Upcycled Cardi Challenge, Part I

Dreadful indoor/evening photos, but you’ll get the idea.  And oh look, a kitty polaroid!

That’s one of my kitties, Yarn. You know how cats love photo shoots.

This is the cardigan I’m planning on using for the the revamp, and this is the yarn- some knitpicks merino style that I’ve had kicking around in my stash for at least 4 years. I think it’s a good match for this.

I’ve swatched the ribbing portion in my chosen yarn and needles (6 mm, US size 10), and am getting  5 stitches per inch in the ribbing. The cardigan is 26 inches around, when laying flat.

Now, the first decision to make: do I want the angled fronts, like the original cardigan? Or would I prefer normal, straight fronts?

I think I’m leaning more towards straight fronts. The angles of this are nice enough, but that’s not what attracted me to the cardigan. Also, I don’t feel super confident about copping the fronts evenly.  What do you guys think? Straight fronts? Or should I go for the chop? I have to decide before I cast on, as the angled fronts would change how much ribbing I’ll need from left front to right front.


  1. Ms. Cee C   •  

    I actually love the idea of angled or straight. However, I think the straight would be best b/c I wouldn’t want to chop the front either. LOL!

    I love this idea! I have definitely got to try this with one of my cardis.

  2. Rachael   •  

    I am kind of a sissy about working things out first then getting more bold on the next go-through, so I’d start with straight, for sure! I can’t wait to see how this comes out!

  3. ExecutiveKnitter   •  

    I would start with a sleeve and see how the two yarn lay together – that tells you if the yarn is so heavy that if you angled it would not fall properly. I like the angles and they provide artistic drama. More traditional look (straight) might look to crafty instead of artistic chic.

  4. Tanis   •  

    Originally I was thinking that you had to angle the fronts, but after taking a closer look I don’t think that’s the angles are the most important thing about this cardigan. It’s all about those lines of stitches that flow up from the bottom. I can’t wait to see how you tackle those!

  5. Gennie   •  

    I agree with ExecutiveKnitter – I think leaving the edges straight might look more “homemade” than “handmade.” I’m unsure also why you would need more ribbing for one front than the other. On the anthro website you can see that the ribbing goes all the way around the back of the sweater too, and it is the fine-gauge fabric that is angled.
    As far as chopping them evenly – grab the cardigan at the buttons and hold it up – that should align the fronts enough so you could cut. And even if you don’t do it perfectly, the knitting will cover a multitude of mistakes.
    This is such a cute idea, I can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  6. charlie girl   •  

    gorgeous sweater! I say straight just because the angled tend to fall open more easily when worn, just my opinion.

  7. Roxie   •  

    The angled style will accentuate the hips. Straight, at the right length of course, will be less prone to do so.

  8. Evelyn   •  

    Both would be great but I tend to prefer a straight edge as I think it’s more versatile. Excellent choice of yarn.

  9. Jennifer   •  

    I quite like the angled fronts and what it does to the orientation of the knitting, but it will be lovely either way.

  10. Michele   •  

    I like the angles. It might be a little hard to work out but I think it adds a little design to the sweater and will be worth it in the end. Good luck!

  11. Blue Garter   •  

    I was going to vote for angling the fronts because it’s a flattering line for a longer sweater, but then I considered the limitations of your button-up cardi. If you still want it to button closed, I think you’re just going to end up with funny flaps of awkwardly hanging fabric if you angle the knit portion. The Anthro cardi is flared from the bust on down and there’s really no way to replicate that with your sweater. This is a neat project!

  12. adriene   •  

    I agree with Rachel: start with the sleeves and then try it on and see what you think it needs from there.

  13. Luni   •  

    If at all possible, I’d go to the store and try on the inspiration sweater. You could see if you like the angles, then pull the back up to see how it might look straight.

  14. Noas' Libellule   •  

    I would go for angled front but with the rxisting buttonholes of the cardigan i am not sure whether it will work as well. have chopped off sleeves of a machine knitted jumper and it is fine really. Depends which one you think you will wear the most.

  15. CanarySanctuary   •  

    Well, personally I’d be afraid to do the cropped fronts unless I had experience doing them. They’d look good if done right, but I think for my first go round I’d take the safe route and go for the (equally lovely) straight fronts.

  16. karen alho   •  

    Well. straight would be easier but the angles give it a styl en an elegance that really add something.

  17. I love that you’re showing us how you are figuring this all out. Good to see for us who’d like to design ‘someday’ Back to the post –Straight I think 🙂

  18. katherinelynn_04   •  

    Well, if you do it straight, you don’t have to worry about it being even. But if you decide on angled, it will cover your belly. So…it all depends on how you want it to drape.

  19. Maryse   •  

    Suspense! For me it’s so difficult to say without seeing the actual result! It’s always like that!

  20. Blonde Catalogue   •  

    Great start so far! Angled will look more ‘Anthropologie’ and straight will be more versatile. Tough call! Either way, it will be lovely!

  21. Kristi ~ ArtSea   •  

    I’m torn for several reasons that other commenters have already mentioned. I love the angles on the original sweater, but I think yours will look better straight (taking the buttons into consideration).

  22. kingshearte   •  

    I like the angles, not least because I think the angle helps to mitigate the look of the added bulk around the hip area. Buuuuut, with the buttons on your sweater, I think maybe straight would work better.

  23. Jacey   •  

    I think I would go for the straight ribbing. Hi, kitty!

  24. Danette   •  

    Straight is my vote. I love cardigans and sometimes the more basic the better. And I LOVE your kitty. Is the kitty’s name “Yarn”?
    How cute, if so. Darling cat. I have 2 running through my yarn around here every chance they get.

  25. juicyknits   •  

    I’d say straight fronts. Especially if you normally wear straight ones, go for ones in this cardi as well.

  26. Jenifer   •  

    Question, how did you do the caste on row and possibly the first row of your white swatch?

    It looks very pretty and could add a lot to my plain stockinette items!


  27. CablingKaren   •  

    I do like the angled fronts and would make it that way if I were starting from scratch. However, I think it would be very difficult to get it just right when adapting the cardigan so best to stick to straight fronts in the circumstances.

  28. Lindsey   •  

    The yarn on the Anthro cardi looks marled and chunkier yet has a lighter feel. Maybe because the collar and inside out hemming at the top of the sweater helps to balance the weight of the knitted bottom. I wonder if there’s someway to even this out with your sweater and yarn? Maybe making the knitted part shorter? I’m not quite sure, but I definitely think you should cut the angle because it will incorporate the yarn and sweater more fluidly.

  29. m   •  

    Your cardigan doesn’t look long enough to do angles properly. That said, if it is long enough, do it angled. It will look more dramatic and interesting.

  30. yoel   •  

    Straight is my vote. The cardi doesn’t have enough fabric to properly overlap in front. And/or it would look really bizarre with just the knitted-on bits overlapping.

  31. Sarah   •  

    I can’t wait to see you work this out, what a fun challenge! I think straight fronts given the shape and style of the base cardigan.

  32. elephantJuice   •  

    Cute kitty pic!

    I really like the look of the angles, but chopping sounds scary so I’d probably stick with the straight. I can’t wait to see how this works up, it sounds like such a great project!

  33. erica-knits   •  

    Hi Yarn! I’ll vote for straight fronts, at least to make your life easier! 😉 Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  34. Danette   •  

    I have a real THING for cowls! And this is by far the most gorgeous one I have ever seen and it just happens to be made up in my favorite color. Win~Win!!!

  35. Kathy   •  

    Your Miss Yarn looks like my Miss Sasha. 🙂

  36. Rachel   •  

    Oooohh, I’m so curious to see how this experiment pans out! Such an interesting concept to try but I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around how you are going to do it. Thanks in advance for sharing the process with us!

    Late to the party but wanted to congratulate you on the success of your Stockholm scarf popularity. It is easy to see why (and somehow I missed that pattern?? off to favorite it!).

  37. Rosalies Träume   •  

    Bin grad ein bissel im Bloggerland unterwegs und zufällig bei Dir gelandet. Das sind wunderbare Dinge die Du hier zeigst. Ich freu mich immer hier noch andere Kreative zu entdecken und guck gerne wieder bei Dir rein. Vielleicht klickst Du mal rüber, würd ich mich freuen.
    Liebe Rosaliegrüße∙∙♥♥∙∙

  38. lilykate   •  

    i love this idea, you’re so creative! you really have inspired me 🙂

    lily x

  39. Ooohhh!! I can’t wait to see the final product!! This is going to look so awesome!! What a fantastic challenge! <3

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