IWK Spring 2008 Mirabella Cardigan

Gallery: Mirabella Cardigan, design by Jennifer Tallapaneni

Interweave Knits Spring 2008As you can see, the same sweater looks very different on different women! We give general suggestions for customization for your inspiration. Only you can choose how you want your sweaters to fit and which customizations will work best for you and your beautiful self!

Mirabella Cardigan

Sample garment shown is 37" at bust.
General comments on the Mirabella Cardigan

Knitting Gallery - Mirabella Cardigan Sarah Knitting Gallery - Mirabella Cardigan Kerry


Her bust: 35.5"
Ease at bust as shown: 1.5" positive ease

I'd make the sweater a bit longer for tall Sarah. Busty gals like Sarah might also consider doing one more set of darts at the bustline to provide more room. To minimize the "arrow pointing to the top of the mountain" effect, she might want to start the top set of darts sooner so that they do not end right at the fullest part of her bust.


Her bust: 37.75"
Ease at bust as shown: 0.75" minimal to negative ease

Kerry is also tall, so she, too, might prefer some extra length. Another inch or so at the hips would help keep her silhouette slim; right now, the sweater ends at her widest bit, drawing the eye right there—Kerry is slim to begin with, so the hem placement adds more visual bulk where she really isn't bulky at all! More length, and the eye will skim right past and stay moving over her tall, graceful lines. Since Kerry's waist is fairly high, I would work a few more rows of ribbing at the top of the waist (pulling the fabric in), and thus work one more set of upper darts (making more room) to compensate. I also would shorten Kerry's sleeves just a bit to help draw the eye upwards to her face and away from her bustline—currently, the sleeve hem ends at the same level as the fullest part of her bust, so shortening the sleeve would give the eye a little nudge upwards.

Knitting Gallery - Mirabella Cardigan Debbie Knitting Gallery - Mirabella Cardigan Laura


Her bust: 34.5"
Ease as shown: 2.5" positive ease

I think that the size 37" is just a bit too big on Debbie, so I would go down a size to the 33". It's always a challenge to pick a size when you are between sizes; for sweaters, unless I want a really loose comfy fit, I personally tend to go to the next size down. (Negative ease can be a busty gal's best friend sometimes.) On Debbie, the size 33" will have 1.5" of negative ease; the large gauge and elasticity of the fabric will provide plenty of "give" allowing her to breathe! With this bit of fitted negative ease for Debbie, I would probably start the ribbing a bit later, so that it starts at her natural waist; then I would do some measuring on her to make sure that the ribbing did not go up too far. In the smaller size, I would also do one set of darts more at her bustline.


Her bust: 33.5"
Ease as shown: 3.5" positive ease

I'd start the ribbing later and end it later, moving the entire ribbed waist section up a half inch to an inch for long waisted Toni. Would I make the smaller size (33") to more closely match Toni's measurements? Perhaps…Toni likes to wear layers and she does not like to wear really clingy tops, so if I were really making this top for her, I'd ask her for her preferences first! I do think I would make slightly shorter sleeves to help pull the eye up to her face and away from her extra-long waist.

Knitting Gallery - Mirabella Cardigan Bertha Knitting Gallery - Mirabella Cardigan Laura


Her bust: 34"
Ease as shown: 3" positive ease

Notice how the ribbing sits lower on Bertha than on some of the other gals? Some people like that effect, some may prefer to have the ribbing start at their natural waist and go up from there, as in the magazine photo. Just something to consider! (And I probably would make the 33” size for Ms. B. A little negative ease would do nicely for her, methinks.)


Her bust: 33.5"
Ease as shown: 3.5" positive ease

I would definitely make the smaller size 33” for slender, willowy Laura; on her, the 37” sweater hides her graceful figure.

Sandi's general comments on the Mirabella (besides "classic Audrey Hepburn!"): The Mirabella uses ribbing and needle-size changes to pull the waist section in gently; however, Jennifer also uses vertical darts, both back and front, for even more dangerous curves. For a bottom-up sweater, the rule for vertical darts is: The bigger you are, the more dart rows you will work, in order to add as much room in the sweater as you need. Thus: The bigger your hips, the more rows of vertical darts you need below the waist; the bigger your bust, the more darts you need above your waist. Women with a seriously curvy backside may want to do more darts on the back than on the front. Conversely: Smaller women will want fewer darts to pull in the fabric closer to their more subtle charms.

Again, the large gauge fabric has a lot of give; you may need fewer (or more) darts than you think you do. TIP: Work a gauge swatch (sorreee!) that is a "mini hourglass"—include a stockinette section, then some vertical darts in pattern as indicated, then some ribbing, then some dart rows, then more stockinette. Measure each section carefully and compare; the point is to discover how much the fabric changes, how it stretches, how it narrows, so that you know what it will do when you knit a "you-sized" hourglass!


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