Carbeth cardigan for the win!

I was having a lovely time in Tasmania when my friend Hélène asked me if I was going to knit the Kate Davies Carbeth cardigan. Er, I hadn’t thought about it, but immediately went off to Ravelry to check it out. Next thing I know, I had the pattern downloaded to iBooks on my phone and I was knitting furiously!

I had packed some lovely wool that I bought in Vancouver and did a rough calculation and thought I’d get the cardigan from it (I had planned to make a quite different cardigan). The wool was Sweet Georgia, colour Aegean, so it had shades of blue, plus a bit of green and a hint of purple. I really want a yellow one like Kate’s though…

I finished the cardigan whilst still in Tasmania and had various opportunities to wear it, so went off to the op shop to find buttons. I found five daisy shell buttons and some other random buttons, so my top button is odd, and looks odd!


This photo was taken on the beach at Hell’s Gate, Strahan.

I’m showing a close up of the front of the cardigan as I wasn’t totally happy with the closure. The front bands are finished with knitted on i-cords, which is a beautiful finish, but on the right hand side the i-cords are also used as loops for the buttons. I found that I had to sew my buttons right over onto the knitting to get a neat finish. I also did all this in the car and didn’t quite get the spacing even, but that’s another story!


As soon as I got home I unpicked it all, redid the i-cord and used snaps as the closure. I am much happier with this finish. I would have added buttons all the way down but Mark likes it like this. I am still considering what to do with it, but in the meantime I shall leave it as is and keep him happy!


If I made another Carbeth I think I would work proper buttonholes into the ribbed band which would also resolve the problem. The button on the collar came from my Mother-in-Law’s stash and looks to be from the 1960s. It is handmade from some sort of ribbon and is quite lovely.

During the knitting of this cardigan there was many conversations with Hélène as the body (knitted in one piece) is very short. The cardigan is described as cropped but I had serious concerns that it wasn’t even going to hit my waist so I added 5cm. I’m a teeny bit sorry now as I think it’s lost its distinctiveness. On the other hand, I will wear it more often at this length.


I mentioned that I thought I had sufficient yarn for the cardigan, but the pattern calls for doubled yarn and I could immediately see that it was going to be a close run thing. Add to this the fact that I added to the body length and I was in trouble. I searched the world but this wool in this colour is no longer available (lots of other incredible colours though), so I was a bit stuck. I started carrying a piece of wool around with me and when we visited a lovely historic spot called Richmond I found a wool shop that sold ethically produced wool from the Tasmanian Midlands, called White Gum wool. They had a shade that toned in perfectly. Now I’ve mentioned it, can you see? I did my usual trick of using one strand of original with one strand of the new wool, but next to the Sweet Georgia, the new wool looks a little flat. The Sweet Georgia is gorgeous and seems to reflect the light somehow.

The photos in Tasmania show the cardigan being worn in an unblocked state and it really does look better now it’s been properly blocked. Having said that, I love seeing it in such a beautiful setting, and I’m slightly obsessed with the back view – that gorgeous inverted V shape is what I fell in love with first.


Worn in Tasmania with my Jalie Éléonore pull on jeans, and back home in Perth I’m wearing the Ralph Pink Coco trousers.




31 thoughts on “Carbeth cardigan for the win!

  1. I knew you had to blend in some similar yarns, but from these photos, I couldn’t tell the difference between the two shades. As for the length, I have seen the cropped version on many knitters and it doesn’t seem very easy to style unless you are wearing high waisted jeans or skirt. This said, I think I might also like to try the original short version (8-inches bodice) if I was to make it again.

  2. I fell in love with the pattern so much I started to follow her on IG….and I don’t even knit, LOL. Well…not exactly true. I do technically know how to knit, but I fight with tension so much that it isn’t fun for me.

    I love the yarn you’ve chosen for yours….the colours feel very Vancouver like.

  3. I have been following a lot about this pattern, and I really like the way yours has turned out. I also found that the inverted V is the signature of this cardigan more so than the length. Still too many projects on needles that need to be finished before I start something new.

    1. I completely understand about current projects. I so want to make a million things but have a big project to finish first. If it doesn’t kill me!

  4. I have been thinking about giving this pattern a try for a while now and I think your version is lovely, so I might need to give it a try! It is really unnoticeable that you knit this from two different yarns, good job!

  5. I would never have spotted the different yarn and still can’t really tell the difference. What a gorgeous shade of blue your Carbeth is!
    I’m not a knitter but I actually follow Kate’s blog because I am in love with the gorgeous photography on it and as a result, I’m familiar with the Carbeth she knitted in that lovely yellow colour. She’s a very talented lady. As are you Sue x

    1. I completely fell in love with the blue of this cardigan. You can see the difference in the yarn as the new one is very flat looking, whereas the Sweet Georgia is a gorgeous springy bright. I do adore Kate’s yellow one and Sweet Georgia has a shad of yellow that I’m so tempted by. Resistance might be futile!

  6. It’s lovely, I cant see any difference in the yarns and I much prefer the snaps. I have seen a few made up…but I think the I cord closure would annoy me…it looks too gappy!

    1. LOL! Bought from Urban Yarns, which is at 4437 West 10th Avenue. Just glorious wool. It’s easy to whip up a cardigan on a long road trip. Gave me something to do as I eyed the breathtaking scenery.

  7. You never cease to amaze me Sue!! Awesome story behind such a gorgeous cardi. Personally I like the new, updated look with the snaps. It gives a clean, modern sort of finish to the front. Also like the length and the back V is eye-catching! 🙂

  8. what a beautiful sweater, I’m really impressed with how different it looks since you changed to the snaps. Its a great length too.

  9. Well, in my brutally honest way!! let me say I think the decision to lengthen the cardigan was a good idea – it has not lost it’s distinctiveness, which is up around the collar and yoke. A short cardigan would have given two visual points. And with your reworked closures – which I think make this cardigan – you have a winner!

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment Sarah Liz, I didn’t want to destroy the integrity of the pattern, but I also didn’t want to have a cardigan that was hard to team with other clothes.

  10. I’m with Mark on the fastening – it looks really lovely with just the one special button. The pattern is very nice but I’m not sure how I would feel about a shorter version.
    I have no idea where you have blended yarns so it can’t be terribly obvious!

  11. your cardigan is so lovely Sue! I really love how it turned out so all the experiments with closures and different buttons was worth it in the end. I would never have noticed the different coloured yarn if you hadn’t pointed it out… the variegated original sounds so divine. blue/green/purple.. mmmmm!

    1. I don’t know why my name is coming up twice there… but I’ve been having such terribly trouble commenting here lately! I’m just glad a comment finally came through!

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