Agata is the pattern for my ideal fall cardigan -- simple, warm and cozy, with an oversized body, and fitted sleeves with a long ribbed cuff. I wanted to keep the design as basic as possible, so that the beautiful handpainted yarn could shine. There are no complicated techniques or stitch patterns, just garter stitch, stockinette, and a rib, yet the colors in the yarn make the design seem so much more complex than it is.
This pattern is a great first sweater project for beginner knitters. All of the pattern pieces are essentially just big rectangles. There is no increase or decrease shaping, and it only requires knowledge of the most basic stitch patterns. If you know how to knit and purl, you can make this cardigan. More experienced knitters will find this pattern to be a quick knit. Despite its large size, it is knit at a loose gauge, and the rows of garter stitch and stockinette will fly by.
The pattern begins with the center back panel, knit in garter stitch with the self-striping Tapestry color yarn. From there, stitches are picked up along the sides of this panel and knit sideways to form the body. There are no side seams; the back and front are knit out from the center back panel in one continuous piece. In order to create a slow, blended color transition from the back of the sweater around to the front, two or three balls of the main color yarn are knit at the same time, alternating two rows from each. In this way, the ombré effect of the yarn is extended, and contrasts with the more rapid striping of the contrasting yarn. The collar and sleeves are knit flat and seamed onto the body after blocking.
For women's garments: XS[S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X]
shown in size S on 34 inch bust/15 inch back width
FINISHED MEASUREMENTS Back width: 27[29, 31, 33, 34, 35, 37] inches Length: 27[28, 28, 29, 29, 30, 30] inches Note: The body of this cardigan is meant to fit very loosely; choose a size that is approximately twice your shoulder-to-shoulder width less 1 inch, except for busts over 50 inches in circumference: choose the largest size.
Knitwhits Freia Fine Handpaints Ombré Sport [100% wool; 217yd/198m per 75g ball]
[MC] Vertigo 4[4, 4, 4, 6, 6, 6] balls
Knitwhits Freia Fine Handpaints Flux Sport [100% wool; 145yd/133m per 50g ball]
[CC] Tapestry 6[7, 7, 8, 9, 9, 10] balls Yarn Note: This is the minimum required amount for the project, but not necessarily enough to make the sleeves match each other in color. If you wish for the stripes on each sleeve to be exactly the same, you may need to purchase an additional ball of yarn.
Recommended needle size [always use a needle
size that gives you the gauge
listed below -- every knitter's
gauge is unique]
1 24-inch or longer US #9/5.5mm circular needle
1 pair of US #8/5mm needles
1 pair of US #4/3.5mm needles
3 buttons, 1 inch in diameter
16 sts/24 rows = 4 inches in stockinette st with larger needles, after blocking
18 sts/34 rows= 4 inches in garter st with middle needles, after blocking (gently stretched)
24 sts/40 rows = 4 inches in k2, p2 rib with smaller needles, after blocking (stretched)
PATTERN NOTES [Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]
Garter stitch: Knit every row.
For the Left Side and Right Side:
If using the yarn (MC) given, it is recommended to use 2[2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3] balls of yarn at the same time, starting at the same point in the color change and alternating two rows from each ball. Carry unused yarn up side of work.
When shaping the armholes with cast on sts, you will need to break the yarn from the other ball(s) and re-attach it at the edge of the work.
Center Back Panel
Using middle needles and CC, CO 36[38, 40, 43, 45, 48, 50] sts.
Work in garter st until piece measures 27[28, 28, 29, 29, 30, 30] inches long, gently stretched (approx. 230[238, 238, 248, 248, 256, 256] rows). BO all sts.
With RS facing, using MC and larger needles, evenly pick up and knit 108[112, 112, 116, 116, 120, 120] sts along one long side of the center back panel (approx 4 sts per inch).
Alternating 2 rows from each ball of yarn if necessary (see Pattern Notes), continue to work in St st until work measures 9.5[10.25, 11, 11.75, 12, 12.25, 13] inches from pick up edge, ending after a WS row.
Shape armhole: Next Row [RS]: BO 26[28, 30, 32, 36, 38, 40] sts, knit to end.
Next Row [WS]: Purl to end of row, CO 26[28, 30, 32, 36, 38, 40] new sts using backwards loop cast on method.
Cont in St st until work measures approx. 9.5[10.25, 11, 11.75, 12, 12.5, 13] inches from armhole cast on. BO loosely.
With RS facing, using MC and larger needles, evenly pick up and knit 108[112, 112, 116, 116, 120, 120] sts along other side of the center back panel (approx 4 sts per inch).
Alternating 2 rows from each ball of yarn if necessary (see Pattern Notes), continue to work in St st until work measures 9.5[10.25, 11, 11.75, 12, 12.25, 13] inches from pick up edge, ending after a RS row.
Shape armhole: Next Row [WS]: BO 26[28, 30, 32, 36, 38, 40] sts, purl to end. Next Row [RS]: Knit to end of row, CO 26[28, 30, 32, 36, 38, 40] sts using backwards loop cast on method.
Cont in St st until work measures approx. 9.5[10.25, 11, 11.75, 12, 12.5, 13] inches from armhole cast on.
Using middle needles and CC, CO 24[24, 24, 24, 28, 28, 28] sts.
Work in garter st for 6[7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9] inches (approx. 52[60, 60, 68, 68, 78, 78] rows).
**Buttonhole row 1 [RS]: K9, BO 2 sts, knit to end. Buttonhole row 2 [WS]: K13[13, 13, 13, 17, 17, 17] sts, CO 2 sts using backwards loop cast-on, knit to end.
Work in garter stitch until piece measures 2.5 inches from cast off for last buttonhole (approx. 20 rows after buttonhole rows), ending after a WS row.
Rep from ** twice more, then cont in garter st for another 48.5[50, 50.5, 52, 52.5, 54.25, 54.5] inches (approx. 414[426, 430, 442, 448, 462, 464] rows). BO loosely.
Using middle needles and CC, CO 58[62, 66, 70, 82, 86, 90] sts with CC. Work in garter st for 9.5[9.5, 9.5, 9.5, 10, 10, 9.5] inches.
Switch to the smallest needle.
Next Row [RS]: K2, (p2, k2) to end. Next Row [WS]: P2, (k2, p2) to end.
Repeat these two rows until cuff measures 7.5 inches. BO loosely.
Block all sections to their measurements before assembly. Weave in ends.
Fold each of the side panels in half at the armhole, and seam shoulder from armhole to edge of the center back panel.
Fold sleeves in half lengthwise and seam. Sew sleeves into armholes.
Pin the collar/button band evenly up the right front edge, around the top of the center back panel, and back down the edge of the left front. Sew the edges together carefully, without stretching either piece.
Sew buttons opposite buttonholes, two inches in from the center edge.
If any of the seams are rippling or uneven where garter stitch is seamed to stockinette, you can lightly steam them with an iron to encourage them to lay flat.
ABOUT THE DESIGNER
Leah currently lives in Oakland, California, where she works for Knitwhits/Freia Fibers as a knitter, designer, and yarn de-tangler.
She currently has no blog or website, but can occasionally be found on Ravelry.