6×4 chartreuse cardigan for a tiki night

I’m happy to share my latest knitting project! This is a little vintage-style short-sleeved cardigan or bolero, however you’d like to think of it.

6x4 chartreuse cardigan

I came up with the design for this cardigan myself. I knew wanted a fitted little vintage cardigan or bolero. I knew the yarn I was going to use. I knew roughly what I wanted to do, but I couldn’t for the life of me decide on a stitch pattern to use! I kept waffling and waffling.

Ysolda commented on Twitter with a great suggestion. Pick two numbers: one would be the number of stitches over which a repeat of the stitch pattern is worked, the other would be the number of rows over which a repeat of the stitch pattern was worked. I pulled 6 and 4 out of my read end hat, sifted through one of my Japanese stitch dictionaries, and settled on a lovely stitch pattern that kind of reminded me of a starburst. The repeat was over 6 stitches and 4 rows. Perfect! I loved how it look swatched in the DK weight I was planning to use, and I was on my way.

6x4 chartreuse cardigan

I based the shape around a vintage short-sleeved cardigan that I own, and knowingly made a stupid mistake. I copied most of the measurements, including a much shorter armhole. I typically knit mine to a depth of 7 or 7.5″, and this was closer to 6″. Of course, it didn’t occur to me that I’d actually like a bit more room in the armpit department of the vintage one, and transferred that same issue to my own. Oops. Actually come to think of it, I knowingly made two stupid mistakes. I also knit the sleeves about 1″ longer than they need to be. Going back to the original vintage one that inspired this… yep, it too has slightly-too-long short sleeves. They should hit just above my elbow, not in the crook so that they wrinkle up when I bend my arms, but no big deal.

6x4 chartreuse cardigan for a tiki night

In hindsight, I think I’d like this about 2″ shorter to be more of a true bolero, hitting at or above my waist. While knitting, I couldn’t decide if I was going to go for long sleeves or short, and for long sleeves I really prefer that extra bit of length. But I decided on short sleeves, in part because the stitch pattern was both slow to work and rather straining on the hands. So the shorter body length would have been nice for more of a bolero look, but the longer length isn’t bad. Next time, I’ll decide on short or long sleeves before I dive in.

6x4 chartreuse cardigan

I actually started these sleeves 3 times… one with the stitch pattern, knitting the sleeve cap out from the armhole, but I didn’t care for the way that looked with the stitch pattern along the armhole edge. So then I ripped out, and started one in plain stockinette. A few inches down I tried it on and decided nope, I really did want the sleeves in the stitch pattern. So I ripped that one out, and knit the sleeves flat at the same time, and set them in. While I do often love to knit sleeves top down from the armholes for my bottom up sweaters, it’s not always the option that wins.

6x4 chartreuse cardigan neckband

Something that’s a little different is the neck band, and I really love it! Both the vintage cardigan that inspired this and a vintage pattern I found online had a neck band that didn’t go entirely around the neck to the edge of the button bands, giving the neckline almost a Mandarin collar kind of look. I knit the neck band longer than the button bands to accentuate this. I think it looks quite sharp!

All you have to do to get the same look is simply start and end picking up stitches for the neck band closer to where the button band and the body of the cardigan meet. Pick wherever you’d like that’s aesthetically pleasing to you. You really don’t see this look on a lot of cardigans and it’s quite a nice touch that takes no extra effort whatsoever! I’ll definitely repeat it in the future sometime.

6x4 chartreuse cardigan hello, wind!

The yarn is Wollmeise DK, a DK weight that I have several colors of in my stash and you see me knit with a lot. I love that it’s a nearly electric chartreuse. One of those colors that seems like how could it possibly go with anything, except I often manage to integrate it into my outfits, so I knew I’d get a lot of wear out of it. It was hard to match buttons to it, but the vintage 60s ones I used go nicely, even if they lean more green. They’re nice and bold, just like the cardigan.

The tiki brooch is the result of two of the resin pieces I showed in my last post! Tikis that I molded from vintage charms and then re-cast, hanging from a glittery bar. I also made the earrings, too, which I particularly love.

By Gum, By Golly tiki brooch

By Gum, By Golly tinsel earrings

I wore this outfit Saturday night to go out with Mel and our friends to a tiki-themed dinner show, which was fantastic! I knew we were going for awhile, and as I was finishing up the cardigan, I actually planned the brooch and the earrings in mind to wear with this outfit. I matched them up with a root beer Bakelite beaded necklace, and Bakelite bangles.

The ay-may-zing skirt and the top are from the Oblong Box Shop, and the 40s wedgies (which killed my feet, arghhh) and purse are vintage. Both are things I’ve had so long, I can’t even remember where I got them.

Tasha's tiki outfit

Oblong Box Shop tiki skirt should have Photoshopped out where I dropped a piece of corrugated plastic from Home Depot on my ankle, ouch!

6x4 chartreuse cardigan

Mel wore a vintage jacket and a Sun Surf rayon Hawaiian shirt, along with vintage shoes from the 20s or 30s.

Mel's tiki outfit

Mel's tiki outfit

Thanks to our friend Eric for getting the only photo of Mel and I together that night, at Tiki Terrace. And while it was totally unplanned, and hard to see in the dim photo below, we were quite well coordinated. It was the perfect night to take my new cardigan out on the town. We all had a ball!

Mel and Tasha at Tiki Terrace

Anyway, I don’t mean to downplay my love for this cardigan with my earlier little quibbles about it. I swore off knitting short-sleeved sweaters some time back since I rarely wear the ones I have, but I realized that I do wear short-sleeved cardigans. It’s just the pullovers that usually sit unloved. So I know I’m going to wear this a lot!

6x4 chartreuse cardigan for a tiki night

outfit details

cardigan: made by me
brooch: made by me
earrings: made by me
Bakelite bangles: misc.
top: Oblong Box Shop
skirt: Oblong Box Shop
1940s wedges: misc.
vintage purse: misc.

Filed: Knitting, Vintage Wardrobe

Tagged: , , ,

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Golly, 56 Comments!

  • HeidiMonkey May 7, 2015 at 12:00pm

    Tasha, this is so gorgeous!! Love it!!!

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  • Gawd, that’s fabulous! What a great color, and that stitch pattern is lovely πŸ™‚

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  • All the pieces are amazing! You both look adorable πŸ™‚

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  • Oh my word — I’m pretty sure that sweater is my favorite piece I’ve seen you’ve feature on the blog. Granted, I pretty much love all things chartreuse, but the whole thing is just beautiful *high-five*

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  • You didn’t plan to coordinate!? Your outfits go together perfectly! The sweater is really great! I have a couple men’s patterns with a similar collar style. I haven’t seen it on women’s sweaters before. It definitely stands out, in a good way!

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    • I know, seriously we didn’t coordinate! I didn’t even notice we matched until reviewing the photos. lol I love the way the collar stands out, too! So easy to do, yet makes it look very different!

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  • Wow, I stand in awe of your knitting prowess. I can BARELY finish a sweater every few months! I really need to learn to transfer older patterns with smaller yarns to DK yarn. It would go so much faster. But requires so much math…. not my strong suit!

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  • Gorgeous cardi, very inspiring. Love that little bag too.

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  • That’s an amazing outfit and you two look so well coordinated!

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  • stunning cardigan, the pattern is a very interesting texture. I wish I could knit better but in the mean time I guess it means practice, practice, practices!

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    • Thanks! I really like the texture of that pattern. Yes, there’s nothing like a lot of practice! Plus it’s fun! πŸ˜‰

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  • I enjoy regularly reading your blog but am not the most prolific commenter. However, I just have to say that your cardigan is absolutely gorgeous. I especially love the pattern and neck. Please publish it.

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  • Super cute! Love everything about it!

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  • Lurrrrve the colour! Looks fantastic (as always) !

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  • Love everything about this cardy – the colour and the stitch are fantastic, but I like the length and length of sleeves, the collar. Perfect outfit too ;o)

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    • Thanks! I like the way the length of the sleeves look but they could stand to be just a tad shorter. But I’m really happy with it!

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  • Melissa Borromeo May 7, 2015 at 7:53pm

    I am not a knitter, so when you give the technical details I am completely lost! I just have to say that it is just perfection! The color! The texture! The style! And Mel’s tiki drink looks mighty serious!

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  • LOVE this outfit!

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  • Lovly stitch pattern, could you please write it or post a diagram?

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  • The stitch of this cardigan is gorgeous! The final result is really lovely and I love the fact of shorter sleeves showing nicely the beautiful bangles. The tiki brooch made YOU (talented gal) is so cute, I am in love with it!

    Hugs from Portugal,
    Beta

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  • Oh that’s lovely! You are so clever to make up your own pattern:) Love the colour! Love, love, love that skirt too!

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  • The buttons are especially great.

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  • what a great outfit, the color of the cardigan looks really fantastic…
    may I ask you how many skeins you used for this? thank you and all the best ..
    greetings from Switzerland, Christa

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  • Oh wow, this is gorgeous! The color is PERFECT! It absolutely blows my mind that you can design your own sweaters… what a great skill!

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  • The collar was the first thing I noticed and it is great. I shall try it myself as it a very neat finishing. Well done and I love your posts.

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  • Can you be any more talented?!? I looove what you wear, knit and sew and now jewelry, really?!! You blow me away with your seemingly endless talent. You are a huge inspiration to me, keep up the good work and thank you for sharing!

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  • Absolutely fabulous outfit! I really like the length. It looks like it would work well with pants as it sits, which can be tricky with cardigans, I find, as they’re often too long, or less so (on me at least) too short and don’t create a good visual balanced between the pants and the cardi (hence I often reach for knit boleros with my jeans and slacks). This one is Goldilocks-ing it up, IMO, and is fabulously lovely to boot.

    β™₯ Jessica

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  • Your cardigan is amazing! You will write down the pattern for us?

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  • Love love love your outfit. Beautiful knitting and I love the print of that skirt.

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  • Do you have recommendations of resources for writing a pattern? In other words, did you create this pattern solely on your extensive knitting experience or did you reference a book? Thanks!

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    • I mainly go by experience but do pull out books sometimes to figure out specific changes that I don’t generally make. One book you should look into is “Sweater Design in Plain English” by Maggie Righetti. It’s a great resource!

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  • It’s gorgeous! The stitch pattern, the colour and the quality of the yarn is indeed a perfect match. Great work!

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  • Ack! I adore this cardigan! The design, the stitch pattern, the length ~ everything is so super! Plus, that collar really is so awesome. My favorite bolero that I thrifted {not vintage} has this detail, and I love it. Unfortunately for me the bolero is just about D.E.A.D. but know that I know how to do this collar, maybe I can mock it up! Thank you so much for the awesome knit-spiration Tash! And you both look so great in your accidental matching outfits! ❀

    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

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  • I don’t think there is a colour in the world that you don’t look beautiful wearing! Gorgeous sweater. You both had great outfits for what looks like a fun evening.

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  • Lovely cardi, I really like the stitch pattern and the interesting neckline. It is a glorious colour too. I think it really sets off your outfit.

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  • lynne ellis June 14, 2015 at 12:27pm

    Hi Tasha πŸ™‚ I’ve just stumbled across your blog looking for an answer to a knitting query.. Anyway , Ive forgotten all about that now ….I love your style .. This short sleeved cardi is fabulous. My new favourite colour this season is green , the chartreuse is to die for .. The buttons are great they really finish it of nicely .. Your whole outfit is wonderful, I love the shoes , they dont look uncomfortable.. You and Mel make a stylish pair ..
    Anyway I will bookmark your page and dip in and out regularly .. Lynne

    Reply

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