I designed this little cardigan to wear at The National Needle Arts Association (TNNA) trade show in June. The show is in Columbus, Ohio, and although it will be warm outside, the air-conditioned conference center can be chilly. An easy cardigan that I can fit in my bag when I’m outside and pull over my shoulders inside is just the thing. And I’d been wanting to knit something in our new yarn Allegoro, a blend of linen and organic cotton in a sport weight.
First, I had to choose a color. Although I was immediately drawn to the neutral, go-with-everything colors, I fell in love with Picante. I’ve been trying to add more color to my wardrobe and this orangey-pink color is so lovely and offbeat that I just had to use it. After knitting my first swatch, I knew that I wanted to work the piece in reverse stockinette stitch, and I particularly liked the texture and soft drape of the purl stitches worked on a larger needle than that specified on the label.
I designed a cardigan that swings open at the bottom and has three-quarter length sleeves and raglan shaping. The raglan increases are worked on the wrong (knit) side to make for easy shaping. To prevent the edges from rolling, I worked the sweater’s bands and collar in garter stitch to mimic the look of the body’s reverse stockinette stitch. I’m very happy with the final result, and although I told myself that I wouldn’t wear it until TNNA, I’m having a very hard time waiting!
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70% organic cotton, 30% linen
Allegoro, one of the yarns in our Verde line (also see web letters 86 and 87), is a blend of organically-grown cotton and linen. In keeping with its mostly earth-friendly fiber content, Allegoro is dyed using non-toxic dyes. As you might expect, limiting the kinds of chemicals that can be used to dye and set a yarn’s color also has an effect on the intensity of the final outcome.
The dyes and chemicals used to color Allegoro are GOTS certified. (You can find out more about GOTS standards here: http://www.global-standard.org.) These dyes yield beautiful colors with the soft, almost transparent, qualities of watercolors. They remind me of tinted photographs. They’re the kind of colors that are easy to wear and that you’ll never grow tired of.
Here is the free downloadable Allegoro Loose Knit Cardi pattern.
If you have difficulty downloading or printing the PDF pattern above, try these:
page 1, page 2
Suggested gauge, the gauge printed on the label of your yarn, is the gauge that works best for an even stitch that makes a fabric that’s not too firm and not too loose. But suggested gauge isn’t necessarily the best gauge for every kind of project.
I knitted the Allegoro Cardi at a gauge of 4½ stitches per inch, which is much looser than the gauge of 6 stitches per inch given on the label. Allegoro is stunning at the tighter gauge, but I wanted a looser fabric for this design, a fabric that would be light and airy, and still substantial. After swatching on many needle sizes, I found that 4½ stitches was perfect. Read more.