Go-To Cardigan Using Rowan Felted Tweed
Go-To Cardigan Using Rowan Felted Tweed
We set out to create a knit that had the comfort and ease of a grandfather’s cardigan, with a little more style. The one you want to wrap up in on the weekend, but can wear to work and feel well dressed. The one you can knit in this cozy woolly yarn or a sleek linen blend.
We couldn’t help but choose Rowan Felted Tweed for our first woolly version, given our penchant for its rustic-yet-refined look. Merino wool adds softness and spring, and alpaca and viscose result in a fabric with perfect drape, luster and subtle stitch definition. Plus it blocks beautifully and seams like a dream. Katya is wearing a size small on a 38" bust in color 145. We graded the Go-To Cardigan in five sizes, but we recognize that no two women are alike.
This cardigan is designed with approx. 4–6" of ease, but because the shoulder is dropped slightly, it’s a little more forgiving in the fit. You can choose a size that will fit more closely or more oversized.
Sizes XS (S, M, L, XL). Information given for XS; S, M, L, XL in parentheses ( ).
Finished bust: 37½ (42½, 47, 50½, 53½):/95 (108, 119.5, 128, 136)cm, after seaming, including front band.
To fit bust: 32–34 (36–38, 40–42, 44–46, 48–50)"/81–86 (91–96, 101–106, 112–117, 122–127)cm.
Finished body length:
Measured from high shoulder (where shoulder meets neck) to hem. 26 (26½, 27, 27½, 28)"/66 (67.5, 68.5, 70, 71)cm.
Center back neck to cuff: 28½ (29½, 30¾, 31¾, 32¾)"/72.5 (75, 78, 80.5, 83)cm.
7 (8, 8, 9, 10) skeins Rowan Felted Tweed (191yds/175m each). Shown in size S on 38"/96.5cm bust, in Color 145.
Or approx. 1200 (1350, 1475, 1600, 1750) yds/1100 (1250, 1350, 1470, 1580)m of a DK-weight yarn that typically knits at 22 sts to 4"/10cm.
To lengthen or shorten body: Add or subtract approx. 30 (33, 36, 38, 41) yds/27 (30, 33, 35, 37)m of yarn per 1"/2.5cm of knitted length.
NEEDLES & NOTIONS
US 6 (4mm) 24"/60cm circular needle, or size to obtain gauge.
US 4 (3.5mm) 24"/60cm circular needle, or 2 US sizes/.5mm smaller than gauge needle.
2 ring markers; 10 locking markers; 4 stitch holders (we like to use extra circular needles, in gauge size or smaller, so we can knit off holders from either end); darning needle to finish.
Five 5/8"/16mm buttons; needle and thread.
20 sts/32 rows = 4"/10cm in stockinette stitch on larger needle, after blocking.
We graded the Go-To Cardigan in five sizes, but we recognize that no two women are alike: one woman with a 38" bust might be 5'10" tall, another 5'2". One might have narrow shoulders and long arms while another might have broad shoulders and short arms. Our solution was to design a shape that’s more forgiving than most, starting with the shoulder line and armhole: the 2" dropped shoulder isn’t expected to fit, so it offers more range. It looks nice with less drop on a broader shoulder, yet the shallower sleeve cap can drop even farther off a narrower shoulder without adding too much “schlump.”
Slight A-line shaping was another critical ingredient. It offers a bit of extra ease through the hips, a little less fullness through the bustline, and a nice point of contrast to narrow pants or leggings.
You’ll also notice that the fronts, with their button bands installed and overlapped, add up to a little more than the typical half inch of overall circumference–a nice detail for most women!
And a little short-row shaping at the hem gives a bit of drop to the center front and back, which keeps the side seams from drooping too much when your arms are down (which is most of the time, isn’t it?). It also keeps the front and back from lifting, for a timeless and flattering look.
We’ve all had the importance of stitch gauge drilled into our knitter brains, and for good reason. Knowing your row gauge, and maintaining it throughout, is especially important with this garment. Getting the desired V-neck shaping, armhole shaping and depth as well as sleeve and body length depends on a consistently accurate row gauge.
We sometimes find it helpful to knit two gauge swatches. Leave one swatch unblocked and “dress” the other swatch, meaning wet block, steam press, and let it rest, then measure stitch and row gauge. Then you can refer to the unblocked swatch while knitting: if your knitting is matching the unblocked swatch, you can feel pretty confident that your finished pieces will block to the desired gauge.
Digital Go-To Cardigan pattern. (Download)
Printed Go-To Cardigan pattern. (Requires shipping.)
COLOR: 150 Rage. Red hot red.
COLOR: 178 Seasalter. Navy, on the bright side.
COLOR: 153 Phantom. Warm woodsy brown.
COLOR: 172 Ancient. Is it grey or is it green?.
COLOR: 186 Tawny. Warm magenta.
COLOR: 187 Hedgerow. Medium golden green.
COLOR: 145 Treacle. Plummy brown (think molasses).
COLOR: 170 Seafarer. Nautical charcoal navy.
COLOR: 159 Carbon. Smoky grey with a smudge of blue.
COLOR: 177 Clay. Pale earthenware bisque.