We have a prominent textured bottom half that features a fairly easy stitch pattern to give an effect that is reminiscent of old brocade, which I absolutely love.
Then there are the folds of course - two smaller ones at the front and one that draws all the attention at the back side. These are held in place without distortion by a contrast coloured slip-stitch band right above them and they are responsible for the quirky shape, since they drape at all the right places and counterbalance the fitted top section with instant ample volume.
The yoke is shaped to follow the natural slope of the shoulders, that is different at the front and back side, for a better fit. It is also worked with short-rows to lower both fronts and to construct a diagonal empire waist line. The hemline follows the continuation of the folds and hangs lower at the sides than at the centre back, while at the same time it pulls the shape together for a more elegant look, so as to avoid it flaring out too much in an unflattering way. Last but not least there are some fun stripes thrown in at the lower sleeves in a playful sequence - just to bring all the colour-blocking of the body together in an accelerated fashion.
Of course there were some knitters that were a little afraid that it might not look as good on their larger sized projects, but since I like to take these differences in body shapes in account for the larger sizes (as far as this is possible in standard sizing and pattern writing), I was able to reassure most of them. We discussed that a darker colour at the bottom part (or a single colour at both top and bottom sections) can result in a slimmer looking version. Further the length of the cardigan would be crucial to achieve a different style, as also the choice of the yarn quality of course, since a drapier yarn falls differently than a stiffer one.
All those factors are actually the easiest to alter in hand-knits and of course of a really crucial importance, since they have the power to change the look of a design completely.
If you like, you can see the results on different body types in the gorgeous projects of the test-knitters and others, on ravelry.
The yarn used in this cardigan is called Shetland from L'échappée Laine - and it was the perfect choice for this project.
Spun in France, the Shetland is made from 100% wool of French origin. The carded yarn helps in keeping warm and the smooth twist of four strands together can give you the most beautiful stitch definition. A quality that is very appreciated in textured fabrics like the one of the Le Scarabée Bleu Cardigan!
It is available in 22 beautiful colours. Most of them do have a subtle heathered quality that looks great in simple stocking stitch, too.