The Botanist by Thea Colman

The Botanist

October 2018
Worsted (9 wpi) ?
20 stitches and 28 rows = 4 inches
in double seed stitch and reverse stockinette, based on final fabric.
US 6 - 4.0 mm
US 5 - 3.75 mm
1350 - 2150 yards (1234 - 1966 m)
37 (39,42,44,47)(51,55,59)"/ 94 (99,106.75,111.75,119.75)(129.5,139.75,149.75)cm circumference around bust, worn closed.
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The Botanist is my contribution to A Verb For Keeping Warm’s First Look Book, a collection of designs in Kristine Vejar’s gorgeous fibers that focuses on the farmers, the makers, the materials and the process behind our craft.

See the look book HERE

Worked in Pioneer, my Botanist cardigan is an update of the classic V-neck Aran cardigan, often knit in heavy cream wool, with big wooden buttons, bold, diamond shape cables, and tons of texture.

I wanted to take that traditional sweater and lighten it up - making it a little more modern, feminine, and wearable. I started with the Pioneer itself - the lofty Organic Merino wool is the perfect everyday sweater weight - and textures knit in this yarn look fantastic in the subtle shading of the hand-dyed fiber.

I designed a mix of textures and cables that read as soft and delicate, and I envisioned my sweater worn short, with a bit of ease. To round out my vision, I played with the collar - it’s not a shawl, but the deeper top of the button band is a look I’m in love with, as it feels modern and traditional all at once.

The Botanist is knit in one piece from the bottom up, then separated and worked flat in 3 pieces from armholes to shoulders. Sleeves are worked flat and set into armholes.

Cables are both charted and written, and the pattern is designed so that modifications to either length or width are easy to add. Notes in the pattern include my thoughts on when and how to make changes or add additional shaping.

Below are specifics about yardage and sizes, and Pioneer Kits for this design are available HERE


Sizes based on circumference around bust, worn closed. For fit shown, I suggest the choosing size that allows for about 4-5”/10-12.75cm of positive ease, based on bust.

Yardage by size:

Yardage includes about 100yds/90m of “buffer” per size as I think it’s always best to err on the side of extra, rather than being short.
(and yes, if you got my newsletter, I did change that 1850 to 1875 because the 75 yd jump there bothered my type A sensibility)

Sample shown in Vineyard.

Errata Notes: there were two small typos. Both have been fixed, and the current PDF is correct.

  1. in the written instructions for the sleeve chart. The first line should read “Rows 1 and 9” as those rows are the same. (11/4)

  2. page 7, instructions for Right Side Armhole Shaping. The stitch count there, beginning with 93(101..) was a stray cut/paste. It does not belong in that section. (12/9)

One more errata:

January 2023: On page 16 of the 2018 version of this pattern, the written instructions for Cable Chart C Rows 13 & 17 should begin “Rows 13, 17: P, 1/1 LC, 1/1 RC….” The PDF was updated to include the “P” at row beginning.