The shawl-collar cardigan is all the rage these days, but many of the options on store shelves are bulky, dense garments unsuitable for multi-season wear. The Irma cardigan, by contrast, is worked in a delicate allover lace stitch with deep ribbing at the hem and cuffs, long sleeves, and optional front pockets. The lace columns act like ribbing, giving the finished garment a lovely drape and a fit that’s close but not clingy. Best of all, it’s airy enough for wearing most months of the year!
If worked in a superwash wool sock yarn, this will be a hard-wearing, easy-care garment. For a touch of luxury, try a fingering-weight wool blend with a little cashmere, silk, or alpaca in it. Fronts, back, and sleeves are knit flat separately and seamed together; this lends additional structure to the finished sweater, and will help keep it from drooping or bagging with extended wear, especially if you’re substituting an all-cotton or cotton-blend yarn.
You can use nearly any fingering-weight sock yarn for this pattern; you’ll need approximately 1550 (1700, 1850, 2000, 2150, 2250, 2400, 2550, 2700) yards for the completed sweater and a generously-sized gauge swatch, which is always recommended. Samples shown are the 32” (S) size, worked in Simply Socks Yarn Co., SSY Solid (80% wool, 20% nylon; 175 yds/50g) in color 592/Silvery Sage (green), and Knit Picks Gloss Fingering (70% Merino wool, 30% silk; 220 yds/50g) in color Hawk (dark gray).