Welcome back! This week, we’ll continue knitting our summer cardigan, focusing on the body. After a flying start with a Latvian braid, shaping the yoke with increases and increase rounds, as well as the two-color stranded colorwork panel, we’ll take it easier now with a large section of stockinette in the round. This would be a good time to choose a recorded book you’ve been longing to “read,” so you can listen and immerse yourself in exciting stories while you knit.
Even in this section, though, you’ll find a few small challenges! As in last week’s part, I’ll take you through the knitting step by step.
Dividing the body and sleeves
The cardigan will now be divided into its components – the body and two sleeves. This is done by dividing the stitches of the yoke into two small sections and one large piece. When dividing the yoke into sections, “side stitches” will be added by casting on at the underarms. These side stitches will be part of the body as you continue knitting. At the same time, the sleeve stitches will be placed on strands of waste yarn to “rest” until next week when we will return to knit the sleeves.
(It is a good idea to measure the cardigan before dividing for the body and sleeves. Slip half the stitches onto a long circular so you can pull the sweater over your head to try it on. Pinch the underarms together so you can decide if the sizing feels right. You might need to adjust the length of the yoke by knitting a few more rounds in the main color.)
Work in the following order: Knit steek stitches 1-3, knit the stitches of the left front, slip the left sleeve stitches to a strand of waste yarn, cast on new stitches at the underarm using the double loop method (see the video in Part 1), knit across the back, move the right sleeve stitches to waste yarn, cast on the underarm stitches with the double loop method, knit the right front, and then knit steek stitches 4-5 (see the exact stitch counts for each size in the pattern instructions).
Count the stitches to make sure you have the correct number for each section (= left and right fronts, back, and the same number of new stitches at each underarm).
Now for some stockinette
After you’ve divided the stitches and made sure that the stitch counts are correct all around, you can head down the straightaway! Work the body to the length given in the pattern. Note that all measurements are now taken straight down from the underarms!
Setting up the pockets
Our summer cardigan features fine, practical pockets. By knitting a row in a contrast color waste yarn for each pocket, you create a “space” so you can later insert needles through the stitches above and below the waste yarn and pick up the live stitches. In this part of the body ONLY, we will knit with both strands.
When the body is the desired length to the pocket set-up, follow the instructions for knitting the number of stitches to the pocket before you add the waste yarn. Drop (but do not cut) the main color and, with a strand of either the contrast color yarn for the cardigan or a length of smooth contrast color waste yarn, knit 26 stitches. Leave the end of the waste yarn hanging and slide the 26 stitches back to the left needle. With the main color, knit the 26 stitches again. Continue following the pattern instructions and set up the pocket the same way on the other side of the cardigan.
Finish with a latvian braid and ribbing
Our cardigan will also have a lovely edging at the bottom. You’ll make a Latvian braid and then finish with ribbing. Don’t forget to change to smaller size needles before you work the braid and ribbing.
Work the Latvian braid as before. If you need to read more detailed instructions or watch the videos demonstrating the techniques, you can refresh your memory by taking a look at the previous blog: Summer Cardigan - part 1!
After completing the Latvian braid, work the ribbing with the contrast color yarn! Because the ribbing is worked back and forth, you’ll need to begin by binding off steek stitches 1-3 (with the right side facing). After binding off the 3 steek stitches, continue knitting to the end of the round. Now turn the work with the wrong side facing and bind off steek stitches 5-4. See the pattern instructions for the ribbing, noting that the ribbing begins and ends with 3 of the same stitch. The ribbing itself is the repeat: (k2, p2), exactly as for the neckband ribbing. The extra stitch at each side is an edge stitch so you can later pick up and knit into it for the front bands.
Once you’ve bound off the bottom edge, part 2 is finished! Next week, we’ll shift our focus to the sleeves!
Best wishes for your cardigan knitting and summer fun! If you have any questions, feel free to ask them below or in our collective Facebook group “Summer Cardigan/Sommarkoftan.”
PS: Check out our Facebook group, Summer Cardigan/Sommarkoftan – you’ll find pictures, tips, and inspiration. Also, please share your work on Facebook and Instagram (@jarbogarn). Don’t forget to include the hashtag #summercardigan / #sommarkoftan.