I Can't Find a Pattern for this Yarn!

That's what I was saying a few months ago, after I impulse-bought some beautiful sparkly S. Charles Luna. It's brown with the most delightful golden sparkle. It's 71 percent mohair, and it's really fine, so I thought I'd run it with another yarn to add a special touch.

Here's the back of my sweater. You can see the halo of brown mohair and the twisted ribbing at the bottom.

I had sweater quantity of Madelinetosh Sport, in a beautiful bluish color—Mare—and when I pulled it out, I thought, "Nah. The brown would just make the blue dull." Not so! I'm so glad I swatched. The two yarns blended beautifully and the subtle variegated color in the Madelinetosh was enhanced by the brownish sparkly mohair of the Luna. I fell in love with the combo.

And then I started looking for a pattern that would go with the yarn. I just couldn't find anything! I swatched a cable pattern and saw that the yarn was too dark to really show off the cable work. Then I swatched a lace pattern, and I wasn't happy with that, either. The mohair filled in the laciness of the pattern a little too much.

So my original stockinette swatch got lonely in its Ziplock bag. I looked at it longingly every once in awhile, and continued looking for patterns, but nothing clicked. One day, the light bulb went on, and I thought, "I can't find anything because what I really want is a plain, stockinette cardigan." The stockinette swatch perfectly showed of the nuances in the yarn, and I love cardigans.

I wanted to make the sweater fit me perfectly, of course, so I pulled out The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns by Ann Budd. This book is full of formulas for all kinds of sweater knitting patterns, including cardigans.

Everything is based on your gauge swatch. What you do is knit a good-sized swatch (mine was about 5 X 5-inches), and then decide which style and size you want to knit. The book contains formulas for all kinds of sweaters: raglan, set-in sleeves, dropped shoulder, modified drop shoulder, cardigan, V-neck, crew neck, short, or long. There are fifteen sizes and five gauges provided for each sweater style; that's more than 450 pattern options!

My choice was a crew-neck cardigan with set-in sleeves, so I'm using this chart:

The formula for my simple, stockinette cardigan! What could be simpler? (I know it says "pullover" above—that's because the backs are the same for the pullover and the cardigan.)

I decided to knit the 52-inch bust, and my gauge was 5 stitches per inch, so I cast on 130 stitches. Isn't that easy? You can knit whatever sweater you want with whatever yarn you want to use!

I did a twisted stitch rib (knitting into the back leg of knit stitches and the back leg of purl stitches), which doesn't show up all that well with the mohair, but it stands out more than a regular rib would. I'm going to knit the button bands in twisted rib as I knit the fronts, so there will be six columns of ribbing down the front instead of the usual ribbing that grows sideways out of the fronts.

I can do this because the twisted rib is tighter than regular rib so I don't have to go down a needle size to get a good, firm rib look. And I'm going to do snaps instead of buttons. I've never used snaps on a cardigan before, and I think this is a good way to use them. And maybe I'll put just one great button at the top, to add a decorative element to go with the sparkle! (More is not enough, you know?)

Find your perfect pattern with our new kit: the Knitter's Handy Book series. You'll get The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, and The Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweater Patterns. It's everything you need to create any kind of sweater!

Get your kit today and cast on a project with that yarn that's just been yearning for a pattern!


P.S. Have you used one of the Handy Books? Share your experience in the comments!

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