Many of our friends, fans, and fellow knitters are excited about the Lush cardigan… So we are offering it as an early-release pattern to keep you busy while you await the official release of Handmade in the UK, our new lace book.
The Deal: Get Lush now, and when the book is launched we will send you a coupon for $6 off the price of the complete collection!
Lush is a special design with some unique features, so I want to let you know a bit more about the details of sizing, yarn, and construction and offer a few useful tips on how to achieve the perfect spring cardigan!
SIZING ::: cute on tiny tots and vavavoom on voluptuous ladies
Like the best of Tin Can Knits’ patterns, Lush includes an impressive 16 sizes: 0-6 months to ladies 4XL. I think it is absolutely adorable on Alexa’s daughter Hunter, and love how it looks on me too! Complete sizing and yardage info is available here.
Everyone has a personal preference when it comes to sweater sizing, and I understand not everyone wears their sweaters as tight as I do! I am a 39″ bust, and I am wearing the size M (36″), which is 3″ negative ease. For a form-grazing but not so tight look, I suggest working a size that is 1.5-2 inches smaller than your actual bust measurement. For more info on how our patterns are sized, and how to adjust for a perfect fit, see this tutorial.
PERFECT FIT ::: top-down construction makes adjustments easy
This design is knit yoke first (then body and arms) so you can try it on as you go to check sizing. It is easy to adjust the total stitch count at the bust or upper arms (just increase or decreasing a few stitches) if it seems like the garment will be a bit too big or too small. You may choose to work waist shaping so the sweater hugs your curves, or simply knit straight to the hem; the pattern includes instructions for both options!
YARN CHOICE ::: DK or light worsted weight yarn
The gauge for this design is 20 sts / 4″. For the ladies sample, I used Skein Queen Voluptuous in ‘persimmon’ [more about Skein Queen Yarns here]. Voluptuous is a fairly heavy DK weight, which knits quite naturally at 20 sts / 4″. Alexa knit the 2-4 year old size using Sweet Georgia Superwash DK in ‘silver’. You may choose to work in a DK weight or a lighter worsted weight (for example Cascade 220 would work well), as the pattern is quite flexible. For the lace panel to really ‘shine’ and hold its shape well, I recommend using a wool or wool blend yarn. Yardage requirements and suggested needle sizes are listed here.
CONSTRUCTION ::: knit seamlessly from the middle up and down
Lush has a unique construction, but it is not too complicated – and it’s fun! First you knit the lace yoke band. You start with a provisional cast-on – I suggest using the crochet chain provisional cast-on [see the tutorial here].
After completing the right-hand side of the band you unpick the provisional cast-on, place stitches back on needles, and work the left-hand side of the band in the same manner. Do not slip the first stitch of the row, as you will need the right number of rows to pick up in.
Wet block the completed band; if you have blocking wires I suggest you use them to even out the edges of the lace band. As you see, I didn’t have mine nearby… and so a lot of pins were required!
After blocking the lace yoke band, you will pick up stitches and work up to the collar. Ladies sizes have a fairly wide neck with some short-rows to shape the back of neck. Child sizes are similar, but omit short-row shaping at back of neck. If you prefer a higher neckline, work a few more stockinette stitch rows before the ribbing, or a few more short-rows.
Once you have completed the collar, pick up along the bottom edge of the lace band and work down the yoke to the point where body and sleeves separate. Then work the body in rows, and the arms in the round to cuffs. Ladies sizes XS – 4XL include optional waist shaping instructions.
FINAL ADJUSTMENTS ::: spend a bit of time looking at yourself in the mirror!
Before working the button bands you should confirm that you are happy with the fit. You may want to block the cardigan at this point. If you decide you would like to make the neckline higher you can work more rows of ribbing, or incorporate a few more short-rows to raise the back of the neck. For a tighter neckline, you can decrease further and work the ribbing on a smaller number of stitches, or simply try a smaller needle size or tighter bind-off method. This is purely a personal choice, and you may need to experiment to find out what works best for you!
Lastly, work the button bands by picking up stitches along the edges of the cardigan opening [tutorial here]. I suggest working the non-buttonhole side first so you can plan how many buttons you want to have, what size they should be, and what the spacing should be before working the buttonhole side. Finishing up, you will want to spend some time searching for the perfect button! I absolutely LOVE the little yellow buttons that Alexa put on Hunter’s cardigan!
KNIT-A-LONG WITH US :::
If you are thinking about knitting the Lush cardigan for yourself, or a little cutie you know, you should join us on the Tin Can Knits Ravelry group for a Lush KAL. It will be fun, you will probably to learn something (or teach us something new), and there will be prizes! We hope to see you there.
Sweater patterns that are adorable on Baby and Momma: