Wrap It Up
If you lose hours looking over Ravelry like I do, you’ve noticed that Shannon Cook’s Veronika Cardigan has garnered a lot of attention recently. This sort of sweater could be described as a cardigan-wrap or shawl-with-sleeve-holes. We’ve seen this construction before (and if you read our blog you know I love it), but this slightly textured version, with its deep shawl collar is especially attractive to a lot of knitters. I get it. I’ve twice made Jared Flood’s Inversion (which is the same concept) and I love crawling into this piece. It’s like a soft piece of armor that gives me comfort and style, all at once. Given the popularity of Cook’s Veronika Cardigan, I wanted to give you a few other examples, and encourage you to knit up and crawl into one of these beauties yourself.
Cook’s Veronika Cardigan is an oversized version of the cardigan-wrap. It’s worked up in a worsted weight yarn at a gauge of 17 stitches per 4 inches, so imagine it to be light and lofty. A simple purl ridge pattern dominates the piece, which is an easy way to add texture to a simple piece. I haven’t read this pattern myself, but it is knit in one piece and directions include tips on adapting it for your frame, which is always welcome! The most beautiful versions posted to Ravelry are knit up in Blue Sky’s Woolstok or Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter. I also think it’d be gorgeous in Pure Bliss’s Falkland (imagine a bit more drape) or Katia’s Cotton Merino (for super softness and a lovely halo of color).
Yarnspirations recently published a similar pattern called the Knit Envelope Cardigan. This piece is more cropped and trim than Cook’s Veronika Cardigan, but it is also worked up in a worsted weight yarn (albeit at a tighter gauge). It’s smaller scale screams practicality in that I think it’d fit nicely under a coat. Also, it being shorter and less oversized let’s it show off a cute figure more easily! This version has some seams, which opens up the yarn possibilities (in my opinion) All of the yarns listed above for the Veronika Cardigan would also be great here, but other options include Shepherd’s Wool (our good standard worsted weight), Juniper Moon’s Herriot would be lovely here, and would be anchored by those seams. For the same reason, Katia’s Silk Tweed would be a lovely and luxurious choice. Did I mention this pattern is free? That’s always a draw, too! All in all, this is a relatively simple piece and a few seams make it work.
Kram, a super-bulky version of the cardigan-wrap, is another distinctive version. I’ve written about this piece before (a long time ago, when this collection was first published), and once again I’ll mention that I love this cozy and dramatic piece as the perfect thing throw on for a cold night at book group, or for apres ski. Knit up this beauty in Mirasol’s Ushya or Loopy Mango’s Merino No. 5 for best results! Kram is a fast knit and pretty simple, appropriate for advanced beginners and super-bulky lovers.
I mentioned Inversion above, and perhaps you saw my version knit up in Noro Tennen that was at the shop last year. I’ll bring it by to be on display again (though not for long, because this one is a favorite). Inversion is a great piece that can be worn upside-down and right-side-up. Once again, this piece is worked in a worsted-weight. We’ve seen beautify versions knit up in Katia’s Cotton Merino by our own knitters, but also consider anything like Shepherd’s Wool, Woolstok, Shelter and more. You’re working at two different gauges on this piece, so knitters need to pay attention to their measurements as they work this one. Blocking is essential and the seams make all the difference!
One last show-stopper is Norah Gaughan’s Shoji. Gaughan is incredibly well-known as a knitwear designer, and she is known for her cables and her thoughtful construction. Shoji is a terrific example of the latter. This piece (like Inversion) can be worn two ways. With simple knitting, construction details make this piece look like a marvelous piece of origami. Gaughan’s version is knit in Brooklyn Tweed’s Arbor, which is a boingy (it’s a technical term) and toothy worsted-spun wool yarn. Having worked with it myself, I can’t imagine anything that would give you better results. Arbor is a DK weight yarn, and I think Criative DK or Lang Zero would also give you enough bounce to not weigh this piece down, and still allow it to look refined.
In all this talk about Brooklyn Tweed’s yarns, it’s appropriate for me to FINALLY mention that we will be hosting a Brooklyn Tweed Pop-Up shop in October. We are incredibly excited to have an opportunity to bring a few of these wonderful yarns to Wool & Grace and to share them with you. Brooklyn Tweed thoughtfully sources, mills and dyes all its yarns from sheep raised in the United States. (They also happen to bring us the most technically well-written patterns out there). We’ll be featuring Shelter and Arbor, and will have a couple samples at the shop shortly (with more coming in September in October). If interested, please talk to us about pre-ordering yarn. We have color cards and samples available to make this easy for those of you as excited as we are about this!
Getting back to cardigan-wraps, I will mention that the construction of all of these pieces differ, ranging from easy-as-pie to options which are more fiddly. Experienced knitters will no doubt realize the benefits that come from the more challenging pieces (like Inversion or Shoji) with seams that anchor your piece and make it distinctive and eye-catching. No matter what, if you’re drawn to this look, there is a pattern that will be successful to you!