for Straker Classics 1981
Penny Straker: “Timeless, tailored and versatile too, Nordic will work for you - a basic crew neck cardigan, embellished with panels of the ancient and handsome Tree of Life, one of the most beloved Aran patterns. The new branches begin as one finishes the last of the old branches.
“Change the attitude of this design with a different pattern for the panels. We are blessed with an abundance of rich pattern stitches passed down through the centuries. Experiment and substitute one of them for the Tree of Life. Use another Aran pattern that you particularly enjoy, or use an openwork pattern. All will add architectural interest in the panels flanking the front band.
“Knit it in any number of fabulous worsted weight yarns – soft, sumptuous and drapey in alpaca, a season transitional in cotton or cotton blends, or knit it with a rich tweed for a cozy cold-weather cardigan for layering. And don’t be afraid of altering the body length – knit it to a cropped length if that’s what you want.
“For more ease on the bottom cuffs, cast on more stitches for the ribbing, to allow the sweater to fit around the hips.
“Do work a swatch to obtain your ribbing gauge – don’t skimp on the stitch count! Aim for a 6” to 8” width for your swatch. When you have met required gauge - 6 sts=1”, add enough stitches to your cast on to make the ribbing as wide as the back Stockinette Stitch width for your size, i.e. Size 36=90 sts=18” across back.
“Multiply 18”x 6 sts (ribbing gauge)=108 sts, an even multiple. Work on an uneven multiple, and begin and end right-side rows with P1. Then both edges are P1s making it easier assembly and less conspicuous seams. So cast on an uneven number of ribbing stitches and begin and end with P1.
“And remember to decrease at even intervals across first row of Stockinette Stitch to the required stitch count!”
(This design was created by Penny Straker's mom, Janice.--ed.)
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