I Made It with Atlas: Morchella Cardigan
I’ve been slowly working down a list of must-haves for my hand-knit wardrobe, and one important staple has been missing for too long—a yellow cardigan. I love living in a cozy cardigan when I’m at home or out and about, thrown over a t-shirt or maybe over a dress if I’m feeling fancy.
Having made three sweaters in Atlas over the past year, I knew it would be the perfect yarn for a cardigan. The color? My favorite bright chartreuse-y shade of yellow, Pear.
I went on a Ravelry hunt for a cardigan pattern with texture and ribbing for the cozy squish I was after. Something hearty, homey, wholesome and substantial. I came across the Morchella Cardigan by Whitney Hayward and knew it was the cardigan for me.
After casting on, I was pleased to discover that the majority of this sweater is knit in Cartridge Rib, a 2-row stitch pattern with deep ridges and neat lines of slipped stitches that requires no purling when knitted flat. (I decided to knit the sleeves in the round, which requires purling but those easy slipped stitches are so wonderful!)
The flat Cartridge Rib sections speed along pretty quickly on size US 7 (4.5 mm) needles, and Atlas creates a soft fabric that is springy and bouncy. This rib is also reversible, and while the stitch is not difficult, it’s wise to peek at the back of your work every so often to make sure your slipped stitches are still lining up like little building blocks. Marking the right side of your garment with a removable stitch marker is also helpful.
Morchella is knitted from the bottom up, seamed at the shoulders, then stitches are picked up around each armhole for the sleeves. You definitely want to keep track of where you are as you work through the neck shaping, because there are technically two sets of instructions that alternate from beginning-of-row directions to end-of-row directions. There’s also a handy chart if you prefer pictures to written instructions.
The button band is worked completely separately on US 4s, and it rolls up like a little stockinette snake. It’s knitted flat, has double buttonholes, and it’s folded over the edge of the cardigan when seamed, which is a whole other unexpected adventure. I left the button band stitches live on my needles as I seamed the band to the sweater in case I needed to adjust the length at the end. It’s really fun to knit, and the density of the fabric on smaller needles provides a nice, solid button band that I really like.
Pattern notes: Once the knitting is done there is a lot of finishing to do, and the button band was trickier to seam than other bands I have sewn in the past, but the construction is solid and results in a sweater that feels just right.
My cardigan could still use a good wet block, but I can already tell it’s one of those sweaters that gets better and better as you wear it. I could see myself making another one in a neutral shade … Shale, Cork, Mouse, or Cedar would look absolutely lovely.
I’m thrilled to add this new yellow cardigan to my wardrobe. And … the buttons! We have a pet tortoise, and I love all things turtle/tortoise related. I’ve had these wooden Katrinkles tortoise buttons for a few years and had been saving them for the right project. This cardigan only needs four buttons and these happened to be the perfect size for the little double buttonholes. It was meant to be.
Make It with Atlas
- Morchella Cardigan by Whitney Hayward
- US 7 (4.5 mm) needles (or size to obtain 22 stitches = 4″ (10 cm) gauge in Cartridge Rib)
- 7 skeins of Atlas in Pear for size B
- Four .75″/19 mm buttons for size B
- Row counter (optional)