Cardigan Love

Every day I wear a cardigan and most of the time the cardigan was made my me.  Cardigans are flattering for any figure and you can wear it buttoned up or not-gives it a different look.  I have found the best way to have any knitted garment fit the way you would like is to measure existing pieces in your wardrobe and adjust the pattern accordingly.  If you already have a favorite sweater-measure it!  It is much better than measuring yourself.

For instance, I always knit at least seventeen-nineteen inches from the underarm to wrist since I am taller.  I also will knit at least fourteen inches for the body of a sweater, sometimes more.  Lengthening and shortening knitting garments is quite an easy fix for fit.

I tend to prefer to knit with thin yarn.  Double knitting or thinner if possible.  I have worsted weight cardigans like tea leaves, but they feel bulky when I wear a coat. I have to be in the mood to wear it. Of course thin yarn will mean that the sweater might take a bit longer to knit but to me it is worth it. Thin yarn drapes better and I think it pills less especially if it is a natural animal fiber.

Also I knit with at least a two ply.  Single ply is just awful for a sweater- it pills like mad. Another way to avoid pilling is to knit with a tighter gauge.  The tighter the gauge the less friction occurs in the knitted fabric which means less pilling.

My hawthorne cardigan is shaping up quite nicely.  I love the simplicity of the pattern.


  1. Excellent advice :) I am making a cardigan at the moment (my third I think) and I have plans for many more. Like you, I find them versatile and they fit nicely into my wardrobe.

    Not sure I have the patience for anything smaller than double knit though! Current one is aran/worsted weight, but that's a weight I personally quite like. I'd love a laceweight one, but it's not gonna happen!

    Loving the colour of your Hawthorne, it is looking beautiful :)

  2. Thank you Karen for all the wonderful advice, I can use it.
    I think this weekend I am finally going to cast on [again] my cardigan. I keep coming up with excuses to not knit for myself, but then I think, why not? So, if you want to come for tea, I have more pretty cups, I will put the kettle on and we can knit the afternoon away.

  3. Loved reading this, Karen. I'm still newish to knitting and am finding that I prefer the lighter yarn, too (though I did just enjoy a HUGE one). I now have two sweaters I've made and I look forward to being as savvy as you about adjusting to suit my body. Great post. blessings ~ Tanna

  4. Wonderful tips! I agree that using an existing garment that fits well is a great way to measure.

  5. I do love my cardigans. HEre is a warm climate, I actually prefer worsted since I seldom if ever wear a coat. I do have a bit of sport and fingering set aside for new cardigans for me. Any pattern suggestions?

  6. That yarn must be heavenly to work with! It's a lovely color too.

  7. such wonderful advice. i do these things too karen although i am just now knitting for me!

    i've made so many sweaters for my children and measuring one against the other was always helpful. i used to knit in worsted for them, but now almost always knit in dk or fingering for myself.

    i love reading tips and talking knitting! your sweater is looking good!

  8. I can only imagine getting to the point of being able to knit a cardigain. I love the color.

  9. yay! I love the advice.
    i need the advice.
    i will -take- your advice.

    can't wait to see it finished!

  10. Oh that cardigan looks lovely. Thanks for your thoughts on thin yarn! What a brilliant idea. I have this fear of the too-bulky cardigan. Maybe now I will knit one.

  11. What a great post! I love reading how other knitters do things, and you've offered some really good tips here.
    Hannah Fettig is one of my favorite knitwear designers. I can't wait to see how your Hawthorne turns out :-)

  12. Great advice!

    I should really knit myself a cardi.

  13. I have only knit cardigans in worsted weight yarns. Now after reading your post I want to run out and start knitting one in something thinner! I love the color of your current wip. It is has a very earthy feel to it but then again I also love brown. :)

    Cynthia @


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