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February 27, 2020

A long line cardigan with pockets is a wardrobe staple and I designed Granton, and its lighter weight sibling Wardie, to take that place in your wardrobe. Designing a basic garment is all about the small details, for Granton and Wardie my driving goal when choosing those details was creating a garment that you’d reach for again and again. Some of the techniques used might seem a bit intimidating when you first read the description, but they’re all used for a good reason, and adding them to your repertoire will level up your handmade sweater skills. Granton is written for 12 sizes from 34-72" finished chest circumference, see more sizing details here.

Image of a woman with dark chin length hair facing a window. She is wearing a grey cardigan.

Side and shoulder seams

The front and back of Granton are worked in pieces from the bottom up and seamed at the shoulders. I enjoy designing seamless garments, and know there are ways to incorporate structure other than seams, but seams are one of the most reliable way to give a garment structure. That means it hangs better, won’t twist around your body, and may be more durable. In a long cardigan like this it also means you’re knitting smaller, more portable pieces — I know I always make faster progress on a project when I can easily carry it around with me. We have a few tips to share that will make this project even more portable for longer!

Image of a brown skinned person with black, facing away from the camera. They are wearing a green cardigan with a cable detail across the shoulders.

Fully fashioned English tailoring

English tailoring is a fancy term for when the shoulder seam on a garment is angled only at the back, while the front piece is worked straight and wraps over the shoulder. It’s often seen on higher end ready-to-wear knitwear and has a clean finish and fits well. It also means that, since the back shoulder is now a steeper slope, that it can be shaped by decreases rather than a stepped bind off or short row shoulder shaping.

Fully fashioned shaping is another ready to wear term that, at its simplest, means working mirrored decreases away from the edge of the piece. It’s most commonly used to refer to decreases that lean towards the edge, creating a feathered line when they’re stacked on top of each other. In Wardie and Granton I accentuated this shoulder shaping with cabled decreases. Cabled decreases are a fairly unusual technique in hand knitting that you might not have tried before. Fortunately Laura made this helpful tutorial

Image of a brown skinned person wearing a green cardigan over a black tshirt with a silver design.

A set-in sleeve / drop-shoulder hybrid

Instead of dealing with the trickiest of all seams, setting in a sleeve, the sleeves are worked by picking up stitches around the armhole and knitting downwards. I wanted Granton and Wardie to have a slouchy, casual but not too casual fit, and was worried a full drop shoulder would slide off your shoulders completely. The answer was a set in sleeve construction with an extended shoulder width and a very shallow sleeve cap — it has exactly the just-relaxed-enough fit I wanted. It’s both stylish and super comfortable, neither of our models wanted to take it off.

Close up detail of a pocket on a grey cardigan, with a white skinned hand tucked into the pocket.

The pockets

As someone who mostly buys clothes from the racks labelled women’s, I know how rare decent pockets are. So often I’m excited that they even exist at all on a garment like a dress or cardigan. But don’t we deserve more than it-has-pockets?

Can’t we hope for just-right-pockets? In a cardigan they’re often openings in the side seam, which is kind of awkwardly far back. Or they’re patch pockets that open at the top, useful for carrying things, but are you really filling your cardigan pockets with stuff? Shouldn’t they be just the right size and angle for you to slip your hands into?

The pockets on Granton are incorporated into the full width of the front pieces. After working the ribbing you begin shaping what will become the outer layer of the pocket, then stitches are picked up from the wrong side and the inner layer is worked. The two layers are neatly joined with a three needle bind off. Struggling to visualise that? We have a full tutorial coming up.

The next few posts on the blog will cover some of these features in more detail, including a full step by step tutorial for joining the pockets. If you’d love to add a long cardigan with perfect pockets to your wardrobe, but aren’t sure whether you can tackle the pattern, we hope this blog series will give you the confidence to knit a Granton (or a Wardie) of your own.

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