Pattern of the Week: Dionaea Muscipula

I now have my yarn for the Dionaea Muscipula (“Venus Flytrap”) Cardigan from Interweave Knits Winter 2019, and I can’t wait to start knitting.

There are so many things that I love about this cardigan, I’m not sure which detail I should talk about first.

For one thing, the open fronts make it easy to slip the cardigan on or take it off as the temperature fluctuates. The ribbed front bands are worked at the same time as the rest of the body and are sturdy enough that they won’t roll, as many nonfastened edgings tend to do.

I usually prefer cardigan hems to hit about midthigh, so this cardigan is the perfect length for me. I know that I can add more rows to pretty much any garment, but that doesn’t always work for certain designs. Cable patterns, in particular, can get pretty heavy—both physically and visually—when length is added. This isn’t a problem, however, with the stacked cable pattern featured in this cardigan because the pattern is perfectly proportional to the longer silhouette and the cables don’t overwhelm the sweater. The slanting parallel lines of the cable pattern flow out of deep ribbed hems and converge in the center of the back, then they gradually taper to a narrow 6-stitch rib that extends to the back neck. Half of the same cable pattern appears on each front. The effect is sleek, sophisticated, and very flattering.

The cardigan is worked back and forth in pieces from the bottom up and the pieces are then seamed together. Notice on the schematic that there is A-line shaping on only the back piece, while the fronts are worked straight to the front neck and underarm. The back shaping provides just enough positive ease around the hips to provide comfort without the overall fit becoming baggy.

The English-tailoring method used by designer Sloane Rosenthal to shape the shoulders moved the seam toward the back instead of having it sit on top of the shoulders. To accomplish this, the front armholes needed to be longer than the back and all the front shoulder stitches (except for the 9 front band stitches) were bound off straight across. Only the back shoulders were shaped, and this was done by working double decreases at each end of right-side rows, rather than by binding off the stitches in steps or working short rows. Because the double decreases are visible—instead of being hidden in the shoulder seam—they become a design detail.

The yarn, Eco Cloud by Cascade Yarns, is a worsted weight with a chainette structure. It’s an incredibly soft blend of undyed merino wool and baby alpaca. I absolutely love knitting with it. Despite its softness, it has excellent drape and great stitch definition. For my version of the cardigan, I’ve chosen a soft gray (#1810 charcoal).

Which project from this issue are you working on? If it’s the Dionaea Muscipula Cardigan, please share your photos!

Pattern Details

FINISHED SIZE 32 (36, 40, 44, 47¼)” circumference at underarm, with fronts overlapped 3″. Cardigan shown measures 36″, modeled with 1″ of positive ease.

YARN Cascade Yarns Eco Cloud (70% undyed merino wool, 30% baby alpaca; 164 yd [150 m]/3½ oz [100 g]): #1804 bunny, 9 (9, 11, 11, 12) skeins.

NEEDLES Sizes 7 (4.5 mm) and 8 (5 mm): 32″ circular (cir). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

NOTIONS Markers (m); cable needle (cn); stitch holders; tapestry needle.

GAUGE 20 sts and 27 rows = 4″ in rev St st on larger needle; 27 sts and 28 rows = 4″ in charted patt on larger needle.

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