For my upcoming pattern, Goldenacre Cardigan, I really wanted the lace pattern to run all the way from the neckline down to the cuffs of the sleeves. To my mind, the best way to do this is using a Saddle Shoulder construction. In this post, I'll give details on how to knit a top down, saddle shoulder cardigan.
Here's a diagram showing how the upper body is put together, we go through each part step by step below. In my Goldenacre Cardigan pattern, obviously there are all the exact stitch counts and patterns, but here we just give an overview.
1 and 2: work strips of lace (or whatever pattern you're using!) for the left and right saddle shoulders. These will go along the shoulder from the neckline to the top of the sleeve. I made mine quite long for a drop shoulder.
Left: working a saddle shoulder. Right: Pick up and knit stitches from saddle shoulders with a cast on for back neck in between.
3. Lay out the saddle shoulders as shown in the above right picture. The cast on edges are at the centre and the live stitches are at the outer edges. Pick up and knit stitches from right to left along the top edges as shown, and cast on stitches for back neck in between. Work these stitches down the back to the underarm (shown below) and place on waste yarn/spare circular needle/stitch holder. In Goldenacre Cardigan, we add short row shaping at the shoulders for an improved fit.
Upper back with saddle shoulders attached
4. In Goldenacre cardigan, there is an attached shawl collar. If you don't want a shawl collar attached, go ahead and skip to Step 6. Maybe you could pick up stitches round the whole front to keep things neat instead.
Work the attached shawl collar from centre of back neck to the front edge of the saddle shoulders. We pick up stitches from the back and saddle shoulder with a spare needle (below top left). I picked them up from a row back to avoid a big gap. Then cast on stitches for the shawl collar (below top right), then work the shawl collar stitches, knitting edge stitches together with the picked up stitches on every second row (below bottom pictures).
Top Left: pick up stitches from right saddle shoulder and right half of upper back. Top right: cast on stitches for shawl collar. Bottom left: hold shawl collar sts and pick up stitches together. Bottom right: purl shawl collar end stitch together with next picked up stitch.
5. Work the other half of the shawl collar. Pick up stitches from the saddle shoulder and along the back neck to meet the other half of the shawl collar (below left and centre). Rather than casting on, we pick up and knit stitches from the existing shawl collar cast on (below left). We then work the shawl collar stitches down towards to front edge of the saddle shoulder, again knitting edge stitches together with picked up stitches every second row (below right). Don't break the working yarn this time.
Left: pick up and knit stitches from shawl collar cast on. Centre: Pick up stitches from left saddle shoulder and left half of back neck cast on. Right: purl shawl collar end stitch together with next picked up stitch.
6. Left Front: Work across shawl collar stitches, then pick up and knit stitches from the shawl collar for the left front. Stitches are worked down to underarm.
Work across shawl front stitches and pick up and knit stitches from saddle shoulder
7. Right Front. Pick up and knit stitches from right saddle shoulder the work live shawl front stitches. Work all stitches down to underarm to match left front. Finally, we join right front, back and left front stitches before working down to the hem.
Pick up and knit stitches from right saddle shoulder and work across shawl front stitches.
And that's it! It ends up looking something like this:
And here's a wee sneak peek at how the finished cardigan looks - it should be out for test knitting soon. Follow @littletheorem on instagram or twitter for the test call!
Arnprior is live! This super cosy cardigan is the perfect "quick to knit" pattern for winter wear. Living on Scotland's seemingly permanently cold and rainy west coast sometimes it seems like winter will never end, this is a great one to knit when you need something toasty and you don't want to spend a month knitting it! The simple but stunning lace pattern looks great at shoulders and cuffs, and the twisted ribbing adds interest to an otherwise easy stocking stitch knit.
Arnprior Farm becomes a fabulous pumpkin patch in the Autumn and is a firm favourite of my daughter. This cardigan is so quick to knit that I managed to finish the bulk of it on the drive to and from Arnprior this year. The beautiful pink and orange tones of the yarn are perfectly reminiscent of sweet treats at the pumpkin patch.
The cardigan is knitted from the top down. We cast on stitches across the upper back and work down to the underarm, knitting the lace pattern as we go and working armhole shaping at the outside edges. Then stitches are picked up at each shoulder and worked down to the underarm, with armhole shaping to match the back and increases at the inside edge too. There's a little twisted rib edging at the inside edge to stop the fronts curling.
Then we work all stitches down to the hem, and pick up stitches round the armholes for the sleeves. Hem and cuffs are worked in twisted 1x1 rib, and there's another repeat of the lace pattern at the cuffs too.
We've tried to be as size inclusive as possible here, so there are 11 different sizes so hopefully everyone can pick a cardigan that fits. We include guidance on ease and instructions on how to change the sleeve length.
There's a schematic showing all measurements and a disgram showing how to work the upper body too.
Arnprior is available at a 50% discount until midnight (GMT) on 7th February 2024 with coupon code ARNPRIOR50.
Quite a busy holiday here at Littletheorem HQ! My "real job" is working 3 days part time as a Maths teacher, and I look after my 3 year old for one and a half days, so really there's only Wednesday mornings and evenings and weekends for working on knitting pattern design. So I definitely make use of the holidays for catching up on business admin tasks that fall by the wayside.
I've just finished reading "How to get to the top of Google" and it was a bit alarming really how badly set up my website was, so I've been doing a lot of fiddling around behind the scenes to try to fix some aspects of that. Mainly trying to add more content. I've souped up the main landing page a bit - let me know what you think in the comments! Trying to add more in depth content to my blog too. Last week I wrote a big post analysing trends in knitting patterns, and I'm hoping to make that a regular feature. I also haven't added anything to Lovecrafts for a loooong time, so I've been slowly but surely adding patterns to the Lovecrafts Littletheorem site.
Don't think for a minute that I haven't had time for any knitting though!
I've been working on a saddle shoulder cardigan in gorgeous Malabrigo Rios. Colourway is "Almond Blossom", I think it's a bit of a brighter/darker pink than the yarn looks on the Malabrigo Website but it's still very pretty indeed. Loving how it looks so far, it's mainly 2x1 slip stitch twised rib with big lace panels. I like how the twisted ribbing looks like fake brioche stitch. It's the first time I've tried doing a saddle shoulder, I think it'll look nice having the lace pattern running all the way from the neckline down the sleeves. The only issue is the attached shawl collar is rolling more than I'd though. My swatch lay perfectly flat! But here we are. I'll just pick up and knit a bit of ribbing around the front, and fingers crossed it'll be just fine!
My Brocken Sweater is finished too! Here it is in a bump pic - you can see why I'm knitting a lot of open fronted cardigans at the moment!
My pre-new year’s resolution is to keep this blog up to date a bit more, so here’s my first weekly update! I reckon if I start now then I'm more likely to actually keep going with it when January rolls around...
First off, for anyone who’s seen me in real life in the last few months this isn’t exactly news, but I posted my first bump pic on social media this week! The ultimate WIP:
I’m due at the start of April, another little girl. I’m going to need all your suggestions for cute baby knitting patterns. And words of advice for carrying on a business with a baby and a preschooler roaming the house! The cardi in the picture is my Courie In Cardigan - "Courie In" is Scots for "snuggle up", seems pretty apt to me!
I finally finished off my sweater in gorgeous Zakami Cashmere Aran yarn this week, here’s a wee sneak peek:
This yarn was sooo luxurious to knit with, I have fallen completely in love. They also have the same fibre blend in dk, fingering and laceweight so there will definitely be more Zakami Yarn in my stash in the springtime! The pattern is in the works so anyone who’s looking for a test knitting project should keep their eyes on my social media! I’m still deliberating over a name for this one, all suggestions gratefully received. It was loosely based on my Lochnagar Top, but I’m not sure if just calling it Lochnagar Sweater is too lazy? Let me know what you think!
Aaaand, when one project finishes another begins! I’ll be holding together stunning Eden Cottage Yarns Lowther Lace in colourway “Ink” and Titus 4ply in colourway “Penine Mist” together for a fluffy, lacy, snuggly cardigan for the winter months – pure luxury.
The Lowther Lace is a gorgeous blend of Baby Suri Alpaca and Silk – it’s maybe just my opinion but I think this is fluffier and softer than mohair silk lace. The Titus Fingering is a merino silk blend with amazing shine - love how the shine of the fingering and the fluff of the lace look together.
Here’s how it’s looking so far – just the back shoulders at the moment.