Twist Mid Issue Release – Sabbatical

Posted on | December 31, 2009 | 18 Comments

Some eagle eyed knitters noticed my bio clustered among the other contributors in the Winter issue of Twist. Some also noticed that the yarns in the Isles of Shoals story included the Fibre Company’s Road to China Light, but that no sweater or garment in that story used it. That’s because I used it for Sabbatical, a Twist Winter issue mid-release.

For this design, I was aiming for a cardigan with long, clean lines and a large scale lace motif. Originally, I thought a worsted weight yarn would be nice in order to emphasize the scale of the lace, but after a bit of consideration and swatching, I realized that a worsted weight yarn would allow only one or two repeats of the lace and might cut off the lace strangely. Since the lace repeat is 22 sts wide, a DK to sport weight yarn (and Road to China Light fell in between these gauges when knit with a size 6 needle), seemed more appropriate. One repeat would be around 4″, meaning that even the smallest size would have at least 2 repeats per front. Because it’s lace, the sweater zips along surprisingly quickly despite the relatively small gauge of the yarn.

Here is my submission sketch, with the swatch worked in Plymouth Silk Merino:New Image

I wanted the focus to be on the large lace motif, so other than a k3p3 rib along the sleeve cuffs and hems which flows into the lace, nothing else distracts from it. Simple waist decreases and increases help define the shape in what might be otherwise an overly boxy garment. The sweater is finished off with a plain, stockinette band which is picked up along the fronts and neck; and to keep it from rolling, a very short doubled hem is turned at the very edge. In additon, I’d recommend a shot of heavy steam to flatten out the band.

One of the things I love about designing is the opportunity to experiment with different yarns. And the Fibre Company’s Road to China Light certainly does not disappoint. It’s a wonderful combination of alpaca, cashmere, silk, and camel; and comes in subtle, kettle dyed colors.


For the sample, I worked a tubular cast on for the hems. To work a 3×3 tubular cast on, it’s very important that the cast on has the same number of knit stitches as it does purl stitches. If it doesn’t, then the resulting edge will slant — not a very attractive look. For those sizes where the knits don’t equal the purls, work a regular long tail cast on. Otherwise, a 3×3 tubular cast on is worked by provisionally casting on half the number of stitches needed. Next, work 4 rows in stockinette with the 1st row worked a purl row. Then, unzip the provisional cast on and put the resultant live stitches on another needle; you now have both ends of the fabric on needles:
tubular 001
Fold the fabric up so the right sides (the knit sides) are facing out and the needles are parallel to each other:
tubular 002
With a third needle, k3 stitches from the front needle (silver needle) and then p3 stitches from the back needle (gold needle). Proceed until all stitches are worked. You then have a nice, rounded edge:
tubular 003

On a parting note, I am hopeless with naming my designs. Fortunately, Julia is a lot more creative with naming than I am. She was also the one who named my Uhura in the Summer issue. As a die hard science fiction aficionado, the name delighted me. For this cardigan, she said it had an Edwardian feel about it and suggested a list of names adhering to that general theme. I liked Sabbatical because it connotes rest and lounging around to me; and at the same time reminds me of academia. So, Sabbatical it is then. I hope some of you decide to either knit it, wear it, or both, on your Sabbaticals, however long they may last.


18 Responses to “Twist Mid Issue Release – Sabbatical”

  1. Felicity
    December 31st, 2009 @ 2:43 pm

    That’s a new tubular cast on method for me – very very interesting! I suppose it would work just as well for 2 x 2 and you wouldn’t get the annoying slant.

  2. Hickory
    December 31st, 2009 @ 8:45 pm

    Lovely! This might be my favorite so far Connie :-)

  3. jillian
    December 31st, 2009 @ 9:02 pm

    Ooohh, pretty!

  4. Natalie
    December 31st, 2009 @ 11:24 pm

    Beautiful looking design, as usual.

    And thanks for the tubular cast on method spelled out in great detail with pictures & words. I finally had an Aha! moment and it all makes sense.

  5. Julie
    January 1st, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

    oooh, so gorgeous!! I can’t wait.

  6. Jen
    January 2nd, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

    It’s so beautiful–I can’t wait to start.

  7. Maryse
    January 2nd, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

    Sabbatical is beautiful! The yarn and color are nice as well!

  8. Jean
    January 3rd, 2010 @ 9:54 am

    Very beautiful design!

  9. Angela
    January 3rd, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

    Gorgeous! You really have a way with lace ;-)

  10. karin maag-tanchak
    January 3rd, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

    When I saw that picture in my Twist Collective newsletter, I immediately said out loud to the computer monitor: that’s a Connie Chang-Chinchio design!! I recongized “you” right away.

  11. Robin
    January 5th, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

    Happy New Year! Sabbatical is definitely on my list to knit. I bought the pattern right away as soon as it came out!

  12. mel
    January 5th, 2010 @ 9:16 pm

    I love this one Connie – it’s so pretty and effortlessly flattering. Your attention to detail is stellar :) And I loved the tubular tutorial (that looks like a fun trick!) and the insight into the naming. Congratulations (and Happy New Year!)

  13. mary jane
    January 5th, 2010 @ 10:16 pm

    so pretty! Happy New Year!

  14. Ivete
    January 7th, 2010 @ 4:18 pm

    Gorgeous! Thanks for posting this, I would have missed it for sure!

  15. Adrika
    January 16th, 2010 @ 3:59 am

    I simply love this model… the name and the motif just immediately make me think of Sunday Morning, when we can take some time for us in this speedy world… Great design! I’ll take my time to do it, but I’ll definitely do it!

  16. Monique
    January 26th, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

    This is absolutely beautiful!

  17. Kim
    February 2nd, 2010 @ 4:03 pm

    What a simple tubular cast-on! I’ve been fiddling with various ones but this one at least makes sense to me.

  18. Zairi
    March 1st, 2010 @ 6:38 pm

    I love this cardigan.
    Kinda off subject – Our knitting group is starting a Farmers Market Cardigan KAL. 5 of us, I think.
    Hope you’re staying warm.

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