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Ringing in 2024 with Terho Cardigan

Happy New Year! The new year brings with it new designs. Here's my first pattern release for 2024: Terho Cardigan.

Terho Cardigan :: colorwork cardigan knitting pattern

As I was working on the Rockweed Pullover, a sweater version of the Rockweed cardigan, it dawned on me that it might be fun to revisit another one of my sweater designs but in the other direction. Terho Cardigan, as the name suggests, is a cardigan version of its namesake pullover Terho, published in May 2021.

Terho Cardigan :: colorwork cardigan knitting pattern

There are, of course, plenty of similarities between the two versions. Both the sweater and the cardigan feature the same colorwork motif: oak leaves and hanging acorns on the round yoke. Both are knit in the round from the top down in DK-weight yarn and even using the same yarn brand, Tukuwool DK. There's ribbing on the hem and cuffs, and i-cord around the neckline.

Terho Cardigan is first knit seamlessly in the round, then steeked in the end to form an opening for the front
Terho Cardigan is first knit seamlessly in the round, then steeked in the end to form an opening for the front

But that's where the similarities end. The biggest, most obvious difference between the two versions is that Terho Cardigan is steeked: it's first worked seamlessly with a few extra stitches to bridge the gap between the two fronts, the cut open (yes, with actual scissors!) to form on opening.

Steeking is a technique used in knitting the enables the knitter to avoid doing colorwork back and forth, eliminating the need to manage floats on the purl side of the work. Many knitters tend to confuse the meaning for the word "steeking" and use it as a synonym for cutting. It actually means the very opposite: the origin of the word comes from the Middle-English verb for to shut, close, or fasten.

While it's possible to knit colorwork back and forth, it's often faster, easier, and more efficient to do it in the round. By closing off all openings in the work you can knit a continuous piece in the round and worry about the rest later. Like in Terho Cardigan, steeking is most often used to turn a pullover into a cardigan. But it can also be applied to other uses where a vertical cut is needed, such as for the armholes and split neckline in traditional Norwegian-style sweaters.

Terho Cardigan :: colorwork cardigan knitting pattern

And if all this cutting your sweater business sounds scary… it is! I've done a couple of steeked cardigans but each time it's still quite nerve-wracking. But if you do the prep work carefully, steeking is nothing to be frightened of. The pattern includes step-by-step instructions for the whole process from reinforcing steek stitches, picking up stitches for the button bands, working an i-cord edging around the front edges and neckline, and finally cutting the cardigan front in half. The pattern is written using machine-stitching to reinforce the front edges but you can also use some other method of reinforcement such as crochet or needle felting.

Working the button bands in this order — picking up stitches first and taking scissors to your work last — puts less strain on the front edges. It does make picking up stitches a little trickier but it also means you don't have to maneuver the edge stitches after cutting, diminishing the risk of the cut yarn ends popping and your work starting to fray.

Terho Cardigan :: colorwork cardigan knitting pattern

But enough about steeking. What's also changed from pullover to cardigan is moving the acorn colorwork motif from the hem to the sleeve cuffs. A few people who knit the pullover-version of Terho modified the pattern to exclude the colorwork on the hem, commenting that they didn't want any extra attention drawn to their hip area.

Doing a large colorwork motif on the hem can make it less stretchy for any knitter and even more so if you struggle with colorwork tension. The hem of the sweater can then pucker, be unflattering, or too tight to wear. In the Terho Cardigan, the sweater hem is just plain, single-color stockinette with 2x2 ribbing. This makes it fit comfortably around your hips and bum, especially coupled with a stretchy bind-off for 2x2 ribbing. Like the pullover, Terho Cardigan also includes two variations for the body: with or without waist shaping.

Tukuwool DK in the colorways (left to right) Manna, Repo, and Nila.
Tukuwool DK in the colorways (left to right) Manna, Repo, and Nila.

Another difference in the two versions is the number of colors used. The original Terho was designed for two colors but with the cardigan I wanted to make the oak leaves and acorns stand out more from each other. You can still work the cardigan in two colors, though. The pattern includes yardages for both three- and two-color versions.

For my fall-colored sample I used Tukuwool DK in the colors Manna (main color), Repo (contrasting color 1 for oak leaves and i-cord), and Nila (contrasting color 2 for acorns on the yoke and cuffs). To knit the cardigan you'll need DK-weight yarn in the following amounts.

For the three-color version:

  • Main color: approx. 780–1730 m or 850–1890 yd

  • Contrasting color 1: approx 120–200 m or 140–220 yd

  • Contrasting color 2: approx. 90–210 m or 100–230 yd

Or for the two-color version:

  • Main color: approx. 780–1730 m or 850–1890 yd

  • Contrasting color: approx. 210–390 m or 230–430 yd

Detailed size-by-size yardage requirements for each color and both versions are listed on the pattern page.

Sizing in the cardigan pattern has also been revamped from the original. Whereas the pullover was available in 9 sizes (from XS to 5X), Terho Cardigan has been completely regraded using Kim McBrien Evans' representative size chart. The pattern now comes in 10 sizes (XS to 6X) with a finished full bust circumference of approx. 81–184 cm or 31¾"–72½". The pattern is graded with variable bust sizes: B cup in sizes XS–M, C in L–4X, and a D cup in sizes 5X–6X. For best fit, choose your size based on upper bust circumference.

Terho Cardigan :: colorwork cardigan knitting pattern

The pattern for Terho Cardigan is now available in my pattern shops on Payhip, LoveCrafts, and Ravelry. If you're on my mailing list, check your email for a little coupon code. And don't forget to share photos of your project with the hashtag #terhocardigan and #talviknits on Instagram — I'd love to see your color choices!


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Ringing in the new year with Terho Cardigan! In this blog post I detail the design features in this steeked top-down colorwork cardigan. A stunning evolution from the original pullover version, this DK-weight cardigan features oak leaves and acorns on a round yoke. The key twist? It's steeked! Learn about what steeking means, and when and why it can be used. Discover what's changed from the pullover to the cardigan version such as upgraded sizing for an even more size inclusive knitting pattern.

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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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