True North by Amy Swenson

True North

January 2011
Bulky (7 wpi) ?
14 stitches and 18 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette
US 10 - 6.0 mm
1060 - 1850 yards (969 - 1692 m)
36[40, 44, 48, 52] finished chest measurement
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This pattern is available for $7.00 USD
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I’ve always wanted to knit a cardigan like this. Cozy and warm, but elegant and modern, with just enough fair isle to make it pretty without being overly complex.

Although this project can be worked as a traditional seamless raglan cardigan, turning at the end of each row, the fair isle bits are easier to work entirely in the round, with no purl rows, and then cutting up the center front to create the cardigan after the knitting is complete. The technique of ‘steeking’ isn’t as hard or as scary as you may think.

True North is named for my adopted country, Canada, and features a shaped shawl collar, longer length, and an optional belt.

Chunky-weight yarn in three colours:
MC (shown in ecru): 700800, 900, 1050, 1150 yards
CC1 (shown in green): 180200, 220, 300, 350 yards
CC2 (shown in brown): 180200, 220, 300, 350 yards
Size M shown in Cascade Eco Wool and Eco+
US 10 / 6.0mm 32” circular needle OR SIZE TO OBTAIN GAUGE
US 8 / 5.0mm 32” circular needle
US 8 / 5.0mm 40” or longer circular needle
Set of US 10 / 6.0mm double pointed needles
Set of US 8 / 5.0mm double pointed needles
Yarn needle
Sewing machine, or hand-sewing skills, if steeking

A note on fit:
Model is shown with approximately 4 inches of positive ease. This garment is meant to be worn loosely.

This fair isle cardigan is worked in the round, then stabilized with machine stitching and cut. If you haven’t worked a ‘steek’ before, it’s a great technique, and not as scary as you might think. Steeks work best with 100% non-superwash animal fiber yarns. The same properties of the fiber that would make it felt if thrown in the washing machine, will also help keep your steek secure. HOWEVER, I recommend using a sewing machine to stitch before cutting. This stabilizes the stitches securely. If you’re substituting yarn, it’s not a bad idea to practice the steek on a swatch, to make sure the yarn will hold.

To indicate the steek position, you’ll work one p st at the beg and end of every round. These sts are accounted for in the st counts, but for simplicity, do not appear on any of the charts.

If you want to avoid steeking altogether, you can do it. Instead of joining and working in the round, work in rows, turning at the marker every time you reach it. You can leave the p sts at either end; you’ll be picking up and knitting on the collar, and these will turn to the underside of the work. It may help to mark up the pattern with the revised numbers so you don’t get confused.

Waist shaping is an integral part of the body directions. You’ll decrease and increase both to shape the waist and to obtain the right number of stitches for working the body charts.


Version 1.1 corrects the omitted “Row 1” from the front yoke charts for size S. Row one for these charts should be to knit all sts in brown.