The Iris Cardigan

The Iris Cardigan

A step-by-step guide to knitting the Iris Cardigan. 


Ever gotten halfway 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 guides to walk you through the knitting process. 

Even if you've never knitted before, we'll take you from zero to knitting hero in no time 🦸‍♀️


Before we get started on the pattern we suggest you spend a bit of time learning the basic stitches you’ll need to complete your masterpiece. The Iris Cardi is made using a combination of knit and purl stitches. We put these together to make a 1x1 rib stitch and a stockinette stitch. You'll want to be confident with the knit and purl stitches before you start. You'll also want to get a hang of tying a slip knot and casting on your stitches which is the first step in any knitting project. 

📹  Watch How To Tie A Slip Knot

📹  Watch How To Cast On

📹  Watch How To Knit Stitch

📹  Watch How To Purl Stitch

You can use the yarn that came in your kit to practice with. Once you've got these mastered you'll find the pattern a cinch! 

Looking for something a little more personal? 
Book in for a one-on-one knitting or crochet session with the
Cardigang Hotline ☎️. These sessions are designed to help give you the skills you need to create a masterpiece. Whether you're just starting out, or you've got a specific question or problem (dropped a stitch, no stress!), we're here to get you out of a bind.


First thing's first. Before you start your project, 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 11 stitches wide and 16 rows high when knitted in stockinette on 6mm needles. 

To test your gauge grab your needles and chunky cotton yarn. Cast on 16 stitches, then knit in stockinette stitch (knit first row, purl second repeat) until your piece is just longer than 10cm high. Then measure your 10x10cm swatch and count the stitches and rows within your 10x10 square. 

Gauge Tension Swatch Count Your Stitches
Gauge Tension Swatch Count Your Rows


💡 We know knitting a gauge swatch can seem like a bit of a drain, but it's really important because the difference of a few millimetres in a gauge swatch can lead to a finished piece this is quite different in size to what you intended. 

Onto the knit


You can knit your cardi in size 6-8, 10-12, 14-16, 18-20 or 22-24. Your pattern is read like this: 6-8 (10-12, 14-16, 18-20, 22-24). Make sure you're following the right instructions for your chosen size.


Laying flat, your finished piece will measure approximately:

  • 6-8: 44cm wide x 49cm high
  • 10-12: 49cm wide x 49cm high
  • 14-16: 54cm wide x 52cm high
  • 18-20: 59cm wide x 55cm high
  • 22-24: 64cm wide x 55cm high


One of the things we found the hardest when we were learning to knit was keeping track of our rows. Before we were able to easily identify a row of stitches we used a pen and paper to keep track. That's why we've included handy circles in our patterns - you can tick them off as you go. The dashed circles are for the larger sizes. 


We knit our masterpiece in pieces, starting with the back panel, then the front panels, and then the sleeves. Once we have all our pieces we’ll sew the cardi together and knit the ribbed neckline. 


We knit the back panel from the bottom up.


Cast on your stitches. We recommend using the long-tail cast-on method when using the chunky cotton yarn. It's a lot easier to get the new stitches onto your needle. 

This is what it will look like when all your stitches are cast on.  


Complete 6 rows of rib stitch. Remember to move your yarn from the front to the back of your work as you alternate knit and purl stitches. 

📹 Watch How To Do A Rib Stitch


In this row, we're going to increase some stitches. This means the number of stitches on our needle will increase. 

For every 6th stitch you'll add an extra stitch. So knit 5 stitches as normal, then create a 7th stitch when you get to stitch 6. 

📹 Watch How To Increase A Stitch


You'll knit in stockinette stitch for the number of rows instructed. Stockinette stitch is made by alternating knit and purl rows. Look for the little K (knit) and P (purl) in your circles to help keep track!  

STEP 5 - 8 (8, 10, 12, 12) 

This is the point where we start creating the contrast stitch rows. We create the contrast by breaking the stockinette pattern and knitting a row you'd normally purl. Just follow the instructions and knit or purl your rows 🚀

Identifying your stitches

STEP 9 (9, 11, 13, 13) 

Cast off all stitches and cut your yarn from the ball. Secure the last stitch by threading the tail through the stitch and pulling it to secure. 

📹 Watch How To Cast Off

Well done 💪 You've finished the back! 


    You'll need to create two front panels, so follow the instructions twice ✌️🧶

    The front pieces knit up the same way as the back.


    We knit the sleeves from the top down. Like the front panels, you'll need two sleeves, so follow the instructions twice 😊

    STEP 1

    Cast on your stitches. 

    STEP 2 - 4

    Knit following the sequence in the pattern to continue creating the bands of contrast stitch.

    STEP 5 - 6

    🙈 Oops! We made a small boo-boo with the pattern here. You might have a pattern with an error so follow the instructions below for steps 5 and 6. 

    STEP 7

    This is a decrease row. We will knit some stitches together to create a balloon shape in our sleeve before we knit the ribbed cuff. Knit two stitches together along the length of your row. 

    📹 Watch How To Knit Two Stitches Together

    STEP 8

    You'll finish the sleeve with a rib stitch cuff. You'll be good at this now! 

    STEP 9

    Cast off your stitches. Tip - Cast off loosely so you can fit your hands through the finished sleeve!


    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.

    📹 Watch How To Sew Your Knit Together

    STEP 1

    Lay your front and back pieces on a flat surface, the right sides facing you. 

    STEP 2

    Sew the shoulder panels together using the invisible seam technique, and leave the space in the middle for the cardi's opening.

    STEP 3

    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 halfway around your arm! Once you've made sure it's all lined up, sew the sleeves to the shoulders. 

    STEP 4

    Fold your cardi in half so it looks like the shape of a T. With the wrong sides facing each other, we're going to sew it together using a Mattress Stitch, from the cuff all the way up the arm to the armpit, then down the side seam to the bottom of your jumper. And then repeat this on the other side. 


    The last thing we need to do is knit the ribbed neckline. We're nearly there... I can see the finish line! 🚀

    STEP 1

    Pick up an even number of stitches from around the neckline. You'll want to pick up roughly one for every 1.5 stitches around the raw edge of your neck hole. Start from the bottom of the right front panel and work your way around. It will be a bit squishy on your needle but that's fine 💪

    📹 Watch How To Pick Up Stitches

    💭 Note, the video link above demonstrates how to pick up stitches from around the neckline of a jumper but the process for the raw edge of your cardigan is the same. 

    STEP 2

    We'll knit the rib back and forth around the neckline for 3 rows. 

    STEP 3

    Cast off your stitches loosely. 

    Weave in your loose ends using your darning needle. 


    Time to rock your masterpiece 💪🔥🥳

    Well done on finishing your knit! Epic job. We know from experience that there's nothing quite like that first time someone asks you where you got your knit from 😎

    We'd LOVE to see how you go! Share your masterpiece with us by tagging @cardigang_knits on socials or by sending us an email at 

    Until next time! 😘🧶💕

    Morgan & Cat xx