Cable Knit Sweater

A few years ago I bought a mens sweater at a thrift store, meant for Stef. It was a bit snug on him and comfortably oversized on me, so I kept it for myself. It was never a very beautiful sweater, but I still wore it a lot. It was big enough that I could throw it over anything else I was wearing. I think every wardrobe needs a sweater like that, a go-to sweater when it’s cold or you’re just not feeling great and you want to have the next best thing to a blanket. Holes started to appear last winter though, so I thought it time to replace it with one I knitted myself. It became my most ambitious knitting project so far, but I had so much fun designing and knitting the cables.

Cable Knit Sweater
Cable Knit Sweater

The cable pattern somewhat resembles the pattern on the old sweater. I designed it in Illustrator before I started. I have no experience making knitting diagrams so when I knitted them it didn’t always line up, but enough to figure it out as I went. I chose a basic Burda Knitting pattern (seen here, the grey mens sweater) as the basis for my cables, and to have an idea about how many stitches to cast on and such. The curved hem on the front is made with short rows, included in the Burda pattern. I recalculated according to my gauge but I hadn’t thought about the cables pulling it tighter width wise, so when I basted the sweater together it fit, but was not as oversized as I wanted. I wasn’t about to start over again so I knitted two side panels. I’d hoped they would be less visible, but alas, it’ll have to do.

Cable Knit Sweater
Cable Knit Sweater

I love designing as I go, and I’m usually willing to put up with the little mistakes that are inevitable. Or the possibility of starting over a few times. If I have an idea I want it to be exactly that, and I’m almost never able to find an existing pattern that has everything I want. It’s more fun too, not knowing exactly if it will work out. I already knitted almost all of it last winter, but Spring came before I finished and as always I lost interest. Last month I finally blocked it and put it together so I can get maximum wear out of it this winter. I love how it turned out and I’ve been wearing it loads already. Maybe a bit too much hehe, it’s just so cold in the mornings and then it’s all I want to wear.

Cable Knit Sweater
Cable Knit Sweater

The wool is a tweed 95% merino, 5% mohair from Peace & Wool (they’re having a sale right now!) and it’s sooo soft. It has the right drape for a sweater like this too. I used 5,5 mm needles. I think I’m going to order some of the cotton/linen mix for a light summer sweater. I actually feel like making more winter sweaters, but seeing my knitting speed I’d better wait till next winter.

Do you knit? What was your most ambitious knitting project so far?

8 Comments

  1. Jillian - SewUnravelled

    : Reply to Jillian

    Oh this is awesome! I can’t believe you designed this from scratch. It takes an adventurous spirit to go it alone when knitting as it’s so time intensive. I think I would be fearful the whole time of needing to frog it and start over. It’s such a beautiful piece.

    • Lisa Kievits

      :

      Thanks Jillian! I think the key is not wanting it to be perfect, it saves you frogging a couple of times :) I tolerate mistakes as long as they’re not too obvious.

  2. Alessa

    : Reply to Alessa

    A beautiful sweater! It looks very cozy and the colour looks lovely on you. I’m very impressed that you designed your own cables, they look pretty complicated. :)

  3. mokosha

    : Reply to mokosha

    it’s really a perfect sweater! and gorgeous color.. i’m also knitting a sweater now (without pattern too, but it’s waaaay more simple than yours, just seed stitch, no cables or anything similar)..

    • Lisa Kievits

      :

      No surprise you’re an adventurous knitter too! The cables aren’t much more difficult, just draw them out on the paper with little squares.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required. If this is your first comment, we’ll have to approve it before it appears.