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I have a big honking crush on Atlas. We might be seeing each other on the regular from here on. Merlot is my dreamy dark purple, not too red, heading toward a velvet chocolate brown if you’re spending time in dark corners. It arrived looking even better than its profile picture. 

Choosing a pattern.

I both savor and overthink choosing a new project. Should I commit? Will I be smitten? Will it be a keeper? I knew I wanted texture—to take advantage of the bouncy, springy, lofty qualities of the yarn. 

I swooned over Hana by Junko Okomato, the prima donna of textured pullovers. But its multiple sections of changing cables would need undivided attention that I couldn’t offer in fall ’22. For a day or so I revisited a past love—the stylishly simple Felix pullover. A strand of Kidsilk Haze held with Atlas would be perfection here. It’s not textured though, so I put Felix thoughts aside until winter.

What was I missing in my handknit wardrobe? A cropped cardi! One late night online swiping through Ravelry patterns led me first to Ozetta’s Atlas-perfect designs, then down the bobble path where I found the one: Louise Cardigan by Lisa Woolridge. Though the pattern’s photo sample is oversized, I could envision the cropped silhouette I wanted. The pattern is well written; it’s a simple top-down raglan, no seams, easy to understand and modify. 

Easy to gauge when the length is just right. Ta da!

Photo by Yliana Tibitoski

Top tips

  • Pointy metal needles were ideal for my combination knitting flow and for working bobbles.
  • You’ll want to teach yourself to purl backward. Bobbles are not fun if you are turning the work around. And around. And then around again, flopping that all-one-piece, no seams sweater project. Purling back without turning the work is a magic power. Plus it’s good for your brain.
  • I can get gauge and measure myself all I want (which is not much) and still end up with a sweater that’s Not Quite The Fit I Had in Mind. Using an existing sweater that’s just right as a template is the key. I place my WIP on it flat for checking progress on body length, width and sleeve length whenever I modify a pattern. 
  • Manicure in a nail polish that brings joy when held next to the Atlas yarn on the needles. I am not joking. This made me happy every day. It’s the little things, my friends!

Make It with Atlas

  • Louise Cardigan by Lisa Woolridge 
  • MDK Atlas in your shade of choice. I used 6 skeins of Merlot for my size 3, cropped cardigan. I planned for 5″ ease.
  • I used Size US 6 (4 mm) circular needles and DPNs, and the blocked gauge is 4.5 st per inch (2.5 cm) measured over stockinette.
  • Optional: TKB Cords by The Knitting Barber were helpful holding stitches when I tried on the WIP to assess the length—for once my cropped sweater really is exactly the length I meant it to be.

Save it for later.  Here’s how to save this article in your MDK account with one click.

About The Author

With a degree in photojournalism from the University of Minnesota, Gale Zucker has made a career of capturing the humanity and humor in the people and places that are her subjects.


  • It looks fantastic on you!!!

  • Beautiful!

  • Wow!! It’s beautiful!!!

  • It looks beautiful on you!

  • Great sweater! Link goes to The Knitting Barber but maybe you were looking for a bartender after all the bobbles?

  • Lovely sweater and thank you for all the helpful ideas! The tutorial on backward purling broke my brain for a minute – must give it a try.

    • Try it!! It’s only three stitches so it’s very doable .

  • Purling backwards who knew that was a thing? I made a shawl this summer with four bobble rows and wish I knew then what I know now. Thank you for the inspiration. I cannot wait to cast this on.

    • You’re going to love purling the back of the bobbles! It’s a true game changer

  • That is the dreamiest of colors, and you look fantastic in it!

  • The TBK cords are brilliant! Are they going to be in the MDK shopr?

  • It looks perfectly on you! Nice tips, too! Now I wonder if I did my “Learn to Knit Continental” class a disservice by not teaching them the combination purl!

  • I, too, am in love with Atlas. Worth every penny.

  • You are so right about the nail polish! Making a manicure appointment today!!

  • Love the color, the backwards purl and the nail polish. It all turned out so great! And the picture is beautiful. Somewhere in the past I read that knitting backwards is easier American style even for Continental knitters. Think it is definitely worth it for Continentals to investigate. Chloe

  • I love your manicure tip!

  • Yes to pretty nails. I love the idea of making something pretty to look at, little moments of delight. Your cardi is gorgeous, and perfect for you.

  • Being able to knit and purl backwards are excellent skills to have to hand. Not hard to master with a little practice, and helpful so often (example: when chart reading you don’t have to adjust your brain to “the knits are purls now, and the purls are knits” on all the WS rows, you just read the chart – from left to right – as it shows!). Useful for Entrelac knitting too, for the same reason as bobble construction as discussed in the article.

  • You look stunning, Gale!

  • Gale!! I was so happy to see your face when scrolling through my Google suggestions this morning! If you ever come to Kansas City, please let me know! My email and phone number is the same and would love to catch up!!

    • Beth! Hi there and that would be amazing! Xox

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