When it comes to accessories, I rarely knit the same pattern twice. However, when it comes to garments, the opposite is true. I love to find a basic pattern that I can tweak through stitch patterns, yarn choice and by lengthening/shortening the different elements.
such pattern is the Whisper Cardigan, designed by Hannah Fettig and
first published in Interweave Knits in Spring 2009. If you click
through, you will see that the Whisper has bell sleeves, wispy, curly
tails in the front and is quite cropped (8 inches from the underarm if
memory serves). None of these elements are particularly appealing, but I
really liked the idea of the cardigan. So I set about making it work
for me, and then knit it twice more for good measure. My modifications
are sleeve shape, increases on the body rather than the short rows,
edgings to minimise rolling, and some lengthening.
the sleeve shape. Instead of casting on vastly more stitches than
required, I cast on almost a sock cuff and knit ribbing for more rows
than I cared to, before switching to stockinette and knitting increases
at set intervals to the underarm. I knit as per pattern across the
back, as I really like the little gathering detail, and as per pattern
for the ribbing all around the shrug portion.
to the body, rather than knitting short rows and ending up with
considerable ‘tails’ on the front, I knit increases on the skirt –
starting with every right side row for 3 inches and then tapering off to
every 3rd right row, then every 4th, until the
end. The increases are immediately after the edging stitches – which is
another modification that I have repeated (though with different
patterning) to minimise the rolling. I did garter rib on the first
Whisper but for numbers 2 and 3 I’ve used seed stitch. I kept the first
stitch as stockinette on the right side and then had 7 seed stitches of
edging. I then used seed stitch on the bottom of the cardigan, for 10
rows. I like the seed stitch edging as it lies flat on the sides and
doesn’t pull in so the cardigan still drapes nicely.
yarn was heavenly – a little cashmere sure makes a difference! Lovely
to knit with, and I alternated skeins through the back (flat knitting
only) but didn’t need to because the dye is consistent. The red is a
great true, blue-based red, almost my perfect colour, and the little
cardigan is just the thing for a London summer (or a Melbourne spring).