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Boardwalk: which way suits you best?

July 6, 2018

I have long been intrigued by the idea of a backwards cardigan. I started sketching this idea years ago, around the time Tin Can Knits first started. It’s sort of a vintage look, somewhat impractical (I mean, you pretty much have to button it up and put it on as a pullover), it’s a bit different, but not totally odd. It’s a look I quite enjoy and so I finally pulled out my sticks and string and knit one up. It seemed sensible to make it an otherwise simple sweater, with the sole details being crisp raglan lines, sweet little split hem, and the buttons up the back. When I was finished I was completely smitten, it was exactly what I wanted!

Button it in front or back!

Of course not everyone wants a cardigan worn backwards, so Boardwalk can be made with 2 options, the frontwards, or the backwards. The sweater is completely the same except for the shaping at the top neck, so you can wait until the last minute to decide. Short rows lower the neckline depending how you want to wear it.

This is my nephew Arlo when he was brand spanking new. He is wearing his teeny tiny Boardwalk and a Beloved bonnet to top off the look

The forwards version is a perfect wardrobe staple. Simple and straightforward, perfect for that SQ you have stashed in your favourite colour. It works well with tweeds, woollies, speckles, or hand dyes, a canvas that lets the yarn shine. Boardwalk is perfect layered over a tank top and jeans or a summer dress for cooler evenings.

Neve looking oh-so-adorable in her speckles!

Lately I’ve been thinking about my own sweater wardrobe from the practical perspective of what I actually like to wear (vs what I like to knit, the 2 don’t always go together). I think I’ll be knitting up a Boardwalk sweater for me! I haven’t decided whether to style it forwards or backwards….but I don’t have to decide until the neckline shaping so I can cast on anyway!

Sweet little split hem detail

Boardwalk details:

Pattern: Boardwalk by Tin Can Knits
Yarn: 300 (350, 400, 500, 575, 675, 775, 850, 1050, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1475, 1550, 1600, 1700, 1900, 2100, 2250) yards DK weight yarn.
Samples shown in: Natalie and Hunter are wearing YOTH Big Sister in ‘Portobello’ and ‘Sea Salt’, Neve and Arlo are wearing Hedgehog Fibers Merino DK in ‘genie’ and ‘pollen’
Needles: US #4 / 3.5mm & US #6 / 4mm (or as required to meet gauge)
Gauge: 22 sts & 30 rounds / 4” in stockinette on larger needles

Hunter’s sweater love

I never know which sweaters my kids will REALLY love. They will wear any of them without fuss and of their own free will, but sometimes they just LOVE a sweater. Jones and his Gramps sweater, Bodhi and her Antler sweater. Well, Hunter couldn’t get enough of her Boardwalk cardigan. She wore it non-stop after our photoshoot! Her cool teenage cousin told her it was a good look and she beamed with pride. She also started wearing her Lush cardigan backwards, just 2 buttons done up at the top. What a fashion forward little 7-year-old!

So, grab your fav yarn, the Boardwalk pattern, and join me in knitting up the perfect sweater for fall!

More stylish staples from TCK:

15 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2019 3:42 pm

    In the 50’s and 60’s we wore ours backwards all the time. That way no one had to buy another sweater. I felt just fine. I never had a pullover sweater until I was an adult buying my own stuff. Wear it any way you want and get more wear out of it and show the world you are retro and very hip.

  2. July 10, 2018 10:14 am

    I’m a front button kinda gal, and the split hem makes it right in my wheelhouse!

  3. July 9, 2018 7:41 am

    One of my favourite looks in uni was a vintage vneck navy cardigan worn backwards. Lovely deep v at the back, boat neck at the front. . Great way to show off a summer-tanned back. Still miss it. Thanks for the memories.

  4. July 7, 2018 1:18 pm

    Beautiful!! What a great look.

  5. Patty permalink
    July 7, 2018 11:47 am

    How comfortable is it with buttons on the back? Is there a certain placement?

  6. July 6, 2018 6:23 pm

    GREAT sweater! I think I might need a sweater on the needles SOON!!! ;)

  7. July 6, 2018 1:23 pm

    Sweetie, the backwards sweater is no new thing. In the 1950’s it started in Hollywood. We would take a regular sweater and wear it backwards. It went on for a long time. But I loved it and still do at home. Take care, and keep knitting. Linda

  8. July 6, 2018 8:17 am

    I love clothing with back interest so I’ll have to give this a try!

  9. Ann Andersen permalink
    July 6, 2018 8:04 am

    Bringing back memories!!
    That’s how I used my cardigans in the Sixties!!!

  10. July 6, 2018 6:14 am

    This takes me back a few, we’ll many, years. When I was younger we often wore out cardigan from a sweater set buttoned up the back. Any reason this couldn’t be worn either way? Any suggestion for an adaptable neckline?

    • July 6, 2018 2:49 pm

      Hi – we put in short row shaping to lower the neckline (either back or front), but you could always just do a couple more raglan decrease rows and leave the shaping out!

  11. free832612 permalink
    July 6, 2018 6:08 am

    How ingenius!

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