Oversized Cardigan – Knitting Work in Progress

knitting an oversized chunky cardigan inspired by free people and brandey melville

So, I’m knitting this oversized cardigan. It’s already getting hot in Austin, so you might think it’s not the right time to knit an oversized chunky sweater.

False! The AC is no joke. It will be 100° outside, but the inside of a mall could comfortably support arctic life (such as seals). That’s totally a real reason to knit a sweater in summer and not at all a justification to support my knitting addiction.

My oversized knit cardigan will shield me from frigid blasts of air conditioning in restaurants, theaters, shops, grocery stores, and corporate coffee shops all summer.

The Knitting Pattern

oversized cardigan knitting pattern finished sweater photo
courie in from littletheorem on ravelry

I started knitting the Courie In cardigan pattern from Littletheorem on Ravelry last week. So far I’ve knit an arm and a half.

The pattern is a little strange, as you knit the arms first from the cuff up and half way across the back. Then you join the two arms to form like a shrug kind of thing. Then you pick up stitches under the back section of the shrug to knit the body, and you pick up stitches around the front to knit the collar/button band/front area. I realize that probably makes no sense. The pattern is really clear though, so if you want to knit this don’t worry. It’s an interesting construction, but not difficult at all.

It’s a free pattern, and I picked it because it already closely resembles the cardigan I had in mind (see some inspiration photos below). I wanted something a little more substantial than the thinner cardigans I already have. Something like a cross between a knit jacket and a grandma/grandpa sweater.

I want to wear my sweater like, now, so I’m using a super-bulky yarn (Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in Fisherman) instead of the bulky yarn that’s suggested. Amazingly when I knit a swatch to check my gauge it was dead-on-perfect on the first try. I must be knitting a lot tighter than the pattern maker (that seems right judging from the photos of Courie In) because I’m using super-bulky yarn and needles that are like two sizes bigger than the suggested needles. So glad I swatched. If I just guessed I would need to knit a smaller size or go down a needle size or two this would rapidly degrade from oversized cardigan to way-to-small cardigan.

I think I’m going to knit the pattern as-is for the most part, but I might make two adjustments.

  1. Pretty sure I’m going to add pockets to the cardigan, because, I mean, pockets. Do I need a reason for pockets?
  2. I might also make the front of the hemline a little longer than the back.

I’ll keep you updated on any other adjustments I make.

Oversized Cardigan Knitting Inspiration

I had a Caroline cardigan from Brandy Melville a few years ago. I didn’t realize it was 100% wool (not super-wash) and had special care instructions so I promptly shrunk it in the wash. I loved the color, and it was my inspiration for choosing the color Fisherman for this knitting project.

brandy melville caroline cardigan knitting inspiration
brandy melville oversized caroline cardigan

Otherwise, I’ve just generally been inspired by every Pinterest photo in existence of oversized cardigans and sweaters like this Free People one worn by Danielle over at Against All Grain.

Knitting my own oversized cardigan inspired by free people.
free people cardigan via against all grain

I love the fit (and pockets) of this fuzzy one, also from Free People (pretty sure it’s discontinued).

free people oversized cardigan via free people on pinterest
free people chunky cardigan via free people on pinterest

And my summer uniform inspiration – oversized cardigan with cut off shorts.

chunky oversized cardigan knitting inspiration
chunky oversized cardigan with shorts – sorry, couldn’t find the source :(

Follow My Progress!

If you’re a knitter and you’re not on Ravelry I’m shocked. Shocked I tell you!

It’s a fantastic free resource for patterns, yarn, and advise, and there’s an amazing community there that can help you with any trouble or questions you’re having. While I was knitting my first ever sweater I had trouble understanding part of the pattern. I asked a question on Ravelry and within 24 hours I got a response from the pattern designer herself that included a hand drawn diagram of what I was supposed to be doing. So, yeah, if you’re not on Ravelry already go join now.

While you’re there, you can follow my knitting progress, and see the notes I’m making for this oversized cardigan project. The project is public, so I think you’ll be able to see it even if you don’t join Ravelry.

And, of course, I’ll be updating Nerdy Living with progress photos, notes, and the final cardigan when it’s all done. Subscribe now so you don’t miss any of the oversized cardigan journey!

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