Knitting a Cardigan with Gorgeous Cables & Bobbles
Near-instant gratification is a wonderful thing. There’s something very appealing about knit and crochet projects that you can whip up in a short time. However, I find that when I’m working on a project that requires some attention and time, perhaps because it involves new techniques, that’s when I feel most connected to my craft. I love sinking deep into a big cozy project—it is my happy place.
When I set out to knit, crochet or sew a garment, I consider a couple of things:
Does it fill a gap within my wardrobe? “Do I already have other things that look like this?”
Will it be fun to make? “Will it languish at the bottom of my knitting basket?”
Is this a versatile piece? “Can I think of multiple ways I could wear this, or will it only look good with a particular pair of pants?”
Does the piece have longevity? “Next year, or a couple of years from now, will I wonder what I was thinking when I cast on for this?”
Does it make me happy? “Does it spark joy?” This one is so hot right now because so many people are hooked on Netflix’s Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, but it’s an important question to ask!
I think about these same things when I am designing a knitwear pattern. Admittedly, my intentions behind designing the Patons Dovercourt Knit Cardigan were somewhat selfish. I needed (okay, yes, wanted) a heavily cabled cardigan, with bobbles and slightly puffy sleeves, knit in a color that is undeniably on-trend but will have lasting power in my wardrobe—maybe you’ve also been looking for something along these lines? This cardigan might be the one!
I know it looks like a lot, but individually, the cable panels used in this cardigan are quite simple. If you’ve knit cables before, you’ve likely run across the main ones in this sweater. Since you are working a number of cable panels at the same time, I have laid out the panel placements in charts to help you along in the pattern. Once you get into the swing of things, you will get to the point where you instinctively know what to do. Until then, the charts are there for you—they have your back (and your fronts and your sleeves!) Speaking of the back and fronts, to keep the cables proportional amongst all sizing, the larger sizes have slightly different cables—“C8F” instead of “C6F,” for instance. Just make sure you are following the correct charts for your size.
Now, let’s talk bobbles. They bring a lightheartedness to a garment or accessory and are fun to wear! Sadly, though, I have heard from some of my knitting friends that bobbles are not their favorite to knit. Bobbles are made by knitting into the front and back of a stitch a number of times until you have five stitches where there was only one. Then, you work a couple of rows back and forth on only these five stitches, finishing it off with a couple of decrease rows until you are back to only one stitch on your needle. Not hard, but not super fun, either. If it’s the bobbles that are holding you back, I’d like to share with you a technique for crocheting bobbles in your knitting! “But Nicole,” you’re saying, “I’m a knitter, not a crocheter!” Hear me out! If you’re at all comfortable holding a crochet hook and know crochet basics, then this bobble trick is going to be a real game changer!
How To Crochet Bobbles In A Knitting Project
The steps are easy, and honestly, since learning this method, I'm a total convert! Using a crochet hook the same size or slightly smaller than your knitting needles:
Knit to the stitch where you're supposed to start working on your bobble.
Insert your crochet hook from back to front through the horizontal loop lying before the stitch (this will "twist" the stitch).
(Yarn over hook (yoh) and pull through loop on hook) twice. Or, if you are familiar with crochet terminology, ch 2.
(Yoh and draw up a loop. Yoh and draw through first 2 loops on hook) 4 times. You will now have 5 loops on your hook. Yoh and draw through all 5 loops on hook. 1 loop left on hook.
Slip this loop onto your right-hand needle, knit next stitch from the left-hand needle onto the right-hand needle and pass the slipped stitch over. Ta-Da!
Finishing Your Sweater
Once the main pieces of your cardigan are complete, everything gets seamed up and a nice, wide button band is picked up along the fronts. I like having big buttons on cardigans—they add another design element to it.
I loved designing this sweater, and since completing my own, I’ve really loved wearing it! Download the free knitting pattern here . If you’re working on your own, we’d love to see! Share yours on Instagram with #PatonsStitchStyle or post a photo in our Yarnspirations Stitch Squad Facebook group.
My Nana taught me how to knit and crochet when I was small - little did I know she was laying the groundwork for my career as a Knit and Crochet designer! After studying Fashion Design in college, I joined Patons North America and have been a designer here for 10 years. It is still amazing to me that I get to come to work every day and do what I love.