Knits Spring 2009 Gallery: Parker Cardigan

Parker Cardigan

by Deborah Newton

from Interweave Knits Spring 2009

 38" sample garment

The images above are from the magazine where the sweater is modeled with plenty of positive ease.

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


 Interweave Gallery Gals
Elizabeth, back view
Elizabeth, front view
Bust:  36"
Waist:  29"
Height:  5 feet 5.5" inches
Ease at bust: 2" positive ease

Elizabeth has an "hourglass" body type; the deep V-neck and empire waist of this pretty sweater compliment her figure perfectly. The 38" size, shown here, gives her enough positive ease to provide good coverage over the bust area, and the elastic nature of the stitch pattern gives the fabric enough memory so that the sweater hugs her curves nicely. The tiny shoulder pads give her shoulders a bit of vintage glam, especially from the back. Lovely!

The necklace and earrings being worn by our Gallery Gals in these photos is courtesy of our sister publication Stringing magazine (Winter 2008 issue), and was designed by yours truly, Sandi Wiseheart! (Did I mention the above necklace made the cover of that issue? It did!)

Toni Toni, another view

Bust:  34.5"
  Waist:  28"
Hip:  36.5"
Height:  5 feet 5.5 inches

Ease at bust: 3.5" positive ease

Toni has a more athletic body type, with a gentler curve at her waist. The empire waist shows off her more subtle curves, and the V-neck is a perfect frame for her dazzling smile. The sleeves fall just below the empire waist, helping to keep the eye moving; the bud stitch section falls smoothly over her hips without clinging or bunching. We all noticed that the dusty rose color of the yarn was a wonderful shade on rosy-cheeked Toni.

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

46 thoughts on “Knits Spring 2009 Gallery: Parker Cardigan

  1. can we see more photos of different body types, and perhaps Toni from behind? I am currently making this sweater, and I’d like to hear more about why/how the huge increase in stitches for the top half of it works.

  2. I’m so subjective: That mauve-y color is soporific. I got bored looking at only 2 pix! Am I a freak? or are other people this affected by colorways?

  3. I never would have considered this sweater after just seeing it in the magazine. But after seeing it on two real people, my opinion of it has changed. It does complement them both, but I think Elizabeth and her curves are the winner here. I agree about the color – kind of plain jane. I like my handknits to “pop” a little more.

  4. I like this sweater better on your “real people” than on the model. I disagree with some commenters about the color — I suspect that it would be most wearable in real life, more so than a more vibrant and “photogenic” color.

  5. This sweater looks MUCH better on Elizabeth than the model in the magazine. I didn’t pay any attention to it when I originally saw it because it seemed too droopy & unflattering on the model so you couldn’t see how it was really supposed to look. Now after seeing it on Elizabeth who is closer to my build, I just might have to make it. How about using some “real” bodies like the Gallery Gals in the magazine pics? It would have better appeal to those us who live in the “real” world and have “real” bodies!

  6. The sweater is beautiful on the Toni and Elizabeth. However, what about us really busty/full figured gals? I feel as though we are sort of being forgotten — online and in the magazine.


  7. This is definitely my favorite of this gallery’s selections. It looks good in the magazine and on both of the gallery gals, and I can see wearing it myself in a different color.

  8. I agree with HotheadP–Sandy, come try on the sweater!
    I don’t much like that color either. Too blah–what would make it stand forth? The pattern is too busy for decorative yarns.


  9. I love the empire waist and the sleeves are wonderful. I actually prefer seeing the sweaters in fairly light, neutral colors. It’s like looking at quilting patterns in shades of gray to just see light, medium, and dark values without being influenced by specific fabrics.

  10. I like it better on the “real” people, too. I LOVE this sweater now. I think the color is kind of a nice neutral for the spring, but I am also envisioning it in maybe a cobalt/royal blue or emerald green.
    Thanks so much for doing the galleries!

  11. I must say this is a Toni sweater. I am not certain about the mix of patterns…At first, I thought the basket weave looks too top heavy over the lace. I went back to the mag and revisited the pix. I decided less is more. I would let the lace pattern have more attention and just a smattering of the moss/seed stitch over a larger expanse of st sts. Otherwise, both patterns are vying for attention. Nevertheless, this sweater has potental. The empire waist is flattering for most of us. The color is wonderful for showing off both patterns. As I study this there is a way for the fuller-figure woman to wear this item with just a little play of adding more lace to the bottom.

  12. My rule of thumb for many years has been that a cardigan requires at least 4″ of positive ease. These photos tend to confirm my prejudice in this area.

  13. This is a beautiful pattern and is on my “to do” list. I think it looks best on Elizabeth with the two inch ease, the colour suits Toni but the shape better suits Elizabeth. It is wonderful to see these garments on different people, it really helps to see them in a different light and on a different shape.

  14. Sandy, where are you??? We really need you to be modelling every garment in these Galleries. The other girls here are very similar in their shapes and us fuller-figured gals need to see how the garments will look on us!

  15. I had the same thought as others here – this sweater looks best on the Gallery Gals, especially Elizabeth. Very retro style and color – I like both. I don’t think a brighter color would suit this style.

  16. I think the sweater is ideal on Elizabeth. Toni looks good, but I don’t like the shoulder pads on her. She already has the broad shoulders and the pads look like mini football padding. I have the same problem and always have to remove the bulk. And I agree….Sandy, where are you????

  17. I agree—-Sandy, Sandy, Come out and play! LOL! And LaurieD, you are correct about the shoulder pads. Carol Y, I agree about the color: brighter would not do.

  18. It looks the best on Elizabeth. For Tony I would make it a little bit longer that offsets the width of the shoulders better and brings it better in perspective. It seems with a lot of your patterns as if you want to save on material. Always too short and it makes it not very elegant.

  19. This actually is much prettier on both of your girls than it is on that stick thin model. it looks pretty and feminine on them both. Slightly longer would look better on both of them, but very pretty. I didn’t like this one in the mag at all.

  20. I’d like to see this sweater on Sandi! I would prefer this with longer sleeves and I agree with mauserati – that color is soporific. Ugh. I think it would be lovely in black, or a vibrant deep rose or fuchsia. I can also see it in pearly white over a black dress.

  21. Sandy, I’m being forgotten too. I am pleasantly, alright amply endowed and short waisted. I would like to have some choices of patterns for me. Also, I am 76 years old and do not want to knit an old frumpy sweater for me. Choose some new patterns that we can modify to please.
    The Gallery pictures improve the viewing 2000%. Thank you for your time and effort.
    Kate, Salem, Oregon

  22. When I saw this cardigan in the mag, I thought it was droopy and blah. It looks much better on real people, and particularly Elizabeth. Being a 38” sample garment, it would have been great to see it on someone a bit bigger, even if it meant it would look a little too tight.
    I think the Galleries bring great added value to the IK designs, but really miss the variety in sizes and shapes of Gallery Gals.

  23. Seeing the comments about the color, here’s a thought: Do you have the capability of showing the garments in a different color? Many online catalogs (e.g. Lands’ End) do it and I assume it’s a simple photo-editing plug in. I don’t actually know how to do this myself so, yes, I’m talking out of my hat.

  24. I would also like to see all of the sweaters on a wider variety of body types and sizes, but I assume the magazine only has one sample in one size for each. Most of these sample sweaters are not forgiving enough to fit a larger person well, so you wouldn’t get a true picture of what it could look like properly fitted. Even though I don’t knit that much from IK, I enjoy seeing the trends and incorporating them with the classics — it keeps you young!

  25. Of all the Spring gallery, this is the best. But I am with the other ladies on the color… what is with the lack of color at Interweave?

    And, I only wear a size 12 clothing, but I have a 42″ bust (years of nursing my kids) and every style down the line would look HORRIBLE on me. Seeing a sweater that looks great on a waif with a 31″ or 34″ bust doesn’t help me in the least.

  26. It could be that Sandy isn’t modeling many of these designs because she doesn’t like to look…I repeat myself once more…at least 10 lbs. heavier! As far as the color, all it needs is a little dark tank (e.g. green, burgundy, brown) rather than white and see what a difference it would make. But even that doesn’t save this design in my opinion.

  27. So far, this is the best. Like the color and the lacey look. The professional model looks sloppy. It looks great on the others. Like the sweater but not sure how it would look on a larger busted woman.

  28. When I said dowdy, I meant on the MODEL in the magazine.

    Let me clarify, it looks very nice on Elizabeth, fits her well, and actually looks good on her. If that were the picture/model used, I would consider making that project.
    Looking at the model in the magazine wearing it, I would not consider making this.

  29. I thought this looked really frumpy on the magazine model and didn’t even consider making it; but after seeing it on Elizabeth, I think it has real potential! The magazine styling for this garment was awful–IK needs to put more thought into the garments paired with the knits. E.g., the cover shot–yikes.

    I think this stitch pattern might be more noticeable in a lighter color, though personally I prefer dark or bright to light.

  30. I like the stitch pattern here and think that the sweater looks nice – just nice – on both models. Like some others have said, I’d like to see it in a brighter color, but that’s easily fixed. I’m not fond of the shoulder pads, particularly on Toni, and I would also have to knit the sleeves longer, as that length appears to hit close to the bust line…and believe me, my bust does NOT need any additional attention drawn to it! But the deep V neck is flattering for larger women – myself included – and so this is one I’d consider making, with modifications, of course.

  31. I think this sweater makes Toni look like a football player! Not a good look for her. I would definitely not make this, I can see it on a 70 year old, not a 30-year old.

  32. I think this is flattering on both of your models, less so on the magazine model. It does emphasize the width of Toni’s shoulders but I still like it. I like the pattern and the way it is shaped to the body. I think it would look less good on someone with a very small chest. This is a nice color on both your models. I can see this on any age in a yarn that drapes nicely like bamboo-silk or something.

  33. This cardi is not only much more adorable on the models, it looks good on all of them for different reasons. Elizabeth’s hourglass shape looks fabulously sexy in this, yet in an innocent sorta way. I think it is the sweet patterning. That is a very diff. look from the professional model who sports a more Victorian look. She is sort of curveless and the sweater suits that too. Toni looks good in sweaters. All sweaters. This one is no exception. Sigh.

  34. Is it heresy to say that I might knit this as a raglan instead of those awful little shoulder pads?
    I’d like this to be my sweater; it would be so much more informative to see it on a less than ideal body. Bring back the rest of the office — please! Is KD suffering your move across the border? These galleries used to be so helpful, Sandi.

  35. Is it heresy to say that I might knit this as a raglan instead of those awful little shoulder pads?
    I’d like this to be my sweater; it would be so much more informative to see it on a less than ideal body. Bring back the rest of the office — please! Is KD suffering your move across the border? These galleries used to be so helpful, Sandi.