Contour Cardi: My New Design

Soon after releasing The V-Back Tee pattern, I  had been thinking about a design akin to the V-back, only with the line of symmetry for the German short rows placed at the side seams (as opposed to the center back). After much sketching and erasing, knitting and frogging, I finally sailed along to the end result you now see: a cousin of the V-back called Contour.

When the idea first started clanging around in my head I ran a poll in my Instagram stories asking what everyone would prefer I next add to my design portfolio: a pullover or a cardigan? About sixty percent of pollsters selected “cardigan,” so I put my nose to the grindstone, and here we are. Immediately I knew I wanted very special yarn for what I knew would be a very special design.

Old Rusted Chair yarn is no stranger to me. Indeed, Lauren–who operates her business single-handedly out of Nashville, Tennessee–has become one of my good friends, and while it is always a treat working with her yarn, collaborating with her on this design was a pure delight. Her professionalism, good-naturedness and skill slinging that dye cannot be beat. For Contour, I used her Swish DK base in the colorways “Ridin’ the Storm Out” and “Parade” (above) and “Spiced” and “Road Tripping” (below). “Ridin’ the Storm Out” is one of my all-time favorite colorways across all dyers and dye companies. (You may recall I used it for my Underwing Mitts.)

Contour is a bold cardigan design featuring smooth curves and dramatic angles. The vivid shapes are created by several sections of German short rows, and the hem, collar and cuffs accentuate the shapes with a two-color brioche stitch.

Worked seamlessly and top-down, Contour is deceptively straightforward to knit. Raglan increases build up the yoke, and the body is worked even up to the bottom back and side short rows, where the fun shapes are born. After all the bottom short rows are complete, a brioche hem is worked in two sections. The arms are worked similarly to the sides with triangular short row shapes at the wrists. While the German short rows are ample, they help construct the beautifully smooth contours of this eccentric cardigan.

Sample A (above) is knit with a shawl collar and uses the Contrast Color yarn (Road Tripping) for the bind-off. Sample B (below) is knit with a basic collar and uses the Main Color (Ridin’ the Storm Out” for the bind-off. The pattern also includes options for length adjustments for a shorter or longer cardigan. Both samples are knit in the Small size but one inch longer in both the body length and sleeve length to meet my personal preferences.

What I like most about Contour (from a knitter’s perspective) is how nicely the geometric sections break up the work in this somewhat oversized cardigan. The bottom of the cardigan is divided into several sections, making the stockinette of the body seem fairly short. Correspondingly, the stockinette of the sleeves–which typically feels endless for me–is shortened by the triangular shape of the inner wrist and by the brioche cuff.

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