Inspiration: The Minimalist Cardigan

Knitting is an activity that at once inspires, excites and relaxes me. That seems paradoxical, but it’s true!

My bedtime reading these days is knitting publications – books and magazines.  I spend my spare waking hours knitting, so the time I have left to devote to taking in knowledge and reading about all those lovely new patterns out there is left to bedtime.

Mostly this isn’t very productive reading time… the minute my head hits the pillow I find it difficult to keep my eyes open long enough to read one page of whatever I’ve selected!

However, I did keep my eyes open long enough the other night to spy the Minimalist Cardigan by Ruthie Nussbaum.  It’s not a new pattern.  It was released in Interweave Knits‘ Fall 2007 issue.  There are over 1,600 versions of this cardigan already out there in the world.  And it’s no wonder really.  It’s a very simple, elegant, but useful-looking cardigan.

This cardigan sparked my imagination.   The little cogs in my brain started to whirr…. I did a mental trawl of all the yarns sitting in my collection.  What would knit up nicely in this pattern??

There was shouting from the back of my yarn collection… what’s that?  Hmm.  I pulled it out.  It was the cone of Stansborough’s prototype yarn in a rich, vibrant red.  This is another of my treasures that I have been saving for the exact right project.  It was extremely precious to me because I wasn’t sure I’d ever get more of this yarn!  Thanks to Stansborough, I can now be happily assured of many more years of supply.  🙂

I think this yarn will be perfect for this project.  I’ve been wearing my Stansborough tee for nearly a year now, and it continues to look gorgeous.  So I know that if I make the Minimalist Cardigan in this yarn, I won’t get ugly pills, nor will the yarn stretch or become misshapen in some way.  And it has a beautiful fluid drape, which is ideal for this cardigan design.

I had to swatch…

Oh yes.

I like it in red.  I did a comparative swatch in the new Royal Lambs takahe blue, but the red is better to me.

The yarn is a tiny bit light.  My tension works out at 21 stitches x 28 rows on 4.5mm needles, which is one stitch out.  But this is only moss-stitch, so it will be easy to adjust the pattern to suit my tension.  I’m not going up a needle size because the fabric is perfect as it is on 4.5mm needles and anything bigger will make it too loose.

The question is:  Can I be patient enough not to knit this… right now?

11 thoughts on “Inspiration: The Minimalist Cardigan

  1. I can definitely relate to this post.I find myself nodding off at night with thoughts of my next project. What yarn to buy and what needle I will use. A wonderful obsession!

  2. Love the colour – it is my favourite in this yarn! Lovely cardigan but I’m not sure that I would be so keen on knitting all that moss stitch. It certainly does look good, though.

  3. Hi – I have been lurking around your blog for a while now and are really enjoying your adventures with NZ yarn and knitting. I am a kiwi living in the UK – it is great to hear that the knitting scene in New Zealand is blossoming – it is wonderful over here! I am actually from Auckland and will likely return there someday – but the Wellington knitting boom sounds tempting!
    Anyhow, I love your Stansborough Tee but can’t find your pattern link for it – was it something you dreamt up?

    1. Hi Libby! Thanks for reading my blog. 🙂 In response to the Stansborough Tee question – it’s a pattern by Pat Menchini called “British Classic” from the June 2009 issue of Simply Knitting. The pattern is actually an argyle slipover, but I struggled with the argyle and turned it into a plain tee instead. It’s a very basic pattern and extremely easy to knit (if you’re not doing the argyle!!). Hope you find a copy and have fun knitting it.

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