Knits Spring 2009 Gallery: Diminishing Rib Cardigan

Diminishing Rib Cardigan

by Andrea Pomerantz

from Interweave Knits Spring 2009

 35.25" sample garment

The images above are from the magazine where the sweater is modeled with about 1" positive ease.

The images below are of our Interweave Gallery Gals wearing the same sample sweater.

The gorgeous necklace seen on our Gallery Gals is from our sister publication Beadwork (April/May 2009 issue) and was designed by Lisa Kan.


 Interweave Gallery Gals
Toni, lapels folded back Toni, no lapels
Bust:  34.5"
Waist:  28"
Hips:  36.5"
Ease: 0.75" positive ease

  5 feet 5.5" inches

Some of the Gallery Gals thought the sweater looked cute with the lapels folded back, so we've shown a couple of photos of that for you here.

The sweater seems short on Toni–but if you look closely, it's not really the hem length that is off, it's the placement of the "waistband" on Toni's long torse. The waistband in this sweater is not designed to be exactly at your waist, but rather just above it; however, on Toni, the waistband is about two inches too high, making the whole sweater look short on her. If she brought it down by an inch, so that the bottom of the band fell just at the top of her waist, that would give a more proportional look.

Stefanie, back view Stefanie, front view

Bust:  34"

Ease at bust: 1.25" positive ease

I had Stef turn around so you could see how nicely the raglan shaping fits across her muscular, work-out girl shoulders! The scoop neck is a great look for Stef, as it softens her broad shoulders; the waistband and ribbing on this cardi give Stef some nice curve definition as well.

Elizabeth, no lapels Elizabeth, lapels folded back

Bust:  36"
Waist: 29"

Ease: 0.75" negative ease

Height:  5 feet 5 inches

We were having a LOT of trouble with lighting that day, and the only shots of Elizabeth wearing this pretty cardi are the ones where she is sitting. Not the best pose, but still: What a cute sweater on her, especially with the little white summer dress she has on underneath!

The sweater was a great fit on Elizabeth, with the same comment here as for Toni: She might want to bring the waistband down just an inch or so, not much more. Here, it falls under her bustline where it really ought to be closer to her waist. The hem length could also be longer as it looks slightly cropped here.

Notice the styling: With the front edges apart and not meeting at center front, the cardigan frames her neckline, the beautiful necklace (on loan from Beadwork magazine), and shows off the pretty dress underneath. Not all cardigans have to close at center front; it's a matter of how you want the style to look on you and what other clothing items you pair the cardigan with.

We liked the cardigan on Elizabeth as it showed its potential as a "garment accessory" that could be part of an overall collection of pretty things, all worn to complement each other and show each other off.


Bust:  40"
Waist:  36"
Hips:  42.5"
Ease at bust: 4.75" negative ease

  5 feet 3.75 inches

Ah, here she is, the larger size gal of the Galleries. I left this photo in to demonstrate how cute this small, dainty cardigan can be even on larger frames. The waistband needs to come down lower so it is a waistband and not an underbust band. If I were going to knit this for myself, I would knit the size 39.5" for a bit of negative ease (as for Elizabeth above). 

This is a pretty sweater that would show off any outfit beautifully. We all loved it and hope you do, too!

Here are some questions to consider as you look at these photos:

  • How do you think the garment compliments each woman's individual body type and personal style?
  • Which body type does this garment look best on?
  • If you wanted to knit a sweater straight out of the magazine, with no pattern adjustments except for sleeve and hem length, would this be the sweater for you and your body type?
  • Would it fit your personal style?

Leave your thoughts in the comments!


Some links you  might find helpful:

Measuring yourself and your clothing

About positive and negative ease

Measuring tutorial with photos


Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Cardigans, Knitting Patterns

53 thoughts on “Knits Spring 2009 Gallery: Diminishing Rib Cardigan

  1. Interesting! The original magazine photos had me thinking “what a wonky sleeve length”, but it was Sandi’s photo that made me change my mind! The sleeves look great on Sandi.

    The alteration hints are great in this series. I have a friend who made a sweater I went “ew, yuck” to in the magazine, but her alterations made it fabulous and now I’m always kicking myself I didn’t buy that copy (sorry, can’t remember the sweater or issue name!). Discussing the variations really makes you think twice about what to make.

  2. The only thing I didn’t like about this sweater was I thought the neckline looked too high in the center for the style. I’m glad you showed it with the faux-lapels folded back – looks really good that way. I like the sleeve length because sometimes I don’t want long sleeves.

  3. I really appreciate seeing these galleries! The sweater looks great on everyone. I really wanted to make it and seeing it on Sandi makes me know I will be happy with it since it looks so great on (and I have a similar build).

  4. I actually hated this until I saw it on Sandi. The others, especially the cover shoot, look so frumpy. I think its much nicer when its a bit more fitted, and the higher waist on Sandi looks great. I may even consider it now. (But I’d still change that neckline…too high and square)

  5. When I saw the sweater in the mag I knew I’d have to figure out a way to the front neckline before I would make it. As it is designed is very awkward – it only looks good on Sandi because it lies flat below her collar bone and doesn’t meet in the middle. In a larger size the neckline would be less flattering. The lapel approach helps, but looks a little unfinished. Otherwise I like the sweater, though I agree the waist and sleeve lengths would have to be adjusted to fit the individual.

  6. This turned out to be one of the most flattering sweaters for everyone who wore it — just a few minor changes are made: The waist length! As I studied it carefully, I realized not everyone is long waisted or small busted; therefore, the waist is the major consideration in the sweater looking flattering for those of us with short waists and ample busts. The major appeal here its the versitility of making those adjustments without a great deal of effort!

  7. I probably would never have even thought about this style for myself, but it looks great on everyone! I would make it a little longer, but I love the sleeve length. It fits best on Elizabeth.

    I LOVE the galleries Sandy! Keep up the good work! It really makes a difference to see the garments on real people, and it always makes me go back and read my IK issues with fresh eyes.

  8. Love the sweater. My first thought was that it would look good on my thirty-something daughter, but after looking at the gallery I think I could make it work for me.

  9. I already loved this sweater — it’s on my to-do list as soon as I finish unraveling the ends of my Blooming Cotton scarf! This is as classic as the Nantucket Jacket, my previous favorite. I like waist shaping in my cardigans. I will definitely change the neckline to either a scoop or a shallow V. Other than that, yarn, color and everything the same! I thought it looked good on all the models.

  10. I can’t thank you enough for doing these gallery photos. It’s made me take another look at sweaters that I had dismissed, such as this one. The placement of the “waist” really is everything, isn’t it?

  11. This sweater caught my eye the minute I saw it. I agree with the comments on the placement of the waistband and know that I would have to make some alterations myself. I think that it looks posh on all the models but I love what the shape and sleeve length do for Sandi! I love this feature of Knitting Daily.

  12. All of the Gallery Gals look terrific in this sweater. I liked it on the cover, but now I’m inspired to make it for myself! I’m 5’8″ with a 34 bust, 27 waist and 33 hip-the waistband would be very flattering and make a tall, thin hipped individual look like she had a waist! I love the informality of the lapel-either up or down.

  13. I agree with the commentator who thought it looked good only on Sandi. I think the sweater needs to be filled out to look good. I also wonder about the placement of the waistband in the design if 3 of the 4 models would need to lower the waistband. I wouldn’t choose this pattern, but that’s the great thing about knitting. There’s something for everyone!

  14. The impression I have is that the garment is too small, yet I know it is the style.

    The sleeves look off to me, it appears as if someone is trying to fit into a garment that they wore as a teenage or so.

  15. I just want to say that I think this gallery idea is awesome! I love seeing the knit on different folks that are just like you and me – makes it more personal and I feel like I can really do these patterns! Thanks and keep up the good work!

  16. These galleries are just awesome. I would never think of trying some of these styles for myself until I saw some of the different shapes and sizes in these galleries. Keep them coming – I’ll never keep up but wow what a difference to have these galleries available. Keep up the good work – and thanks to all those models for letting us see the differences. Diane

  17. I really like this pattern and I’m thinking about making it. The only thing making me hesitate is that I’ve learned from past experiences that I’m not happy with sweaters that don’t button — just a personal thing. If I was a more experienced knitter, I’d dive in and improvise button holes, but I don’t know how to do that yet. Maybe mods for added closure of some kind would be helpful?
    Love your website & magazine!

  18. Wow– this looks really great on everybody! This actually looks better on the real people in here than it did on the model in the magazine!! I wasn’t so taken with it when I got this issue, but after seeing this gallery, I know I want to make one for myself.

  19. I am glad that I am not the only one who may have dismissed this pattern until I saw it on the Gallery Gals. Thanks for sharing. BUT my real reason for commenting was to give a BIG shout-out to Sandi. I have been reading this blog for about a year and have watched you transform! LOVE your new do. LOVE to see the smile that just brightens your entire face! Just wanted to let you know the changes you have made over the last year have been noticed! YOU GO, GIRL!!!!!

  20. The galleries are fun, thought provoking, and a good visual learning experience. You know, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Seeing is believing. Thank you, again. Mary

  21. Wow!! I hated that sweater on the cover, I thought it was so boring–it was not photographed well at all! But seeing the gallery girls wear it so beautifully made me re-think it. Any one of the gals would have made a nicer cover than the original picture. Sandi looks lovely!

  22. Hmmm… I have some yarn I’ve been planning to use for this sweater (unravelling another project I didn’t like) and have been endlessly debating between the 2nd and third sizes, based on the recommendation of having 1-2″ positive ease. I had really hoped to see a few more people wearing the sweater with negative ease, to get a better sense than you can with the tiny models of what this thing looks like, and now the only person besides Sandi wearing it with negative ease is sitting down! I am starting to think it might be better as a more tight look than I’d thought but am still unsure. I am very glad that you have these galleries — I probably wouldn’t be unravelling the sweater I am unravelling if it had been modelled like this. Thanks for the food for thought!

  23. This one is definitely a winner and probably my favorite from this issue. It really does flatter each of the girls. It’s going on my “very soon” list and I’ll start looking for the perfect yarn. My only decision is will I make a summer version or a winter version – or, perhaps, both. Thanks so much for including ease information. It makes it so much easier to estimate how things will look.

  24. I think this style is appropriate to a variety of body shapes, however I liked it best on Elizabeth and Sandi because it looked shapely and feminine on them rather than boxy and too big. My question is about changing the height of the waist band, currently the waist band and the band on the sleeves line up. If you lower the waist band do you also need to lower the band on the sleeves for this to still look good? And if you lower the band on the sleeve would it be possible to keep the same sleeve length or would the sleeves have to be longer? I can see in the sweater that you could just shorten the bottom ribbing section to make up for the different waist band location, but the pictures don’t show much room on the sleeve for the same fix to work without making the sleeve longer.

    This was the pattern in the current magazine that I was the most interested in making for myself, pretty features w/o being fussy, and no adjustments needed to leave the cardigan open in front which is how I wear them. They should have chosen a better picture for the front of the magazine, I didn’t bother picking it up in the store, but when I saw the additional views of that cardigan online they looked SO MUCH better than the cover image.

  25. “Ah, here she is, the larger size gal of the Galleries. I left this photo in to demonstrate how cute this small, dainty cardigan can be even on larger frames”

    Really? If I was Sandi I would be pissed at that comment. I’m not Sandi and I am pissed. Your other three ‘models’ all have very similar bust measurements, when you state one of the points of these galleries is to see the product on women of DIFFERENT sizes. And you ‘left the photo in’? So…

    There are so many things wrong here it’s hard for me to type. Interweave Knits, you just went down a few [a lot] notches in my book. I have a 44 inch bust. Lets hope you never have to take a picture of me, because I certainly don’t want statements like, “I left this one in…” next to it. I am appalled. Absolutely appalled.

  26. Okay, it’s me again… Sandi, are you the one writing this? If so, ignore my earlier comment. Now I get your humor, since you called some other girl out on the size of her upper arms in one of the other galleries. Sorry, this is my first time in the galleries. I think I overreacted… I’m confused…

  27. Sandy, I love the way you eke out that extra little bit in your height measurement! I, too, am 5′ 3.75″ tall, and proud of it!

    I like this pattern too, however I know it wouldn’t stay neatly in place as it looks in the pictures. See how both the magazine model and several of the gallery girls have to hold it in place? And the lapel look wouldn’t hold unless you pressed it that way. It looks great as is on Sandy, but I think it needs a closure option for smaller frames, or it would be constantly flapping open and folding back.

  28. On the mag cover, I think the neckline looks uncomfortable and very unattractive. It looks better here on Elizabeth and Stef, so I guess they have the shoulders for it. Which means it would be ghastly on me. Which is very helpful to know. Please feature more set-in sleeves and less raglan styles. Please, please, please.

  29. Gallery’s a great idea! Great comments. I too have to knit for a 44″ bust, but am long-waisted as well so must make things 3″ longer. Love the 19th-Century look to it. ‘Little Dorrit’ would wear this! I’d make the sleeves longer for me. Would look great over my corset. (Yes, I’m Goth.) Biggest beef: Sweaters (could be stunning, but how could I tell?) shown in a dark color against a dark background, or a view that eliminates all detail that would entice me to make it. These photos are great because of the sweater’s color; detail is easily visible. Looks very pretty with and without lapels; I’d fasten them, though (just for me) w/pretty buttons and those little doo-dahs that go through the shank so they’re removable.

  30. I am so glad to see a gallery on the items from this issue. Most of them looked quite wearable and worth taking the time to knit up, and it is quite interesting seeing them on the real bodies of the real Knitting Today gals. I have marked this one to knit, it looks versatile, detailed enough to be memorable and have personality, but it’s not a hash of over-design. Perhaps knit in an ivory or cream or pale yellow, it would have looked more appealing for the cover. This one looks good on all the bodies, and the arm length is fresh, attractive, and a blessed change from all those damned “ickle girlie” cap sleeves. Why anyone over the age of 10 would willingly wear cap sleeves or Peter Pan collars, beats me. It’s not a matter of covering up aged arms, who cares, flaunt your dingle dangling upper arms. No, it’s a matter of childish vs adult. Speaking of which, I am also going to lower the waistline much closer to my natural waist. Maternity wear on everyone is also a dying trend not to be lamented.

    Can’t wait to see the other garments. Thank you, Knitting Daily. I bought this issue and am enjoying planning what to make.

  31. This might be the one I could wear, in a real color instead of the sample shade. With a tweak here and there it looks to be universally flattering, particularly on a more mature figure — maybe a touch more increase in the sleeve ends and “skirt”.

  32. I think this could also be worn with a thin belt as some people are doing these days – it would help keep it in place without adding any permanent closures to the sweater.

    And, uh, yes SarahMac- Sandi wrote this. No need to be appalled.

  33. I like DR worn with lapels; makes a frame for your beautiful faces! Also, I’m conscious of having very little neck and it oddly enough seems to create a neck more than the straight lines. I walk a lot and don’t like my jacket flying open with any little breeze (remember Mrs Obama in the Inaugural Walk), so I’d work eyelets into the rib section and thread a matching satin ribbon in to tie in front. Although, a wider ribbon might look better, hmmmm. Or a couple of those invisible hooks&eyes (like on fur coats) would work for me. I’d put one at the waist rib and the other at the top of the skirt section. Of course, would have to alter the proportions to get the fronts to meet.

  34. I am in the process of making this now, and am delighted to see how great it looks on one and all.
    the galleries are very fun!
    the color is another matter: universally unflattering. I wasn’t even that crazy about it on the model….

  35. For Georgana and buttons. Re-think frog closures…Not all of them have to be large. Or, look at the clasps! The come in 3 different sizes. Just three clasps would give this a whole new look! And, for more interest, you could them in graduated sizes!

  36. I loved this one everyone, even in the larger sizes (except for the short=wasit problem, which is easily resolved). I would love t see this in other yarns. For example, Berrco Seduce. 🙂

  37. When I got my issue in the mail my first reaction to the cover sweater was “that is so ugly.” It looks like I’m in the minority on this one though. I don’t think it does one thing flattering for any of the models, unless they don’t mind looking at least 10 lbs heavier.

  38. Thanks for these great gallery photos! They’re much more appealing than the cover photo, which I thought was godawful. (The ugly gingham dress dominates, and the sweater just looks like a shapeless sack.) After seeing this gallery, for the first time I understand the appeal of the sweater and why it was selected for the cover. However, none of the models (including the one in the magazine) have the waistband actually at the waist, which should be the focal point of the design.

  39. This is a gorgeous cardigan, except for the neckline. It is just wrong and unflattering. This is apparent in the additional galllery shots, folding the corners back as “lapels” just doesn’t work. I bought the magazine this issue in spite of the cover in which the garment looked sloppy and did not go with the dress underneath.

  40. Toni – no, Stephani – no, Elizabeth YES. Sweater looked well on her proportions and also because she was wearing a neutral dress underneath. The model in the colorful plaid looked fine but not in the pic with the acqua shirt underneath becuause the acqua shirt is competing with where the sweater length ends. It’s not so much the waist the issue as it is the LENGTH from the WAIST down. Also Stephanie was not as bad but something about where it hits the crook of the arm makes it look ill fitted and doesn’t look “comfortable” on the rest. That band at the top of the ridged sleeve should have hit at the crook of the arm or where the elbow bends. Of course one could adjust the pattern sleeve length according to individual arm length for a prettier fit and that should be relatively easy. It comes close to closing at front but not quite – should have. The color of this yarn was very nice. I could see this sweater in pretty pastels or bright jewel tones as well.

  41. I liked almost everything about this sweater when it first came out, including the original yarn color, but have been worried about all the horizontals, even at the neckline — however, after seeing Sandi in it (whose figure is similar to mine), I think I might give it a try. She really looks good in it!

  42. So helpful to see this same garment on women of different sizes and shapes. I’m doing my gauge swatch now and will start tomorrow! Decided on doing the 391/2 size as this sweater looks better to me with a close fit. Many don’t like the neckline, but I think I’ll make it work. Note to IK.. the yarn color for this piece in your mag was boring – it did look a little frumpy. Wasn’t interested in it until I saw the sweater made with other yarns on Ravelry. Now I’m excited.


  43. I love the galleries and I think you all do a great job showing us people of different dimensions wearing the sample, but seriously – none of you are “big” gals.  So, I’m sorry to disagree, but Sandy is not what I would consider a “larger size gal.”  Well, I’m not sorry for Sandy who looks great!  (You really do!)  I know the designer or company only sends you a sample in one size and you do the best you can to show us  It’s too bad you can’t get a few plus-sized samples in and ladies to model it for us.