Knit a plus-size Bohus-style cardigan

This classic yoke cardigan is knit in the round with waist shaping and flaring at the cuffs.

By Chrissy Gardiner

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Bountiful Bohus

The quintessential yoke sweater, done Big Girl style: cardigan (so you can open or close depending on the level of warmth you're in the mood for), waist shaping (of course!), and a little flaring at the cuff (to modernize). It's knit in the round and steeked, which makes for easy knitting and a cool way to impress your friends: "You cut your sweater up the middle?"

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Click to view pattern piece measurements

Sizes
L (1X, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X)
Shown in size 1X

Finished measurements
Chest: 40 (44, 48, 52, 56, 60)" / 101.5 (112, 122, 132, 142, 152.5) cm
Hips: 47 (51, 55, 59, 63, 67)" / 119.5 (129.5, 139.5, 150, 160, 170) cm
Length: 24 (24, 24, 25, 26, 26)" / 61 (61, 61, 63.5, 66, 66) cm

Materials
Cascade 220; 100% Peruvian Highland wool; 220 yd (201 m) per 3-1/2 oz (100 g) skein:
• 6 (6, 7, 8, 8, 9) skeins #9412 black/brown (MC)
• 1 skein #8010 cream (CC1)
• 1 skein #8021 beige (CC2)
1 US #7 (4.5 mm) circular needle, 36" (90 cm) long, or size needed to obtain gauge
1 US #5 (3.75 mm) circular needle, 24" (60 cm) long
1 set US #7 (4.5 mm) double-pointed needles

Note: If a 36" (90 cm) circular needle is unavailable, a 32" (80 cm) needle may be substituted for the smaller sizes, or a 40" (100 cm) needle for the larger sizes. For all sizes, a 12" (30 cm) circular needle may be substituted for the double-pointed needles.

Stitch markers
Split ring marker (optional)
Safety pins
Waste yarn
Cable needle
Tapestry needle
Sewing machine
Sewing thread
Sewing needle
6 buttons, 1" (25 mm) diameter

Gauge
20 sts and 24 rows = 4" (10 cm) in stockinette stitch using the larger needle

Stitch pattern
C4F: Slip the next 2 sts to a cable needle and hold in front of the work, k2, k2 from the cable needle.

Lower Body
Using the larger circular needle and MC, cast on 236 (256, 276, 296, 316, 336) sts.
Place marker and join, ensuring that the cast-on edge is not twisted. The stitch marker indicates both the centre front of the sweater and the end of the round. This marker will remain in place until the yoke of the sweater is complete.
The 5 sts to either side of the centre front marker are the steek stitches, and will form a facing once the front of the sweater is sewn and cut.

Round 1: K5, *p2, k2, p2, k4; repeat from * to last 11 sts, p2, k2, p2, k5.
Round 2: K5, *p2, k2, p2, C4F; repeat from * to last 11 sts, p2, k2, p2, k5.
Rounds 3-4: Work as for Round 1.
Repeat these 4 rounds until the work measures approximately 3" (7.5 cm), ending with Round 4.
Next Round: K59 (64, 69, 74, 79, 84), place marker, k118 (128, 138, 148, 158, 168), place marker, knit to end. These markers indicate the locations of the side "seams."
Knit 3 rounds.
Next Round: *Knit to 3 sts before the first marker, k2tog, k2, ssk; repeat from * once more, knit to end.
Repeat the last 4 rounds 8 times more – 200 (220, 240, 260, 280, 300) sts.
Continue in stockinette stitch until the work measures 13 (13, 13, 13, 14, 14)" / 33 (33, 33, 33, 35.5, 35.5) cm.

Shape bust
Note: The short rows that follow will add 1" (2.5 cm) of length to the front of the sweater. If you wish to add more length, more short rows may be worked. You can choose to work the set of given short rows once more for each additional desired inch of length, or you can work a second set of short rows at different increments (i.e., 3-stitch increments instead of 4-stitch increments). Alternatively, you can calculate your own short rows!
Row 1 (RS): K46 (51, 56, 61, 66, 71) (to 4 sts before side marker), W&T.
Row 2 (WS): P92 (102, 112, 122, 132, 142) (to 4 sts before side marker), W&T.
Row 3 (RS): K88 (98, 108, 118, 128, 138), W&T.
Row 4 (WS): P84 (94, 104, 114, 124, 134), W&T.
Row 5 (RS): K80 (90, 100, 110, 120, 130), W&T.
Row 6 (WS): P76 (86, 96, 106, 116, 126), W&T.
Knit 1 round, picking up wraps and working them together with wrapped stitches.
Note: From this point, when measuring the length of your work, measure along the side of the work. Do not measure at the front; it is now longer than the rest of the work.
Continue in stockinette stitch until the work measures 16" (40.5 cm).
Next Round: *Knit to 6 (6, 6, 7, 7, 8) sts before marker, place the next 12 (12, 12, 14, 14, 16) stitches on hold on a piece of waste yarn, removing marker; repeat from * once, knit to end.
Set this piece aside and work the Sleeves. Do not break the yarn; begin working the first Sleeve with a new skein of yarn.

Sleeves
Using double-pointed needles, cast on 100 (100, 110, 110, 120, 120) sts. Divide the sts between the needles and join to begin working in the round, ensuring that the cast-on edge is not twisted. If desired, place a safety pin or split ring marker in the work to indicate the beginning of the round.
Round 1: *P2, k2, p2, k4; repeat from * to end.
Round 2: *P2, k2, p2, C4F; repeat from * to end.
Rounds 3-4: Work as for Round 1.
Repeat these 4 rounds until the work measures approximately 4-1/2" (11.4 cm), ending with Round 4.

Size L only
Next Round: K1, *(k2tog) 4 times, k1; repeat from * to end – 56 sts.

Sizes 1X, 2X only
Next Round: *(K2tog) twice, k1; repeat from * to end – - (60, 66, -, -, -) sts.

Size 3X only
Next Round: *(K2tog, k1) 3 times, k2tog; repeat from * to end – 70 sts.

Size 4X only
Next Round: *(K1, k2tog) 8 times, (k2tog) 3 times; repeat from * to end – 76 sts.

Size 5X only
Next Round: *K1, k2tog; repeat from * to end – 80 sts.

All sizes
Work in stockinette stitch until the work measures 9" (23 cm).
Next Round: K1, m1, knit to last stitch, m1, k1.
Knit 3 rounds.
Repeat these 4 rounds 9 times more – 76 (80, 86, 90, 96, 100) sts.
Continue in stockinette stitch until the work measures 17" (43 cm) or desired length to underarm, stopping work 6 (6, 6, 7, 7, 8) sts before the end of the last round. Place the next 12 (12, 12, 14, 14, 16) sts (last 6 [6, 6, 7, 7, 8] sts of this round and first 6 [6, 6, 7, 7, 8] sts of next round) on hold on a piece of waste yarn. Place the remaining 64 (68, 74, 76, 82, 84) sts on hold on the US #5 (3.75 mm) circular needle. Break the yarn, leaving a 12" (30 cm) tail.
Make second sleeve in the same way. Place the 12 (12, 12, 14, 14, 16) sts on hold as for the first sleeve, but do not remove the remaining sts from the working needles.

Yoke
Pick up the Lower Body and resume working with the attached ball of yarn, working all sts of the Lower Body and Sleeves onto the long circular needle as follows:
Joining Round: Knit the first 44 (49, 54, 58, 63, 67) sts of the Body (to the first set of held stitches), knit the held stitches of one sleeve, knit the next 88 (98, 108, 116, 126, 134) stitches of the Body – 304 (332, 364, 384, 416, 436) sts.

Sizes 1X, 4X, 5X only
Knit 1 round, decreasing - (3, -, -, 2, 2) sts evenly spaced throughout the round. Do not decrease these sts within the 5 sts on either side of the front marker – - (329, -, -, 414, 434) sts.

All sizes
Work in stockinette stitch until the work measures 1-1/2 (1-1/2, 1-1/2, 2-1/2, 2-1/2, 3-1/2)" / 3.8 (3.8, 3.8, 6.5, 6.5, 9) cm from the Joining Round.
Decrease Round 1: K7, k2tog, *k3, k2tog; repeat from * to last 5 sts, k5 – 245 (265, 293, 309, 333, 349) sts.
Work all rounds of Chart 1. Work the last round of Chart 1 using CC2.
Decrease Round 2: Continuing with CC2, k6 (8, 6, 6, 10, 10), *k2, k2tog; repeat from * to last 7 (9, 7, 7, 11, 11) sts, knit to end – 187 (203, 223, 235, 255, 267) sts.
Work all rounds of Chart 2. When Chart 2 is complete, break CC1 and CC2; the rest of the sweater will be worked using MC only.
Decrease Round 3: K5, *k1, k2tog; repeat from * to last 5 (6, 5, 5, 7, 7) sts, k0 (1, 0, 0, 2, 2). Bind off the last 5 sts of this round and the first 5 sts of the next round, removing the marker. From this point, the neckline will be worked back and forth – 118 (129, 142, 150, 164, 172) sts.

Shape neckline
Row 1 (RS): K26 (29, 32, 34, 37, 39) (there are 27 [30, 33, 35, 38, 40] sts on the right needle), place marker, k64 (69, 76, 80, 88, 92), place marker, k22 (25, 28, 30, 33, 35) (to last 5 sts), W&T.
Row 2 (WS): Purl to last 5 sts, W&T.
Row 3 (RS): Knit to last 10 sts, W&T.
Row 4 (WS): Purl to last 10 sts, W&T.
Row 5 (RS): Knit to last 15 sts, W&T.
Row 6 (WS): Purl to last 15 sts, W&T.
Row 7 (RS): Knit to 1 st before second marker, W&T.
Row 8 (WS): Purl to 1 st before marker, W&T.
Row 9 (RS): Knit to 6 sts before marker, W&T.
Row 10 (WS): Purl to 6 sts before marker, W&T.
Row 11 (RS): Knit to 11 sts before marker, W&T.
Row 12 (WS): Purl to 11 sts before marker, W&T.
Row 13 (RS): Knit to end of row, picking up wraps and knitting them together with wrapped stitches.
Row 14 (WS): Purl all stitches, removing markers, picking up remaining wraps and purling them together with wrapped stitches.

Size L only
Row 15 (RS): *K1, k2tog; repeat from * twice more, **k2, k2tog, k1, k2tog; repeat from ** to last 4 sts, k1, k2tog, k1 – 84 sts.

Size 1X only
Row 15 (RS): K1, (k2tog) 4 times, *k1, k2tog; repeat from * to last 9 sts, (k2tog) 4 times, k1 – 84 sts.

Size 2X only
Row 15 (RS): K3, *k2tog, k2; repeat from * to last stitch, k1 – 96 sts.

Size 3X only
Row 15 (RS): K1, (k2tog) 7 times, *k1, k2tog; repeat from * to last 15 sts, (k2tog) 7 times, k1 – 96 sts.

Size 4X only
Row 15 (RS): K2, (k2tog) twice, *k1, (k2tog) twice, k1, k2tog, k1, k2tog; repeat from * to last 5 sts, (k2tog) twice, k1 – 104 sts.

Size 5X only
Row 15 (RS): K2, *(k2tog) twice, k1; repeat from * to end – 104 sts.

All sizes
Row 16 (WS): Using US #5 (3.75 mm) needle, p3, *k2, p2; repeat from * to last stitch, p1.
Row 17 (RS): K3, *p2, k2; repeat from * to last stitch, k1.
These 2 rows set the rib pattern for the neckband. Continue in pattern until the neckband measures 1" (2.5 mm).
Loosely bind off all stitches in pattern.

Finishing
Grafting

Graft the held stitches of the Body and Sleeves together at the underarms.

Steeking
Sew a line of running stitch using waste yarn in a contrasting colour down the centre of the work, between the two central columns of stitches. This will form a guide for sewing and cutting. Sew two more lines of running stitch, each five columns of stitches away from the first line of stitching at the centre of the work. These delineate the front edges of the cardigan, and will form guides for picking up stitches for the button and buttonhole bands.

Machine stitch up the first and last columns of stitches of the round (the two centre front stitches), stretching the fabric slightly while sewing to maintain elasticity. Run a second line of stitching down the columns of stitches next to the central stitches.

Cut the steek down the centre of the work, along the central line of running stitch.

Try the cardigan on to determine the best placement for the 6 buttons. Use safety pins to mark these points along the right side of the cardigan, close to the right front edge (defined by the line of running stitch 5 stitches away from the cut edge).

Buttonhole band
With the right side facing, beginning at the lower right front edge, using the US #5 (3.75 mm) circular needle and MC and using the line of running stitch as a guide, pick up and knit 3 stitches for every 4 rows along the right front edge of the cardigan and along the edge of the Neckband.
Count the number of stitches on the needle. When working the first row, increase or decrease 1 or 2 stitches to obtain a multiple of 4 stitches + 2.
Row 1 (WS): P2, *k2, p2; repeat from * to end.
Row 2 (RS): K2, *p2, k2; repeat from * to end.
Rows 3-6: Work as for Rows 1-2.
Row 7 (WS): *Work in pattern to 2 stitches before the marked position of a button, bind off 4 sts; repeat from * to end.
Row 8 (RS): Work all sts in pattern, casting on 4 sts over each set of bound-off sts.
Work 5 more rows in pattern.
Bind off all sts.

Button band
Pick up stitches along the left front edge of the cardigan and work as for the Buttonhole Band, omitting buttonholes.

Assembly
Fold the front facings to the inside of the sweater and gently steam-block. Sew the edges of the facings loosely in place, sewing carefully so that the stitches are not visible from the right side of the work.
Weave in all ends and block the sweater as desired.
Sew the buttons to the Button Band, opposite the buttonholes.



Excerpted from More Big Girl Knits, copyright 2008 by Jillian Moreno and Amy R. Singer. Excerpted with permission from Potter Craft, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.

All rights reserved. Transcontinental Media G.P. © 2014