Interweave Knits Winter Galleries

Gerda's Livingstone Cardigan

Livingstone Cardigan by Amy Miller, knitted by Gerda Porter
Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande, color# 3729, Chestnut, 11 skeins

Gerda's Measurements
Gerda usually wears a size 12-14 top. She's 5' 4" tall.
Bust: 38"
Waist: 36"
Hips: 30"

The yarn is scrumptious soft and cuddly and the pattern is fairly easy; I knitted the fronts, backs, and sleeves over a few days. The cables are so interesting, they kind of look like DNA strips!

I decided to knit the size 40½" based on the measurements of the schematic and my size 38" bust, and I used a size 9 needle. However, it turned out way too small and modifications had to be made.


—I knitted the pieces a little longer; I finished a full repeat of the 23-row cable pattern before starting the shaping.

—I decided to do a 2 X 2 rib for the sleeves. I like a more fitted sleeve, and the reverse stockinette stretches too much for me.

—Once I sewed everything together, which was simple due to the designer's garter edges, I tried on the sweater and it was way too small to close.

—I added 2 inches more on the collar so that I could close the sweater, I decided to just pin it shut instead of using the toggles.


Back view of the
Livingstone Cardigan

—The best way to move quickly through this pattern is to lose your cable needle and work the cables without one. This will help you to knit much more fluidly without having to stop and start fiddling with a third needle. The chunky weight of this yarn made it easy to work with.

—The charts may look difficult at a glance but once you figure out what the symbols stand for they are very simple. For example, if the cross on the front is going to the left that is the way the stitches will slant, if the cross is colored they are purled.

—Try using highlighter tape and moving it along as you go. Fold an end of it to make it easy to grab and move!

I adore knitting cables but I don't like the way the front of the sweater looks on me (I wish it took 20 pounds off me!). Perhaps just cables on the back would have been enough. It is a beautiful sweater, though, and the cabling is unique.

Ms. Miller is a very talented designer and her pattern was well written and fun to work.


Kathy's Livingstone Cardigan     

Livingstone Cardigan by Amy Miller, knitted by Kathy O'Neill
Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande, color# 1662, Stone Blue, 10 skeins

Kathy's Measurements
Kathy usually wears a size 12 top; she's 5' 4" tall.
Bust: 38¾"
Waist: 33"
Hips: 40"

A couple of things really attracted me to this pattern. Number one on my list was the appeal of the baby alpaca yarn. It reminded me of an incredible trip to Peru I took with my family a few years back. A part of every market we visited included the pervasive barking of the sweater vendors. They were touting "the finest baby alpaca" used in the items they had for sale. Even my then 7th-grade son would not have anything else but a baby alpaca sweater. And I loved the toggle buttons, loop closures, and detailed cable designs.

This particular yarn is incredibly soft, somewhat like mohair but without quite as much shedding. (I still wouldn't wear polypro pants while working with it.) I used the Stone Blue without the tweed. Found some lovely, blueish mother of pearl 2-inch rectangular buttons to substitute for wooden toggles.

I did play with gauge a bit, trying to get a slightly smaller size. I ended up on size 10 needles. I was aiming for a 5 percent reduction, but I think the blocking process lessened that a bit. It fits, though!

I made it 17 inches long because I like longer sweaters, and I really like the length—covers the middle nicely!

The interlocking puzzle-piece cable pattern added a bit of a challenge to the back, but it goes quickly once you finish the first section of cable crosses. At first my computer-programmer brain was very tempted to line them up; I had a love/hate relationship with them for sure. Be careful on that setup row, it's really crucial to get it right. I had to do it a couple of times.

I struggled with keeping the pattern correct in the back sleeve decrease section, sometimes doing k2tog instead of p2tog—I just lived with it, though, and you can't really tell in the finished sweater. As you get fewer and fewer pattern stitches to work with, it helps to count from the center of your work out to see where exactly which stitch in the chart row starts the pattern. So give much careful attention to this section.

The Finishing

I forgot to increase the length of the collar front ribbed piece to account for my longer sweater. Darn it, that TV knitting always messes me up! (They do say that TV watching is mind-numbing, and now I know it's true.) And what a bunch of casting on that was. Ignored the suggestion to use the cable cast-on—it's too slow when I do it. It makes sense with a large number of stitches, however.

Not sure I like my rather lumpy, bumpy pearl reverse stockinette side of the sleeves as the right side. The stockinette side is so much more attractive! Thank goodness for the blocking process!

I blocked the separate pieces first so they would relax and be easier to seam. I used the mattress stitch for the sleeve and shoulder sections. The result was more attractive than whip stitch, and that part will actually show.

I probably don't want to wear this sweater in a rainstorm. An odor slightly less pleasant than "wet dog" wafted around the living room while I was blocking. Even got the family critter excited and sniffing around with a crazed look trying to locate the wild beast in the house!

The Livingston is a nice, cozy garment. I'm looking forward to wearing in our suddenly cold weather!

Audrey's Livingston Cardigan. She's still looking for the perfect buttons.

The Livingstone Cardigan, knitted by Audrey Dhillon and Sucia Dhillon
Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande, color #4304, Blue, 11 skeins

Audrey's Measurements
Audrey usually wears a size 12-14 top. She's 5' 2" tall.
Bust: 40½"
Waist: 38¾"
Hips: 45"

When I saw this pattern I thought it would be a bit of a challenge for me but since it was on bigger needles I might be able to work it up in the time frame, however I had not allowed for the birth of my first granddaughter, the holidays, or being under the weather during my winter break!

I made size 40.5" bust and got gauge on 10.5 US needles.

I began work on the back before the holidays but didn't start the cable pattern until I returned to a busy work schedule in January, and with the deadline looming I diligently went to work on the back. I have some experience with cabling but this was more intense and it felt very tedious but I persevered on my own working through the pattern. I didn't think the cables looked right but I had been meticulous, I thought, about following each row in the cable chart, and I just carried on.

     Back view

It was taking me more time than I had so I pleaded with my daughter-in-law, Sucia, for help; she loves cable knitting and she agreed to work on the fronts as I completed the other pieces.

The sleeves and front band/collar worked up quickly—a day for each piece. I arranged to meet with an experienced knitter friend and Sucia to put the sweater together last Saturday. What a surprise; as I put my pieces on the table next to Sucia's front pieces, my cables on the back were a mess! Sucia volunteered to re-do the back, which she did in just two days, and that is how this came to be a group project.

I figured out where I went wrong. I followed the chart as if I were knitting in the round and not back and forth. So, when I finished row 1 of the chart, I went back to the right-hand side of the chart and worked that row it, and so on, not going from right to left and then left to right, but just knitting each row of the chart reading right to left. Sheesh. Rookie mistake, right? I knew it wasn't looking great, but I followed the pattern blindly. Sometimes that's a good plan, but not this time!

Now that I understand what I did incorrectly I'd like to make this pattern again, maybe I'll make one for Sucia! I didn't make any modifications to the pattern and it was very easy to follow. The directions were clear; I believe my head was just overwhelmed by the rest of my life and that in turn made focusing on the chart a problem.

One change I might make is to add a few more inches to the collar by doing more short rows. I'd like it to be a little wider.

Overall I LOVE the sweater and know I will wear it often, the yarn is soft and oh-so cozy. I am still looking for the perfect buttons and will add those at a later time.

This project was a team effort—thank goodness for friends and family who gave up their personal knitting time to help me reach the finish!

Dinah's Leif Slipover     

Leif Slipover, by Adrienne Larsen, knitted by Dinah Demers
Cascade Yarns Lana Grande, in color 6045, Latte, 9 skeins

Leif Slipover, back view

Dinah's Measurements
Dinah usually wears a size 10 top. She's 5' 11¾" tall.
Bust: 35½"
Waist: 32"
Hips: 41½"

For my Leif Slipover, I selected Cascade Yarns Lana Grande, in color 6045—Latte, and decided to knit the size 39½.  I choose to use a bamboo needle, and because I knit rather loosely, I went down one needle size from the recommended size 17 to a size 15.

There is a lot going on in this pattern, with the cable patterns separated by other pattern stitches, and I found it extremely important to pay attention to the row I was on in order to execute the required shaping.

I did run into a snag after completing the waist shaping. When the instructions say "K1, pick up purl bump from st below st on right needle and place on holder on WS," I did so, but I could not see anywhere later in the directions where these picked up stitches were specifically referenced! With some prompt and helpful assistance from Kathleen and Joni Coniglio (Senior Project Editor for Interweave Knits), I was soon back on track. Joni told me that "The stitches on holders are the ones you will be placing onto the needle at the beginning of the back instructions (page 86, 3rd column)." So if you get stuck at this section, now you know what to do!

I followed the pattern as written, except I elected to finish off the slipover with a garter stitch edging for the neckline. I felt that I'd get much more wear out of the sweater with a collar rather than the hood. I really like the versatility of the collar—turning it up or down really changes the look of the garment.

Overall, I am really pleased with this pattern—the cables really pop, the yarn is bouncy and shows fantastic stitch definition, and the vest is wonderfully warm and cuddly. I'll be wearing it all this week, as our weather finally turns to winter.

     Melanie's Leif Slipover

Leif Slipover, by Adrienne Larsen, knitted by Melanie Gillette
Cascade Yarns Lana Grande, in color 6045, Latte, 9 skeins

Melanie's Measurements
Melanie is 5 foot 8½ inches tall and usually wears a size med (8) top
Bust: 36"
Waist: 28"
Hips: 37"

I love the look of the cabled vest and hood. After much debate, I chose to make it in gray as pictured; unimaginative, perhaps, but so versatile! I used the Cascade Yarns Lana Grande. I also debated on size. I chose the 39½ size because the 35-inch circumference would have been an inch small. In retrospect, I wish I had knit the 35-inch size and had negative ease.

Hood-down view

The vest knit up too big for me, but I still like it. My swatch was the correct gauge, but the vest is a little too loose for my taste. I love the cabling and design, although I did run into a few confusing points along the way. A few things I stumbled over in the directions:

—The instructions have us move markers in row 9 of the body, but don't mention we need to keep the extra knit stitches until row 16 (for size 39½.)

—On the back, we pick up purl bumps we set aside on stitch holders while working the front. But the stitches are now called left-side stitches and right-side stitches.

—On the back, after the first upper body chart and before the second, several stitches are added. However, the instructions do not tell us whether to make purl stitches or knit stitches. It becomes the pattern down the center back, so I did a knit purl knit pattern; but I think all purl stitches would look better.

I was worried it would take a long time, but the vest knits up fairly quickly, even for a slower knitter like me. It helped to have some cabling experience as well. The shape of the vest is so flattering, and the length is great for leggings or straight leg jeans with boots. I'm excited to start wearing this in our wintry weather.

Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Interweave Knits, Magazines
Kathleen Cubley

About Kathleen Cubley

Hello daily knitters! I'm the editor of Knitting Daily. I've been obsessed with knitting for about ten years now and my favorite projects are sweaters. I like the occasional smaller project, but there's nothing like yards of stockinette with a well-placed cable or a subtle stitch pattern here and there. I crochet a bit now and then—especially when I need to produce a baby blanket in time for the baby shower. I've been in publishing for 20 years and I'm finally exactly where I want to be: at the crossroads of knitting and communication. I live in Spokane, Washington and when I'm not knitting I enjoy gardening, snuggling with my dogs, swimming, reading, and playing in the snow in the winter. But, really, I'm pretty much always knitting!

39 thoughts on “Interweave Knits Winter Galleries

  1. Nice pattern, both of them! I like the way Gerda choose to close the Livingston Cardigan. I think it looks really elegant this way and I would absolutely choose the same way for the closure.
    Apparently the Leif Slipover needs to be done in a smaller than usual size. This is my favorite of the two patterns. Could imagine this one in a thinner yarn as well.

  2. Wow!  You picked the same two patterns that I’ve been eyeing!  I have some stash yarn just begging to be knit into cables.  Wonderfully helpful, real-world comments from all your knitters.  They give me the encouragement I needed to actually try one.  But I still don’t know which one?

  3. For these chunky knits I would have liked to know more than the knitters’ bust measurements.  How tall are they?  What hip size? This issue was my least favorite, and I came over hoping to see more than 2 patterns in the gallery.  Kathy’s cardigan looks lovely on her – re-sizing with a smaller gauge worked so well!  The added length is also great.

  4. Wow! You have been busy women! Thanks for the great construction notes. I think these will help all of us differently sized women to choose which sizes to knit as well as yarns and needles. These are gorgeous, too!

  5. These all look gorgeous, and the detailed comments on mods and potential pattern trip-ups are very helpful.  I really like the Leif but not sure I’d like it as a slipover.  I love the way the front looks but probably would try to figure out a way to have a button closure there instead.  I hate the awkwardness of pulling a sweater off over my head in public, and I have a feeling this one gets toasty.

  6. First things first:  Wonderful knitting!  Well done to everyone. 

    Second things second:  I need WAY more information about sizing. I find the most tricky thing is figuring out which size to knit so that the finished garment looks the way I envision.  I would like to know the participants’ bust and waist size, the size they chose to knit, the actual gauge they got, and the finished measurements of the garments (before and after blocking!).   This info would be so useful – otherwise I may just as well look at projects on Ravelry.  

    Thanks Interweave-looking forward to the next one!

  7. Ooops, forgot to paste the comment :-)  I agree with Knitgineer 5; I need more info. I love the look of both of these items, but I always have trouble deciding which size to knit because of a few things: even though my gauge matches what is called for, it always seems like the item is too big when I finish. I don’t like tight garments, but I don’t want them to hang either. It would help if we knew the measurements of the models, their gauge, and what the ease is. Also, is this a stretchy yarn or more stable? Measurements of the garment after it’s done would be helpful. In summary, you all did such a beautiful job! I love cables and these two garmets are particularly yummy. Thanks for all your hard work!

  8. Both are beautiful sweaters, Leif being my favorite. It would be helpful to know the knitters measurements. The tips on the modifications and possible problems will be useful. Absolutely gorgeous work ladies. Thank you!!


  9. I appreciated the comments from the Livingstone knitters and I thought their results look great.  I agree with Melanie that her Leif slipover is too big–pattern description should probably suggest knitting with negative ease given that large needles and chunky yarn tend to stretch.  But I did appreciate alert to tricky parts of pattern and I hope Interweave will add those notes to Errata for this pattern–that would be a big help for those who decide to try it.

  10. The Livingston looks really good on all three knitters. But I hate to say, after all their work, that the 2 Lief Slipovers look like “loving hands at home”. I was attracted to this in the magazine, but seeing as how both knitters ended up with garments that are waaaayyy too big for them, I’m not sure its worth the effort. (Please understand I’m not criticizing either knitters skill – their construction looks really good.) I rarely knit on chunky yarn or with such large needles precisely because the end result looks too “home-made” rather than “hand-made.” I enjoy seeing the garments made up by “regular” knitters. I’d like to add that it would have been helpful to have the knitters measurements to go along with the size they made. And I have to say, I really miss the galleries that were shown when Sandi had the column. Any chance Kathleen could do something similar?

  11. Nice adaptations.  I was very attracted to the Lief pattern, but upon seeing how the Lief really knits up, I don’t think I’ll be putting my efforts into it.  It looks too big.   


  12. I really like the Leif Slipover, but reading about the unclear/tricky parts of the pattern, though helpful, makes me, as a beginner, shy away from it. I need clear, step-by-step instructions. Also, like Knitgineer5, it would be really helpful to have sizing and gauge info.

    Knitters seem pleased with their finished garments and that’s the most important thing. Thanks.

  13. I would never have made the Livingstone Cardigan when it first was published; I think the toggles turned me off, but seeing it completed by the knitters changed my opinion.  Now I love it!  Each new version was attractive in its own right and looked so different from the original.  I love these galleries; keep doing them!

  14. I am just starting on the whole Interweave thing. I will look at the books, pictures, etc. I have knitted for a long time. but mostly bags and scarves.  Melanie, your Leif slipover is very cute. I like the hood.

  15. Thank you ladies for sharing your projects with us.

    I could not agree more with Knitengineer5 and GrandmaDiane. Proper ease is crucial to a good, flattering and comfortable fit. I need to know how these models are built so I can apply their information to me.

  16. Thank You. The comments of the knitters are helpful. I do miss the commentary about what works on whose body type. Those comments were very instructive to me. Also, seeing 4 was nice, though I can’t complain since I couldn’t knit them all that fast.


  17. This is a fun twist on the popular galleries feature. It is interesting to see how the patterns came out when completed by real knitters and to hear about the challenges that each faced during knitting them. I am amazed by how great the Livingstone Cardigan looks on all of the knitters! I was completely unattracted to the magazine photo of it and might consider it after seeing this work. I had the opposite reaction to the Leif Slipover. I was initially very attracted to the magazine photo and I find it really interesting how different the Leif Slipover looks when done by the knitters featured here despite being made from the same yarn. Just to look at the photos, I would say that both slipovers could have been done on smaller needles, but it may be that the knitting was over-blocked. It would be interesting to have some expert analysis on this issue from Kathleen and also perhaps some comments on how the sweaters could have been modified to fit each knitter better. This would help to differentiate this forum from Ravelry. I do think negative ease is a key in the fit of the Leif Slipover, however, since I don’t have this issue of the magazine I don’t know if that was suggested or not, but I think that it probably should have been. I thank all of these knitters for sharing their work and their process.

  18. I am loving all the pictures and will have to get busy and go through my stash and see what I have to make the beautiful vest at least. Love that!

    Thanks for sharing these lovely projects.

  19. I’ve just started the Leif Slipover. I agree with the comments re: confusing instructions. I’m a beginner and even with an adventurous spirit (read: make it up as I go along), it is helpful to know each step – such as on row 9 and beyond (for Size 35 1/2), the lack of instructions re: the moving marker and what to do with the “leftover” stitches (I’ve been trying to follow the appearance and knit or purl the “extra” stitches as seems fit) as the chart goes from 20 stitches to 18  stitches (at row 9) make it more difficult than it should be.

    I took the pattern to a knitting class and the instructor thought that the center stitches in the back would be lacking stitches enough to do the pattern and so had to come up with a different stitch to make it work – now in actually working the sweater, I realize that would not be necessary as the center back stitches currently number 7 (previously 5 before moving the markers to change the chart stitches from 20 to 18).

    I wonder if this was an instruction error in the magazine or an editing/layout error. . .

    Either way the pattern is beautiful, the cables very interesting (a little too interesting for a beginner really) and I’m hoping mine will fit ok.

    Oh, and I took the advice of several on Ravelry and am using size 13 needles instead of 17 – I find it hard to believe that the KNITS shown sweater was knitted on size 17. Though the smaller size makes the cabling a little more challenging on a super bulky yarn, it appears closer to the shown sweater and more likely to fit with negative ease. And yes, I did get gauge with my swatch using size 13 needles and super bulky yarn.

    Thank you to the knitters above for your lovely sweaters and comments.


  20. Great gallery! I really like that their measurements are listed, and the helpful “tips” from another knitter. I was slightly surprised to see that everyone chose the recommended yarn… it would have been nice to see a substitution among them, for all of us stash knitters. 😉 Excellent resource, thank you all for providing it! Keep up the good work!

  21. I agree with Ariadne. I love the look of the leif slipover in the pattern picture, but the actual knitted versions look so huge. And the knitters said they got gauge? I would love to make it if it turned out like the original photo, but between the size issues and the comments on confusing pattern, I won’t be making this.

  22. I love Gerda’s cardigan! I would never have knitted the cardigan as it is pictured in the magazine (too “busy” looking for my taste), but in Gerda’s hands, it is much more appealing to me!