a vacation knit: the shalom cardigan

Knitting and a vacation seem to go hand-in-hand. Earlier this year, I finished my Crazy Color Cardigan while I was on a trip. Most recently, I finished this quick and easy cardigan!

Shalom Cardigan by Meghan M. –> A free pattern!

For some reason, I must have a thing with bulky cardigans and vacations, since that is exactly what yarn weight my Crazy Color Cardigan is too. But it’s just so satisfying to have something fly off the needles and be ready to wear! (Especially when the vacation weather is cold enough, since it was too hot at home.)

This was the only in-progress photo I took, because I just kept on knitting and ended up finishing so quick 😉

So, from the above photo….to the below photo in 9 days!

It fits perfectly across the back.

I used Knit Picks Brava Bulky, a super soft 100% acrylic that is quite affordable. The button is a 1-3/8″ bleached coconut button with laser engraving from Benno’s Buttons. I sewed on the button using some brown fingering weight wool.

Currently, on Ravelry, this pattern has over 6,600 projects! I searched some finished projects for inspiration, and knew I would want to add some sort of sleeves. However, I only had 4.5 skeins (450 grams) to work with, so I was quite nervous about running out – I had to tote my yarn scale around everywhere!

My gauge came in at 12 stitches for 4″ in Stockinette on US 11. I wanted a slightly oversized cardigan, so I went with those needles and this bulky yarn!

Some of the mods I made, and the lessons I learned, were:

-Cast on using crochet cast on with 10 mm hook. Also used this to BO as my right hand knitting needle, as it helps to avoid a tight BO. In retrospect, I could have used 8mm hook or smaller to cast on to help neck edge from stretching.

-Added 2 sts for selvedge sts (1 on each button band edge). I slipped the first as if to purl with yarn in front, then always knit the last stitch.

-I did not cast off my sleeve stitches; I put them on a holder to pick up and knit down later. I also used less stitches for the sleeve than the pattern called for. In retrospect, I could have put even less stitches on for the sleeves, and include more across the front, since there is a bit of too much extra fabric near my armpits.

-Added sleeves that reach my elbow.

-I decreased a few stitches evenly on the bottom garter band and on my sleeve garter bands to avoid any “flaring” from the transition of Stockinette stitch to garter stitch.

-I ended up with about 50 grams leftover, so I could have made the body longer…but I didn’t know that at the time!

Below is a photo that shows where my arm is, along the yellow line, under the sleeve – and the arrow points to the “extra” fabric there is from too many stitches on the sleeves and not enough on the front body section.

A minor issue, but still annoying!

However, even though it’s still not “perfect,” it’s a great go-to cardigan for warmth – it’s like wearing a big, soft blankie 🙂

Check out the full mods I made (and see more photos) on my Ravelry project page – no login required! 

When I wear it, I feel the need to stretch out my arms…Ha!
When I wear it, I feel the need to stretch out my arms…Ha!


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