Happy New Year, knitters!
I’ve been keeping toasty this cold January in this lovely cardigan. I purchased the pattern for PetiteKnit’s Mohair Edition Novice Cardigan when I spotted it on Instagram, but having just completed a mohair project (yes, another one) went for a different yarn choice – and have not been too disappointed! This beauty is knit in Rowan’s Alpaca Classic, a snuggly blend of 57% alpaca and 43% cotton.
I adored this cardigan from the first moment I saw it; comfy, voluminous sleeves. Neat ribbed neckline. Sweet shell buttons. The original was knitted by PetiteKnit in a stunning shade of washed-out green, but I decided to go for a soft and dreamy shade of cream. This cardigan is so warm and cozy, and because of the lovely shade of yarn, it goes with most outfits! Due to the evolving lockdown measures here in Rome, I’ve been living in it most days at home.
How it knit up:
Overall, I’m extremely happy with the finished look of this piece but I would use the recommended silk mohair if I made another as I found this yarn showed the increases on the back more than I would have liked. The pattern is clear and easy to follow with its beginner-friendly techniques.
Pattern specifics and sizing:
The pattern I purchased is the Novice Cardigan (Mohair Edition). This is worth emphasising as PetiteKnit has a few versions of this cardigan in different yarn weights. I chose the Mohair Edition because I wanted something that would knit up as a DK with the option of making another in mohair. The pattern accommodates sizes XS to 5XL with bust measurements of 96 to 161 cm.
The Novice Cardigan (Mohair Edition) is a simple knit which features easy techniques that produce a stunning piece. The cardigan is worked top-down and begins with a 1×1 ribbed neckline on 3.5mm needles. After this is done, the yoke of the cardigan is created on 4mm needles with simple M1R increases. Stitches of the yoke are then divided and some are rested for the sleeves to be knit later. The body continues in stockinette stitch until it is finished with a lovely long ribbed section. Next, the sleeves are worked in stockinette until decreases are made before the ribbed cuff. These decreases create a snug fit on the wrist and aid the sleeves’ voluminous puff. The cardigan is finished with stitches picked up and knit in rib for the placket (with some knit together to create the buttonholes). Once both plackets are made, buttons are sewn on (pay attention that the placement corresponds to the buttonholes) and ends are weaved in.
The pattern called for two strands of yarn held together to create a DK weight. Instead of mohair, I opted for Alpaca Classic, a DK weight alpaca and cotton blend from Rowan. When browsing the isles of the John Lewis haberdashery department, I came across this lofty yarn and knew I had to make something out of it. The colours that Rowan carries in Alpaca Classic are quite gorgeous – I went for this charming sandy shade.
The yarn knits up into an exceptionally light and snuggly fabric with a slightly textured finish characteristic of alpaca blends. Although this yarn is a joy to knit, the alpaca lacks the halo of two strands of mohair that the pattern recommends, therefore the increases on the back are more obvious with this yarn than they would be with fuzzy mohair. When selecting the pattern I noticed that the increases and rows were visible, so I had anticipated being about to see this, however, my yarn choice did exacerbate the situation.
Things I love about this pattern:
- This is a quick and simple knit which is accessible to beginners and would be enjoyed by more experienced knitters too.
- As always, the PetiteKnit instructions are clear and well-written – this is something that I can’t praise enough! See my previous reviews of the Cumulus Blouse and Stockholm Slipover.
- The finished cardigan is a sweet piece that would look great in a range of shades. It also comes in a good variety of sizes. My Novice Cardigan easily fits in with my wardrobe and has been keeping me super warm over the holidays.
- I’m slightly obsessed with voluminous sleeves and ribbed cuffs at the moment. The sleeves of the Novice Cardigan are lovely and puffy!
- Following the pattern images of the cardigan, I used faux shell buttons – I think these really finish it off perfectly.
Things I would change:
- Although I truly adore this yarn, I would use two strands of silk mohair (or something else with a stronger halo) as that would help disguise some of the obvious gaps caused by the increases at the back.
- As I’m constantly knitting things in the round on circular needles, I found knitting the stockinette purl rows tedious at times. I may consider knitting this in the round and steeking in the future (if I’m brave enough and yarn choice permits).
- Careful concentration is required when sewing on the buttons as the ribbed placket has the tendency to bunch up which makes it hard to sew accurately. A good steaming before sewing aids this.
Needles, Yarn and Details:
Yarn: Rowan Alpaca Classic in Champagne (DK, 25g – 120m) £4.99 per ball available here
Extras: 9 Faux Shell Buttons 15mm
Needles: 3.5 mm (US 4) and 4mm (US 6) circular needles, 3.5 mm (US 4) DPNs (I use the Magic Loop Technique instead). I knitted this project on my Lykke Interchangeables available here.
Gauge: 21 x 28 (I got gauge with the 4mm despite using one strand of DK yarn instead of two strands of silk mohair)
Let me know if you’ve made a Novice Cardigan too! How did you find it? What colour did you go for?