Incline Decline Cardigan
The lines and planes of our Incline Decline Cardigan form their own hibernal landscape, like spare slopes converging in a valley or branches stretching from a bare tree… Quiet details and big gestures.
Garter stitch is put to good use here in a multi-directional design that features bands of stockinette at the seams. These simple stitches are the perfect language for the unconventional construction of this very fascinating knit.
It is composed of four pieces: two fronts and two backs. Each piece is knit on the bias, which, technically, means that the grain of the fabric is on the diagonal and, practically, means that you increase, decrease, or both at the beginning and end of each row…. Pretty cool and kind of an adventure!
Once you’ve knit the two back pieces (starting at each cuff), you join them up the center of the back, then you throw the two fronts into the mix and sew the seams along the shoulders, sleeves, and sides. Lastly, you’ll pick up stitches to knit the garter stitch band and collar.
And to give a beautiful drape and super-soft feel to the whole thing, we used our gorgeous Cashmere Merino Bloom. It’s a wonderful yarn to accompany you on this winter knitting excursion!
Designed for Purl Soho by Mary Anne Benedetto.
Share your progress and connect with the community by tagging your pics with #PurlSoho, #PurlSohoBusyHands, #PurlSohoInclineDeclineCardigan, and #PurlSohoCashmereMerinoBloom. We can’t wait to see what you make!
- 6 (7, 7, 8) (9, 10, 11, 11) skeins of Purl Soho’s Cashmere Merino Bloom, 75% extra fine merino wool and 25% cashmere. Each skein is approximately 218 yards/100g; approximately 1225 (1335, 1510, 1685) (1895, 2025, 2175, 2255) yards required. We used Dove Gray (Blue Rust, shown in some of the photos up top, is no longer available).
- US 7 (4.5 mm), 32-inch circular needles
- A set of US 7 double pointed needles
- Stitch holders or scrap yarn
- Stitch markers
- Removable stitch markers
- An Incline Decline Cardigan Pattern
20 stitches and 40 rows = 4 inches in garter stitch
NOTE For help picking a size, please check out our Understanding Ease + Selecting Size Tutorial!
39 (42, 47, 51) (55, 59, 64, 67)
To fit actual chest circumference of 31–35 (34–38, 39–43, 43–47) (47–51, 51–55, 56–60, 59–63) inches, with approximately 4–8 inches of ease
- Finished Chest Circumference: 39 (42, 47, 51) (55, 59, 64, 67) inches
- Finished Length From Shoulder To Bottom Edge: 20¾ (21½, 22¾, 24) (25¾, 26¼, 27, 27½) inches
- Finished Length From Underarm To Bottom Edge: 14 (14, 15, 15) (16, 16, 16, 16) inches
- Finished Sleeve Length From Cuff To Underarm: 18 (18, 18½, 18½) (18¾, 18¾, 19, 19) inches
SAMPLE: The Dove Gray sweater pictured here is size 42, worn with 8 inches of ease.
The Incline Decline Cardigan Pattern is available for purchase as a PDF download only.
135 comments on “Incline Decline Cardigan”
Having put my knitting down for a couple of weeks I have returned to this sweater and am now confused about grafting the neck stitches together. I have three stitches on either side of the center back on do needles and wondering what I’m supposed to graft them to?
I will email photos of my situation. Thanks so much!
On page 2 of the pattern, when finishing the left front sleeve it says “place stitches on st holder or scrap yarn. Do not cut yarn.” Then… you go on to start the Left front body, and it says “Cast 3 stitches onto circular needles”… but it does not say “with new ball/skein of yarn”. So… I did not cut the yarn, and then used the same yarn I did the left front sleeve with, and cast on, and the two have been joined the whole time. I can now see this may not have been what was meant! Could you please confirm, that I was supposed to start the Left front body with a NEW, SEPARATE ball of yarn. And if so, you may want to update the pattern. And.. I will now have to cut that yarn, so hopefully that won’t cause too much consternation.
I’m trying to knit the shape sleeve section.
I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. I followed the steps, but I’m only at 54 stitches, and the width is already at 9 inch, and I’m supposed to be doing 64 inches. The length is still super short.
The pieces diagram shows that the sleeves should be gradually increased in wide, but my sleeve is square at the end and then quite quickly it expands to 9 inch.
I have thoughts now about frogging this entire sweater! I have written to you twice before for explanations and here I am questioning again! Are the back shoulders square? I have frogged and knitted this area again because I couldn’t imaging that it was correct and it came out square again. As I sew the sleeves together now there is an awkward “bump” created by the square shoulder that I’m not sure I can block out. Is this right or wrong?
After reading the comments and replies, I am still confused about the left front sleeve as to whether the yarn should have been cut after transferring the stitches to scrap yarn even though the instructions say “Do not cut yarn”. Should the cast on 3 stitches on the circular needles for the left front body have been started with new yarn or a continuation of the yarn from the sleeve.
I put aside my incline/decline for a few weeks and cannot figure out how to put it back together. I have completed the 2 front bodies plus attached the sleeves. I have completed the right and left back sleeves and the right and left back bodies, but I cannot figure out how to join the 2 back body pieces. One time they looked like wings and when I switched them, they looked crooked. I’m not sure which is the selvege nor the bottom edges. Please help me! Thanks in advance.
Thanks Gianna. I actually did it exactly like that a few weeks ago and then looked at it, forgetting that the backs are on the bias. So I ripped it out. But when I followed your instructions (exactly like on the pattern) and re-aligned the backs so that the bottom edge was straight, the whole thing made sense to me! Duh!
This is a beautiful pattern.
I’ve been reading the questions and also the remarks from people who have knitted this sweater on Ravelry. It seems that there is quite a bit of confusion around the proper orientation and shape, and piecing it all together. One person mentioned that it would help to have some photos or at least sketches showing what things should look like and where they should go. Have you or anyone at Purl Soho thought of improving the pattern with some additional images?
I hesitate to buy such an expensive pattern and then get stuck halfway through since I’m not that gifted when it comes to rearranging puzzle pieces!
I am in the process of knitting the back and sleeves and it is going okay, but I am concerned that I may not have enough yarn for all the assembly as well as the shawl collar. Yikes. My yarn is TIDE POOL, color 1510 heather, LOT 270585. Might there be a skein of this in one of your wearhouses that you might keep in reserve for me in case I need it? I should know more in a couple of weeks.
I have written them. Fingers crossed there’s another skein available. Thanks for your quick response.
I have successfully completed all of the pieces. Now to sew it up. There are stitches under the arms that I have to put together somehow with kitchener joining. I don’t see what is happening in this step. What is it supposed to look like? It is a mystery.
This is a beautiful sweater and I had fun knitting it (once I figured out how all the pieces fit together, which is not at all obvious when knitting it for the first time). But … I think the sizing is off. The sleeves were about 4″ too long, while the rest of the sweater more or less fit. (I did check my gauge before beginning). For the first time in my life, I literally cut into my finished knitting with scissors to shorten the arms. This was a last resort, but I had to do if I wanted to be able to wear the sweater — which I do, since it’s so pretty and unusual.
I am interested in making this sweater, but I am wondering if there is a comparable yarn substitute? I was hoping for more of a black color than what is shown with the Charcoal Onyx. Thank you!