It's turning into a big deal, this cardigan thing. So far I'm pretty pleased with the progress I'm making, even though the pattern is still in its beta-testing stage; I'm leaning on Ann Budd's "The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns" quite a bit, which helps. Set-in sleeves aren't particularly difficult, but there's some seaming involved--at the shoulders and along the sides, as well as making the sleeve seams before you attach the sleeves to the rest of the sweater. Oh.. and buttons, of course. Sleeves are optional, especially if you're after the oh-so-stealthy sweater-vest critter.
Snowflake Cardigan- 48" chest
Size 8 circular needles 32"; size 8 circular needles 60" to pick up those stitches 'round the front
Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Winter Night- 20 balls (MC)-- or whatever worsted weight wool yarn you care to substitute
Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Cloud- 1 ball (CC)-- same as above: substitutions welcome and encouraged, as long as it's worsted
Some safety pins to help with seams
Gauge- 5 st/inch
Back: CO 120 stitches. Work in 2x2 rib for two inches, then switch to stst and work for one inch. Work Fair Isle pattern with CC for nine rows, then switch back to MC and work evenly in stst until piece measures 16" from CO edge. Place markers to indicate beginning of armhole edges and continue working until armholes measure 11". BO all sts and place markers to indicate first and last 40 st.
Left Front: CO 60 stitches. Work in 2x2 rib for 2 inches, then switch to stst and work for one inch. Work Fair Isle pattern with CC, then resume working with MC until piece measures 16" from CO edge. PM to indicae beginning of armhole edge, then work until armhole measures 3". Decrease 1 st at neck edge (end of every RS row) 17 times; then dec. 1 st every 4 rows 3 times-- 40 stitches remain. Work evenly in stst until piece measures the same length as the back (27 inches from CO edge), then BO all sts.
Right Front: CO 60 sts. Work in 2x2 rib for 2 inches, then switch to stst and work for one inch. Work Fair Isle pattern with CC, then resume working with MC until piece measures 16" from CO edge. PM to indicae beginning of armhole edge, then work until armhole measures 3". Decrease 1 st at neck edge (beginning of every WS row) 17 times; then dec. 1 st every 4 rows 3 times-- 40 stitches remain. Work evenly in stst until piece measures the same length as the back (27 inches from CO edge), then BO all sts.
Sleeves: Make two. CO 54 stitches and work 1x1 rib for 2 inches. Start working in stst and increase 1 stitch at the beginning and end of the needle every 2 rows three 3 times. (This gives you 60 stitches.) Then increase 1 stitch at the beginning and end of every needle every 4 rows 30 times. (This gives you 120 stitches). Continue working evenly--if necessary--until piece measures 22 1/2 inches. BO all stitches and cut yarn, leaving a tail that's about three feet long; you can use this to sew up the seam. Turn the work so the wrong side is facing out and safety pin the edges together. Thread the tapestry needle with the long tail and use this to stitch up the seam, and weave in the end of the tail. Do this for both sleeves.
Finishing: Here's the tricky part. I always hate picking up stitches; some people recommend using needles that are a couple sizes smaller to do it.
Button band-With the right side of the work facing you, start at the left-hand side of the neckline and pick up stitches all the way around the edge of the neckline and all the way down the right-hand edge (left front edge if you're knitting this for a woman). Work six rows of garter stitch and BO.
Note: If you want to do 2x2 ribbing, make sure to count carefully so that you have a number that's a multiple of 4.
Buttonhole band: Start picking up stitches the same way you did for the button band (this will be the left front edge for a man's sweater); this time it'll be from the bottom left end of the neckline.
Row 1- knit all stitches
Row 2- knit all stitches
Row 3- knit all stitchs, placing markers at intervals of 2.5" starting from the bottom edge. There should be 6 markers.
Row 4- *knit to marker, YO, k2tog. Repeat this for all the markers, then knit to the end of the row. The YO will give you a hole to use as a buttonhole.
Row 5- knit all stitches.
Row 6- BO all stitches and cut the yarn, leaving a tail about six inches long.
Use your tapestry needle and the tail to stitch up the gap between the end of the neck edge and the top of the buttonhole band.
Sew on the buttons at the appropriate spots on the button band, block the finished sweater, and enjoy it when the weather gets cold. Don't forget to sew a few pieces of yarn somewhere discreet, just in case your sweater decides it needs to have worn places repaired.
If anyone tries this and spots any problems that I've missed somewhere along the way, please let me know!