Friday, February 3, 2012

Tiffany Engagement Cardigan.

Of all the sweaters in the my closet (and yes, there are a lot), my favorite is - gasp - machine made. I bought it on a girl's trip to New York City years ago, and over time, it's become sort of a "wubbie." It's so soft and cozy, I find that I put it on whenever I could use a hug. It makes me feel loved and chic, all at the same time.

But like a favorite blankie, the wubbie was starting to get a bit tired looking. It doesn't help that my 10-year-old has taken to "borrowing it." (And you moms with tweens know that by borrowing, I mean sneaking it out of my closet in her backpack). Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, the design of the sweater is so simple and stretchy that it fits her perfectly, too.

Last month, Ruth (one of the Loops Troops) saw me wearing the wubby and wanted to know where to get the pattern. I fessed up that it was machine made, but that I'd been meaning to design a pattern for years. She said, a bit pleadingly, that now would be a great time.

I started obsessing over which yarns would work best, and before I knew it, I was walking out of Loops with a bagful of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Baby and Plymouth 24K, the two softest yarns I could lay my hands on.

And so, just in time for wedding season, I present to you the Tiffany Engagement Cardigan.

The perfect little hug to wear on the honeymoon - whether it's your first honeymoon, your last, or your new "honeymoon" with yarn. This very simple design is a great first sweater, because it's essentially a big scarf with sleeves.

And the yarns are so luscious to work with, it will definitely keep you engaged from beginning to end!

Tiffany Engagement Cardigan

7 balls Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Baby
2 hanks Plymouth 24K
(note: yarns available as a kit at
Size 8 32" needles
Stitch marker
Darning needle

Gauge: 4.5 sts and 6 rows = 1"

Note: To minimize weave-ins at the end, "carry" the Cashmerino up the edge when doing the 24K sections.

With Cashmerino and size 8 neeldes, cast on 83 sts.
Working in stockinette stitch throughout the piece (knit a row, purl a row), work 10 rows in Cashmerino.
*Work 8 rows 24K, work 20 rows Cashmerino* and repeat from * to * until work measures 23.5 inches from beginning, ending with a purl row.

Next row, make armhole as follows: K25, cast off 34 sts, K24
Next row: P24, cast on 34 sts over the armhole using thumb method, P25

Continue in stockinette, alternating sections of Cashmerino and 24K as established, for 14 inches more (this is the back section - and you can add or subtract inches as needed), ending with a purl row.

Next row, make the other armhole: K25, cast off 34 sts, K24
Next row: P24, cast on 34 sts over the armhole, P25

Continue working in pattern for 24 in for 23.5 inches more.

Now weave in ends and go block your piece. This is stockinette stitch and it's going to roll on the edges, and that's ok. I used a steam iron with a tea towel between the iron my sweater, because the 24K can easily scorch and melt if you are too aggressive. If you are not used to steam blocking, test a small area first or ask a friend to help.

Next, work your sleeves. Pick up 62 sts around the armhole, joining into round using Magic Loop method and placing marker. Note that the arms are fitted but stretchy. If you are worried, pick up maybe 68 stitches to give yourself an extra inch or so. But they fit over my big ole tennis serving arm just fine. See?

Now, continuing with the sleeve, knit 84 rounds, decreasing one stitch every 4th row 20 times. After 80 rows, you will have 42 sts. Knit the next 4 rounds until you have done 84 rounds, then P a round, K a round, P a round, K a round, P a round and bind off. This creates a garter-stitch border at the sleeve edges.

Repeat for second sleeve. Do the sleeve weave-ins with your darning needle. Go get your iron again and steam-block the sleeves (don't forget that tea towel).

And that's it! Put on your wubby and let the honeymoon commence!

Oh, here's a little trick we learned at market. You can give your cardi a completely different look by tying the front tips in a knot and flipping the knot over your head to rest behind your neck.

Voila, instant bolero!


- Shelley

P.S. We made up three kits in three engagement-worthy colorways. The original is Tiffany Platinum:

There is also White Gold:

And Black Diamond:

To order your kit, go to