Here’s one of our first fall patterns. Chris Harris’ Nest Cardigan is the perfect transitional weather piece… an easy cardigan for layering with cable details that help to trap air and keep you warm! Knit from the top-down, this cardigan features set-in 3/4-length sleeves. The shoulders and the tops of the sleeves are shaped by clever use of short rows. And the nest-like cable motifs are worked on both the front and the back of the cardigan.
4 (5, 5, 5, 6, 6)(7, 7, 7, 8, 8) skeins SweetGeorgia Trinity Worsted in Oxblood (200yds/182m per 4oz/115g skein; 70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere, 10% silk)
Sizes & Finished Measurements
Chest: 30 (32, 34, 36, 38, 40)(42, 44, 46, 48, 50)” / 76 (81, 86.5, 91.5, 96.5, 101.5)(106.5, 112, 117, 122, 127) cm
Length: 19 ¾ (20 ¾, 21 ¼, 21 ¾, 22 ¼, 23)(23 ¾, 24 ½, 25, 25 ¼, 26 ¼)” / 50 (52.5, 54, 55, 56.5, 58.5)(60.5, 62, 63.5, 64, 66.5) cm
Garment is meant to be worn with 0-2” / 0-5 cm of positive ease. Shown in size 34” / 86 cm.
We also had a chance to ask Chris a few questions about knitting, design and how she was inspired to design this cardigan!
What is your preferred type of yarn to work with?
Wool or wool blends are my favourite, in worsted to fingering weight, though I occasionally wander.
What is your knitting style? Continental or English or both?
I knit English style, though I strive to master Continental.
How did you learn to knit?
My grandmothers both knit and taught me as a child. I remember knitting a cardigan as a teenager but didn’t take it up again until about 13 years ago, before my first child was born.
Do you practise any other fibre crafts?
I spin and dye yarn/fibre, I’ve started to crochet and cross stitch, and I sporadically sew.
Do you find inspiration in other artistic media, such as film, painting, clay or photography?
Definitely! I have a fine arts degree and have been taking visual notes since I was a kid, so I’m frequently digging through my art books, going to galleries and sketching ideas on random pieces of paper.
Are you drawn to any particular textures or attributes of knitted fabric?
I really love stranded colourwork and cables. The resulting fabrics remind me of landscapes with their multi-layered textures.
What is the best piece of knitting advice you have ever been given?
Don’t be afraid of a new technique or skill. Explore everything!
How has social media, such as email and Ravelry, affected the design process for you?
When I first started knitting again there were a few knitting blogs I followed, but I don’t think I would have started feeling confident to design without the huge resource/community that is Ravelry.
What is your favourite tool in your knitting kit?
I have a tape measure with a knitted fish cover that a Swedish friend made me and I smile every time I use it.
What tip(s) would you give to an aspiring designer?
Immerse yourself in all the information out there and test/swatch like crazy.
What kind of needles or hooks do you prefer to use? ie Metal, acrylic, or wood? Straight, circular, or DPN? Why?
For laceweight or slippery yarns I prefer wood. I generally use acrylic otherwise. I use circulars most of the time, as I knit a lot of sweaters and I’m constantly carrying them places. I use circulars and dpns on hats, socks, etc.
How do your friends and family influence what you knit?
My kids and husband frequently ask for things, so I try to comply. The dogs I know get pretty cold in our winters, so I’ve made several dog sweaters. My Mom never liked wool and now I’ve converted her into a handknit wool sock lover, so I try to keep her supplied. The rest of the time I knit whatever challenges me.
How did you name this pattern?
I frequently look to nature when naming my patterns, and this cable motif reminded me a lot of birds’ nests. The word ‘nest’ as a verb is also such a cozy activity, and something we tend to do this time of year.
Where did you get the inspiration to design this pattern?
I really wanted a relatively simple transitional season cardigan with a graphic vertical element down the centre front and back. I like circular motifs in general, and it was fun to combine it with a linear element.
Did you have any other special inspiration when you designed the colour palette?
I love the SweetGeorgia range of purple-reds and ‘Oxblood’ is one of my favourites. I think it’s a perfect fall colour.
Tell us about the pattern testing process.
Our test knitter was fabulous! She gave wonderful, detailed feedback and her sweater is gorgeous.
Did you encounter any ‘hang ups’ writing this pattern?
I can laugh about it now, but when I was putting together this pattern a few months ago my life was suddenly incredibly busy with work, kids’ activities, a funeral, unexpected guests, and then my computer completely died the day before it was due. Thankfully, there’s been plenty of time to tweak it since then.
Happily, the Nest Cardigan pattern is available now on Ravelry for purchase!