Introducing Gilwell Cardigan Pattern
I was inspired by the yarn - Hudson Worsted - which is a super soft Merino/yak blend. It’s also got a lot of plies and body, so it’s a great sweater yarn. I knew I wanted a sweater that would be cozy and take advantage of that softness, so I decided on a big brioche collar and a sweater shape that would be oversized, comfortable, and wrap around you like a blanket.
Gilwell is worked from the bottom-up, starting with a brioche tubular cast-on. The body is worked first, then the shoulders are sewn together and the sleeves are picked up from the armholes and worked in the round from the armhole down to the wrist. I love this method because it’s sturdy while reducing the finishing needed. It also gives you a lot of control over how long to make your sleeves. In the pattern I chose to make them extra long so that most folks would turn the cuffs up for normal wear and down to cover the fingers. But if you like more bracelet length sleeves, just try it on as you go to get the perfect measurements.
The shape of the cardigan is special too. It’s sort of a drop-shoulder shape, but instead of a rectangular body all the way up to the shoulders, a couple inches of fabric are cast on at the armhole and short row shaping is worked along the shoulders. That brings the armhole away from the body and gives more room for the upper arms and shoulders. I think this shape is super comfortable and stylish, especially when paired with a cropped body length.
Then of course there’s the collar. It’s a wide rectangular panel of brioche, that can be turned up or folded down. It’s worked on its own and then sewn to the cardigan fronts and neckline so you don’t have to worry about the gauge differences between Stockinette and brioche. (Brioche is really dense row-wise in comparison to Stockinette.)
There are also options for a colour-blocked version with the hem and cuffs being a strongly contrasting colour or a solid version. I love both and am so happy to see it shown both ways.
I designed Gilwell to work well on a variety of body types and wanted to be sure I showed it off on some different folks. I think it’s gorgeous on both my models. It’s designed to be worn with about +4-6 inches/10-15 cm of positive ease and the finished sizes range from 37.25-70 in/94.5-178 cm. See all the yarn and sizing info below.
I used The Yarn Collective Hudson Worsted, a many-plied, incredibly soft, Merino/yak blend worsted weight yarn that was curated by Michele Wang. I love the palette and chose a gorgeous neutral for the solid colour and saturated blue and orange for the colour-blocked version.
If substituting you’ll want a yarn that is soft enough to be comfortable on your neck while still having enough body to keep its shape. Choose a yarn that makes a fairly firm fabric at the given gauge (20 sts/30 rows/rounds = 4 in/10 cm in St st). A yarn will a lot of plies can also be helpful since more plies add bounciness. If you want a more rustic sweater, a woolen spun yarn like Harrisville Watershed could be really beautiful too.
Because this was a collaboration with the Yarn Collective, this pattern is only available from Love Knitting, but you can see the pattern listing on Ravelry too.
Sizes and Finished Measurements
Bust Circumference with Fronts Overlapping by 6.5 cm/2.5 in: 94.5(102, 111, 120.5) 127, 136, 145, 153.569, 178) cm/37.25(40.25, 43.75, 47.5) 50, 53.5, 57, 60.56.5, 70) in
Shown in sizes 128.5 cm/50.5 in (navy blue and orange) with +14 cm/5.5 in positive ease and 94.5 cm/37.25 in (grey) with +10 cm/4 in positive ease
Intended to be worn with +10-15 cm/4-6 in positive ease.
The Yarn Collective Hudson Worsted (85% Merino wool, 15% yak; 197 yd / 180 m per 3.5 oz skein)
2 COLOUR VERSION
1 Skein in Colour 1 - TERRAPIN PUMPKIN 406
6(6,7,7)7,8,8,9 Skeins in Colour 2 - BLUE HILL DEEP WATER | 408
1 COLOUR VERSION
6(6, 7, 7) 7, 8, 8, 90, 10) Skeins in NATURAL 401
Gauge measurement should be taken after blocking.
10 CM | 4IN SQUARE = 20 STITCHES x 30 ROWS in stockinette stitch with larger needle.
10 CM | 4IN SQUARE = 17.5 STITCHES x 40 ROWS in brioche stitch with smaller needle.
Needles & Notions
Needle Sizes are recommendations only. Always use needle size necessary to obtain gauge.
Straight or Circular needles 24 in/60 cm or longer (sweater body):
US 4 / 3.5 mm
US 7 / 4.5 mm
Double pointed needles, long circular for magic loop method, or two circular needles (use preferred small-circumference knitting method) (for sleeves):
US 4 / 3.5 mm
US 7 / 4.5 mm
working brioche flat, working brioche tubular cast-on (video tutorial available), increasing, decreasing, picking up stitches, seaming using mattress stitch
Here’s a video tutorial showing how I worked my brioche tubular cast-on.