I recently visited one of my favorite sources of inspiration: Kinokuniya, a remarkable Japanese bookstore in midtown Manhattan. There, I unearthed Tomoko Nakamichi’s beautiful and aptly titled sewing book, “Pattern Magic 2.” And at that moment, the seed for our Folded Squares Cardigan was planted!

Folded Squares Cardigan | Purl Soho

Under the intriguing heading, “Wearing a Square,” Nakamichi outlines a pattern for a cardigan that consists of a big “T” with its outer top corners folded inward. Gears turning, I set out to try the template in knitted form, using garter stitch and Habu Textile’s incredible Dyed Bamboo.

Folded Squares Cardigan | Purl Soho

The pattern may seem a bit like origami, but instead of crisp, angular paper, Dyed Bamboo is more like a jellyfish! As lovely as it is amorphous, this yarn tends to expand and shift and have a life of its own.

Folded Squares Cardigan | Purl Soho

And although this makes securing exact measurements a bit challenging, I encourage you to embrace this yarn and silhouette for what it is: an easy-to-make, incredibly slinky, soft and elegant affair! – Kristy

Materials

Folded Squares Cardigan | Purl Soho

Note: If you are making the smallest size, you might not want to wind your second skein in case you end up not needing it. You can exchange any unwound yarn for up to six months of purchase (click here to read our full Return Policy).

Gauge

Before blocking: 24 stitches x 44 rows = 4 inches in garter stitch
After blocking: 20 stitches x 36 rows = 4 inches in garter stitch

Stitch and row counts given in the pattern reflect final measurements after blocking.

Note: Whatever yarn you use to make this pattern, be sure to block your swatch and make sure you’re getting the correct ‘after blocking’ gauge.

Sizes

34 (38, 42, 46, 50, 54)

  • Finished Chest Circumference: 34 (38, 42, 46, 50, 54) inches
  • Length from Underarm to Bottom Edge: 9 (9, 9 1/2, 9 1/2, 9 1/2, 9 1/2) inches
  • Length from Underarm to Bottom Sleeve Edge: 6 3/4 (6 3/4, 7 1/4, 71/4, 7 1/4, 7 1/4) inches

SAMPLE: Size 38

Folded Squares Cardigan | Purl Soho

Notes

A garter stitch “ridge” is a horizontal corrugation formed by knitting two rows. Counting ridges is an easy way to determine how many rows you have knit without having to count as you work. If you find this confusing, just multiply the number of ridges given by two, and that is how many rows you should knit. For example, 40 ridges is 80 rows.

Bind off all stitches as follows: *K2tog tbl (through the back loop), place stitch back on left needle, repeat from *.

Pattern

Fronts and Back

Cast on 260 (270, 290, 300, 310, 320) stitches.

Knit every row until you have 40 (45, 50, 54, 58, 63) garter stitch ridges [see Notes, above].

Divide Fronts and Back

Bind off 90 (90, 95, 95, 95, 95) stitches for Left Front, knit until there are 80 (90, 100, 110, 120, 130) stitches on right needle for Back, join second ball of yarn and bind off remaining 90 (90, 95, 95, 95, 95) stitches for Right Front. Cut the yarn and pull it through the remaining stitch.

Continue Back

Knit every row over center 80 (90, 100, 110, 120, 130) stitches until you have 81 (81, 85, 85, 85, 85) garter ridges from the bind-off rows.

Bind off all stitches. Cut yarn and pull it through the remaining stitch.

Sleeves

Note: Make two identical sleeves.

Cast on 60 (60, 66, 66, 66, 66) stitches.

Folded Squares Cardigan | Purl Soho

Knit every row until you have 30 (30, 33, 33, 33, 33) garter ridges.

Row 1 (right side): K1, slip 1, k1, psso (pass slipped stitch over), knit to last 2 stitches, slip stitch just worked back to left needle and pass second-to-last stitch over and off needle, slip stitch back to right needle, knit last stitch. [2 stitches decreased]

Row 2: Knit.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until 4 stitches remain.

Next Row (right side): K1, k2tog, k1. [3 stitches]

Next Row: K1, k2tog. [2 stitches]

Next Row: k2tog. [1 stitch]

Cut yarn and pull it through last stitch.

Finish

Weave in ends and block all three pieces. Block by submerging them fully in water, gently squeezing out the excess water, and laying them flat to dry (shaping to finished measurements).

Folded Squares Cardigan | Purl Soho

With the wrong sides facing up, position the top points of each Sleeve under each side of the “T,” as shown in the schematic in the Notes section, above.

Folded Squares Cardigan | Purl Soho

Starting at the base of one Sleeve point, whipstitch the Sleeve’s top point to the underside of the T-shape, shown in the schematic as a bold line.

Folded Squares Cardigan | Purl Soho

Sew the Sleeve’s underside seams together. For tips, visit our Seaming Garter Stitch Tutorial.

Fold the Cardigan along the schematic’s dotted lines and whipstitch the body’s side seams to finish.

Weave in the ends and enjoy your Folded Squares Cardigan!

Folded Squares Cardigan | Purl Soho