The Saga of the Cable Sleeved Cardi

Tiam Safari


Good things take time, right? That’s why I keep telling myself at least. While the desire to compare my design process to similarly lengthy things, like fine wine, haute couture, or even making parmesan, I will try to hold back. I promise.

Three, maybe four, years ago, I had a designey-idea: knit a chunky cardigan that would fit under my winter coat, so I wouldn’t have to sacrifice an extreme knit outfit day for warmth in our pretty Arctic London winters. Easy huh? I picked up the needles, grabbed some yarn in my stash, and started knitting. I did not realise at the time that this would turn into the Saga of the Cabled Sleeved Cardi. 

Woman sits on floor wearing grey cardigan and black jeans


On paper, it worked. The sketches, the maths, the everything. In the wool, it. Did. Not. Now, I’ve had my fair share of knitastrophes and crolamities in the past (for example, the first mohair jumper I made when I moved back to the UK 7 years ago and decided to knit was a peach bubble of armour proportions) and I’m a dab hand at frogging, ripping back, or storing WIP failures for another day. But this was different. I felt defeated. Unfortunately for me, I had blasted my excitement about this project all over social media, and other people were also excited. All the encouraging words and messages convinced me to keep trying, or at least not to give up.


Take two: let’s start again. Modify the measurements, fix the raglan lines, try a bigger needle. Nope. Failure again. Try a different yarn? No, that didn’t work. Smaller needles? Nein nein nein. Different colour? Nyet. Failure after failure, in between a steady stream of projects and commissions that were thought of after, and finished well before. Thankfully, I’m in a position to be able to work on multiple projects at once, which I put down to:


  1. My interchangeable circular needles. These things have been an absolute game changer to my knitting, and allow me to two-, three- or any-number-time my WIPs, and also to work my sleeves two-at-a-time too. Honestly, I use these needles daily, and they travel around the world with me.
  2. A history of multiple cast-on situations. I design for myself, but I also work on a load of things for other brands and publications, and quite often these deadlines clash (7 patterns for two publications and a yarn company due on one day is probably both my max and also a window into the craziness that goes on in my project list.) When it rains, it pours, so get the yarn and keep on keeping on, or some mantra like that
  3. More ideas than time. This means I don’t mind it if something doesn’t quite work out, and personally I find working on other things allows my brain to to process things in the background and eventually find a solution. That’s my theory at least!


But we march on. And on. Finally, the combination worked. I find that when I persevere with an idea, I can figure it out. And by George, I did it! On paper, on the needles, and on my back. I finally had the fitted bomber I wanted, and it was great. Snaking cables up the sleeves, raglan lines that did not pucker, gape or otherwise flap about, and the mixture of trendiness and warmth I needed and wanted.

So now, the unveiling. The Cable Sleeved Cardi, sized from 3M to 5XL. Worked seamlessly from the bottom up (because I still hate seams!) with cabley goodness on the sleeves and raglan shaping to help minimise bulk. Go on, cast on!

Close up of woman wearing grey cable sleeved cardigan


Woman with brown hair in grey cable sleeve cardigan holds black fluffy catShop the digital download now.

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published