Designing a simple knit is often harder than it looks, and what may seem obvious was actually born from real engineering rigor. Knitwear designer Brandi Cheyenne Harper is a master of this behind-the-scenes brainwork, and her gorgeous Gentle Cardigan, designed especially for Purl Soho, is high-concept simplicity at its best.
A slip-on stockinette cardi without a lick of fuss? How do you stop the edges from curling? How do you elevate such a thing from twin-set blah to feeling-super wowza? Brandi solved these problems with details you hardly know are there and which, together, create a sweater with real drama and flair.
Brandi describes designing as “a quest to find new ways of constructing familiar shapes.” In this case, her I-cord edging is the feat. Not laboriously attached at the end when you’re ready to be done, this I-cord is knit-in as you go, traveling continuously from bottom hem to collar… Trickier than it looks to conceive, but as easy as it looks to knit!
A bottom-up seamless construction, subtle waist shaping, converging raglan decreases, and a pop-up collar that never quits… This attention to fit and style are magnified by our oversize Gentle Giant merino. A single-ply super bulky, Gentle Giant rewards good design with modern brio.
The Gentle Cardigan is what knitting sweaters for yourself is all about: fun surprises and fine points along the way and, in the end, the joy of feeling so good in something you made with your own two hands!
Designed (and modeled!) for Purl Soho by Brandi Cheyenne Harper.
- 8 (8, 10, 10) (12, 13, 14, 15) skeins of Purl Soho’s Gentle Giant, 100% merino wool. Each skein is approximately 48 yards/125 grams; approximately 355 (385, 445, 480) (555, 610, 645, 695) yards required. We used the color Pigeon Gray.
- US 15, 16-inch circular needles
- US 15, 40-inch circular needles
- A set of US 15 double pointed needles
- US 17, 16-inch circular needles
- US 17, 40-inch circular needles
- A set of US 17 double pointed needles
- Stitch markers
- Stitch holders or scrap yarn
6½ stitches and 11 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch using larger needles
36¾ (41½, 46½, 51½) (56½, 61¼, 66¼, 71¼)
To fit actual chest circumference of 29–33 (34–38, 39–43, 44–48) (49–53, 54–58, 59–63, 64–68) inches, with approximately 3–7 inches of ease
- Finished Chest Circumference: 36¾ (41½, 46½, 51½) (56½, 61¼, 66¼, 71¼) inches
- Finished Length From Shoulder: 24¼ (24¼, 25¾, 26½) (29¼, 29¾, 30½, 32) inches
- Finished Sleeve Length From Underarm: 20½ (20½, 20½, 20) (19, 18½, 18½, 18) inches
Sample: The sweater pictured here is size 46½ worn with 2-3 inches of ease.
Download the Gentle Cardigan Pattern here!