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Go-To Cardigan - Soft Linen Version

Go-To Cardigan - Soft Linen Version

“Wearable from work to weekend and season to season.”

We set out to create a cardigan 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 you can wear to work and feel well dressed. The one you can knit in a cozy woolly yarn or this sleek linen blend.

Classic Elite Soft Linen, almost equal parts alpaca, linen and wool, was our choice for a version that can carry you from season to season. The alpaca makes a beautiful halo, the linen gives it a crisp, firm hand, and the wool provides stability and softness. And the warmth of alpaca and wool is moderated by the linen content, so you won’t ever get too hot. And the 4-ply yarn is nice and round to show your stitches beautifully. Kate is wearing a size small on a 36" bust in color 2203. We graded the Go-To Cardigan in five sizes, but we recognize that no two women are alike. Learn more about our design approach and solutions to this issue on our Knitters' Notes tab.

You can grab the pattern and make your yarn selection below.

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.

9 (10, 11, 12, 13) skeins Classic Elite Soft Linen (137 yds/125m each). Shown in size S on 36"/96.5cm bust, in Color 2203 .
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.

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: 2203 Dove Grey. Beautiful pale grey.

COLOR: 2204 Titian Blue. Pale aqua.

COLOR: 2258 Turk Red. Rich, orangy brick-red.

COLOR: 2236 Antique White. Pale flax.

COLOR: 2248 Blue Grotto. Complex blue-grey.

COLOR: 2252 Eggplant. Luscious burgundy.

COLOR: 2257 Kentucky Blue. Classic French blue.

COLOR: 2243 Brass. Dark goldenrod.

COLOR: 2237 Celadon. Delicate pistachio-green.

COLOR: 2202 Citrine. Chartreuse.

COLOR: 2225 Smokey Rose. Faded red.

COLOR: 2229 Purple. Deep grape.

COLOR: 2232 Magenta. Bright magenta.

COLOR: 2234 Deep Twilight. Muted lavender grey.

COLOR: 2281 New Fern. Spring green.

6 White Shell Buttons (5/8"/16mm each)

6 Smoke Shell Buttons (5/8"/16mm each)