Friday, January 28, 2011

Classic Ruffled Cardigan

I wanted a great classic black cardigan. The kind you can wear with a crisp white blouse for work or a cute camisole for play. I like the way a lot of fashions right now have a bit of ruffle detail, and thought about adding it to the whole front opening. Some great buttons finish the look and an optional knitted flower detail is perfect right now.
Yarn: Sport weight Merino that works to gauge. About 400 grams or about 1600 meters. (I got it from Elann but it is discontinued now... THIS YARN would work with just 4 balls!

Gauge: 24 stitches and 30 rows = 4 inches in stocking stitch on 3.25 mm (US 3) needles.

Needles: 3.25 mm straight for the body and long circular for the ruffle ( the whole thing could be knit on the circulars as I usually do, just don't join and work right and wrong sides)
Finished size: Chest 38 inches around and length 24 inches. Sleeves are 3/4 the way I like, but you could make them longer. The fit is huggy but not too tight on me.

Back: Cast on 120 sts. Work in garter stitch (knit every row) for one inch. Chang to stocking stitch and knit straight until 15 inches from the beginning are done. Bind off 8 stitches at the start of next 2 rows, then decrease one at each end 2 more times. Continue to work straight until 9 inches above armhole decrease and cast off all stitches.

Left front: cast on 60 stitches, work garter stitch edging for one inch, then stocking stitch until 15 inches are done. Cast off 8 stitches at start of next row (right side facing you), then one more at the same edge at the next 2 right side starts.
While leaving that side alone for the rest of the piece, start the neck side decrease by knitting two together at the END of every right side row 14 times, then at the end of every FOURTH row 7 more times. Work even until the total length of armhole is 9 inches, and cast off all stitches.

Right side: Cast on 60 stitches, work garter stitch edging for one inch, then stocking stitch until 15 inches are done. End with the WRONG side facing you for the next row.... Cast off purl-wise 8 stitches, and purl to end. Purl 2 together at the start of the next two wrong side rows. You are now done with the armhole side and will continue that edge without changes. With next right side facing you, start neck decreases... knit two together at the start of every right side row 14 times, then at the start of every fourth row 7 more times. Work even until the total length of armhole is 9 inches, and cast off all stitches.

Join shoulders, and with circular needles and right side facing, start to pick up stitches for edge ruffle at the bottom right front edge. Pick up 80 along the straight front edge to the start of neck decreases, 30 along the decrease edge, 30 along the back edge, 30 along the left front decrease edge, and 80 along the straight left front edge.
Purl next row.
Row 3: knit all stitches,
Row 4 : purl all stitches,
Row 5: Increase** [Knit 5, Knit in the front and back of next stitch] repeat until end (ok if you end without completing the FULL repeat in the last 6 stitches)
Row 6: purl all stitches,
Row 7: Knit all stitches
Row 8: Purl all stitches.

Next row: Button hole row: Knit 10 [cast off 2 stitches, knit 20] repeat 4 more times, knit to end.
Next row: Purl across, casting ON 2 stitches over the cast of holes.
Continue the pattern starting at Row 5 , work to row 8, then repeat rows 3 - 8 once more.
Finish the ruffle edge with 6 rows of garter stitch, then cast off all stitches.

The reason I like to do the edging before the sleeve, is that I often don't know if I have enough yarn to finish and would rather have shorter sleeves than incomplete edgings!

Sleeves (make two)
Cast on 50 stitches, Work in garter stitch for one inch. Change to stocking stitch for rest of sleeve, increase one each end every 4th row 23 times. Continue until sleeve is 3/4 or full length of arm to underarm, then shape cap...
Cast off 8 stitches at start of next two rows. Decrease one each end of every row 14 times. Cast off 4 stitches at start of next 4 rows, cast off remaining stitches.
Sew sleeve cap into armhole. Sew sleeve seam and side seams. Add buttons opposite holes.

Flower detail: (all in garter stitch) cast on 8 stitches, knit one row.
Increase row: knit in front and back of every stitch.
Knit two rows.
Knit increase row.
Knit two rows.
Knit increase row.
Knit one row,
Cast off all stitches.

Curl the piece into a swirly flower shape and stitch to hold shape, stitch it to cardigan. I added two pieces of one of the buttons that broke when I took it from the button card, but intended to add the whole button to the middle of the flower, but you could add beads (sparkly?) or use other yarns for contrast!
The black yarn is difficult to knit, as the stitches are quite hard to see, but we all need a basic black cardigan. It is also hard to photograph which is why it looks a bit grey in the over lit photos above. I hope you can see enough details. It would look lovely in lighter colours too.


My name WAS Female, I shit you not! said...

You definately have a great talent!

Anonymous said...

You definitely have patience as well. I am making this sweater in fuchsia cotton and have never used such tiny needles before. The two front pieces are completed and I hope to complete the rest so I can wear it this summer. Thank you for sharing your patterns (and for being the same size as me).