The Bellows Cardigan

The Bellows Cardigan | Brooklyn Tweed

May I present to you my new favorite cardigan, the Bellows Cardigan. This was my last finished knit of 2014 (which apparently was the year of the sweater for me) and I’ve only just gotten around to getting my winter photo situation worked out and photographing it.

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

The pattern is Bellows designed by Michele Wang for the infamous BT Fall ’14 collection. There seriously isn’t a miss in that collection as far as I’m concerned, everything is just spot on. I had planned on knitting Ondawa but after finishing my Stonecutter my hands needed a bit of a break before launching into another intricately cabled design so Bellows it was.

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

I had a hard time deciding on a size for this one. The second smallest size had 5″ ease but since I wanted to wear it more as a jacket / blanket I wanted a bit more ease than that. The third size up had 10.5″ of ease which is a ton, but in the end I went with the third size.

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

As you can see its a lot of cardigan! when I blocked this sweater I blocked the length about 2″ longer than suggested so that took a bit of the width out. I can comfortably wear a tank, Hemlock, and Archer all at once underneath this cardigan, or I can layer it over my Benton, not that I would ever do anything so crazy (I have and it’s so warm and wonderful). When you’re essentially cold blooded like me you go to extreme lengths to stay warm.

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

I had a bit of trouble working the buttonholes, but it turns out there was a small error in the pattern regarding which side should be facing while working them. A quick email to Brooklyn Tweed and a consult with Ysolda’s One Row Buttonhole tutorial cleared me up in no time though.

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

The buttons I purchased from Soutache here in Chicago. Just a quick sidenote, if you’re in or around Chicago and are looking for buttons for a special project this is the place for you. Every button of their large selection is gorgeous and of such high quality. I went with a large leather woven button on the front and attached them through smaller buttons at the back of the button band. This prevents the button from stressing the particular stitch you sewed it to if you were just attaching the button straight to the button band.

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

I used the recommended yarn, Shelter, in the recommended color. I debated long and hard about choosing a color, but I was just so in love with this dusty blue I had to go with it. I don’t have many other garments this color so it it goes nicely with my wardrobe palette but I’m also not head to toe one color, which is becoming a problem for me.

The Bellows Sweater | Grainline Studio

I am so in love with this sweater, it checks all the boxes in something I love in a cardigan – maritime inspired cables, warm collar that can be flipped up, can be layered over 3-4 other garments… essentially a walking blanket, and in my book that is the only kind of cardigan worth wearing, unless you are laying a thin cardigan underneath a large cardigan, I’ll rally for that too. For more details on this project you can check out my Ravelry page here.

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32 Responses to The Bellows Cardigan

  1. Francis says:

    Wow! You do such beautiful work! It looks wonderful on you. Did you seam with the Shelter or sub a different yarn? It looks perfect.

  2. Sarah C. says:

    You’re hilarious. “I’ll rally for that, too.” This post made me smile several times. And I love that cardigan so much. Your knitting is inspiring and makes me wish I had half your talent.

  3. powell2317 says:

    Gorgeous, love it. I’m looking forward to some laid back knitting this weekend.

  4. Its so comfy, cuddly and stylish in one go. Such a gorgeous cardigan Jen I’m super jealous – it would take me a year to knit that! It reminds me of some of the fantastic cardigan’s my mum used to wear in the 70’s just so snuggly and dreamy x The best for big hugs all round

  5. kristin says:

    Oh dude. That’s one amazing sweater. So in awe of sweater-knitters and the whole wardrobe you’re building yourself. I’d love a sewing pattern that fit like this!! I have a J.Crew sweater that fits similarly that I’ve literally worn out, sooooo…

  6. ipires says:

    Wonderful – what a lovely pattern, I am tempted but I am scared of cable work… 🙂
    I am going to start knitting a Benton soon, any tips?

  7. Kristi says:

    Just perfect! I like the Hawser from that collection, but keep letting quicker projects skip ahead of it in line.

  8. Jane says:

    I’m in love with that whole BT collection – I’m starting Hawser as soon as my yarn arrives!

  9. ThreadTime says:

    You did a beautiful job on this sweater. It looks so comfy and classic at the same time. I’m curious, how long have you been knitting? I can knit stitches and can cable, but haven’t tackled clothing that require shaping sleeves etc. I’m getting the bug, but don’t have a hands on source here. It will be online only. Trying to decide if I’m up to the task.

    Anyway, you do beautiful work.

  10. Elle says:

    Ahhhh I’ve been meaning to get to Soutache! This is GORGEOUS and I am obsessed with it. Makes me want to learn how to knit!

  11. it looks amazing on you! im so impressed. i love the color and it looks very versatile!

  12. misscrayolacreepy says:

    It’s really really cute, Jen! I can’t believe how much knitting you did last year, and such detailed patterns too!

  13. Kelly says:

    Wow, you are a sweater knitting ninja! I am making this cardigan a goal to knit next winter, it’s pretty much perfect. I like it with the extra ease, I am always cold too so layers are the best.

  14. Dana Alexandra says:

    You are incredible! I’m loving all the sweaters you completed this year. I just swatted for the Bellows cardigan, in the Brooklyn Tweed Shelter Long Johns colour. Just curious how many skeins you used for the 3rd size. I’m stuck on size, contemplating between the 2nd and 3rd, and I’m nervous about running out. I’ve only seen one other person on Ravelry who knit the Bellows with the Brooklyn Tweed yarn, and it seemed they used every inch and seamed with a sock yarn. Can’t wait to see how your current knitting project turns out!

  15. bimbleandpimble says:

    Wow, just wow! Your mad knitting skills on top of everything else you have been up to inspire awe. A gorgeous make, Jen!

  16. Mags says:

    I’m in awe of your knits! I’m still lusting after your stonecutter, I’m going to knit it but it will take me ages. This is lovely and the colour is a great choice.

  17. Ruth says:

    your knitting is so beautiful! this looks like the perfect cardigan, and your photos are making me want to cast on one of my own 🙂

  18. Sara says:

    I love it! You’ve been cranking out the sweaters this past year.

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  20. I am all about layering sweaters over sweaters in the winter, and this one is perfection.

  21. gingermakes says:

    Oh man, this is beautiful! I’m a cardigan-hater, but this is more of a wearable blanket, so I’m totally on board! It’s really, really gorgeous!

  22. Clare says:

    I’m not much of a fan of chunky cables, but the scale you’ve given this, really balances the texture. It is superb!

  23. symondezyn says:

    The texture and colour is just so scrumptious – looks amazing on you! 🙂 Really beautiful job – your knitting is absolutely perfect 🙂

  24. Heather Lou says:

    I’m utterly failing as your #brooklyntweedbff. I still haven’t even finished the body of the sweater I was working on. But this is so lovely and comfy cozy that I am cooking myself for not getting my shit together…..

  25. I love this! Great job.

  26. Rochelle New says:

    You’re a sweater making machine! I’m in awe at your talent with cables and everything else that sums up the BT design aesthetic. You’re my knitspiration! p.s. I’m loving that yarn color. So flecky (insert heart eyes emoji).

  27. sallie says:

    Sigh. This is awesome. I feel all warm and snuggly just LOOKING at this cardigan! Also, I don’t know how you are doing all this cableing! I’m working on a cabled hat at the moment and I feel like my hands are going to die! I can’t imagine tackling a Stonecutter or Ondawa (but I’m gonna try it anyway 😉

  28. lisa g says:

    Sooo jealous of that gorgeous sweater! I would wear something like that all winter and never take it off.

  29. Amy says:

    Lucky you with your big gorgeous cardigan. This is so, so pretty! The stone blue is such a perfect match for the design. I’d love to knit up a wearable blanket myself and this is the first winter I really yearned to learn how to knit. I ended up sewing a big cardigan from sweater knit fabric but it is not the same.

  30. jocolumbine says:

    Love so much about this cardi, but wonder whether raglan sleeves would have made it a neater fiit at the shoulders? I’ve made up a couple of Michele Wangs patterns and I’m not convinced by her drafting of set-in sleeves at all: shoulders too wide and sleeve heads too deep. Still, think it looks snugly, and love the style/yarn/stitch pattern so it’s just a minor quibble really.

  31. Ami says:

    Wow, I would like to climb inside that cardigan and stay there until April. Beautiful beautiful work and the perfect colour to wear with everything 🙂

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