Since mid-March is upon us, it’s time for the March releases in the Urban Collection to begin, and the first of these is now available! The Water St. Cardigan can be found here on Ravelry, (once the collection is complete, all patterns will also be available individually or as a set on Patternfish.) and well as part of the collection. (If you’ve already purchased the collection – or do so at any time – you’ll receive all the new patterns as they are uploaded). I’m so pleased to show this one off to you, as it is the very first one of the collection that I started on! In fact, it’s been finished for a year, and I’ve been sitting on it waiting for the rest of the collection to catch up. I think it was worth it, though, because this is a light and comfortable cardigan just perfect for that point when Spring is just peeking around the corner.
In keeping with the Urban Collection theme, the patterns are all named for streets in towns I have lived in as a knitter. March’s patterns are all named for Peterborough, Ontario, which is where I not only spent my years as an undergraduate student, but came back to teach for a short stint last year. When I did so I was very pleased to discover Needles in the Hay, a local yarn shop which had opened not long before I arrived there for my year of teaching. I made some great friends through the knitters in town, and dearly miss being able to stop in one or two afternoons a week for a knit and chat. It was really really great being in walking distance to a yarn shop, nevermind such a friendly one, and I miss it.
Needles in the Hay is situated on Water St, one of the main streets running north-south through the downtown, so it was a pretty easy decision for me to figure out what to name this one! It is a light and comfortable cardigan that is relatively simple to knit and easy to wear. I recommend this to be worn with some positive ease, 2-4 ins, depending on preference (I.e. the garment when closed, measures larger than your bust), but the open nature of the cardigan means that fit is quite flexible.
I enjoy how current knitting trends are becoming more inclusive of light knitted fabrics, and fingering weight yarns (or even laceweight!) are not an uncommon selection for sweater patterns. This cardigan uses Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label fingering weight – a blend of superwash wool/cashmere/nylon – worked at a looser gauge of 5 sts/inch to allow for a very lofty and drapey fabric.
The hint of cashmere content in the yarn also doesn’t hurt, let me tell you! When we did the original photos (the lovely detailed shots) for these back in the fall, at one point we were paused while Jane (photographer) changed camera lenses, and (model) Emily turned to me and said, “this is really warm,” in pleased surprise. Now, I wouldn’t recommend it as a cold-weather outer layer (as secondary model Austen can attest, when I stuck it on her quickly during our January photoshoot to grab a couple more full shots as backup), but really, it does quite well as a transitional piece, and it’s pretty comfortable. I actually have a couple of large skeins of Verb For Keeping Warm wool/silk blend fingering weight that I’ve been wanting to pull out to make myself another one, but I’m betting the wool/cashmere sock yarns out there now will offer quite a few other yarn options as well. I certainly enjoyed working with the TFA Purple Label on this one!
This piece uses only knit and purl stitches (well, and some increases and decreases, hee.) At first glance, this might look like just a regular stockinette cardigan, but actually there are one or two detailed elements that add a bit of interest and personalization, while still keeping it simple. I’ve made use of garter ridges placed around the lower portion of the sleeve, and the upper portion of the torso, inside the raglan decreases for the yoke. I really enjoy the way these add a simple amount of detail, and you can personalize for yourself how frequently you place the garter ridges – every 3-10 rows how you choose. I did them in a slightly random sequence.
The collar extends from the edges of the cardigan fronts, and is then grafted in the centre and then sewn down to the back of neck, at the top of the cardigan back. This allows for a small amount of seaming and stability in an otherwise seamless piece, and also means that there are no picked up stitches – none whatsoever! Work the sleeves in the round, work the cardigan body back and forth, then join for the raglan yoke and away you go.
Thank you again to Emily and Austen for modelling, Jane for photography, Tanis for the yarn, and Stephannie for the technical editing. I hope you’ll enjoy, and I’ll be sure to keep you updated as more March patterns are added to the collection!
Happy knitting this Thursday!