Charlie’s Cardigan

Jackie has said about me, more than once:

“She’s a compulsive designer. She literally cannot stop.”

And it’s true. I can’t touch a hank of yarn without thinking about what it wants to be. I’ve taken three pauses in my work today, just to pull some yarn and needles down and play around with them, and it’s only barely lunchtime. And in all of my design work, I try to be true to what the yarn needs. I strive to make sweaters that are infinitely wearable, and which fit seamlessly into a wardrobe.

…But oftentimes, I’m not actually knitting sweaters that fit comfortably into my wardrobe. I have a pretty strongly-developed style: my outfits tend to be a blend of sporty and preppy, with a few bohemian, modern, and/or romantic touches thrown in now and again for flavor. So as much as I love all of the sweaters I design, I wear them less than you might think.

Which is why, when I decided to use some of the utterly-phenomenal Swans Island All-American yarn for my FFKAL sweater, I decided to stick close to my own wardrobe roots.


Charlie’s Cardigan is a kinda-sporty, kinda-preppy crew neck cardigan that slips quietly into wardrobe heavy rotation. It looks good with button-downs and a skirt, and is equally at home with a long-sleeved T and your favorite pair of jeans. Its lace chevron pattern is interesting to knit and looks great, but is not so eye-catching that your whole outfit has to be about the sweater.

The Swans Island All-American Worsted is a wonderful partner for the classic lines of Charlie’s Cardigan. It’s a worsted-weight, woolenspun 2-ply blend of soft Rambouillet wool and alpaca, both sourced within the US and blended & spun at a mill in New England. It’s soft (though not smooth), light, warm, and incredibly beautiful. Swans Island’s All American Collection celebrates centuries of American textile tradition, and I’m thrilled to use it for a garment that’s getting so much daily wear already.

The best part? Charlie’s Cardigan is built right into CustomFit, so you can create one in your very own gauge, for your very own self.

charlies-finals-4 charlies-finals-2 charlies-finals-3

So there you have it – some closure to my FFKAL sweater, and a new design for you, just in time for the Deep Winter KAL.

Stay warm, and happy knitting!

14 thoughts on “Charlie’s Cardigan

  1. beautiful design. I can see how it would be a versatile sweater that could fit into most wardrobes. Definitely one I’ll add to my queue.

  2. Oh wow, what a great design!! I can see Charlie fitting perfectly into my wardrobe and being worn all the time. Definitely adding this to my queue!

  3. Pretty! I love it!

  4. “Charlie’s Cardigan is built right into CustomFit”

    ^^^ It still makes me grin that this is a sentence we can write.

  5. Love this sweater. I am almost done with Acorn Trail. I have been sorting though the stash looking for yarns that appeal. I am finally relaxed enough in my own life to enjoy swatching for the first time. EVER! I was always in a hurry to start the next project. Darn ! 🙂 So many patterns to choose from. Such a first wold problem.

  6. Beautiful! I’m enrolled for your next web class and I think this is the one for it! I’m really excited!

  7. LOVE!

  8. Charlie’s Cardigan is a beauty! Did you choose close fit or average fit? (It is also an excellent photo, well-composed play of sidelight. Was that one of Caro Sheridan’s?)

  9. I can’t wait! Stopping at my LYS after work today to grab some Swans Island!

  10. That is beautiful!!

  11. Another super design, and a “must knit.” !

  12. Just a word to the wise re Swan Island yarn. I used the indigo color for a pair of mitts. The indigo bled so badly that it stained my hands and needles as I knit! If you were to choose a color like that, I would soak the skein in a water/white vinegar solution to try to minimize the bleed.

    I think your new design is really beautiful and I’m so glad it is in Custom Fit!

  13. The perfect sweater to add to every outfit while the weather is so cold. Beautiful!

  14. Can you give us a rough idea as to how much of the Swan Island yarn was used in your sweater?

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