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Mirkwood Cardigan, Bigger & Better

Size inclusivity has been a big discussion point in the crafting community this past year. I've seen both indie sewing pattern companies and indie knitting pattern designers extending their size ranges to include more options. And I've seen this need for a wider size range in garments popping up in my end-of-the-year polls as well.

Mirkwood Cardigan :: cardigan knitting pattern from talvi knits.

So what is size inclusivity? According to Parfait Lingerie, size inclusivity in clothing means "trying to cover as many different sizes as possible". But "as many as possible" isn't very specific. According to a post on The Curvy Fashionista, for many shoppers that means going to at least a US size 20, preferably up to 24. In letter sizing — which we're used to in knitting patterns — that would equate to a size range that goes up to 2X or 4X.

When it comes to knitting patterns I've seen it said that a good start is a size range going up to 5X or to fit a 60–62" bust, and that's what the CYCA women's sizing chart offers as well. I'd already extended my sizing template to 4X for the Maypop Hoodie but I've now revised it again. Soothsayer was the first of my garment patterns to include nine sizes, ranging from XS (30" bust) to 5X (62" bust), plus ease.

Pocket detail on the Mirkwood Cardigan

Mirkwood Cardigan now comes in nine sizes as well! In addition to an extended size range with two wholly new sizes, I've also revised and graded the instructions for the pockets. This is something that came up in the Soothsayer test knit: I'd just assumed everyone has the same sized hands! Obviously this is not true: with larger garment sizes you most likely have wider hand and therefore need wider pockets.

Leaf lace pattern on the Mirkwood Cardigan yoke

The revised pattern for Mirkwood Cardigan also includes updated photos. While I love the yarn (iKKe BFL Tweed, 85% BFL, 15% viscose nepps) and the color (Elfwine) of my original Mirkwood sample, a dark colored yarn combined with a dark time of year meant that it was pretty hard to see the leaf lace on the yoke in the pattern photos. I've gotten quite a lot of "so that's what it looks like!" comments when wearing the maroon Mirkwood sample in public. The original photos don't capture the beauty of the stitch pattern on the yoke.

Mirkwood Cardigan :: cardigan knitting pattern from talvi knits.

I wanted to knit another sample that would make the leaf design pop and suit the fall season. The new sample is knitted in Malabrigo Yarn Sock (100% merino) in the colorway Botichelli Red, a rich and vibrant autumn-y red. The round, tight twist on the yarn brings out the lace detail beautifully and is just perfect for highlighting the stitch definition of twisted stitches.

Leaf lace pattern on the Mirkwood Cardigan yoke

To celebrate the extended size range, you can get 15% off Mirkwood Cardigan when you join my mailing list by the end of October 2019.

The updated pattern for Mirkwood Cardigan is now available from both Ravelry and LoveCrafts. I'd love to see your version of the Mirkwood so do share your photos on Instagram with the hashtags #mirkwoodcardi and #talviknits.


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Mirkwood Cardigan :: cardigan knitting pattern from talvi knits.

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Susanna Winter is a knitwear designer, creating timeless and elegant pieces with clean lines. She has been knitting for over 20 years, knit blogging since 2007, and designing knitting patterns professionally since 2016.

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