, 51, 54)”/ 76 (84, 91.5, 99, 106.5, 114.5, 122, 129.5, 137.5) cm 
  • Length: 17.25 (17.5, 18, 18.25, 18.5, 18.75, 19, 20, 20.5)”/44 (44.5, 45.5, 46.5, 47, 47.5, 48.5, 51, 52) cm.

Materials

PROJECT Paprika

Paprika

I’m sorry it’s been so long since you’ve heard from us, I’ve had the Flu for what seems like an ETERNITY! While I’ve spent a good amount of my spare time dosed to the gills with Dayquil/NyQuil, I’ve managed to get a few things finished … including this sweater, Paprika.

I love the look of mohair, but I don’t love the itchy feel, so I’ve been doing some experimenting with Drops Brushed Alpaca and Silk. It looks like mohair, but it feels like happy. Plus, it’s light as air! I made Paprika with two strands held together, on 8mm/US11 needles. It was a fast and easy knit, worked in one piece from the bottom-up, so no seaming – nothing fussier than picking up stitches.

The style is oversized and roomy. I made a medium but I could have easily made a small. It was definitely an affordable knit, coming in under $50 (I used 8 skeins of Drops Brushed Alpaca and Silk).  

When you’re ready to make yours you should definitely take a look at our pattern notes on Ravelry, I found a few quirks with the pattern and noted my modifications & etc. I also feel that the sleeves are way too long and I’d make them several inches shorter. Other than that, I’m pretty pleased with the results!

Size

  • S(M, L, XL)
  • Finished Bust Circumference: 45(48, 41, 54.5) inches or 112(120, 128, 136) cm

Materials

  • Drops Brushed Alpaca and Silk: 8(9, 9, 10) balls. (holding 2 strands together, shown in colour 3 gray)
  • 6mm/US10 -36″ circular needles
  • 6mm/US10 double pointed needles
  • 8mm/US11 – 29″ (or longer) circular needles
  • 8mm/US11 double pointed needles (or 16″ circular)
  • Pattern
  • Our Notes on Ravelry