The ancient story of Daedalus and his son Icarus appeals
to me. Daedalus was a handy guy to have in your kingdom. Have
a minotaur to imprison? Daedalus is your man. In fact, when
King Minos of Crete had just such a problem, Daedalus built
a spiffy labyrinth to contain it. Unfortunately Daedalus blabbed “The
Secrets of the Labyrinth” to the king’s enemy. That
enemy used the leaked info to kill the
beastie and elope with Minos’ daughter. In the aftermath,
a royally ticked-off king banished Daedalus and Icarus to the
now minotaur-free labyrinth.
Daedalus—having built the labyrinth in the first place—was
able to quickly escape. Once free father
and son wisely decided not to hang about
Crete. Daedalus built wings out of feathers
and wax so that they could escape by air. As the pair prepared
for take-off, Daedalus cautioned Icarus not to fly too near the
sun as it would cause the wings to melt. Predictably,
Icarus got his first taste of flying and
promptly forgot daddy’s warning. His wings melted and he
fell to his death.
When most people hear this story, they focus upon the colossal mistake
of the idiot boy. I, however, prefer to focus upon the ingenuity of the
brilliant creator. It took inspiration and courage to take simple components
(perhaps as simple as sticks and string?) and leap for the sky. Wearing
the Daedalus wrap one can almost grasp the moment of hope in potential
flight captured in this wings-turned-garment creation. Daedalus—a
simple rectangle with kimono sleeves—creates a surprisingly comfortable
and visually pleasing wrap that is evocative of wings. Daedalus is a breeze
to knit and features mock cable edging and a minimalist eyelet design.
It is pictured here in a handspun created by talented fiber artist Helen
Van Doren and a hand-dyed, mill-spun yarn purchased directly from an alpaca
Gordon Lucas, Stephanie Hayes photos: Nancy
XS [S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X]
Shown in sizes S and 2X
FINISHED MEASUREMENTS Measurement of the body rectangle after blocking: Width (neck to hem): 29[29, 32.5, 32.5, 36, 36, 39.5] inches Length (side to side): 56.75[59, 61.5, 63.25, 66.75, 69.75, 72.25] inches Across back, between
armholes: 17.5[18, 18.75, 20, 22, 23, 23.5] inches
Measurement of the sleeve rectangle after blocking Width (circumference): 13[14, 15, 16,
17, 18, 19, 20] inches Length: 16.75[17.25, 17.5, 18, 18.5,
18.75, 19.25] inches
How to select a size:
The back of the cardigan allows for 5.5[5,
4.75, 5, 6, 6, 5.5] inches of ease. Pick the size with the
back measurement that best corresponds to 5 inches more than
the measurement between your arms across your back.
To check sizing:
Cut two pieces of yarn, one the length and
one the width of the body for the size you have selected. Place
a safety pin at the midpoint and at each end of the long yarn.
Drape the yarn around your neck and over the fullest part of
your bust with the center pin aligned at the center of your neck.
If you are satisfied with where the ends of this yarn hang (do
not include the safety pin in this assessment), then proceed
to the next step. If you’d like the center front of the
cardigan longer or shorter then repeat the process with the next
size larger or smaller.
With the longer yarn still around your neck, have a friend hold
the short yarn so that it creates a 135 degree angle with the
long yarn. Hold the short yarn straight so that it extends
beyond your leg without curving around it. The point where
the yarn ends is an estimate of the longest possible point Icarus
Finally, hold the short yarn at the center point of the long
yarn at the back of your neck and let it hang down. This is where
the center back of the cardigan will end. If you are satisfied
with these points then continue with this size. If you’d
like a shorter or longer cardigan repeat the process with the
next size larger or smaller.
Fingering [33% suri alpaca, 33% huacaya alpaca, 33% llama; 420
yds / 384 m per 100g skein]; Natural
White (hand dyed with Jacquard Acid Dye, color#604; Burnt Orange);
5[5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8] skeins. Shown in size 2x, orange version.
per inch: 20 wpi
used: Approximately 1900[2025, 2350,
2450, 2800, 3000, 3300] yards required.
Commercial Yarn Alternative
Ultra Alpaca Fine [50% wool, 30% nylon, 20% alpaca; 433 yds/396 m per
100 g skein]; Turquoise Mix, 1294; 5[6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8].
Recommended needle size [always use a needle size that
gives you the gauge listed below --
every knitter's gauge is unique]
32 inch or longer US #3/3.25 mm circular
1 24 inch or longer US #4/3.5 mm circular needle
1 US #F/5 /3.75mm crochet hook
Spinning Tool: Ashford
traditional wheel using scotch
pins Colorfast scrap yarn
Blocking supplies of your choice (I used wires, pins and mats)
20 sts/32 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette stitch after light blocking.
PATTERN NOTES [Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]
The entire body of the cardigan is
worked in one piece. The pattern indicates
Right Edge, Right Side, Back, Left Side
and Left Edge—with
each section continuing into the next
without binding off.
Directions for the crochet chain provisional
cast on can be found here.
Sl1p: slip one purlwise.
The body has an I-cord edging:
begin with the first 4 stitches slipped
to the right needle. After slipping the
first four stitches, take the yarn to
the wrong side and keep it snug and work
the fifth stitch. Most rows end with
the final 4 stitches slipped back to
the left needle and worked a second time
in stockinette with yarn held snugly
on the wrong side for the first stitch. I-cord instructions are
included for the rows that require them.
Body—Mock Cable Motif Worked over 20[21, 22, 23, 24, 25,
26] sts and 14[16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26]
rows to correspond with the Eyelet Motif.
Sleeve— Eyelet Motifworked
over 8 sts and 8 rows. Row 1 [RS]: K4, yo, k2tog, k2. Row 2, 4, 6, and 8 [WS]: P. Row 3 [RS]: K. Row 5 [RS]: YO, k2tog, k6. Row 7 [RS]: K.
I-cord bind off
With right side facing, cast on 3 stitches
to start of current row using knitted cast on.
[K2, sl1, k1, PSSO and off of the needle.
Return 3 stitches to the left needle. Without turning, pull
the yarn firmly behind your work]. Repeat until all stitches
have been cast off. Break your yarn and pull the tail through
the final three stitches.
Row 2 [WS]: P4, k until 4 stitches rem, p4, slip final
four stitches back onto the left needle and p them again,
Row 3 [RS]: Sl first 4 sts, k to end of row. Slip last
4 stitches back onto the left needle and k them again, turn.
Row 4 [WS]: Sl first 4 sts, k until 4 stitches rem,
p4, slip final four stitches back onto the left needle and p
them again, turn
Right Side of Body Row 1 [RS]: Slip first 4 stitches,
p2, work first row of mock cable motif,
first row of eyelet motif to marker, p2, work first
row of mock cable motif, p2, k4, slip
four stitches back onto the left needle
and k them again, turn.
Row 2 [WS]: Sl first 4 stitches, k2, p20[21, 22, 23,
24, 25, 26], k2, p88[88, 102, 102, 116, 116, 130], k2, p20[21,
22, 23, 24, 25, 26], k2, p4, slip final four stitches back onto
the left needle and p them again, turn. Second row of mock
cable and eyelet motifs completed.
From this point, work proceeds as follows: Odd rows [RS]: Slip first
4 stitches, work in established pattern
to first marker; work mock cable motif;
work in established pattern to next
marker; work 6 reps of eyelet motif;
work in established pattern to next
marker; work mock cable motif; work
in established pattern to last stitch,
rework final 4 stitches.
Even rows [WS]: Slip first 4 stitches, work in established
pattern to end of row, rework final 4 stitches.
Work until a total of 11[10, 9, 8, 8, 7, 7] repeats of the mock
cable motif are completed.
Work for a further 0[0, 6, 10, 0,
16, 10] rows in established pattern, 158[164, 172, 174, 180,
188, 196] rows to first armhole.
Armhole row [RS]: Work 30[31, 33, 34, 36, 37, 39] stitches
in established pattern to the third marker
(beginning of eyelet section); using scrap yarn k32[34, 36, 39,
41, 44, 46] stitches, slip all stitches worked with the scrap
yarn to the left needle and k them again with the working
yarn, k5. Complete the remainder of the row in the established
pattern. Note: the armhole
stitches do not shift the eyelet pattern.
Continue in pattern until you have completed
10[9, 8, 8, 8, 7, 7] repeats of the Mock
Cable Motif beginning at the armhole row.
For sizes Medium, Large, 2x and 3x the
repeats begin and end at the same point
of the cable.
Work a further 0[0, 6, 0, 0, 16, 6] rows in established
pattern when the back is complete. 140[144, 150, 160, 176, 184,
188] rows across back (includes first armhole row).
Repeat armhole row.
Work until a total of 11[10, 9, 8, 8,
7, 7] repeats of the mock cable motif are completed from the
second armhole row.
Work for a further 0[0, 6, 10, 0, 16, 10]
rows in established pattern. The completed body will have 32[29,
27, 25, 24, 23, 22] repeats of the motifs.
Left Edge: Rows 1 and 2: Work in established
pattern (first two rows of pattern
Row 3 [RS]: Sl 4 sts, p to four stitches from the end,
k4, slip 4 stitches to left needle and k them again.
Row 4 [WS]: Sl 4 sts, p to four stitches from the end,
p4, slip 4 stitches to the left needle and p them again.
Rows 5 [RS]: Repeat row 3.
Row 6 [WS]: P.
Bind off with an I-cord bind off.
Remove provisional cast on and slip the stitches of the cast
on edge onto a needle. Bind these stitches off with an I-cord
Armhole Edge Reinforcement:
Remove the scrap yarn at the arm hole
of one sleeve opening and slip the 64[68, 72, 78, 82, 88, 92]
stitches onto the larger needle.
Beginning at the underarm, with RS facing,
rejoin yarn and work around as follows
[RS]: [K32[34, 36, 39, 41, 44, 46] stitches, pick up and k
two stitches in the gap] twice.
Bind off loosely.
scrap yarn, whip stitch the finished armhole closed for blocking.
Repeat this process for the second armhole
SLEEVES (make 2) Using the smaller needle loosely cast on 84[86, 88,
90, 92, 94, 96] stitches.
Row 1 [RS]: K4, p2, work first row of Sleeve Mock Cable,
p2, k4[5, 6, 3, 4, 5, 6], work 7[7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8] reps of Sleeve
Eyelet, k4[5, 6, 3, 4, 5, 6] to end.
Row 2 [WS]: Bring yarn to the front, sl1p, p63[65, 67,
69, 71, 73, 75], k2, p12, k2, p4, return final 4 stitches
to left needle and p them again.
Row 3 [RS]: Slip first 4 stitches, p2, work third row
of Sleeve Mock Cable, p2, k4[5, 6, 3, 4, 5, 6], work 7[7, 7,
8, 8, 8, 8] reps of Eight Stitch Eyelet, k4[5, 6, 3, 4, 5, 6]
Note: Only the stitches at the end of wrong side rows are
returned to the left needle and worked a second time.
Continue in pattern established until 13[14, 15, 16, 17, 18,
19] reps of the eight stitch motifs have been completed. On the
final wrong side row do not return the final 4 stitches to the
left needle and rework them.
Bind off loosely.
Block all pieces before assembly to the measurements provided
above. After blocking, remove the whip stitching at the armholes.
Set in sleeves. Lining up motifs, sew the underarm sleeve
Weave in all ends.
ABOUT THE DESIGNER
Jodie lives in the beautiful foothills
of the Appalachian Mountains where she
knits and designs while homeschooling her two sons. She strongly
identifies with the frustration Daedalus must have felt when his
son wrecked his wings—as
might any knitter who has seen their work
felted in the hands of a recipient who didn’t bother to follow
the washing instructions!
Jodie is very grateful to have a friend like Helen
Van Doren who loves spinning yarn every bit as much as Jodie
loves knitting it. More of Jodie’s work can be found at queenieknits.com.
She is Jodiemom on Ravelry.