Introducing Dissent


Y’all, I am so excited to put this one out into the world. Meet DISSENT.

The Story

Ever since the first time I learned about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s various collars (or “jabots”), I’ve known I would design a sweater inspired by them. I was particularly taken with her so-called Dissent collar, the one she wears when she’s going to read a dissenting opinion in the court. The original is really striking, but I also just personally feel the need for some woolly armour with the spirit of her dissents behind it right now. So when my friends at Spincycle Yarns told me they were coming out with a new worsted weight yarn and suggested I might want to design a sweater with it and Magpie’s lovely Domestic Worsted yarn, I knew the time had come.

I started swatching and playing with charts, trying to figure out how to interpret the shape and design of the collar into a yoke sweater. What I finally settled on isn’t a very literal interpretation, but I’m smitten with how dramatic it turned out. I think the spirit of the Dissent collar is right there.

When I was planning photography, I knew I wanted to have a feminist vibe, so I hope you enjoy celebrating women along with me in the gorgeous images taken by Kayla Brazier. I’ve got women’s solidarity (I just love the hand-holding!), some unfettered joy (I had just told a terrible joke that started with walking into a bar), and a face that will not be told to smile. A big thank you to my gorgeous models, Wongela Dessalegn and Larissa Rathwell.

Oh, and of course I had to call the sweater Dissent.

The Details

Dissent is a top-down cardigan knit in the round and then steeked. It’s got a wide, sweet, short-row shaped neckline, and a dramatic colourwork yoke pattern. The body shape is a bit boxy without any shaping (though it would be easy to add a bit in if you like a trimmer waist), and the sleeves end in depth cuffs that can be left long for snuggling or rolled up for getting to work.


Yarn Choice

I used Magpie Fibers Domestic Worsted and Spincycle Yarns Dream State. Both yarns are from small women-owned companies and are sourced and made entirely in the USA.

Magpie Domestic Worsted is a bouncy superwash Merino with more bounce and less drape than most superwash yarns I’ve worked with. I knit it at a fairly dense gauge to make a durable sweater that will keep its shape. It comes in a really amazing palette of hand dyed colours.

Spincycle Yarns Dream State is a worsted weight superwash long-repeat variegated wool yarn. Each skein has about the same colours in it, but the way it changes is unpredictable and brings me so much joy! The long-repeats of colour mean it changes slowly while you knit, creating a really dramatic and beautiful painterly look. Because each skein is unique, no sweater will ever be exactly like another, even if you use the same yarns.

You’ll notice that both yarns are superwash. Neither of them are as slippery or draping as most superwash yarns, but since they aren’t super crunchy either, I chose to reinforce my steek with a sewing machine. I’ve included instructions and a diagram in the pattern to help you with that even if you’ve never tried it before. (This sweater was my first time using a sewing machine on my knits too!) If you don’t have a sewing machine, I recommend trying a yarn (at least for the MC) that isn’t superwash.

Want to learn more about the yarns I used? Check them out in The Swatch Project:

Spincycle Yarns Dream State

Magpie Fibers Domestic Worsted

Ready to cast on?

Read my next blog post on preparing to get started - sizing, yarn, and swatching.

Want to make a pullover instead of a cardigan? Here’s how!

Need help with short row shaping?

Want to add waist shaping?


Get the pattern here on my website or over on Ravelry if you'd like to keep it in your Rav library.

Pattern Specs

Sizes & Finished Measurements 

Shown in size 34 in/86.5 cm (gray) with +3 in/7.5 cm of positive ease and in size 46 in/117 cm (black) with +1 in/2.5 cm of positive ease.

Bust Circumference with Bands Overlapping:

34(37.25, 40.5, 43.5) [46, 49.25, 52.5, 55.5] (58, 61.25, 64.5) in/
86.5(94.5, 103, 110.5) [117, 125, 133.5, 141] (147.5, 155.5, 164) cm

Intended to be worn with +1-4.5 in/2.5-11.5 cm of positive ease.


Main Colour: 840(920, 1000, 1074) [1136, 1216, ∙1296, 1370] (1432, 1512, 1592) yd/ 768(841, 914, 982) [1039, 1112, 1185, 1253] (1309, 1383, 1456) m worsted weight yarn

Contrast Colour: 224(245, 266, 286) [302, 323, 344, 364] (380, 401, 422) yd/ 205(224, 243, 262) [276, 295, 315, 333] (347, 367, 386) m worsted weight yarn

Shown in:

Main Colour: Magpie Fibers Domestic Worsted (100% American superwash Merino wool; 200 yd/183 m per 115g skein); 5(5, 5, 6) [6, 7, 7, 7] (8, 8, 8) skeins

Colour in size 34 in/86.5 cm sample: Castaway
Colour in size 46 in/117 cm sample: Baby Got Black

Contrast Colour: Spincycle Yarns Dreamstate (100% American superwash wool; 150 yd/137 m) 2(2, 2, 2) [3, 3, 3, 3] (3, 3, 3) skeins
Colour in size 34 in/86.5 cm sample: Melancholia
Colour in size 46 in/117 cm sample: Salty Dog

Blocked Gauge 

Gauge measurement should be taken after blocking.

20 sts/30 rounds = 4 in/10 cm in plain St st with smaller needle
20 sts/24 rounds = 4 in/10 cm in colour work St st with larger needle

Needles & Notions 

Needle Sizes are recommendations only. Always use needle size necessary to obtain gauge.

Size US 6/4 mm:
16 in/40 cm circular needle
32 in/80 cm circular needle
Set DPN’s, long circular needle for magic loop, or two circular needles — whichever is your preferred small-circumference knitting method.

Size US 9/5.5 mm in:
16 in/40 cm needle
32 in/80 cm circular needle

stitch markers
waste yarn
tapestry needle
five .5 in/1.5 cm buttons
4 yards/3.5m grossgrain ribbon

short row shaping, increasing/decreasing, working in the round, working colour work from a chart, steeking, picking up stitches

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