PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

zipped cardigan

Have I told you about my knitting goal? I’m teaching myself to knit by making myself a dozen self-designed sweaters, and learning new techniques with each one I make. I’m hoping that, by the end of this journey, I’ll be a real knitter and not have to survive on guesswork! (Here are links to #1, #2 and #3, if you’d like to see my progress.)

This is sweater #4 and, as with all the others so far, it’s not perfect – there are things I’d change if I were designing it again – but it is perfectly wearable. I actually finished knitting it a few months ago, but didn’t have a chance to block it until Christmas.

I’m not really sure if I should call this a cardigan or a jacket, but I’m wearing it as a cardigan. I wanted to try knitting a zip-up top, and I was inspired by the smooth sporty lines of a fleece top – I thought a knitted version would give a slightly less casual feel.

sage zipped cardigan
(My new camera can be remote-controlled by my phone – I took this photo by mistake while setting up the app, but it shows the fit of the cardigan nicely!)

I worked turned hems to give a smooth look, and a big turned collar. The back and front have waist shaping so, even though I couldn’t find a 2-way separating zip, it can fit over my hips at the bottom edge without stretching, but still has a fairly smooth fitted look at the waist. I knitted all the pieces bottom-up, with the body as a single piece to the underarms, and set-in sleeves.

sage zipped cardigan

The turned collar has two purposes: it matches the hems visually, and the built-in facing covers the zipper tape along both collar edges, so it looks tidy whether you have the collar open or zipped right up. I knitted the collar after completing the rest of the cardigan, so I could make it exactly the right length to fold around the top of the zip, and it turned out pretty well, I think.

sage cardigan - zip detail

Zipped right up, the cardigan works like a cosy built-in scarf, with 2 layers of knitted fabric around my neck. I wouldn’t usually wear it zipped up like this, but I’m looking forward to taking advantage of the warmth on unexpectedly windy days!

sage zipped cardigan

The yarn colour is a bit unusual – which made buying a co-ordinating zip next-to impossible, although I like the muted purple I chose in the end – but the best part about this yarn was the price: I bought it from a yarn factory outlet sale, and the entire sweater cost me the grand total of $5. It’s Bernat Satin yarn, so it’s very soft and snuggly, despite being acrylic.

sage zipped cardigan

I’m calling this one a success! Lessons learnt:

  • Knitwear and zips aren’t the best of friends, particularly with the stretchy drapey knitted fabric I prefer. Sewing it in was tricky, and, when I sit down, the zip bulges out over my tummy in a less-than-flattering way. (This could have been minimised if I’d been able to find a 2-way zip, or made a shorter length sweater, but I think I prefer buttons anyway.)
  • I misunderstood how to do a sloped bind-off, and the combination of that together with set-in sleeves and thick knitted fabric meant my shoulder seams are a little bulkier than I’d like, although I don’t think it’s too obvious until I point it out, right? (I’ve since realised my mistake, and I know how to do it properly now!)

My biggest victory with this sweater was getting my measurements spot on – it fits me perfectly all over. These measurements will be my go-to template for future sweaters, and should make designing the next ones much simpler. I love this process; I’m learning so much with each new garment I make. And, with this cardigan, I’ll be well prepared once summer ends and my house gets chilly again.


  1. Deanna said

    Good job! I’ve been knitting for four years now (almost non-stop) and I’ve yet to make set-in sleeves. So far, I’ve stuck to one piece sweaters, both top down (raglan) and bottom up (circular yoke). But right now I am champing at the bit to crochet those kitties and bunnies.

  2. Christine Adametz said

    This cardigan is fabulous! You are one very talented lady! I have been knitting for … oh, long time now (almost 47 of my 54 years) and I don’t think I could achieve such a fine fit on my own without a pattern! Beautiful work. You’ve inspired me to start thinking about making me a sweater now. First, I have about 50 more pairs of socks to make to get my stash down. LOL! Thanks for this site – I’m new to it today and have already spent much time enjoying it!

  3. Sara T said

    HOLY COW JUNE!!!! This sweater is gorgeous! I continue to be impressed with all of your mad knitting skillz. 🙂 Very, very well-done.

  4. Michelle said

    Like all of the sweaters you have designed, its just beautiful! I don’t think I will be learning how to knit though as I have enough crochet projects I procrastinate without adding another medium. LOL The fit is lovely though and I love the color.

  5. Carol said

    Thanks very much June for the information. I will certainly give these resources a go to see if I can learn something.

    Thanks again for your kindness.


  6. Carol said

    Hi June,

    I think that your teaching yourself to knit is marvellous! I hope to follow in your footsteps to learn how to knit but I won’t be designing anything myself at least not at the beginning stages.

    Your cardigan looks absolutely fab! Just keep it up and please continue to share you triumphs with us.


    • June said

      Thanks, Carol! I can recommend for tutorial videos for all the basic techniques. I’ve also bought some good Craftsy online classes in knitwear design that are helping me with designing my sweaters – I don’t expect those would interest you, but they also have lots of basic knitting classes geared to beginners that should be helpful for you.

  7. Lee Lawson said

    It’s beautiful.I love the colour well done you for just going for it.

  8. Lesley Innes said

    Well done June. Although I knit more than crochet, I have never been able to knit myself a sweater or cardigan and certainly never designed one myself. But then I am no good at maths. Wish I had persevered as maths is so useful for many things. Keep it up – you could end up as a Crochet and Knitwear designer.

    • June said

      Thanks, Lesley! Maths was my favourite subject at school – that probably explains a lot about me… I have to confess that I have absolutely zero ambition to get into knitwear design, as the joy of knitting, for me, is being able to make something with a custom fit for my non-standard body shape. I couldn’t make patterns that would fit everyone – with all different body types – that well, and I wouldn’t be happy with anything less!

  9. Doug said

    Whoa! Very cool.
    Yes, once you point out the shoulder seams, but before you did, never noticed.
    I love collars like that, which can be flipped up for warmth, or down when you don’t need it.

    • June said

      Ah, so I should have just kept quiet about those seams? 😉 Seriously, I think it’s important to acknowledge that handmade doesn’t have to be perfect, and it’s the little almost-invisible imperfections in all the sweaters I’ve made so far that remind me that I really made this every time I put one on – that’s a pretty good feeling.

      • Doug said

        No, not at all!
        There is also something important about items having a human touch and having non-perfections, not so much by intent/design, but as a result of being a human activity, so I agree with your “I really made this” being a good feeling.

  10. Aine said


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