Knits Spring 2009 Gallery: Millefiori Cardigan

Millefiori Cardigan

by Andrea Pomerantz

from Interweave Knits Spring 2009

 36.25" sample garment

The images above are from the magazine where the sweater is modeled with about 2" positive ease.

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


 Interweave Gallery Gals
Toni Toni
Bust:  34.5"
Waist:  28"
Hips:  36.5"
Ease: 1.75" positive ease

  5 feet 5.5" inches

This was a Gallery Gal favorite right off the bat! The bracelet length sleeves were comfortable to wear, the ultra-feminine stitch pattern and buttonband detailing made even an ordinary khaki skirt look like party wear!

The sweater is a great match for Toni's gentle curves; the pattern band fell at exactly the right height for her this time! We noticed that she kept tugging at the wide scoop neck a bit; Toni prefers a more modest neckline so her straps are neatly tucked out of the way. She would thus want to work fewer decreases at the neckline and shoulders to give her more fabric and coverage there.

Fit Tip: If you are concerned about the width of a neckline, measure a favorite sweater that fits you well in this area. Compare the neckline measurements of the favorite sweater to the measurements given in the pattern schematic, and then make adjustments as needed.

Stefanie Stefanie

Bust:  34"

Ease at bust: 2.25" positive ease

On Stef, the pattern band hits her almost at the underbust, and the ribbing barely reaches her hips, making the sweater look too short on her. However, sweater length is not always about adding more ribbing at the hem–that's not what is needed here, for example.

Stef needs more length in the stockinette section between bust and pattern band so that the bottom of the pattern band sits just at the top of her hipbones, as on the model in the magazine photos. Adding in extra length in the stockinette section automatically puts the ribbing right where it should be–over her hips–and would give a longer silhouette and better "curve definition" overall. The sleeves, as well, could use more length for Stef.

Elizabeth Elizabeth
Bust:  36"
Waist:  29"
Height:  5 feet 5.5 inches
Ease: 0.25" positive ease

Elizabeth also needs a bit more length between bust and pattern band. But the sleeves look too long, and the cuff seems loose on Elizabeth's narrow-boned arms, so she could cast on fewer stitches at the cuffs, increasing up to the number needed for the main portion of the sleeves, and then work fewer rounds after the pattern band to make the sleeves shorter.
Annie Annie

Bust:  31"
Waist: 25"
Hip: 34"

Ease: 5.25" positive ease

Height:  5 feet 3.75 inches

For a closer, more body-hugging fit, Annie could make the next size smaller–here, she has more than 5" of positive ease, and that's a lot of ease for a pretty spring top. 
one last photo of Toni

Because I couldn't resist! 


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

39 thoughts on “Knits Spring 2009 Gallery: Millefiori Cardigan

  1. This sweater is beautiful and sweet. Everyone looks absolutely gorgeous in it. I think it looks the best on Annie, with Toni a very close second.

    Also – good grief, does Toni have to be adorable in EVERYTHING? 🙂 And I see Annie is the same way! How about a gallery of Too Hideous For Publication garments on these Gals? Might make us hard-to-fit types feel better! (Actually, I typed that to make a joke, but I think it is a fun idea, although I doubt that IK would want to put out any of their patterns as Hideous)

    LOVE the galleries, keep up the good work Sandi!

  2. Demure.
    Looks pretty fun to knit: enough challenge in the textured sections, but mostly plain stitches for a speedy finish.

    Like a lot of classics, looks great on every one.

    May I ask: Was this machine sewn together? I noticed the left side seam isn’t even; it and the shoulder seam bunch up an itsby bit.

  3. DebB: You should look at “she knit what?” blog. It’s mostly a pictorial.
    Been a while since I looked at it. The author posted pix of magazine projects, which were hilarious. But then contributors started sending in pix of their friends/family members’ work and IMHO, it wasn’t funny any more. But what some editors have to do to fill an issue is still very amusing, like the recipes in “ladies magazines”.

    Thank goodness, there are so many clever and creative real world knit designers and they love Interweave. (Not so fortunate at Vogue Knits, for example. They’re like the editors on “Ugly Betty”: cocooned in couture. lol)

  4. Too many of your designs just don’t work for us taller people. I’m 5’10” and my daughter whom I knit for is 6′ short. 🙂 And we are appropriately “sized up” so these sweaters would look ridiculous on our frames. Do most knitters fall in the group I consider short?! Please add designs for us too!

  5. This is a great sweater on all your gallery gals. Stefani’s fit adjustments were great suggestions for me as I have a long trunk, low bust and normally need some adjustment. Unfortunately, I am short from the hips down and have a 36″ bust — so there are definitely wardrobe decisions that work or don’t. Knitting your own garments is one good way of dealing with it; I always have to drop darts an inch when sewing too. Top-bottom balance….aaargh!

  6. This is a sweet sweater. I think for any age with just a few changes…Toni and Annie could have the ribbing and lace a little lower with the st sts starting at the hip line. Other wise Stef, Elizabeith, Toni & Annie looked great. In fact the color was surprisingly flattering for everyone. I do like this sweater!

  7. You know, DebB! That is a fabulous idea. Like the book that came out about the worst knitwear of the 60s and 70s! You know, Gail—I was thinking that the sweater wouldn’t be too bad if less lace were at the bottome. Then the 58 and 72 olds might get away with it! LOL

  8. The take-home that I get out of these photos is that positive ease is essential. Or maybe that’s just me. I can’t stand seeing buttons pull tightly over the bust.

  9. I thought this was cute in the magazine, but I don’t love the look of twisted rib. I think it requires certain yarns to drape well. I still was curious about this sweater, but something seemed wrong, I couldn’t figure it out Then I noticed the photo in the magazine from behind. The lacy area is all bunched up unattractively. The lace at the waist draws the eye down and (maybe the way the lace is constructed?) seems like too much fabric. Ribbing seems to contribute to the bunchiness. I still might make something similar, but I would look for a different lace pattern without so many increases and decreases to add fabric.

  10. I prefer the positive ease look on Annie too, plus the sleeves look tight on all but her. I don’t think it makes anyone look wide or squat – all look pretty good! I would have like to have seen a back shot tho.

  11. I’m with MarthaL, I was all psyched to make this garment til I saw it on the real ladies. The model photos set my antennae to quivering: she is always pulling this thing down; in one photo she has it pulled down so hard you can see the line of her bra cup across her upper breast. I figured if she let go, that pretty clamshell band at her midsection would spring up and out and look like a decorated bicycle tire innertube wrapped around her waist. Yup. It does. Pretty design, i wish it were more wearable.

  12. To all the ladies: This is what I love about this IK. They show us real women wearing what attracted our eyes. And look at how we have figured out to either improve the item or just dump it w/o investing time, money & emotional investment!

  13. Too tight for all models except Annie. On her it enhances the waist while at the other bodies it doesn’t hide the fact that it is too tight for their figures.The millefiores making that clear.

  14. I thought this had one major flaw in the mag and that has been confirmed by the photos here. The lace section naturally bulges, which is very unfortunate since it sits right at the waist. No one wants a bulgy waist. In one photo in the mag, the model is actually pulling the sweater down at the hem to prevent the bulge, but it shows in the other photo and on all the girls here. Other than that, I think it is very pretty. I like the scalloped button band. If I made this, I’d get rid of the ribbing completely and lower the lace to that area. That would get rid of the bulge while keeping the interest of the lace.

  15. I didn’t like this sweater until I saw it on Annie – clearly it looks best with more negative ease. Now I can see what size I would choose for myself should I decide to make it.

  16. The poster above seems to have mixed her words — there are no picture of this with negative ease. How about a picture of it open — particularly on someone for whom it would have negative ease?

    Would the lace section bulge if it was unbuttoned? I think that’s an important question for a cardigan!

  17. Nothing I want more in something I put that much work into than a lacy spare tire sitting right around my waist. This is a prime example of something that looked good in a sketchbook but failed in real life. Too bad.

  18. I like the sweater. I’m wondering if you could rate it as to begiinner intermediate etc. Would Interweave Knits think of adding these designations to all of their patterns as a guide as some of the other magazines do.?

    I love the gallery it is a great way to see if the sweater looks good on “real” people before we actually knit it and find out it wasn’t right for our body type.

    Thanks for all your hard work with tthe galleries.

  19. For a middle-aged or older woman, that beautiful knitted lace stripe woulld just accentuate a thickening middle. However, finally a COLOR from Interweave! I nearly dropped over!

  20. Once again, all the models look 10 lbs heavier in this. Doesn’t even look good on the professional model. When was the last time you stood with your elbows jutting out toward the back like that with your chest thrust forward?

  21. Cute sweater – but… for the very slender as it draws attention to an area most of us would rather hide. Also, the closure treatment makes it look like all of them have stuffed themselve into something too small and they have gappiosis in the front.

  22. Very pretty and sweet looking. Personally, I would lengthen the sleeves (I don’t like 3/4 sleeves), and I would lengthen the waist a bit more. It has the appearance of being a bit too short for the wearer.
    I love it though.

  23. 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?

    No. If I was making it for me, I would probably use the lacy looking part for the bottom of the sleeves and the hem. It looks kind of bunch at the waist. Besides, if I’m wearing a sweater for warmth, it shouldn’t have holes in it. That’s the deal with a lot of sweater patterns I’ve seen. Plus short arms and short waists on everything. It’s not your fault, but it gets old.

    I really love the buttonhole edging though, and the color of this sweater.

  24. YES I love the galleries. I get the newsletter, and have usually felt the sweaters too far above my skill level. But seeing the sweaters worn differently also lets me see the stitches more intricately. And has boosted my confidence. I’ll try one soon. Vicky

  25. I love the swater it looks good on everyone.
    Is it possible to show a pattern for a full busted person ?
    I Enjoy your patterns and I have learned alot

  26. What’s up with the back bottom edge? On Elizabeth it looks like the sweater is longer in the back than in the front. None of the other models show the sweater from this angle. Is this a design element or is this due to the way the sweater is finished or did Elizabeth just pull it down in the back for some reason? Overall, cute design, though, has interest without being too fussy. If I were to knit it I would probably add some shaping in the area right above the ribbing to give it a less “boxy” look.

  27. This one really looks best on Annie with all the positive ease. The others… not so much. I would definitely not make or wear this (too much “feminine” detail – seems to be a common theme in your mag lately).

  28. This for Elenore M…I went back to the mag and checked on the sizes…As my daughter has a generous chest and broad back this sweater would work well for her. The sizing goes up to 54.5 inches. This is a fairly generous size for a cotton sweater. I would give it a go.

  29. So pretty! I’m glad to see this in the gallery because it looked a little precious in the mag. I agree with others who say it would need positive ease not to look bunchy.

  30. I like this best on Annie with the ease. It doesn’t look very comfortable on the others–too snug or too short (which makes me uncomfortable just to look at).. Although it is a pretty color I think it is a difficult color for some to wear and that could be part of what doesn’t seem right about this one. I would wear this with plenty of ease. I like the combination of the detail and the stockingette.