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the Avenham cardigan

I say this every time, but I think my latest design might *actually* be my favourite. It’s pink and pretty and fluffy and the design came together exactly as I’d imagined, which is always satisfying! I purchased this yarn at Yarndale festival last year (remember when you could go to crowded places and squish unlimited yarn and stroke a stranger’s arm when you liked their sleeve?) and I just knew it had to become something pretty and floaty. Naturally with some kind of big sleeve involved. For a 4ply project this cardigan was surprisingly quick; I knit my sample in around 3 weeks (whilst working on other projects) and want to cast on another immediately. Even the big sleeves felt fairly speedy, although that may be down to my impatience to see them take shape / hope that the combination of short rows and increases that worked in my head would translate well into real life. Luckily the puff sleeve / flutter sleeve hybrid worked in the end!

If you’re wondering ‘that doesn’t look like you in the photos’ – I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to shoot a few bits and bobs on my beautiful cousin Nadine whilst in Scotland earlier this summer. Doesn’t it suit her perfectly? Spending a week right by the sea was exactly what I needed this summer and of course it’s 10x better when you can see family whilst on your jollies too.

Any local readers will I’m sure recognise the name Avenham (pronounced with a soft ‘A’) from it’s namesake park in Preston. To be perfectly honest I mainly chose it because the word sounds pretty and I thought it suited the cardigan, but of course I have many fond memories spent in the park by the river too. One of these days I’ll actually photograph the Avenham cardigan in Avenham park, but despite travelling to Scotland, Derbyshire, Manchester, & London lately I haven’t actually ventured into my hometown since March. I’ve become quite the pro at taking tripod photos in the bedroom at home though.

Thank you so much to all the wonderful test knitters who helped me out with this one. I absolutely loved seeing the cardigans come together. Thank you for sharing my love for a good sleeve!


Yarn A (for main body and edging): 4ply / fingering weight yarn, 485 (542; 589; 628; 676) [733; 784; 823; 878] metres / 530 (593; 644; 687; 739) [802; 857; 900; 960] yards
Yarn B (for sleeves): laceweight / mohair, 220 (244; 266; 292; 325) [376; 434; 466; 493] metres / 241 (267; 291; 319; 355) [411; 475; 510; 539] yards.
Shown here in West Green Loft Yarns SWIRL as Yarn A and West Green Loft Yarns WISP as Yarn B (78% kid mohair and 22% silk, 420m per 50g skein).

Needles & notions: 3.25mm and 2.5mm needles for body, plus either 16” or 24” / 40cm or 60 cm 3.25mm circular needles for sleeves. You will also need scrap yarn for holding stitches, lockable stitch markers, a tapestry needle and 10 small buttons of approximate diameter 11 mm.

Gauge: 24 sts and 34 rows to 4” / 10cm with Yarn A in stocking stitch on 3.25mm needles, blocked.

Sizing: 1 (2: 3: 4: 5) [6: 7: 8: 9] detailed below, designed to be worn with 1 – 3 inches / 2.5 – 7.5 cm positive ease. Sample shown is a size 2 worn on a 34” bust, with around 1 inch / 2.5 cm positive ease.

To fit bust: 28-30 (32-34; 36-38; 40-42; 44-46) (48-50; 52-54; 56-58; 60-62) inches / 71-76 (81-86; 91-97; 102-107; 112-117) (122-127; 132-137; 142-147; 152-157) cm.

Finished bust: 31.5 (35.5; 39.5; 43.5; 47.5) [51.5; 55.5; 59.5; 63.5] inches / 80 (90; 100; 110; 121) [131; 141; 151; 161] cm.

Finished waist: 17 (19; 21; 23.5; 25.5) [27.5; 30; 32; 34.5] inches / 43 (48; 54; 59; 65) [70; 76; 82; 87] cm.

The Avenham cardigan is worked seamlessly from the top down, with the body worked in 4ply / fingering weight and the sleeves worked in laceweight mohair. Sleeves can be easily modified to be shorter or longer. The sleeve shape was designed with lightweight fluffy mohair in mind, so a heavier / drapier yarn will result in a different sleeve shape.

A change in gauge (dropping 3 needle sizes) means the ribbed hem nips in considerably around the waist. The ‘finished waist’ measurements given may sound alarmingly small, but these are unstretched measurements of 2×2 rib which is incredibly stretchy. Sample shown measures 19” unstretched, and easily fits a 26.5” waist.

I LOVE seeing people knit my patterns and make them their own – if you could tag @lilykatemakes and #AvenhamCardigan on Instagram that would be great!

The Avenham Cardigan knitting pattern is also available via Ravelry here.

4ply Yarn possibilities:
West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply // West Yorkshire Spinners Bo Peep 4ply // Novita Baby Merino Dream // Debbie Bliss Rialto 4ply // King Cole Merino Blend 4ply // Coop Knits Socks Yeah! // Knit Picks Palette // Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply // Any indie-dyed wool-based 4ply, such as WGLY Swirl shown here.

Mohair / fluff yarn possibilities:
Rowan Kidsilk Haze // Fyberspates Cumulus // Hobbii Diablo // Knit Picks Aloft // Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud // DROPS Kid-Silk // DROPS Brushed Alpaca Silk // Debbie Bliss Angel // Isager Silk Mohair // Lana Grossa Silkhair // Sandness Garn Silk Mohair // Any indie-dyed mohair / silk blend laceweight, such as WGLY Wisp shown here.

Lily Kate x

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