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Project: Retro Flower Cardigan

Pattern: Adapted from Paper Dolls by Kate Davies

Yarn: Knit Picks Palette

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One of my very first knitting projects was Kate Davies’ Paper Dolls adapted with a Totoro yoke. It has some issues (like the sleeves being waaay too tight) because I was a little ambitious thinking I could jump in with all these fancy techniques after just learning to knit. But it’s not too bad if I say so myself. And the pattern is a great one. It’s well written, easy to follow, and produces a fantastic finished product.

And the pattern is super easy to adapt with a custom yoke. Just look at all the amazing adaptations people have come up with on the project page. So after getting very frustrated with my big planned stranded cardigan of 2015, I decided the best medicine for my poor ego was to get back on the stranded knitting horse and challenge myself to design my own custom yoke for Paper Dolls.

I was inspired by the great colors I had on hand for the original disaster cardigan and Kate Davies’ beautiful work in her new Yokes pattern book, specifically her Foxglove cardigan. So out of all of the chaos sprouted my Retro Flower cardigan. I originally planned all of the flowers to be the bright blue, but it was a little overwhelming, so I went with a more traditional poppy red with just one peek-a-boo blue flower.

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It was super easy to adjust the pattern to work it for a cardigan, changing the start of the round to the front where the steek stitches were placed. I secured my steek with crochet before I cut using Kate’s tutorial (can you tell that Kate is like the queen of fabulous yoke sweaters/cardigans and basically was a giant inspiration for this project?). I then covered the raw steek edges with a cute ribbon in a matching golden yellow for a cute little surprise on the inside.

Apart from steeking the sweater for a cardigan, I also worked 3/4 sleeves instead of the short-sleeves originally called for. I know I will get a ton more wear out of a cardigan with longer sleeves, and 3/4 sleeves make it adaptable across multiple seasons. I’m really excited to add this cardigan to my closet.

I loved working on this project. So much that I’m already planning another one. I want a long sleeve cardigan with a bit more positive ease. And the yoke will be foxes. These yoke cardigans are becoming an obsession. I have a bad case of Kate Davies fever.

15 Comments on Retro Flower Cardigan

  1. I understand your infatuation with Kate Davies’ designs. I haven’t purchased the new book on yokes yet but had a little sneak at the designs and they’re amazing. And once again you did an amazing job with your cardigan as well, I love the retro flowers, brilliant idea to use them in a yoke. Can’t wait to see your version with foxes.

    • I haven’t bought Yokes yet, either, but I want it so so badly. I love almost every pattern in there. And her patterns are so easy to adapt that I can see it getting a lot of good use through the years.

  2. Beautiful job! That sweater came out perfectly 🙂 I really need to make a yoked sweater one of these days. Love the colors and love the poppies!

    • Thanks, Julie. I had fun hunting down a ribbon that would work for this cardigan. Sometimes it’s the little details that no one else really notices that makes you love a project the most.

  3. Oh my, this turned out so lovely. I love the surprise blue flower and think you made the right call with them. One of my knitting goals this year is to do a fair-isle yoke sweater. I haven’t had much luck with fair isle so far but I am determined. Your sweaters are a great inspiration.

    She Knits in Pearls

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