Snoqualmie Cardigan by Brooklyn Tweed // Modern cardigan knitting pattern // knit by Closet Case Patterns
Knitting, Sewing Projects

My First Project of 2018: The Snoqualmie Cardigan

Some of you may remember when I started my most ambitious knitting project ever because in my overly ambitious way I made a big ol’ production out of it and decided the only way I would finish my Snoqualmie Cardigan from Brooklyn Tweed was if I hosted a knitalong to hold myself publicly accountable. That was almost exactly two years ago and I literally just finished it, so I guess you know how that went. It may have taken me about 20 months longer than I anticipated, but the wait was worth it. I flipping love this sweater, and I’m really happy to start 2018 wrapped in its squishy embrace.

Pattern launches are always exciting, and I literally get giddy everytime Brooklyn Tweed launches a new collection, even if 99% of the time it’s just eye candy for me, because knitting takes forever and I have a short attention span. Something about the winter 2016 collection actually made me want to do more than drool over my screen; they had just debuted their new chunky yarn Quarry, and I figured if I was ever actually going to complete a sweater more complicated than a couple of rectangles stitched together, a chunky yarn was probably the way to go. It doesn’t hurt that the product images for the Snoqualmie cardigan are the dreamiest; it looked like the perfect oversized, cozy sweater for the kind of hell on earth winters we experience up here in the north (I know I whine about winter every year but serious face it’s been minus -20 for the past twenty days and if you don’t have something thick and woolly on your body at all times you basically just drop dead. It’s actually been so cold and brutal I finally bit the bullet and got my own car so I don’t have to wear a full-on snowsuit to do the long trek to work every morning. I called my brother because I was nervous about this big step and he was like “Not get a car? As opposed to what, riding your bike in the snow? You’re 36! GET A CAR!” So I did. #Adulting).

Snoqualmie Cardigan by Brooklyn Tweed // Modern cardigan knitting pattern // knit by Closet Case PatternsSnoqualmie Cardigan by Brooklyn Tweed // Modern cardigan knitting pattern // knit by Closet Case PatternsSnoqualmie Cardigan by Brooklyn Tweed // Modern cardigan knitting pattern // knit by Closet Case Patterns

So why in tarnation did this sweater take me two years? I blame my wax and waning knit-jo. I was super fired up when I started this project and managed to get most of the body done within 3 months or so.  And then summer started, and we all know how that goes. The following winter I started the sleeves. And then for some reason stopped right when I was almost done the cap on the second sleeve, and there it languished for another year before I picked it back up again. A hot tip if you’re a start and stop knitter like me: leave yourself notes about exactly where you left off so you don’t stare at your knitting in mute rage when you decide to finish the damn thing. Once all the body pieces were finally done I thought I was homefree, until I realized how long it was going to take to do the short row ribbed collar. I managed to finish most of that in November, and again she sat sad and neglected until I finally seamed the whole beast together over the holidays. I cannot express how satisfying it was to finally, FINALLY be able to put this baby on my body.

Snoqualmie Cardigan by Brooklyn Tweed // Modern cardigan knitting pattern // knit by Closet Case PatternsSnoqualmie Cardigan by Brooklyn Tweed // Modern cardigan knitting pattern // knit by Closet Case PatternsSnoqualmie Cardigan by Brooklyn Tweed // Modern cardigan knitting pattern // knit by Closet Case Patterns

I learned SO. EFFING. MUCH. with this project. It’s important to note that I had never knit anything more complicated than a pair of socks before this. First time knitting cables, first time really seaming, first time doing buttonholes, first time blocking and checking measurements. Which is all to say that if you’re somewhat a novice like me, you too can take on an ambitious knitting project, especially with Brooklyn Tweed; their instructions are so well written. I think being ambitious is the best way to learn, and even if the final product isn’t “perfect” (lord how I loathe that word) it does get you hooked (literally, hardeeharhar) with always having something exciting on your needles. Also, thank you google. Every time I forgot how to decrease on the right side or needed help she was right there with all the answers. No excuses. I did end up posting a few tutorials in my thwarted sewalong, so if you tackle Snoqualmie or other cabled projects,  you may find some of those posts helpful:

The whole process made me feel way more confident and excited to knit this year. The cable pattern looks complex but it was easy to memorize and knits up pretty quickly, especially with this gauge of yarn. I used my Knitters Pride cubics needles, which strike a good balance between slippy (faster to knit) and grippy (less dropped stitches) because they are chrome plated but cube-shaped. Stitches move easily on the needle but not so much that you’re swearing under your breath because you didn’t notice a stitch fell off 8 rows back, although I do find them a little squeaky. I am considering upgrading to the gorgeous Lykke needles from Fringe Association but I’m not sure if they will be too grippy for me. Does anyone knit with them?

Snoqualmie Cardigan by Brooklyn Tweed // Modern cardigan knitting pattern // knit by Closet Case PatternsSnoqualmie Cardigan by Brooklyn Tweed // Modern cardigan knitting pattern // knit by Closet Case Patterns

As far as construction wet, I knit this without any modifications. I chose the third size based on ease, and part of me feels like I should have gone a size down. My gauge was right on and it blocked to the right size with minimal intervention, but I definitely find it on the roomy side. That said, it’s so squishy and cozy and I have no problem layering it on top of other things, or under my massive North Face parka. Most of my mistakes are too minor to point out, but I will mention that on one side of my collar you can see where I started my short rows; the wrap and turns are visible on the right side.  I’m not sure where I went wrong there so I made a note for myself to make sure it doesn’t happen the next time I do a shawl collar like this. I also wish I had blocked the collar with a deeper fold. Looking at the product photos the collar is a little wider; when I wash it again I’ll make sure I reshape it a little. The wood buttons are from Etsy. I should also say I really liked knitting with the Quarry yarn. It’s spongy and soft, and has a lovely, organic feel. I’m sure it will pill like all chunky yarns but the loft and feel is totally worth it. This is NOT an itchy wool sweater!

I’m also SUPER thrilled that I finally have a good indoor spot to take pictures at our new studio. You’ll likely be seeing a lot of this white wall. It was super overcast yesterday but the lighting was just perfect. Which means I have no excuse not to take pictures of the 5 or so projects still kicking around from 2017, right? I even ordered this huge white light reflector to help minimize shadows because if I never have to go outside and strike dumb poses in alleys again while my neighbors watch I can die happy.

What was your first big knitting win? Do you have any sweater projects planned for the new year?

  • missceliespants

    I can’t even believe how beautiful this is. Holy crap.

    • Thanks Renee! I wish you could do cables on your knitting machine!

  • “I never have to go outside and strike dumb poses in alleys again while my neighbours watch I can die happy.” YAS! Especially in winter!!!
    Your sweater is amazing – I hope you wear it every single day and revel in its cosiness!

    • I AM WEARING IT RIGHT NOW! The not having to g outside should really help me document stuff more. I still have a gorgeous dress i made in the spring I still haven’t photographed!

  • Margo Gillaspy

    That must feel like such an accomplishment!! I think the sweater looks fantastic, and the amount of ease works since it is bulky. Beautiful work! I hope enjoy lots of snuggling in the cardigan. And I agree, Brooklyn Tweed patterns are really wonderful with the amount of detail in their instructions.

    • I’m a huge fan! After I finish my Clien sweater I’d like to tackle another Michelle Wang design too.

  • Kirsten Victoria Ferguson

    Your sweater turned out beautifully! And it is definitely encouraging since I have been wanting to try some Brooklyn Tweed patterns but have been a bit intimidated! But I agree that taking on ambitious projects is the best way to learn! I too have been eyeing the Lykke needle sets, and just bought a pair of circular needles for my latest project to see how I like them. I expected the needles to be pretty grippy (especially with a name like “driftwood”) but they are surprisingly smooth–I am a fan!

    • Good to know! Also BT patterns are really well written, I’d just dive in with something on the simpler spectrum!

    • K_Line

      BT patterns are amongst the best out there – and def the best if you’re looking for a combo of customer service, really well edited patterns and great design. Some peeps feel that the patterns are overkill with all the instruction, but that takes the guesswork out for newer knitters (who like to read instructions :-)). One thing I’d advise though – if the pattern is listed as a 3 or 4 in difficulty (they’re all rated), they mean it. I’m an experienced knitter and, while I’ve done the advanced patterns, I agree that they are advanced! So take on a pattern that’s a one or a 2 on the scale and you’ll have a great time.

  • LOL…the first thing I thought was ‘I’m so jealous of your wall.’ I’m pleased to report that because you are so stoked to have it and you obviously appreciate it soooo much….well I’m all kinds of happy now.

    Kudos to you on finishing this sweater! It’s beautiful! Knitting is a battle for me….tooo much tension; toooooo little tension…never the baby bear. It’s funny…after watching one of your stories where you talked about a new knitting pattern/designer…I was super excited to knit for myself. Fortunately, the moment passed.

    • Haha. I think its just about finding a consistent way to hold the yarn and stick with it. But you don’t really live in a super cold climate so you probably don’t have the I WILL DIE IF I DON’T WEAR WOOL so there is less impetus.

  • Carly

    I am working on the world’s slowest cardigan sweater that I started in 2015. It’s a lace sweater in fingering yarn. I thought 2017 might finally be the year to finish it, but nope. So maybe 2018 will be the year? Next up if I ever finish it is something with big yarn and cables.

    • Well no wonder its been trhee years – fingerling lace? WORST NIGHTMARE haha. I started one and never finished, and swore off those super lightweight yarns but my current project is DK which isn’t far off…

  • Heather, how do you keep yourself from touching those gorgeous cables ALL THE TIME? I couldn’t keep my hands off them! Well done! 👏👏👏 I love hand knit goodies, but I broke up with knitting; didn’t have the patience for it.

    I also have been freezing my buns off for the past few weeks in Wisconsin. Wish I had that sweater to keep me warm! 😘

    • Well, I touched them for two years hahaha. I am a cable convert now – so fun to knit! And sending you cold solidarity. We can make it through this – at least we don’t have to deal with bomb cyclones in the middle of the continent!

  • K_Line

    Congrats! It’s beautiful and, as you said, the learning is priceless. Here’s to many beautiful knitting projects in the new year. Now that Dianna’s in the hood, you don’t have much choice, right?

    • I’m making Cline next bu Julie Hoover with the most glorious Woolfolk yarn. I *think* I may actually finish it before spring if all goes well!

      • K_Line

        Just remember, you live in a place that’s tailor made for sweaters and knits so all you have to do is knit when you feel like it and, gradually, everything will be chic and warm! No need to set yourself deadlines. You have enough of those in your entrepreneurial life. But I will say that the Cline is a much more user-friendly project – and probably just as practical if not more so than the Snoqualmie, if not as visually exciting. One thing I’ll say, because your project got me thinking: you can
        actually learn just as much from the “simple” sweaters (or other knits)
        as you can from the show stoppers. That’s the weird thing about
        knitting. I’m doing intarsia right now and it’s a BITCH. Doesn’t look
        complicated but man, I’ve learned a lot. For example, I won’t be doing
        more intarsia as long as there are other colourwork options out there
        🙂 Mind you, I’ll have the sweater I want at the end of it.

        I’m working with some woolfolk now too and it is delightful stuff. I do hope it doesn’t pill though. I’ve heard it doesn’t but it’s a super soft fiber. These cloud-soft worsted spun yarns can look worn pretty fast.

      • Liv

        Cline will be GORGEOUS on you! It’s perfect for your style! I’m a 19-yo working my way through my first pair of socks… so your Snowqualmie is very inspiring to me! Way to go!

  • lauren

    1. I love seeing your finished sweater AND it looks so good AND it makes me want to stop knitting what I’m knitting and start knitting this.
    2. I got Lykke interchangeables for Christmas and I REALLY LOVE THEM. One of the reasons I love them is how smooth they are, so I don’t know how you’ll find them, but I’m in heaven after years of using Clover bamboo needles. I *think* they sell single needles now, maybe you can test out a pair?

    • PLEASE FINISH YOUR KNITTING hahaha. Although I’ve learned i’m a happier occasional knitter when I have a few projects going so I don’t get board. Like, I always have a pair of socks sitting around. And thanks or the recc! I ordered them yesterday, super excited to start my new sweater with them.

  • Yay, I actually looked at your knitalong posts last month when I was figuring out the tubular cast on to start my stonecutter sweater! I finished the back and can’t wait to finish some work so I can get back to it. Glad to see your finished sweater!

    • Isn’t the tubular cast on so pretty? Gonna use it all the time now.

      • It’s so great! When I first figured it out I literally ran to show my boyfriend but he didn’t exactly understand why it was so cool. I do have a coworker who really appreciated learning this as well though!

  • Julia Bunch

    I’m still working on my snoq from your knit-along!! I put it down because I got distracted by other projects and now I’m dreading trying to find my stopping place from my terrible notes! You’re inspiring me to finish mine off!

    • I started and stopped SO many times but I found it somewhat easy to find my place since the cables act as a good guide, especially when I was binding off. And I’m glad I’m not the only one dragging her feet to finish! YOU CAN DO IT!

  • I really like my Lykke needles, but I prefer knitting with wood or bamboo needles rather than metal. I’d suggest buying a pair of single circulars to try on a project to see if you like them.

    • Too late! Already ordered them. I hear they are slippy enough – I don’t think everyone would be so head over heels for them if they were super grippy.

      • In that case I hope you like them 🙂 They are decently slick, but not as slick as metal. They have nicely sharpish points to them. I really like mine but needle preference is such a personal thing.

  • Kathryn A Neuman

    Completely unrelated to the cardigan (which is awesome by the way! Cheers for finishing the marathon!): thanks for the affirmation that mules with socks are a thing. I though it would probably look cool, but haven’t been brave enough to try it until now. Yay!

    • Haha I’m glad they don’t look dumb. These are my “indoor shoes” at the studio since we have to leave our drippy snow boots at the door!

      • Ryan Patterson

        Isn’t it funny how it’s okay to show your socks again? After all the years of long pants that had to cover my socks or I felt like I was wearing high-waters I’m embracing the fashion completely. I always have trouble finding pants long enough anyway so it’s a blessing.

        • Kathryn A Neuman

          I always roll my pants to floodpant length. Don’t know why, I just think it looks better on me than full-length pants. I, too, am glad that showing socks is a thing again. I have lots of amazing wool socks for winter, they compliment my outfits. It’s like the 1991 slouch sock craze all over again. Loved it the first time, and love it now.

          And yeah, I was thinking of using my mules as indoor shoes for work as well. My boss makes us change our shoes at the door too! lol

  • Cecilia

    This is lovely! It’s inspiring me to look at knitting again (I have a Wool & the Gang snood kit sitting looking at me forlornly from 2 years ago). Because with weaving and sewing I really need another time intensive hobby right?

    • Knitting is great because it’s mobile – you can’t really bring your loom on the road, haha. I like doing it for an hour or so when I’m too tired to get off the couch but still want to feel productive. I always have a pair of socks going for that reason, even if it takes me 6 months to make a pair!

  • Jane

    I have never knitted anything beyond wonky rectangles so I am in total awe. This is so dreamy! You will surely love this for years and years and years. (If you ever get sick of it, send it to me, haha!)

    • Honestly BT instructions are great. Highly recommend starting with one of their simpler patterns if you want more of a challenge!

  • kellicousins

    Those buttons! This is such a confident make with thoughtful details for being one of your early projects. Makes me glad I’ve already either given away or frogged my very first sweaters so I don’t have proof of my shame. =)

    I highly recommend the Lykke set. They are very slippy for wood but they still have that lovely warmth and just enough grip. Plus, the case is just so beautiful and the joins are so smooth for interchangeables.

    • I think I made a sweater like 15 years ago but it was super ugly and I don’t really count it. This feels liek my first “real” sweater and I’m sp happy I stuck with it. Thanks for the Lykke rec! I ordered them yesterday – I don’t think the cubics are the right needles for my next project.

  • Quinn May

    Congrats on the new car. As a fellow Canadian (manitoba here!) I definitely feel you on the winter. (I’m of the mind that a person should only get to complain about one season: I choose winter, the longest season).

    • I never complain about summer even when it’s 100% humidity and I’m using my budget AC at night (damp sheet + fan). Winter is my nemesis!

      The car will be a game changer. My friend lent me his over the holidays and three days in I was like WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING WITH MY LIFE and started setting up test drives. I can’t believe I’ve been running my biz this long without one. End of the month that Subaru will be mine (for 4 years at least!) and I can stop like, Ubering and car sharing with giant rolls of fabric.

  • Oh LOVE it!! Perfect w/ the entire ensemble here!!

    Has it really been over 2 years since you did the Snowqualmie knitalong? Internet Time is so weird.

    • HAHAHA yes it is. I totally thought it was just last year too

  • Every time I see you Heather Lou, you are looking more and more decidedly and fashionably “French” (in case there is any question in your mind 🙂 this is a starry-eyed compliment) – I wonder if it’s Montreal or love? Maybe a bit of both 🙂 Love your sweater (and I’ll bet you’re getting plenty of wear out of it these days – I know! Does she REALLY have to jab from Victoria??!) – I wish I knitted but honestly it was never something that ignited me. In fact it’s the only challenge that almost blocked me from moving up from Brownies to Guides :)) and maybe it’s the leftover PTSD that has been the 55 yr barrier to the joy of knitting. It doesn’t stop me from admiring a hand-made knitted sweater though – especially one as cosy and chic as yours. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones – you’ve certainly got it off to a great start!

    • Kathleen, that is the ultimate compliment. I aspire to French chic-ness. I’m sure Guillaume has rubbed off on me, as has his mother, who is possibly one of the most effortlessly chic women I’ve ever met – sometimes all teh cliches are true 🙂

      And Happy New Year to you too! I would kill for one day of Victoria weather right now.

  • Ryan Patterson

    I’m also finishing a sweater that I started 4 years ago and finished the sleeves, back and the front ribbing – then stopped. Granted the front is my first stranded/fair isle project (but in sport weight) and like you I just kept loosing my motivation to finish. I was hoping to finish by today but I’m just about to shape for the arm holes so that’s not going to happen! Instead I pulled out a hat I knit last January and added the ties and pom-pom to complete it. It turned out too small but I’m giving it to one of my sister’s kids so it’s not a waste.

    I agree that being ambitious is the best way to learn. We have Google and YouTube to help remind us or teach us a new stitch or abbreviation or technique. I taught myself to knit from a book but I love that through the internet I can now see other people’s projects and ask questions about a technique or style from someone that’s more experienced than me.

    My 2018 knitting goals are to finish my first stranded sweater (by the end of January) and then learn how to machine knit. Not to replace my hand knitting completely but I’m excited to learn what more I can do (and do faster) with a knitting machine.

    • I am rooting for you to finish that sweater! I love Fair Isle projects but doubt I could commit to it so kudos for getting it done. I also would lov ea knitting machine – I have so many oversized stockinette sweaters I would love to make with fine gauge wools, the sort of thing to monotonous and boring to do by hand.

  • Wow you should be proud, it’s amazing. Don’t worry, I’ve got a jumper/sweater that’s been marinating for close to 2 years and all I have left is some sleeves in basic stockingette in the round… and minus 20… crikey, especially as today in Melbourne it is a whopping 42C….

    • Sleeves are a drag. It’s the number one reason mine took so long!

  • Connie Turner

    Congratulations on finishing the sweater and it is so beautiful you should feel very proud.

    • Thanks Connie! I’m positively beaming with pride.

  • It’s bloody stunning, and I totally commend you for finishing! I’ve tried the whole knitting thing, and it’s just not for me. I would love to be good at it but don’t have the mental staying power to make it happen. So this – is quite something. And it looks just AH-MAZING!!!

    • Which is ironic given your propensity for all the couture sewing! I see such a co-relation between teh two! Knitting has taken some time to grow on me and I’ll never be an all year knitter, but working on a sweater a year with a few small projects like hats and socks makes my tv watching marathons feel less lazy!

  • Pegrp

    Job well done! Congrats!! If it makes you feel any better I just finished my Clare Coat that I started 2 years ago. I’m kinda like you only with sewing being the challenge. I was intimidated by making a coat for the first time but it finally came to fruition! I think the mental process is the same when we take on any “new to me” challenge. But isn’t the pay-off fabulous?! Oh BTW, thank you SO much for your fabulously detailed tutorials. I wouldn’t have made it to the finish line without them!

    • SO happy to hear it! Hope that Clare is extra special since it took so long… I know this cardigan is!

  • NFL (NoFunLisa)

    Love the sweater! You did a great job. I did want to address the cold issue. It is cold in the northeast. We are just getting out of 9 days of below 32 degrees here in South Carolina. Today is going to be 55 degrees and I couldn’t be happier!!! 🙂

  • kalimak

    Beautiful cardigan. Fantastic job, Heather!

  • sophiefair

    Gorgeous sweater! I need one, with the cold here in Edmonton.

    I have the Lykke interchangeables, and I really like them, but find them quite grippy — I am used to my slick Addis and Chia Goos, lol.

    For your short rows, I would highly recommend trying German short rows. They are done the same way on both the public and private sides of your knitting, require no extra “equipment” (unlike Japanese Short Rows), and IMO look the best. Bristol Ivy wrote a great article about different ways of doing short rows for Interweave Knits a while back, and I swatched them all. German were by far my favourite!

    I look forward to seeing more knits 😀

    • That’s a GREAT suggestion. I will definitely try German short rows the next time the need arises, thank you Sophie!

  • Amy

    Ahhh yes!! she did it! I’m so glad to see this on you! Such a gorgeous cardigan. I love mine so much, and I’m happy I can really wear it this year (Texas decided to do winter for once). Also finally knit something else with Quarry this summer and I love wearing it much more than I thought I would… it’s so airy and warm at the same time.

    • Its a great yarn! Much softer than I thought. Same with their worsted weight. I love how the feel when knitted up, not scratchy at all.

  • Fi

    Dude, you don’t do things by halves! That is a massive undertaking for someone as busy as you are! (I know how busy you are from listening to the LTS podcast 😉)

    It looks fabulous!! Massive achievement! 😊

    Loved your brother’s frank advice too 😂😂😂