Bespoke Cardigan by Holli Yeoh

Bespoke Cardigan

December 2021
DK (11 wpi) ?
20.5 stitches and 30 rows = 4 inches
in Stockinette stitch
US 6 - 4.0 mm
US 4 - 3.5 mm
US 3 - 3.25 mm
US 2½ - 3.0 mm
2078 - 5813 yards (1900 - 5315 m)
To fit chest: 71 (76, 81.5, 86.5, 91.5)(96.5, 104, 112, 122)(132, 142, 152.5, 162.5, 172.5) cm/28 (30, 32, 34, 36)(38, 41, 44, 48) (52, 56, 60, 64, 68) inches
low vision format available
Flag of English English

My step-father Nigel is a role model to my daughter (and to me), and he even invited her to participate in his marriage to my dad when it was first legalized in our country. Nigel and I share a special bond, in part because we have been knitting together for over forty years. He’s been a tremendous support to me and my knitting design career in so many ways.

For Nigel’s birthday last year, I gifted him a bespoke knitting pattern. I would design and write a pattern customized to his desires, so he could enjoy knitting his ideal sweater for himself. And of course, I would also adapt the pattern so all knitters could make one. Love is love, and knitting can be a perfect expression of it.

With an allover simple cabled pattern and diamond motif that runs down the centre back and sleeves, the buttoned cardigan features deep, integrated pockets; a choice of button placement on the right or left front; and a selection of techniques you’ll be happy to have in your knitter’s toolkit. Set-in sleeves and English-tailored shoulders provide a polished fit. The shawl collar is worked with short rows and changing needle sizes so the collar lays neatly around the back neck.

While working on the design, it was important to me to make it as accessible as possible with degendered language, various fit options, and a wide range of sizes since all bodies deserve a sweater and all knitters deserve a knitting experience that feels good. This is not a unisex pattern in the way oversized, shapeless t-shirts are meant to fit all genders. This pattern includes fit variations that consider broader and narrower shoulders as well as taller and shorter bodies, plus modification notes to further tweak the sweater for a better fit. These variations are available in fourteen sizes to fit folks with 28-68-inch/71-172.5 cm chests. This pattern ebook is lengthy, simply to accommodate these variations. I recommend that you read through the full pattern, and highlight only the instructions that refer to your chosen combination of size and fit.

This cardigan is worked in pieces from the bottom up, then sewn together after blocking. The front armholes are worked to a longer depth than the back for an English-tailored shoulder. The front bands are worked in two pieces, a front and a back facing; the zipper is sewn in place between the bands. The cable pattern is presented in both chart form and row-by-row instructions.

Holli Yeoh, November 2021

#sizeinclusive from 32.25”/82 cm to a 71.75”/182 cm finished chest measurement.

This knitting pattern includes written directions, both charts and written instructions, modification notes, substitution notes, front and back images and a schematic with measurements. This pattern includes a low vision version with black, san serif, 24 point font, no italics and fully written directions so no charts are required. There is no use of colour at all in the written pattern.

1 (2, 3, 4, 5)(6, 7, 8, 9)(10, 11, 12, 13, 14)

Finished Measurements
Finished chest, buttoned: 82 (85.5, 91, 97, 101)(107.5, 112.5, 122.5, 132.5)(141.5, 152, 163, 172.5, 182) cm/32 ¼ (33 ¾, 35 ¾, 38 ¼, 39 ¾)(42 ¼, 44 ¼, 48 ¼, 52 ¼)(55 ¾, 59 ¾, 64 ¼, 68, 71 ¾) inches.

To fit chest: 71 (76, 81.5, 86.5, 91.5)(96.5, 104, 112, 122)(132, 142, 152.5, 162.5, 172.5) cm/28 (30, 32, 34, 36)(38, 41, 44, 48) (52, 56, 60, 64, 68) inches.

Intended to be worn with 7.5-12.5 cm/3-5 inches positive ease at the full chest or 12.5-17.5 cm/5-7 inches positive ease at the upper chest measured at the armpit level. Refer to schematic and detailed finished measurements at the end of the pattern.

There are several customization options in the pattern. Yardage is listed for a combination of options that requires the least yarn (regular length and narrow shoulders) and the most (tall length and broad shoulders). Use this information to determine about how much yarn you will require, erring on the side of too much.

DK weight yarn, wool or wool blend.

Regular Length and Narrow Shoulders: 1900 (1985, 2155, 2270, 2425)(2570, 2720, 2935, 3175)(3390, 3600, 3895, 4165, 4545) m/2080 (2170, 2355, 2480, 2650)(2810, 2975, 3205, 3470)(3710, 3940, 4260, 4555, 4970) yd.

Tall Length and Broad Shoulders: 2010 (2105, 2285, 2395, 2530)(2685, 2825, 3075, 3315)(3570, 3800, 4140, 4430, 4860) m/ 2195 (2305, 2500, 2615, 2765)(2935, 3090, 3365, 3625)(3905, 4155, 4525, 4845, 5315) yd.

Shown here: SweetGeorgia Yarns Superwash DK (affiliate link)(100% superwash merino wool; 256 yd/234 m per 4 oz/115 g skein); Cayenne (seen on Nigel) or Stealth Mode (seen on Holli), 9 (9, 10, 10, 11)(11, 12, 13, 14)(15, 16, 17, 18, 20) skeins to 9 (9, 10, 11, 11)(12, 13, 14, 15)(16, 17, 18, 19, 21) skeins.

Substitution Notes: Smooth DK weight yarn with a tight twist for stitch definition. If choosing hand-dyed yarn, look for a solid or semi-solid colourway so the cables and diamonds can stand out.

Needles & Notions
4 mm/US #6 needles for working flat, or size to obtain gauge;
3.5 mm/US #4 needles for working flat, or two sizes smaller than gauge needles;
3.5 mm/US #4 circular needle, at least 100 cm/40 inches long, or two sizes smaller than gauge needles;
3.25 mm/US #3 circular needle, at least 100 cm/40 inches long, or three sizes smaller than gauge needles;
3 mm/US #2 ½ circular needle, at least 100 cm/40 inches long, or four sizes smaller than gauge needles;
One extra needle, 2 to 4 sizes larger than size used to obtain gauge; used for bind-off only.
Stitch markers;
Locking stitch markers;
Cable needle;
Waste yarn (smooth and in contrasting colour);
Yarn needle;
7 (6, 7, 7, 7)(7, 7, 7, 7)(6, 6, 6, 6, 7) buttons, 2 cm/¾ inch diameter for Regular Length;
7 (7, 7, 7, 7)(7, 7, 7, 7)(6, 6, 6, 6, 6) buMons, 2 cm/¾ inch diameter for Tall Length;
Thread and sewing needle for buttons.

Four 7-st pattern repeats = 10.75 cm/4 ¼ inches in Cable Pattern, blocked (see Swatching Instruc:ons).
Four 10-row pattern repeats = 12.5 cm/4 7⁄8inches in Cable Pattern, blocked.
9-st diamond = 4.4 cm/1 ¾ inches in Diamond Pattern, blocked.
20.5 sts/30 rows = 10 cm/4 inches in Stockinette stitch using 4 mm/US #6 needles, blocked.
28 sts/35 rows = 10 cm/4 inches in Twisted Ribbing using 3.5 mm/US #4 needles, blocked.

Sizing and Fit Notes
This pattern was written to be a gender- inclusive design, with options for Narrow and Broad shoulders and Regular and Tall/ Long length. The words narrow, broad, regular, tall, and long are relative descriptors for sizing and fit as they relate to one another.

Typically, ready-to-wear garments are designed to fit relatively narrow shoulders for cisgender women and broader shoulders for cisgender men. This pattern is written in a manner that invites you to decide whether you prefer a fit with narrow shoulders or broad shoulders, without applying an expectation based on gender. The shoulder width impacts shaping details in the armhole, upper body and sleeve cap. Refer to the schematic for detailed finished measurements. You may want to measure the shoulders of the intended recipient of the sweater, as perception of relative width may be subjective, and numbers may help you choose the shoulder option that will achieve the best fit.

The length options will help you modify the pattern for a shorter or taller stature. Consider 173 cm/5 feet 8 inches the approximate dividing height for the regular and tall options. But also measure your own clothes that fit you as you like and compare measurements with those in the finished measurements tables.

There are many places in the pattern where you may customize these fit options, which makes for a long pattern and some sections that won’t apply to your project. Read through the pattern before beginning, and highlight the sections that pertain to your choices, or even pencil an X through the sections that don’t apply to help prevent any confusion.

Knit & purl sts, increases/decreases, cabled decreases, short rows, working simple cables from chart or written instructions, working simple knit/purl stitch pattern from chart or written instructions, twisted ribbing, knowledge of basic sweater construction, English-tailored shoulders, seamed, worked flat, bottom up, picking up stitches, buttonholes, sewing on buttons.

Helpful Links
SSK & SSP Decreases
Cabled Decreases
Raised Increases Photo Tutorial
Raised Increases Video Tutorial

This post contains a Digits & Threads and SweetGeorgia Yarns affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.