From my mother baking bread in her favorite cream-colored version to Steve McQueen debonairly sporting his at Big Sur in the 1960s, the shawl collar cardigan has always permeated my imagination as the epitome of easy style and grace. Our version, the Top-Down Shawl Collar Cardigan, nods to the classic elements we love while bringing our own flavor to the design.

Top-Down Shawl Collar Cardigan | Purl Soho

In a hardy and distinctive Fisherman’s Rib and with a big, toasty collar, our Top-Down Shawl Collar Cardigan is substantial enough to stand in as a jacket and cozy enough to wear on Sunday’s in the kitchen or on craggy cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Top-Down Shawl Collar Cardigan | Purl Soho

We knit up our Cardigan in Purl Soho’s Worsted Twist Heather, a super soft, 100% merino yarn that comes in a palette of beautiful, nature-inspired colors. And for the perfect finish, chose our new Dyed to Match Buttons, custom hand dyed to coordinate with each and every color of Worsted Twist Heather!

Top-Down Shawl Collar Cardigan | Purl Soho

Channeling the same carefree moment Steve McQueen once immortalized in his cardigan, ours is just as dashing and just as enduring. Knit up your own Top-Down Shawl Collar Cardigan and create some memories! -Kristy

Top-Down Shawl Collar Cardigan | Purl Soho


In addition to a Purl Soho Top-Down Shawl Collar Cardigan pattern, you’ll need…


18 stitches and 36 rows = 4 inches in Fisherman’s Rib pattern

16 stitches and 22 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch


34 ¾ (38 ¼, 41 ¾, 45 ¼, 49, 52 ½)

  • Finished Chest Circumference: 34 ¾ (38 ¼, 41 ¾, 45 ¼, 49, 52 ½) inches, buttoned
  • Finished Length from Shoulder to Bottom Edge: 25 (26, 26 ½, 27 ¼, 27 ¾, 28 ¾) inches
  • Finished Length from Underarm to Bottom Edge: 17½ (18, 18, 18 ½, 18 ½, 19) inches

EASE: This garment is designed with a 2- to 4-inch ease around the chest.

SAMPLE: The sweater in Wheat Flour is size 34 ¾, and the sweater in Tabby Gray is size 38 ¼.


Top-Down Shawl Collar Cardigan | Purl Soho

The Top-Down Shawl Collar Cardigan pattern is available for purchase as either a hard copy or  download.

Top-Down Shawl Collar Cardigan | Purl Soho