If, like me, your favorite shirts are loose with a generous armhole depth, when you want to layer something warmer over them, you can’t reach for a cardigan that has a traditional shape. That’s where Olson comes in, a cardigan inspired by a hole in my closet!

Julie Hoover for Purl Soho: Olson | Purl Soho

Olson has a deep Dolman sleeve and a steep shoulder slope, making it an ideal garment to pull on over almost anything. There is also subtle short-row hem shaping, slightly higher in the front than the back for a gentle sweep. In addition, a Modified Three-Needle Bind Off that celebrates (as well as joins) the long slope of the sleeve. Extra deep ribbed bands are the final touch.

Julie Hoover for Purl Soho: Olson | Purl Soho

For this classic knit, I chose Purl Soho’s Understory, a fantastic blend of alpaca, yak, and silk that looks and feels absolutely amazing in simple stockinette stitch. Its drape is lightweight, but it knits up into a wonderfully warm and cozy fabric.

Julie Hoover for Purl Soho: Olson | Purl Soho

I love the color Silver Berry, a pale lilac with a dose of gray that feels timeless and neutral but far from boring. I think it’s the perfect color for Olson, nothing too fancy but very special! -Julie

Julie Hoover for Purl Soho: Olson | Purl Soho

Designed for Purl Soho by Julie Hoover. Currently based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Julie Hoover designs knitwear and makes yarn, for both her own personal label and others. Her work reflects a lifelong passion for clothing and textiles, and her view that knitting is a beautiful way of creating timeless fashion, a thoughtful mix of quality and creativity, intention and care.



Julie Hoover for Purl Soho: Olson | Purl Soho

Our Hedgerow infuses your Olson with a wealth of character and vitality! Made in County Donegal, Ireland, Hedgerow has a softer feel than traditional Irish wool with 93% merino wool, 3.5% cashmere, and 3.5% mulberry silk. Its two loosely spun plies knit into a fabric full of rugged beauty that celebrates the aesthetic and integrity of time-honored Irish wool tweeds. With colorful bits (“burrs” or “nebs”) spun into the fiber, every stitch of this yarn is a joy!

Share your progress and connect with the community by tagging your pics with #PurlSoho, #PurlSohoBusyHands, #PurlSohoOlson, and #PurlSohoUnderstory. We can’t wait to see what you make!


Julie Hoover for Purl Soho: Olson | Purl Soho
  • 6 (6, 7, 7) (7, 7, 8, 8) skeins of Purl Soho’s Understory, 50% baby alpaca, 25% baby yak, and 25% silk. Each skein is approximately 250 yards/ 100 grams; approximately 1320 (1370, 1515, 1570) (1690, 1745, 1890, 1965) yards required. We used the color Silver Berry. (NOTE: We no longer offer Understory, but choose from one of our other light worsted/dk weight yarns.)
  • US 6 (4 mm), 32- or 40-inch circular needles 
  • US 7 (4.5 mm), 24- or 32-inch circular needles
  • A set of US 6 double pointed needles
  • A stitch marker
  • Scrap yarn or stitch holders
  • An Olson Pattern


18 stitches and 27 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch on larger needles, after blocking


NOTE For help picking a size, please check out our Understanding Ease + Selecting Size Tutorial!

40¾ (44½, 47¾, 51½) (55, 58¾, 62½, 65¾)

To fit actual chest circumference of 30–32 (34–36, 38–40, 42–44) (46–48, 50–52, 54–56, 58–60) inches with 7–10 inches of ease

  • Finished Midriff Circumference: 40¾ (44½, 47¾, 51½) (55, 58¾, 62½, 65¾) inches, with front bands overlapping
  • Finished Length from Shoulder to Center Back: 28 (28¼, 29¼, 29½) (30¾, 31, 32, 32¼) inches
  • Finished Length from Shoulder to Center Front: 25¼ (25½, 26¼, 26½) (28, 28¼, 29¼, 29½) inches
  • Finished Length from Cuff to Underarm: 14 inches

SAMPLE: The cardigan pictured here is size 44½ inches on model with 35-inch chest


Julie Hoover for Purl Soho: Olson | Purl Soho

The Olson Pattern is available available as a PDF download only.

Looking for more inspiration? Explore all of our free knitting patterns and knitting tutorials, buy one of our many knitting kits and yarn bundles, and shop for beautiful yarn. We have over 35 gorgeous natural fiber yarns in 100’s of magnificent colors, designed to bring integrity, beauty, and joy to your next knitting project and only available at Purl Soho!