(Repost from Megan Rogers’ blog, which isn’t up anymore)
by Megan Rogers
Tutorial: Truffle Cardigan From the Ground Up- Part 1
February 3, 2008 by dullegriet
Well, it’s February, and I do believe I owe you a tutorial on my Truffle Cardigan knock off. Thank you so much to all the people who have favorited it- you’ve made me really happy.
As I have told several people who’ve asked for the pattern, I feel weird publishing a pattern for a sweater that is so close to the original, despite all the rules of copyrights in clothing. But, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with showing people how I made the sweater. Hopefully my explanation will be clear enough that you can follow the guide lines and make up your own version of the Truffle Cardigan.
First thing’s first, Supplies:
I used 8 balls of Jo Sharp’s Silkroad Aran* Tweed, in Granary. I dug in to my stash for the crocheted ruffle trim, and came up with a ball of Rowan’s Wool Cotton in grey. You can see how very little of the Wool Cotton I actually used, so raiding the stash is best, I think. My version took the usual yarn requirements for a 38″ bust cardigan, so keep that in mind when you chose your yarn and size.
Other important items include: graph paper, pencil, measuring tape, crochet hook, and a circular needle that is long enough to let you try on the cardigan as you go. For the needles and crochet hook, I used the recommended needle size for the yarn (in this case, US size 7 needles, and a US E4 hook). You will also need about 7 buttons (any size, really) and one nice fancy button for the top of the collar, if you like.
I measure the same way you would for buying a garment: around the hips, around the waist, and around the bust. Then, I measure the height between each measurement and write that down as well. Check out this link for a pretty complete guide to sizing. You can also measure a favorite sweater or button down. The most important measurement for this will be around the hips, as you can try it on as you go and make sure that everything is working as it should.
Gauge, Ribbing, Cables, and Button Bands:
The next thing to do is to make a few swatches. One swatch should be to figure out the gauge for the ribbing at the bottom of the sweater (see photos at the top), one will be of the cable pattern you select for the front, and the other will be a test knit of the yoke pattern (more on that later). You will see that the cables should be worked over a different number of stitches than the ribbing for the same measurement, so keep that in mind.
In the picture above, you can see how I drew out my cable pattern on graph paper. I did this because I wanted a specific pattern, but I’m sure any kind of cable will look good. Drawing your own cable pattern is easy: using graph paper, mark off which stitches will be knit and which will be purled, and then lightly draw the curves you want on the paper. Next, outline the curves you’ve drawn to fit the grid of the graph paper and note where the cables will actually cross (you can see I used hash marks in mine).
After you have all your swatches lined up, figure out how wide you want the button band to be. Mine was 1.5 in, but yours may be different depending on the size of the buttons.
Knitting the Yoke:
The yoke is a little tricky, so I recommend knitting it first.
I chose a simple cable pattern for mine that was repeated twice. This is important because the shaping of the yoke comes from working one short row for every full row along the outside edge of the piece. Check out my diagram, which should hopefully clear things up. Knit this piece until it fits around your neck, with the cast off edge and the cast on edge the width of the button band apart. Depending on your gauge, you may find you need less or more short rows in order to keep the yoke from becoming either ruffly or too tight. Click here and scroll down for a good tutorial on knitting short rows with a wrap.
Knitting the Body:
When I make up a sweater, I always draw it out on graph paper to see where the decreases and increases should be (this is where the earlier measurements come in). The body of this sweater is knit all in one piece, so if you can remember where you want the sweater to hit your hip, then you could just as easily figure out the decreases and increases by trying it on and adjusting as you knit.
Using the measurement you’ve established for your hips and the ribbing gauge, figure out how many stitches you need to cast on for the back and two front panels of the cardigan. The cardigan is pretty tight fitting, so I used my actual body measurements, rather than allowing for ease. The formula for figuring out how much to cast on is basically the circumference of your hips minus the width of the button band.
Let’s write that out:
ribbing gauge (hip circumference – button band) = number of stitches to cast on for cardigan
Very fun. I haven’t done that in five years! Ok, moving on:
Once you cast on these stitches, work in the rib pattern until you hit a point where you either want to start decreasing (in which case do so, but at two evenly placed points where seams would be if this was a sweater you were sewing up), or you will want to switch to the cable pattern.
When you switch to the cable pattern, make sure that you adjust the number of stitches on your needles to fit the pattern. My cable pattern was one large motif flanked by two simple cables worked over six stitches. I only cabled on the front of the cardigan. I worked the back and sleeves in a seed stitch pattern.
After you’ve switched to the cables, keep on knitting- just remember to keep trying the cardigan on so that you can decrease as you get to the narrowest part of your waist, and then increase as you get to the bust. Stop when you get to where your arm holes should be.
So far, your sweater should look a little like this:
Next time: Arm holes and yoke curves, and a little bit of neck.
* Sorry, it was called to my attention that I wrote DK yarn, instead of Aran. I did make the sweater out of Aran weight wool, but since these are guidelines rather than instructions, you should be ok with whatever weight you chose!
Tutorial: Truffle Cardigan From the Ground Up- Part 2
February 11, 2008 by dullegriet
Ok, so I’m a little late with this, but I’m sure you’ll forgive me an hour (or two). Things have been a little busy around here, and I had to put this on the back burner.
And so, to Part 2: Arm holes and yoke curves, and a little bit of neck.
So, if you’ve come this far, you have knit a yoke and most of the torso. The next step:
I really don’t have a trick for arm holes. I usually use Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns as a starting point. I used set-in sleeve decreases for this cardigan. If I don’t have the book handy, I fudge it and cast off 1″ at the beginning of the next two rows (because you’re knitting in the round here, you’d cast off 2″ where each armhole will be). Then, I cast off 1/2″ further on the next two rounds. After which, depending on how things are looking, I decrease one stitch at each side of the armhole for the next three or four rounds. That usually does the trick, but if you’re not comfortable with that, you could check out the Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, or consult a pattern you have available with similar gauge and sleeves.
This is going to sound crazy, but put the yoke on around your neck. Yes, yes, I know, there should probably be a more scientific way to figure out the curves of the yoke, but I swear, this is how I did it. After the yoke is on, pinch it where the tops of you shoulders are and lay it flat in front of you. Now, you can see how the curves of the yoke will be.
After you’ve done this, you can use the graph paper to figure out how to cast off the neckline so that it matches the shape of the yoke. Now let’s take a little trip back to 1oth grade geometry- measure the slope of the yoke and work out how it should be on the graph paper. I know that’s a crappy description, so check out the diagram below:
After you’ve do this for both front panels and the back of the cardigan, sew the yoke to torso. Lovely!
The turtleneck part of the cardigan is knit by picking up stitches along the inside of the yoke (the part that’s next to your neck) and just knitting straight up in the same cable pattern that you used for the yoke. Keep knitting until the collar is as tall as suits you. Mine was about 2 inches. As you cast off, keep the pattern intact so that the collar doesn’t flatten at the top, but keeps the shape of the cables.
After you’ve got these bits done, you should be ready for the sleeves, button band, and crocheted trim- all of which I’ll cover next week.
Tutorial: Truffle Cardigan From the Ground Up- Part 3
February 17, 2008 by dullegriet
Sleeves, button band & crocheted trim:
Usually, when I knit sleeves I work in the round. For this sweater, though, I worked the sleeves flat and at the same time because I was adjusting them to fit my arm as I went, and I wanted to be sure they matched.
The sleeves are fairly easy. To make mine, I measured around my wrists, and then consulted the gauge for the ribbing to figure out how much to cast on. I worked the ribbing for about 2″, but you can do whatever you like. After the ribbing, I switched to seed stitch (the pattern I used for the back of the cardigan) and worked the rest that way.
To figure out the increasing, I measured around the widest part of my elbow. Then, I took the gauge for the seed stitch and figured out how many stitches it took to fit across my elbow. Then, I took that number and subtracted the number of stitches I cast on at the wrist. The difference, divided by two (one for each side) is the number of increases you need to make over the course of the forearm of the sleeve. I try to space them evenly between the wrist and elbow. To figure this out, take the number of rows it will take to get from the end of the ribbing to the widest part of your elbow and divide that number by the number of increases you need to make.
After the elbow, depending on the shape of your arm, you can either knit straight up or make increases as you need. When the sleeve is long enough to reach from your wrist to your armpit in a comfortable way, then you can begin to cast off to make the sleeve shaping.
When casting off for a sleeve, I always use the same decrease pattern that I used to make the arm hole shaping on the torso of the sweater. The sleeves for this cardigan are going to be a little different, however, because you need to consider how the yoke will lay across the top of the sleeve. To figure out the cast off curve at the top of the sleeve cap, just do the same kind of charting you did for the top of the cardigan body.
Pretty simple right? Right. Once you’ve got this done, sew up the sleeves and get ready for the button band and trim.
Now we’re in to the realm of the ever-so-easy. At this point, you should have already determined how wide the button band will be. My cardigan buttons on the inside to hide the buttons, but you may want yours to show. Either way, the bands are knit the same way (just on opposite sides).
Using the gauge for ribbing, figure out how many stitches you need to pick up along the front of the cardigan. If you are knitting the band that the buttons will be sewn on to, just knit in the rib pattern until you have the full width of the button band completed. If you are working the band that has holes in it, work in the rib pattern until you have reached the half way point of the width measurement. Then, make holes large enough to accommodate your buttons. Keep knitting until you reach your desired button width and cast off. For a little how-to on knitting buttonholes, click here. Marvelous! Buttonholes! And you’re very nearly done, just one step more…..
The trim can really be anything you want. I just sort of ad-libbed a half-circle crochet pattern that could be repeated 8 times over the length of the button band. Before I crocheted the lace, I made a line of chain stitches the same length as my button band, and then did a row of single crochet. This is just to give a little bit of space for sewing the trim on to the button band.
I am not very good at reading or writing crochet patterns, but if you want to know what I did, I’ll do my best to explain it below. Please note that I am using the British terms. I’m sorry, I’m an American and I should know how we say these things. In my defense, I didn’t learn how to crochet here, and as I said before, I’m not much one for crochet patterns.
Row 1: Chain stitch for length of button band
Row 2: Double crochet
Row 3: Single crochet 8, then make 5 chain stitches over 4 of the last row’s single crochets, *then single crochet 11, then make 5 chain stitches over 4 of the last row’s single crochets.* Repeat from * to *.
Row 4: *Single crochet until you reach 2 stitches before the 5 chain stitches, treble crochet 2 times in to each chain stitch.* Repeat from * to *.
Row 5: *Single crochet until you reach 2 stitches before the first treble crochet from the last row, treble crochet once, then single crochet, then treble crochet into the next stitch, then single crochet, and so on until you have a full second layer of treble crochets over the first one.* Repeat from * to *.
Row 6: *Single crochet, double crochet, 2 chain stitches, double crochet.* Repeat from * to*. Knot off, and you have a nice lacy trim.
If you can’t make that out, or you aren’t sure my trim is for you, I’m sure there are any number of acceptable lace patterns available online. Just make sure that you can fit in an even number of repeats over the length of your button band, so it doesn’t look like anything was chopped off.
Sew the trim to the wrong side of the top button band (whichever you chose). The first two rows of crochet should hide underneath the top button band. Sew your buttons on, weave in your ends, give it a blocking, and there you go- a Truffle Cardigan from the ground up.