It's the next… shrug. Yeah, that's it.

The tie-front, V-necked, long-sleeved cardigan. The body can be solid stockinette (allover lace or eyelet patterning optional), but the lacy or ruffled trim is key–the little bit of frou that elevates the style above the… um… bathrobe. It’s the spring/summer version of the wrapped-front shawl collar cardigan.

And it’s easy to make, too. Hate making buttonholes and matching buttons? No problem, none needed. Do your selvedges look a little ragged? The picked-up edgings will hide those sins.

This design, for example, is Deli from RYC Classic Cafe. Simple stockinette body, all openings edged with a conservative trim.

And there’s more. In order of increasing froth, we’ve got:

  • Kim Hargreaves’s Delight from her current line is just about as reserved as Deli, in fact a little more subdued.
  • Veronik Avery’s Salt Peanuts from the Spring 2004 issue of Interweave Knits was probably the breakthrough design (in the hand knitting pattern context) for this style–minimal detail, but just enough to accent the neckline.
  • Anthropologie’s Fall 2005 Sheer Pointelle Cardigan is airy-fairy with circularly-cut ruffles.
  • Adrienne Vittadini’s cardigan in Dianna from Spring 2005 plays with lace in a heavier hand, in an allover eyelet diamond pattern edged with ruffled eyelet trim (that link broken out of The Handworks Gallery’s frames). And look, even Sears is in on the pointelle-knit-ruffled-cardigan action (2005-6 catalogue).
  • Anthropologie’s Miss Lizzy, also from the Fall 2005 line. Good golly, Miz Liz–it’s a good thing you can buy this one ready-made, because you might cry after the effort of making it to discover that a ruffled lace peplum… is not the best look for you, whoever you are.

By the way, excuse the vertical line running through that Rowan photo. It was taken from the RYC website. Earlier this year, wondering about Rowan’s policy on individual knitters swiping images from their sites and republishing them in a blogging context, I checked their website terms–nothing but a standard copyright statement. So I e-mailed to ask if they had any policy, and received a brief reply: “We can allow consumers to download images of our designs on the understanding that credit is given to Rowan and the publication it is from.” I hope that implies uploading them to other sites, too, given the “credit” term.

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6 Responses to It's the next… shrug. Yeah, that's it.

  1. Robyn says:

    I actually prefer Joan’s design (if you’re referring to the one that came up when I clicked on her page, which I added to my faves by the way) to any of the others, because it crosses over, so it doesn’t look so “bathrobe” to me.

  2. LaurieM says:

    Joan McGowan-Michael of White Lies designs ( is the queen of this design.

  3. kbsalazar says:

    How could you forget White Lies Angelina:

    Which having been out now for three? four? years and an adaptation of a vintage pattern besides, is clearly channeling the grandmother of all of these designs.


  4. amy says:

    Actually I have one coming out in a mag in January. The shaping is far more flattering than sme of the stuff that has come out, and they are (mostly) more functional than some faddish cardis. Definitely feminine though Elizabeth.

  5. elizabeth says:

    I’ve never really liked the unabashedly femmy look that these all play to. I’ll be happier when women’s clothes go into a butch cycle. And I really don’t hold with the ribbon bow or tie accent. (shudder!)

  6. Carrie says:

    I actually like most of these, especially Deli. We fat chicks cannot pull off shrugs without looking like sausages in ruptured casings and ponchos, God help us, only add the illusion of more weight. At least these cardigans have some drape and many of them fall past the hips. Now, if only the patterns were available in something larger than a size 12.