A step by step guide to knitting the Mini Shannon Cardi.
Ever gotten half way through a project and thought “Hang on, am I even doing this right?”
We have 🙋♀️
That’s why we’ve created these step by step overviews to help guide you through the knitting process.
If you're a total knitting newbie - WELCOME! 👋 Learning to knit can feel a bit like learning code. We've stripped away the complicated jargon and tried to keep things really simple so even the newest knitter can master the skill 🧶
Before we get started on the pattern it’s a good idea to learn the basic stitches you’ll need to complete your masterpiece. You can use the yarn that came in your kit to practice with. The video below covers every technique you'll need to learn (spoiler - there are only 5!). Learn how to cast on, do a knit stitch, and a purl stitch and put them together to create a rib stitch, lastly, we learn casting off. Once you've got these mastered you'll find this pattern is a cinch!
💭 For more detailed videos of each technique, head down a little further where we've got specific videos for each stitch type.
YOU'VE GOT THIS ⚡️💪
Remember learning a new skill can be a little challenging at first, and you’re bound to find yourself making some mistakes along the way. But as with learning anything, your brain and your hands slowly start to get the hang of it, muscle memory is created, and soon the thing you found tricky/daunting/scary is like second nature!
If you get stuck, reach out to us and we'll give you a (virtual) hand! 😎
TEST YOUR TENSION
Before you start your project, you should make sure your tension (how tightly or loosely your knitting is) is juuuust right 🥣 We do this by knitting a “tension swatch”. It's a bit like goldilocks, if the tension is too tight, your piece will be too small, and if it's too loose it may not hold its shape and might be too big.
If done correctly, your 10x10cm knitted swatch should be 7 stitches wide and 9 rows high. To test this, jump on your needles, cast on around 12 stitches, then knit in stockinette stitch (row 1 knit, row 2 purl) for around 10 rows. Then get a measuring tape and measure out 10x10cm and count your stitches and rows to make sure you're knitting at the correct tension.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Your kit comes with everything you need to knit your masterpiece.
- 10mm circular needles
- 15mm straight needles
- Chunky Merino yarn
- Darning needle
THE TECHNIQUES YOU’LL MASTER
Casting on is the first step in any project. It's the term we use for getting the wool onto our needles! We recommend using the two-needle technique as it's one of the simplest methods. Two-needle cast on uses your two needles (surprise!), starting with a slip knot on your left needle, each stitch is knitted to form a new loop and this loop is then added to your left needle. You repeat until you’ve made the desired number of stitches.
💭 Casting on, like many things in knitting, can be done in a number of ways - our suggestion is a simple technique but you can pick any that’s right for you.
This handy little stitch makes up the backbone of most knitting patterns. Each knit stitch looks like a little ‘v’.
The second most common stitch, purl stitches look like little bumps (or purls!). You knit a knit stitch with your yarn tail at the back of your work and your needle going into the back of the stitch, the purl is the opposite, so your yarn tail is at the front of your work and your needle goes into the front of the stitch.
A rib stitch is a textured pattern usually used on the cuffs and necks of jumpers. It’s made by alternating knit and purl stitches in the same row, then knitting the same stitch sequence in the next row.
Garter stitch is a basic stitch that's created by knitting every stitch in every row - super simple hey?! 😎
We reduce the number of stitches on our needle by knitting or purling some stitches together. This simply means we put our right needle into the second stitch on your left needle and collect both the first and second stitch and knit them as you would a single stitch.
To cast off, knit two stitches then slip the first stitch on your right needle back over the second stitch and off the needle. You’ll have one stitch left on your right needle. Knit another stitch so you’ve got two stitches on your right needle and then slip the first stitch off. Continue to the end of the row. When you’ve got the last stitch on your right needle, cut the yarn and thread this through the final stitch to secure. To see casting off in action watch our "Master The Basics" video above.
OKAY, LET’S KNIT UP A STORM!
THE MINI SHANNON CARDI
Just like the adult Shannon Cardi, only mini! Say hello to your new BFF, Shannon. Shan's the kinda gal you want around 24/7. She loves a good chit chat and has a bit of a wild side. She's a garter stitch cardi, with an oversized shape and she's absolutely perfect for beginners.
You can knit the Mini Shannon in size 2-3, 4-5 or 6-7. Each piece of the cardi is knitted flat, and at the end we'll stitch each panel together to make your cozy masterpiece. Your pattern is read like this: 2-3 (4-5, 6-7).
We start with the back panel, it’s the simplest piece of the knit and will give you the confidence as you move onto other pieces. We knit from the bottom up, stating at the rib and going up to the shoulders.
Cast on the required number of stitches using your 10mm circular needles.
Once you've cast on the right number of stitches you move on to the rib. We knit the rib following the instructions in your pattern. Remember to create a rib we knit 1 stitch, then purl the next. Make sure you’re moving your yarn tail from the back to the front of our stitch to ensure the stitch is executed correctly.
Next, we switch to using our 15mm straight needles and into garter stitch.
To switch to a different size needle we just hold the new needle (in this case the 15mm straight needle) in our right hand and knit onto the stitch on your 10mm needle in your left hand. Simple!
We’ll work the allocated rows of garter stitch - just keep knitting! 💪💪💪
Once we've worked the rows of garter stitch we need to cast off our stitches to finish the back piece.
We're going to knit 2 front panels so follow this part twice ✌️
Step 1 - 4:
Now the front panels are identical to the back in terms of techniques. So simply follow the pattern through cast on, rib stitch, garter stitch and cast off.
Onto the sleeves. You'll do two of theses too! 😎🧶
We start at the top of the sleeve and knit down.
Using your 15mm straight needles cast on the correct number of stitches.
We're going to knit in garter stitch for the allocated number of rows. This should be a cinch by now! 💪
To get the shape in our sleeve, we're going to decrease some stitches before we knit the cuff. We do this by knitting two stitches together. For all sizes, knit your first 3 stitches, then knit two together along the row until you have 3 stitches left. Knit these last three stitches like normal.
Once that’s done you'll swap to the 10mm needles and knit your rib stitch. Note the difference in sequence across sizes. With rib it's important that your knit stitches and your purl stitches line up on top of each other for each row.
Cast off your stitches. When you cast off make sure it’s not too tight otherwise you’ll have a really tight wrist hole!
SEWING IT TOGETHER
Now it’s time to get to work with the darning needle to sew your masterpiece together. We lay our pieces flat and sew them together one by one.
Lay your front and back pieces on a flat surface, the right sides facing you.
Sew the shoulder panels of the front pieces to the back panel using the invisible seam technique, and leaving the hole in the middle for the open front of the cardi. It's best if you work from the edge of the piece and sew inwards.
Time to attach the sleeves to the body. Make sure the middle of your sleeve is lined up with the shoulder seam. This will ensure the seam of your sleeve is right under your armpit, not half way around your arm! Once you've made sure it's all lined up, sew the sleeves to the shoulders.
Fold your cardi in half long ways with the wrong sides facing each other, we're going to sew it together using a Mattress Stitch, from the arm cuff all the way up the arm to the armpit, then down the side seam to the bottom of your cardi. And then repeat this on the other side.
💭 It's normal for the wool to get a bit shabby as you go, so we recommend using a few pieces and tying them together underneath as you go!
FINISHING YOUR PIECE
We're SO CLOSE! I can see the finish line 🎢🙌
The last thing we do for every piece is weave in the ends. That’s basically just tidying up the piece so all loose ends are trimmed down and tucked into the inside of your work. You use the seams here to weave those ends in so they are nicely hidden away.
We'd LOVE to see how you go! Share your masterpiece with us by tagging @cardigang_knits on Instagram or by sending us an email at email@example.com
Until next time! 😘🧶💕
Morgan & Cat xx