I love this Birches cardigan—can I say that? I loved knitting it (twice now) and I love its coziness when I wear it. Plus, it just screams FALL and just at the moment when our weather turned seasonally crisp.
Its oversized cut allows me to throw it on over anything—perfect for running out to the store or a quick walk with the dogs. Uncomplicated, but with a richly proportioned shawl collar that always falls into place and a cable feature that’s a real focal point.
I knit this prototype sample in our Stone Soup DK (color Marble) because I know how soft and light it knits up, especially on a bigger needle. It’s buoyant, but still falls into lovely folds; just the thing to show off the stitch patterns here.
The cables are distinct yet light and soft, never stiff. The knit/purl texture has great stitch definition and that little bit of poof to accent its wavy tendencies.
Birches is not so springy as to lend the overall fabric an unwanted stiffness. The textures remind me of the thick stands of birch trees in upstate New York, where I grew up.
The construction of this cardigan is quite straightforward, making for some speedy knitting. It has a straight body with a loose, casual fit that is far from “unshaped”. The front panel becomes the shawl collar with a few sections of simple short row shaping near the shoulders.
The drop shoulder stops short of the bicep and some shaping at the armhole does away with the bulk that is usual with a full drop shoulder. A slight amount of cap shaping in the sleeve allows it to articulate without pulling on the whole garment—much more flattering and polished.
Wear it loose and open or belted; add toggles or buttons if like me, you prefer a secure closure to keep things neat. The pattern includes four sizes from XS/S to 3X/4X; shown here is size M/L with approximately six to eight inches of ease.
Birches is a design that will work beautifully with all of our other DK yarns as well as several of our sport yarns. I wasn’t very far into my prototype when I decided I’d love another— this time in one of our super-light and frothy mohair yarns. This sample was knit in our Cabécou Sport yarn in color Sel Gris. Time to get this winter cardigan on the needles—if you start now you’ll have it done just in time to laugh at the cold!