designs & making-of

Cardigan Bougainville

Hello! I’ve released a cardigan pattern called Bougainville this week. Please let me introduce it to you.

The cardigan is called Bougainville, and not bougainvillea you may have thought of. The flower was named after Bougainville, a French admiral and explorer of the 18-19th century. And the title was of course inspired by the flower because of the prototype No.1’s color (photo above).

I designed it because one day in last spring, I wanted to have a lightweight cardigan that could give snap to my wardrobe. I was wearing a striped tee with a high-waist jeans, and threw the MLBC on it. But the MLBC was too hot that day and I found my outfit dull.

So I had to find a lighter weight yarn available in vivid colors and found what I needed in BB mérinos by Fonty. It is a layette yarn – BB reads in French as bébé (baby) -, very soft with 100% merino and available in more than 100 colors! The yardage per 50 g ball is 200 m and this is thinner than the fingering yarn I used for MLBC.

For my first sample, I chose a red-purple yarn and the color is difficult to name. It’s not totally magenta, burgundy, berry, or dark pink… I looked into the books on colors I have but in vain… it’s between red-purple and purple, magenta is the closet but not totally it.

You may have thought “again!” when you read fonty, huh? Fonty is one of the last yarn mills in France which sells yarns made with natural fibers at reasonable prices (cheaper than France’s major brands’!) and is in a depopulated department, so I choose their yarn when I need solid-color yarns in natural fibers.
Please check their Instagram account to see beautiful photos of their yarns and mill: fonty_officiel

After finishing the first prototype with 3/4 sleeves and a cropped body, I thought it would be nice with long sleeves too! And I bought blue-green BB mérinos.

I started grading the cardigan while knitting the green sample and I found it was larger than the measurements I calculated. I measured it, and it was indeed larger!
I checked my spreadsheet and discovered that I had calculated everything with the wrong gauge! I entered 28 for the stitch gauge instead of 27 sts per 10 cm and got a larger cardigan…

I ripped out the second sample that was yet in progress to knit it with the correct gauge and the correct number of stitches. I didn’t rip out the first sample because I had already worn it, and I thought that this more relaxed fit wasn’t bad at all, so I decided to offer the choice in ease and modified the grading (5 cm difference between sizes instead of 8 to 10 cm I use usually).

Here you can see the difference of the widths.

This is the “Short” version, with a cropped body and 3/4 sleeves, with relaxed fit. My usual size is Size 2 and it’s between sizes 3 and 4.

And this is the “Longer” version, longer than the “Short” one but the body is shorter than the standard length, and it has long sleeves. I’m wearing a size 2 with standard ease.

The cardigan is worked from the top down, with the raglan and V-neck increases worked simultaneously. Since this is not always easy, the raglan increase tables are provided to help you keep track of the stitch counts.
I made them with merino wool, but some of my testers used cotton or linen blend yarns. It is a great idea if you want to wear it in the summer too!
You can see their cardigans on Raverly’s project page, or with the hashtag #bougainvillecardigan on Instagram. I also share their photos on my Stories.

The pattern is 15% off until May 26th, and it’s cheaper on my website than on Ravelry if you need English or French alone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *