My First Top Down Cardigan

I bought this Patons Canadiana acrylic yarn in the mid 1990s to use in my knitting machine, but after knitting fair isle sleeves on the machine I just didn’t want to bother knitting the body in so complicated a pattern, so I left it. The colourway is called Stained Glass which is pretty worked up.

The pattern is a free one by Laura Chau called Easy Top-down Raglan which you can find on Ravelry and also here. I only wear cardigans these days so was pleased to find a nice free pattern, generously offered online.

I’ve had a huge bag of this yarn for 15 years, sitting around, taking up room. It was slightly musty from being in the basement but clean and I had wound the balls into centre-pull cakes so it was ready to go. I knit a swatch and used a 4 mm circular needle of 60 cm (24-inch length) which I had mail ordered along with a 40 cm (16-inch) circular to do the sleeves.

I really enjoyed this. It’s a mindless knit, even when doing the raglan increases across the yoke, and I found as I went along that the yarn aired out and no longer seems musty. A gentle wash when I block it and it will be fine. I did the neck in 1×1 rib on smaller 3.75 mm needles and the button border and bottom border in seed stitch. I put 5 buttonholes in to just below the bust as I never do sweaters up all the way.


Now I’m ready to pick up the first sleeve. I treat underarm stitches like sock gussets and pick up 2 or 3 more stitches each side of the centre than the pattern says, which neatly closes any holes and then decrease them in the first few rows. This is a morning job as I need good light to get it started.

I have bags of yarn for 4 more cardigans so I hope to chip away and do a second one this winter. I love not having to buy anything for these and it clears a lot of space to use yarn up. With this type of seamless pattern there is no sewing up at the end, when you’re finished knitting, that’s it. I don’t like sewing up so this was appealing to me, plus I can fit the sweater as I go which is another bonus.

I do so many disciplines and crafts and art, bookbinding, quilting, all kinds of things. But in the winter I find it comforting to knit. It’s good to have a basic, workable pattern that I can tweak as necessary and not get too complicated. I like basic knitting.


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