Introduction: Multi-color Cable-sleeve Cardigan
This instructable will take you through making a colorful cable-sleeve baby cardigan (size 0-3 months). I love knitting cables because that simple twist of a few stitches can take your sweater to another level. Of course, there’s a whole range of levels once you enter the world of cables, but each is satisfying in its own way. After making tens and tens of cable cardigans, I wanted to figure out how to knit the cable itself in a contrast color. And here we are! Let's get started.
Step 1: Materials
Drops Alpaca: 200 g beige, 200 g white
3mm circular needle
Step 2: Casting on for the Neck
With two strands of the beige yarn, cast on 74 stitches. I used the long-tail cast on, but any method will work as long as it has some give. You don’t want the neckline to be too tight. That said, because this is a cardigan, the buttons are forgiving!
K1, P1 (for a ribbed collar) 5 rows as follows, with a buttonhole in row 3:
Row 1: *P1, K1* repeat to end
Row 2: * P1, K1* repeat to end
Row 3: P1, K1, YO, K2tog, *P1, K1* repeat *…*to end.
Row 4: * P1, K1* repeat to end
Row 5: * P1, K1* repeat to end
Step 3: Setting Up the Raglan Increase + Sleeve Cables
This row is a crucial step to ease the rest of your knitting. Your stitch markers will come in handy!
Now you will be knitting in garter stitch, using the knit stitch on both sides, with exception to the cables.
Row 6 (right side): P1, K13, yarn over (YO), place marker (PM), K1 (this is the raglan stitch), YO, K2
with two strands of white yarn increase stitch (by lifting middle stitch through back loop; see video HERE), K1, increase stitch, K1, increase stitch, K1, increase stitch, K1,
with two strands of beige yarn K2, YO, PM, K1, YO, K26 (this is the back), YO, PM, K1, YO, K2
with two strands of white yarn (2 new bundles, i.e. not the same two strands you used for the first sleeve cable) increase stitch, K1, increase stitch, K1, increase stitch, K1, increase stitch, K1,
with two strands of beige yarn K2, YO, PM, K1, YO, K13, K1.
Step 4: Continuing the Raglan Pattern + Sleeve Cable
Row 7 (wrong side):
Note: While you do this step, make sure all threads you carry over in the back of the cable remain on the wrong side of the project (the side you are looking at in this row). Also, beware not to tighten this thread too much, as the cable may not “pop” as much once you twist it in Row 11.
Knit all stitches except for 1) the first stich, which is always a purl stitch; 2) the 6 white stiches in middle of the 8; 3) the 12 stitches for the raglans (the two YOs on either side of the raglan stitch as well as the raglan stitch). Make sure to knit the 6 cable stitches in white. The two white stiches on either side of the cable will be knitted in beige this round, as each round alternates for these two edge stitches in order to secure the cable onto the rest of the sweater.
Row 8: P1, Knit until marker, YO, K1, YO, repeat * --- * until you have one stitch, K1. Remember to alternate edge stitches around 6 cable stitches (this row, they will be white).
Row 9: Knit all stitches except for 1) the first stich, which is always a purl stitch; 2) the 6 white stiches in middle of the 8; 3) the 12 stitches for the raglans (the two YOs on either side of the raglan stitch as well as the raglan stitch). The two edge stitches around cable will be in beige.
At this point, you may have to untangle the 3 bundles of yarn.
Row 10: This is the row where you will crisscross the cable stitches! P1, Knit until marker, YO, K1, YO, K until cable edge stitch, which you will purl in white, then place 3 stitches on cable needle in the back, K3, then knit the three stitches from the cable needle, Purl the edge stitch in white, continue in pattern (YO around each raglan stitch) until you get to the cable edge stitch, Purl it in white, then place 3 stitches on cable needle in front, K3, knit the 3 stitches from cable needle, purl the edge stitch in white, and continue in pattern.
Row 11: Repeat row 7
Row 12: Repeat row 8
Row 13: Repeat row 7
Row 14: Repeat row 8
Row 15: Repeat row 7
Row 16: Repeat row 10
Row 17: Repeat row 7
Row 18: Repeat row 8
Row 19: Repeat row 7
Row 20: Repeat row 8
Row 21: Buttonhole row (starts with K2, YO, K2tog, then continue as pattern). Repeat row 7
Row 22: Repeat row 10
Row 23: Repeat row 7
Row 24: Repeat row 8
Row 25: Repeat row 7
Row 26: Repeat row 8
Row 27: Repeat row 7
Row 28: Repeat row 10
Row 29: Repeat row 7
Row 30: Repeat row 8
Row 31: Repeat row 7
Row 32: Repeat row 8
Row 33: Repeat row 7
Row 34: Repeat row 10
Row 35: Repeat row 7
Row 36: Repeat row 8
Row 37: Repeat row 7
Row 38: Repeat row 8
Row 39: Repeat row 7
Row 40: Repeat row 10
You will make a total of 18 raglan increases.
Row 41: (Buttonhole row: K2, YO, K2tog) then repeat row 7.
Step 5: Divide Body From Sleeves
Thread a large needle with any waste yarn. I tend to cut it a little longer to be safe and not worry about its wriggling out of the live stitches.
Row 42 (right side): P1, Knit until you reach the first raglan stitch of the first sleeve. Take your needle and thread the waste yarn through all the stitches of the sleeve, including the two raglan stitches. 50 stitches total. Set aside the markers.
Increase four stitches for the underarm.
Knit until you reach the next raglan stitch of the second sleeve. Again, take your threaded needle and thread the waste yarn through all the stitches of this sleeve, including both raglan stitches. 50 stitches total. Set aside the markers.
Increase four stitches for the underarm.
Knit to the end of the row.
Step 6: Knitting the Body + Ribbing + Binding Off
Now you will knit the body in garter stitch (knit stitch on each side) until your sweater measures 21 cm from the neck to the bottom. When you run out of yarn, simply add two more rolls of the beige! Keep going!
When you've knit 21 cm, you will switch to the rib stitch. From the right side, start ribbing for a total of 6 rows, beginning with a purl stitch.
I used the basic bind-off. See here for a wonderful resource of any questions you'd ever have about knitting.
Step 7: Sleeves
Please read through this entire step before you begin. You will pick up the stitches from one of the sleeves and begin knitting from the right side with the beige yarn (2 rolls) newly reattached. It will feel tight on the needles for a few rows, but don’t worry. As you knit along, it will feel more comfortable. To begin, you will want to add 3 stitches on each side for the underarm. When you knit the first row, cast on 3 stitches at the end of the row. When you knit the second row, cast on 3 stitches at the end of the row. Maintain the cable pattern in this way:
1. Knit all rows in garter stitch (knit stitch on each side) except for:
a. Purl all cable stitches and knit 2 edge stitches on wrong side.
b. Knit all cable stitches and purl 2 edge stitches on the right side.
2. Every 6th row (right side), with the exception of the first twist which will happen on the 5th row from when you start knitting, twist the cable stitches.
a. The left sleeve requires twisting from the back, which means: place 3 stitches on cable needle in the back, K3, then knit the three stitches from the cable needle
b. The right sleeve requires twisting from the front, which means: place 3 stitches on cable needle in front, K3, knit the 3 stitches from cable needle.
Remember to alternate the color of the edge stitches to ensure the cable remains attached to the rest of the sleeve. Continue this pattern while decreasing two stitches every 1.5 cm. I did this by knitting two stitches together at the start and end of each row. You will make this decrease 8 times. Then continue knitting until the sleeve is 15 cm long, the typical sleeve measurement for a baby sweater of this size.
To match the neck and the bottom lining of the sweater, knit 6 rows in rib stitch by alternating knit and purl stitches. When you bind off, make sure to bind off loosely, adjusting as needed.
Repeat for second sleeve, keeping in mind the twist differences depending on the sleeve you’re working on.
Step 8: Assembly & Tucking in Ends
Now you will sew along the edge of the sleeves, connecting the end of the sleeves to the underarm.
Then, it’s time to tuck your threads in! I like to tuck in as I go so this isn’t the final anticlimactic task at hand, but fear not—this sweater is generous in that there isn’t much to tuck in. Here is a helpful resource that shows handy, secure ways to tuck in your threads.
Step 9: Buttons!
Choose any 5 small buttons of your choice and sew them on! Instructables has a helpful article on sewing on buttons, found here.
Step 10: Washing & Blocking
Wash the sweater in cold (but not freezing) water. Lay out to dry, pinning the sleeves, the bottom, and the neck. For more instructions, check out this guide.
You have now knit the sleeve-cable baby cardigan! Thanks for checking out my Instructable. Happy knitting!
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