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Quintessential Cardigan Pattern

Quintessential Cardigan Pattern





The Design

“In 8 sizes and 2 sleeve lengths!”

A timeless little hip-length cardi always manages to look modern. Ours has classic details: a pretty jewel neckline, knit-along button bands, full- or bracelet-length sleeves—all of which are clearly and expertly described in written instructions and quick guides. You’ll even be able to build (or review) your skills with a special technique: ‘clip & turn’ short row shaping.

We chose two superb fibers for this ultimate cardi. A sleek yarn, like Shibui’s dreamy, (discontinued) offers tailored style. Lightweight mohair, like our favorite Rowan Kidsilk Haze, lends a feminine aura. With this choice of yarn, in eight sizes and with two sleeve lengths, you can make your cardigan just right for you.

This 8 page pattern includes:

  • Color photographs by the talented Jared Flood
  • A Special Technique—‘clip & turn’ short row shaping
  • Step-by-step guides for adjusting body & sleeve lengths, with fill-in-the-blank sections to help with the math
  • A wee tutorial on placing buttonholes
  • Instructions for swatching for gauge and fabric, and finishing and blocking your garment

See how we've used this pattern!

The Details

Cardigan is designed with approx. 2–4"/5–10cm of ease. You can choose a size that will fit more closely or more oversized. Details given for smallest size, larger sizes in parentheses ( ).

Finished bust:
33 (36, 39, 42, 45, 48, 51, 54)"/84 (91.5, 99, 106.5, 114, 122, 129.5, 137)cm, after seaming and blocking.
To fit bust:
29−31 (32-34, 35-37, 38-40, 41-43, 44-46, 47-49, 50-52)"/74-79 (81-86, 89-94, 97-102, 104-109, 112-117, 119-124, 127-132)cm.

Finished body length:
Measured from high shoulder (where shoulder meets neck) to hem.
20¼ (20½, 20¾, 20¾, 21, 21¼, 21½, 21¾)"/51.5 (52, 52.5, 52.5, 53, 54, 54.5, 55)cm.
Full-length sleeve:
Measured from shoulder point to cuff:
21¾ (22¼, 22½, 22¾, 23, 23, 23½, 23¾)"/55 (56.5, 57, 58, 58.5, 58.5, 59.5, 60)cm.
Bracelet-length sleeve:
Measured from shoulder point to cuff:
17¾ (18¼, 18½, 18¾, 19, 19, 19½, 19¾)"/45 (46, 47, 47.5, 48, 48, 49.5, 51)cm.

Approx. 2030 (2170, 2290, 2300, 2530, 2670, 2850, 2990) yds/1856 (1984, 2094, 2103, 2313, 2441, 2606, 2734)m lace-weight yarn (yarn is held double throughout); bracelet-length sleeves take a little less.
For a DK-weight yarn held single, divide yardage given above by 2.

For custom lengths: To lengthen or shorten body, add or subtract approx. 52 (53, 55, 56, 57, 59, 60, 61) yds/48 (49, 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, 56)m of lace-weight yarn (yarn is held double throughout) per 1"/2.5cm of knitted length.
For a DK-weight yarn held single, divide yardage given above by 2.

Shown in pink in Rowan Kidsilk Haze (230yds/210m per skein) held double throughout, Color 653. Model is wearing 36"/91.5cm finished size with approx. 3"/7.5cm of ease and bracelet-length sleeves.
Shown in black in Shibui Lunar, (401 yds/366m per skein) held double throughout, Color 2001, Abyss. Model is wearing 42"/106.5cm finished size with approx. 2"/5cm of ease and full-length sleeves.

US 5 (3.75mm) 24"/60cm circular needle, or size to obtain gauge.
US 3 (3.25mm) 24"/60cm circular needle, or two US sizes/.5mm smaller than gauge needle.
Stitch markers: 2 ring markers; 8 locking markers or coiless safety pins for ‘clip-and- turn’ short-row shaping, button placement, and setting in sleeves.
2 stitch holders.
Darning needle to finish.
Seven ⅝"/16mm buttons; needle and thread.

22 sts/30 rows = 4"/10cm in stockinette stitch on larger needle, after blocking.

Errata & Clarifications


To be sure your garment turns out the right size, it’s important to swatch until you get the correct gauge. Stitch gauge determines the fit; row gauge affects the length.

Cast on 33 sts for a nice big swatch approx. 6"/15cm-wide; work in St St for 6"/15cm; bind off loosely. Measure and note unblocked gauge for reference when knitting.

Wet block your swatch; let rest for a day or two. Measure again—gauge may change after it relaxes.

Cardigan is worked at 22 sts/30 rows = 4"/10cm. Measure center 4"/10com of swatch (edge stitches may be distorted).

If you have more sts or rows per "/cm, your gauge is a little tight; try swatching again on larger needle. If you have fewer sts or rows per "/cm, your gauge is a little loose; try again on smaller needle.

Digital Quintessential Cardigan pattern. (Download)

Printed Quintessential Cardigan pattern. (Requires shipping.)

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