Fiberfiend is currently blogging on her attempt to knit an almost authentic Bohus sweater.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Brenda Cardigan Pattern

For your knitting pleasure, I give you The Brenda Cardigan. You may download and/or copy this pattern for your personal use only. If you do make this cardigan, please send me a link to a photo. (Any mistakes found are mine and mine alone, for which I apologize.)

Gauge: 14 stitch chevron repeat = 3"

Needle size: Size 7 circular 29" OR SIZE NEEDED FOR GAUGE

Finished Size: 44" chest (medium) (to make a size small, go down one needle size, to make a size large, go up one needle size)

Length shoulder to hem: 31"

Yarn: 13 skeins Pure Alpaca by Elann, 109 yds = 50g

Notes: The body of this lace cardigan is knit back and forth in one piece to the underarms, then separated for front and back. All wrong side rows are purl the purl stitches, knit the knit stitches. The shawl collar is knit as extensions from the two front facing sections and grafted together at the back neck.

Body, Facings and Hem

Cast on 215 stitches using Cable cast on.

First row (WS set up row): p9, k1 for right front facing, (p13, k1) 14 times for lace pattern, end p9 for left front facing

Next row: k9, p1, (k13, p1) 14 times, k9, p1

Repeat first and second rows three more times for hem ending on WS row

First pattern row (RS): k9, p1, knit 14 repeats row 1 of chevron lace pattern, end k9

Next and all WS rows: p9, k1 (p13, k1) to last 9 stitches, end p9

Continue in pattern for 19", ending on row 8 of lace pattern.

Shape Armhole

(RS) K9 for facing, k31 in pattern, bind off 8 stitches, k in pattern to end (note: bind off should be center 8 stitches of 4th chevron repeat )

Next row (WS): p9 for facing, k31 in pattern, bind off 8 stitches, k in pattern to bound off stitches at other end. Move front stitches to holders and continue knitting back only.

Continue back in pattern, decreasing one stitch each side every other row three times. (This should leave six complete chevron repeats for the back, plus one purl stitch on each side as a selvedge stitch). Continue in pattern over six complete chevron repeats until armhole measures 9". Shape shoulders with short rows on each side, leaving first 3 stitches unworked on each side, then 3 more unworked on the next row, then finally 3 more unworked on the last row. Move center 28 stitches to one holder, move shoulder stitches to separate holders.

Right Front and collar shaping:

Join new ball of yarn at front edge. Immediately increase facing from 9 to 13 stitches by knitting into the front and back of every other stitch to provide stitches needed for a full chevron repeat. If you do this when the pattern is on the first row of the chevron (only one yo) it will be easiest to incorporate. At the same time Knit in pattern to bound off stitches, dec 1 stitch at armhole edge each of the next three RS rows. (Note: whenever possible, decrease by omitting a yo in last chevron repeat)

Then on every RS row, increase the width of the collar while decreasing the front as for a V-neckline. Put a stitch marker between the stitches that make up the facings and the stitches for the fronts; this is where you will increase for the collar and decrease for the front. On every other RS row (every 4th row) when you get to the marker, increase 1 stitch by picking up the bar between stitches, twisting it onto the left needle, then knit it. One stitch increased. Then move the marker one more stitch towards the front, effectively "assigning" one front stitch to the collar stitches. Two stitches increased for the collar, one decreased for the V-neck. Do this ever other RS row until there are only two full repeats of the chevron left on the fronts. The shoulder seam is two chevrons wide, and the collar should be three chevrons wide.

(The tricky part is keeping the collar stitches in pattern. As you increase collar stitches and "reassign" front stitches to the collar, those stitches need to be incorporated into the pattern started when you increased the facing from 7 st st stitches to 14 chevron stitches.)

Once the armhole is 9" deep, slope the shoulder with three short rows as for the back, then move the shoulder stitches to a holder and continue on the collar stitches only. Add one selvedge stitch to the shoulder side of the collar (so you can sew it down later) and begin the short row sections of the collar needed to give it enough fullness to fold over and lay properly.

Every other RS row (every 4th row) leave 6 stitches on each side unworked. Don't worry about wrap-and-turn since that helps prevent holes, but since this is lace an odd hole at the edges of the shawl collar won't show. Continue knitting the collar extension until the edge reachs just short of the center of the back neck. Put stitches on holder until Left Front is complete.

Left Front and collar shaping

Join new ball of yarn and complete as for Right Front, reversing shaping.


In the round: Cast on 55, join, being careful not to twist. Set up row: pm, p1, pm, (k13,p1) three times, end k13. (Don't forget every other row is knit plain)

Knitting flat: Cast on 58. Set up row: knit 1 selvedge, pm, k1, pm (k13, p1) four times, knit 1 selvedge.

Knit 5 full repeats of 8 row chevron pattern.

Begin increases: increase 1 stitch each side of marker (in the round) or inside each selvedge edge (knitting flat) every 6 rows, incorporating stitches into pattern, until there are 6 full chevron repeats, ending on row 8 of pattern. Sleeve should be approx. 19" long.

Next row: bind off 7 stitches at beginning and end of row (14 stitches bound off). Begin back and forth knitting of sleeve cap. Knit one row in pattern.

Bind off 2 stitches next 2 rows.

Decrease 1 stitch each end of every RS row until 40 stitches remain.

Bind off 2 stitches next 2 rows

Bind off 3 stitches next 2 rows

Bind off remaining 30 stitches

Belt and Belt Loops

For belt loops, knit two pieces of 4-stitch I-cord each 2" long, leaving long cast on and cast off tails. Sew I-cord to sides of cardigan at waist level, directly below armhole, using tails to attach.

For belt, cast on 14 stitches. Work in k1p1 rib for 65". Bind off


Turn up bottom 6 rows of hem and sew to body.

Lightly block body flat to fit dimensions. Block sleeves to dimensions.

Graft the two collar edges together using Kitchener stitch, and attach the edge to the back neck with a 3-needle bind off. Fold the collar in half and whip stitch the free edge to the bind off. (You may need to pick up an extra stitch on each side of the back neck to keep it tight and tidy; just pick up a loose bar between stitches, twist onto the needle, and count as part of the bind off.)

Sew in sleeves


  1. this is gorgeous! thanks for sharing it!

  2. Your work and ability to recreate this sweater are impressive! It's a gorgeous sweater and I'm giving it a try. Are you available for questions? I'm stuck on the shoulder slope and would love to have your guidance rather than moving forward on my assumptions. Thank you1

  3. Thank you for sharing your lovely sweater pattern!