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The Comeback Cardigan

The Comeback Cardigan is a long cabled cardigan or "coatigan" that's knitted from the top down in aran-weight yarn. This cardigan is a comeback in many senses of the word. First of all, it's a comeback to one of the first things I fell in love with in knitting: intricate and interesting, twining and twisting cables. Second, it's a comeback to two of my very first garment designs, a mash-up of Brontide (a cabled round-yoke cardigan) and Dilaila's Hoodie (a striped raglan coat).



The Comeback Cardigan features raglan sleeves and scooped neckline. Raglan increases are done a little differently in this design. Because the majority of the cardigan is in reverse stockinette, increases are worked in the wrong (or stockinette) side of the work with paired yarnover increases. The scooped neckline is shaped using the staggered start approach mentioned in this blog post with stitches cast on gradually at the front neck edges.



The stand-out details of the cardigan are the wide cable panels running down the mid-back, on the sleeves, and on the pockets. The central motif on the back panel is a riff on the stand-alone cable used in Brontide, only slightly smaller in scale and mirrored to make it continuous. Both written and charted instructions are given for all the cable patterns.


The smaller cables on the sides appear also on the sleeves, running from shoulder to cuff, and transforming smoothly into 2-by-2 ribbing. These same mirrored cables are also featured on the big set-in pockets that flow into the ribbed hem. The front of the cardigan is worked in reverse stockinette, making the pocket details really pop. The ribbing at the top of the pockets is attached on afterwards using Kitchener stitch in pattern. However, I've also included in the pattern an easier option of knitting it on with the live stitches.


All edges and bands are worked in good old 2-by-2 ribbing. Stitches for the neckband and the button bands are picked up last around the neckline and the front edges.


My sample cardigan was knit in Rowan Magpie Aran in the colorway 'Pumice'.

The cardigan is knit in aran-weight yarn, making it a relatively quick knit despite the length. For my straw-colored sample I used just shy of 7 skeins of Rowan Magpie Aran (100% wool, 140 m/100 g, 153 yd/3.53 oz) which unfortunately is now discontinued. That's a pity since I found the yarn quite enjoyable to work with. To knit the cardigan you need approx. 950 (1100, 1200, 1300, 1400) [1500, 1650, 1800, 1900] m or 1150 (1200, 1300, 1450, 1550) [1650, 1800, 1950, 2050] yd of yarn.


The yarn being discontinued meant that I only had a limited amount of it. If I had a regret about this design, it's that I didn't get to make it into a hoodie. I had my sights set on a long cardigan but if I'd skimp on the length and nix the pockets, I could've had enough yarn for a hood. In the end pockets won. What can I say, I love pockets.



The cardigan is intended to have a comfortable fit. The pattern comes in nine sizes ranging from XS to 5X to fit a 75 (85, 95, 105, 115) [125, 135, 145, 155] cm or 30 (34, 38, 42, 46) [50, 54, 58, 62]" bust with approx. 5–10 cm / 2–4" of positive ease. The hem is gently A-lined so that the cardigan fits nicely around the hem (read: butt) area, too. If you want more swing in your coat, you can do even more hip increases by going up in size for the lower portion of the body.


The pattern for The Comeback Cardigan is now available in my Ravelry (seizure warning!), Payhip, and LoveCrafts stores. Share a photo of your cardigan with the hashtags #thecomebackcardigan and #talviknits so I can admire your knitting!

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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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