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Cable Luxe Tunic Knit-Along: Let’s Get Started!

November 20th, 2008

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CableGreetings, cable-loving knitters, to the second Knit-Along (KAL) by Lion Brand! I am very excited to be the host of this KAL and look forward to making this gorgeous Cable Luxe Tunic along with so many of you. I was thrilled that so many of you voted for this tunic because I have wanted to make it for awhile myself! As a knitwear designer who sends away much of what I make, I have often referred to my two daughters as the “Cobbler’s Children” based on the story of a cobbler who sold all of the shoes he made, resulting in his kids being barefoot! The oldest of my kids, Lizzie, will be getting a fabulous cable sweater as a result of this KAL that she can wear as she goes off to college next year.

I have been a knitting teacher and freelance knit and crochet designer for about 15 years now. I learn so much from my students when it comes to explaining how to knit or finish a project, so I will do my best to answer questions or give you hints to help you with knitting this beautiful sweater.

First things first. Go ahead and download that pattern for the Cable Luxe Tunic! It is only free to download until November 27th, so make this the first thing on your list of things to do.

Now comes the important question of what yarn to use. Although the yarn used in the pattern is Wool-Ease, there are many yarn choices perfect for this pattern. Other yarns that would be great to use would be Vanna’s Choice, Cotton-Ease, Fishermen’s Wool, or Lion Cashmere Blend. Just remember to use a yarn listed as “Category 4 – medium worsted-aran weight” yarn and make sure you have at least the same amount of total yardage as called for in the Wool-Ease to make the size you want. A smooth, light, or bright color yarn will be best to show off all those cables!

What yarn did I pick out? Actually, I decided on Wool-Ease. One reason is that there were so many great color choices. The one I chose was a perfect pink, Blush Heather, that I know my daughter will love. Secondly, as she will be heading off to college this next year, this will make a wonderfully warm sweater that she will be able to wash and dry on her own. I will be making the small for her and I already have my 7 balls of Wool-Ease. I’m ready to get knitting!

Stockinette swatch

My students know I am quite a stickler when it comes to making a gauge swatch, and it is always the first step to making sure a sweater will be the size you want. The pattern gives 2 different gauges, one in stockinette stitch and another in cable pattern. I concentrated on the gauge for the stockinette stitch, which will tell me the size of the largest needle to use. The gauge calls for 18 sts = 4″. An easy way I get the gauge is to make a swatch starting with the size needle called for — a US 8 (5 mm). I like to cast on either 3 or 4 stitches on each side of the 18 sts to make a garter stitch border, which makes it very easy to measure the center 18 sts in stockinette stitch. When I made the swatch using the US 8 needles, the measurement over the 18 sts was about 3.5″ — too small. To make the stitches larger, I went up one needle size to a US 9 and the swatch measured a perfect 4″ between the garter stitch borders. For this sweater, I’m most concerned about the number of stitches, rather than rows, as it will affect the width of the garment (although the row gauge was right on as well!) I will use a needle one size smaller — US 8 — for the circular needle for the yoke of the sweater.

Cable Luxe Tunic KAL badgeNow, I’m ready for the first part of this sweater –- making the beautiful cabled strip (see above) that will go all around the tunic just below the yoke. This cable pattern is a 16 row repeat pattern, so I find either marking down on paper what row I’m on or using a row counter a great help. I will be busy knitting this pattern for 44″ during the two weeks until my next post. In the meantime, print that pattern, get your yarn, get swatching, and have a very happy Thanksgiving! (Our next post will be Dec. 4.) I look forward to seeing your pictures (join our Flickr group) and hearing from you!

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  • Amanda

    Thanks so much for doing this knit-along. I love the pattern–I think the sweater is so beautiful. I would love to make it for myself, but the small size is a little too big for me. Is there any way I could adjust the pattern to fit me (I would need to shave off about 3 inches everywhere)? I just don’t know how to change the pattern, but I would love to make it and be able to keep it. Everything I make I always have to give away, and I don’t mind until I get to this most beautiful sweater above all other beautiful sweaters.

  • Ashlyn

    I like this sweater, it’s so youthful, and I’ve looked at it before. i don’t even know what a knit-along is! A friedn sent me this because she knows I’m just in LOVE with the knit dress that you can see a chunk of next to the sweater in the display image above. Actually I was trying to convince my friend to make it for me instead because she’s good. All I’ve ever knit is a scarf, and somehow one end is 10 stitches fatter than the other. Anyways I have no clue why I’m this chatty but my point was AWESOME sweater, so pretty, it’s not like “the sweater your granny knit” that you fee l you have to wear, this one i would probably wear out because it’s just so beautiful (AND THE DRESS WOULD BE SO AWESOME!!!!!!)

  • Romona F.

    Hi! I’m so excited that the Cable Luxe Tunic pattern was picked for the knit-along, I have admired this sweater for such a long time. I consider myself an intermediate knitter so have always felt a little intimidated to try this pattern, but it sounds like by joining the knit-along I will have lots of support and helpful hints! I just purchased my yarn today and can’t wait to get started!

  • linda

    I loooove this pattern. I bought some pale yellow wool last year which I already started to knit up but this is a more perfect pattern! so here I am in down under oz and hope I finish it by next winter!!

  • Carol Watson

    Oh this is so cool, it was started on my 66th bday. I am almost finished with my blue denim cardigan & will start this with in the next week. I have been knitting sence I was 7 years years old. Looking very forward to doing this in purple for my self. Your sister in creativity, CarolWatson

  • Libby

    I’m with Amanda (#49). I’ve started an appalling number of sweaters for myself but never finished one. I think I might be inclined to stick with this tunic since it is just so beautiful. It will have to wait until after Christmas though. A stack of wool hats is waiting to be boxed up and sent to Warm Woolies, and I’ve got to finish seaming them all and (((grrrr!))) weaving in my ends.

  • Kelly

    This is beautiful! I have not done a kal before either but I think I’ll join in. I absolutely love doing cables. I don’t know what color I’ll use or even what I’ll do with it when it’s finished but I’m going to do it anyway.

  • Anita

    When I first bought the download for this pattern I had a lot questions. I emailed Lion Brand but never got any response. I was disappointed. I kept looking at the pattern over and over and finally I understood it. Now I am at the bottom of the first side and all in all it looks pretty good, if I do say so myself. I think this is one of the nicest things I’ve seen in a long time, and I’m having fun knitting it.

  • Mary Jo

    I started the Maxi version several months ago with the intention of using it as my wedding dress in March 2009. I put in on hold for a while and went on to other projects (I get bored easily), but this has inspired me to pick it up again and finish it. I’m a little concerned about it being too heavy and/or too hot for me since I live in Arizona. Is there any way I could make it sleeveless or short-sleeved? I’m using Wool-Ease Multi/White which has a little sparkle to it. Oh, and by the way, I’m keeping it a secret from my fiancee so I can only work on it when he’s not home and have to hide it when he is. I hope it will look alright on me.

    Zontee says: Hi Mary Jo, congratulations on your wedding! I certainly think that you could make it without the sleeves portion, as the yoke will appear like “capped sleeves.” See lizknits’s picture on Flickr for an example. I’m sure it will be lovely. Good luck!

  • Diane SC

    Dear Knit along-ers,
    I too love this tunic. I have downloaded the pattern, but have no idea when I’ll be making it. I made the Tree of life afghan for one nephew for his wedding, when another nephew piped in, reminding me that he eloped and would truly love an afghan from Aunt Di. So, I am half-way done with my second TOL afghan. I will be reading along. I love the comments and learn so much from all of you.

    Not a sweater maker, so I will be really reading/studying the sleeve comments. Have fun. Keep posting!
    Diane in KY

  • Leslie

    First of all…Congrats, Mary Jo, on your up-coming wedding. I think this will be a stunning choice for your dress. Are you on Ravelry? You may want to post your wedding dress once you finish.

    I joined the group on Ravelry yesterday that coinsides with our KAL.

  • Cheryl

    I am so excited about this pattern. I have oohed and awed over the sweater and am going to use KAL as time to try it. I think the silouette will be flattering for all body types, despite JoAnne’s opinion. Regarding cables, for those who have been intimidated by them as I have been, they are really just knit stitches. ( I finished a simple cable scarf – my first cable attempt) You move some stitches to a cable needle and keep the needle in the back or front, knit them and that’s it. Its so exciting to see the 3 dimensional result. I encourage all to try them.

  • Jillian

    I voted for this pattern as well, and am just tickled pink that it got picked! The cables make it look difficult, but they are so easy once you get the hang of it. I am going to try to do as much of this pattern as I can on circ. needles, because I don’t like seams… Good luck everyone!

  • Kate in Vancouver


    Am an experienced beginner (i.e. have knit LOTS of basic scarves, dishcloths, small/felted bags in the past, but this would be my first “experienced” endeavor) who is probably going to attempt this project… not sure if time/work committments will allow me to keep up with the rest of you kal’ers, but I’ll try.

    As I was looking over the pattern just now, I couldn’t help but wonder if the yoke piece could be done with a provisional cast on and then Kitchener stitched together when finished. I’m horrible with sewing knitted seams and will go to great lengths to avoid having to do them (have a pullover on the go that I’m doing up in the round) or at least eliminate them wherever possible… I also figure that since the Kitchener stitch leaves a seamless join, it couldn’t help but add to the aesthetic of the garment.

    Can’t wait to go and get the supplies to make this!

  • Dolores

    Hello, everyone
    I also voted for this tunic, I love how it looks and think it will be very flattering because of the shape. I went to my local JoAnn today, they just happened to have the Wool ease on sale, perfect timing. I first wanted to make it the same color as the original, gray Heather, but it looked a bit blah, so I looked around and funny enough, Heather, I also chose the Blush Heather. I bought a bit of extra to make a hat and scarves to go with it later. Of course, I first have to make 3 other sweaters before Christmas, so it might be a while before I can start, but from reading all the comments, I won’t be the only one. I am making two hooded sweaters in Homespun from another Lion Brand pattern for my son and his fiancee, I’m just about done with the first one and started on the second one. The third sweater is for my husband and will take longer: I have to work on it when he is not around, and he always seems to be around :-)


    I have to be a Grinch too. I agree with JoAnne Yates: I think this pattern is ugly and way too busy. Every time I see it in the Lion Brand catalog, I wonder who would spend countless hours making this. I already can see there are problems with the instructions from the above comments.
    All those cables are overkill. I also don’t understand the logic of making a heavy looking pullover with such a low neckline.
    It’s not shown on a model, and I doubt this style would look good on an actual person with a less than perfect figure. It’s definitely not for me.

  • Cora Shaw

    Hi I got the KAL group started on Ravelry, one of the members of the group asked me this question. I am hoping that you can help with the answer.

    “I read the numerous comments about how the pattern was written so that it doesn’t match the picture. Has this been corrected?”


  • Diana

    For Katie #64: I’m using a provisional cast on with the plan to graft the two ends. I assume this will work!

    For those of you who say this sweater won’t look good on a an acutal person – search it on Raverly. There are all shapes and sizes of women wearing their completed sweater. And it looks great.

  • Shay

    Hello! I was wondering, how long would this take someone who hasn’t made a sweater before? I’m good with cables, but have never made something like this, though I would love to and I’m a very quick learner.

    Zontee says: Hi Shay, as with all projects, how long it takes is going to depend on how fast you work and how much time and effort you put into it. Also keep in mind how it’s more about the journey than the destination. And of course, you can work at your own pace, so why not give it a go?

  • Janet

    Hi. I also voted for this pattern. Being a knitter my whole life I don’t think it looks that hard. Just finished eight shawls for Christmas and I started the yoke last night and so far looks good. I’m knitting it in Vanna’s Olive and also bought extra yarn to make a matching scarf and hat. This is my first KAL and I am really looking forward to it. For all of you nay-sayers I think this is a very slimming looking sweater. Talk to you soon.

  • sharon bauer

    Hi, I am so excited that so many are making this tunic or dress. I am making the dress and want to wear it to a party in 2 weeks. I thought I was finished, basted it together and tried it on………and found that the sleeves were too short, the length was too short and the neck was bound off too tightly. so, I am now amending and hope it works. I’m working it in 100% alpaca in a wine color, very pretty, but the yarn is much lighter in weight so I am using size 4 needles and the stitch numbers for the largest size, so it will fit my small-to-medium body. And I hope it will! Sharon Bauer

  • Carol Jenssen

    I would love to koin the KAL, but I have just too many knit and crochet projects that I am wotking on for Christmas and charities. I love the tunic especially as I am a cable lover, the harder and more complex the better. So in the New Year it will be my first project and for ME.

  • Viv

    This will be the first sweater I knit for myself. I’ve been sticking to baby sweaters thus far. I’m really excited! Now comes the hard part….what color?

  • Danielle

    Hi, I’m another beginning knitter and after looking over this sweater, have decided to try it. I’m sure I will be asking for lots of help, but am really excited to get started. I am also wondering if there is anyone who has charted this pattern as it would make it so much easier for this beginner.

  • Christine

    Fairly “green” at knitting but I thought I’d give this pattern a shot. I ripped out the back already at least three times until I smartened up and made a “test” swatch for the pattern instructions that were mystifying me! On the rows that ask you to slip a stitch on the right side, be sure to first hold your yarn in back as if you were preparing to knit, then slip the stitch onto the needle. Continue onto the next stitch as a purl stitch. When you complete the row and begin to stitch on the wrong side, be sure to PURL that slip stitch when you get to it. The pattern that I purchased does not go into much detail and I’m sure I’m in over my head trying to knit an advanced pattern like this, but so far I’ve managed the cable yoke and am almost done with the back. It is looking great so far. I also made a chart that makes sense to me so that I know when to cable the 3/3 cables and the 4/4 cables and when to do the increase rows just by glancing at my chart. I just have to keep track of what row I’m on.

    I’ve seen a very similar sweater at Macy’s the other day. The upper neckline is slightly different and there are fewer cable rows in the body, but the sweater is much like this one. Macy’s wants about $50.00 for it!

    Happy knitting everyone and keep those tips coming!

  • Miryam

    Oh, another tiny problem I found was late in the increase row instructions. I don’t remember right now what I had to understand and change, but it referred to Row 3 of….3/3 LC pattern? And 4/4 center pattern?

    Ultimately, the row 3 of each did not match up, I think. The real issue is just making increases properly, and if you stick with the increases in the allover cables, that increases it all properly after all.

    Heather says: ” Hi, Miryam: In my next post, I will cover the increase row, but if you get there before the post – just make sure your increases are on the outside the cables (the fabric increases between the cables, not the cables themselves.) Also, a good way to see your cables is to mark them by placing stitch markers on your needles on each side of the cables.”

    Do help me out and double check that part.

  • Christine W

    I love this pattern and voted for it because it looked like the kind of project that would be nice to have a lot of help available for. I’d be afraid to try it all on my own.

    I haven’t picked a my yarn yet. But can’t wait to find a great color and get started.

    Right now I’m finishing up Wool Ease ski headbands for Christmas!

  • Danielle

    I was also looking at the directions and could not understand how the Row 3 of the 3/3 LC would match. I thought maybe it should be Row 5 of the 3/3 LC. But I am so new at reading knitting directions, I could be totally wrong. Did the directions work out correctly using the Row 3 of the 3/3 LC on the increase row?

  • Rachel

    I’m in! I so need the cable practice. :) I tried a couple yarns for this, and wasn’t happy with them, and dug through my stash, and there at the bottom were 10 balls of forest green heather Wool-Ease! I have no idea when I bought them, or what for, but I figure it’s a sign, so I’m off and running on the yoke. I knit loosely, so after swatching, it’s size 6 needles for me.

  • Casey

    I’m getting ready to start the cabled yoke of this sweater and have a question. I have a 38 inch bust, so was planning on making the large size, but the pattern says the yoke needs to be 54 inches long. This just seems really long to me, even if it is going over the shoulder. How much ease is written into the pattern? Are the measurement given in the pattern finished measurements, or are they actual bust measurements?

    Heather says: “Hi, Casey: The cabled strip for the medium is 52″ and needs to be that long to go all around the arms just below the shoulder and body. The finished bust on the sweater is 40″ – and that is the measurement I would look at to determine your size.”

  • Jodie

    I just received a catalog from Victoria’s Secret that has an almost identical copy of this tunic in it. They’re selling it for $49. I found Wool Ease yarn online on sale for $2/skein! Mine’s going to cost me $14 and I’ll have the fun of knitting it. Now that’s what I call a bargain.

  • Susan B

    Well, I’ve downloaded the pattern and my eyes are crossed, looking at the instructions. Promise me y’all won’t leave me alone with this project.

  • Grace

    Hi Casey #80.
    I can’t tell you what the finished sweater should fit like, but I’m a 39″ bust and I’m making the medium. I just finished the yoke and garter stitch neckline and it fits so that the cabled yoke falls on the curve of my shoulders. I think that once the rest of the sweater is knit & blocked it will probably settle a little further down past my shoulders. 47″ (for the medium) seemed like a lot also, but it does allow for some extra ease so I think it will work for me. Good luck!

  • Miryam

    Danielle #78, the instructions I was using were for the Maxi, which is more confusing than Tunic (I bought the Maxi and then >made< the tunic by cutting the maxi short). Here’s what I believe is what they’re trying to do with the increases is make the extra stitches as hidden as possible. If you make an increase next to a cable, it hides the increase, since the row is kinda misshapen anywhay, and the increase just looks more like part of that on either side of the cable.

    If I’m wrong, I have no idea what they mean. But when I increased next to a 3/3 cable, it looked a tiny bit better. I ended up with a tunic that looked pretty much exactly like the picture, so if I did something incorrectly, it worked out….

    I’d be happy to have someone officially explain that increase row. Barring that, I just make enough increases in whatever designated row I think looks better.

  • Sandra Peters

    I, too, voted for this sweater. I had seen the pattern but just was too far behind in my projects to actually order it. I am currently awaiting my order for yarn so I can get started = what is one more project on the go, right. Since this is my first ever knit a long, I am really looking forward to the yarn arriving.

  • Michèle Girard

    I ordered the yarn and now I have to wait for it before I get started. I intend to make a cardigan out of this pattern. Cardigans are more practical in Florida and I am sure this pattern would make a fabulous cardigan.

    Can’t wait to start, I hope my yarn gets here soon :)

  • Concetta

    Much as I’m excited to try and get excited about finishing this one this year, I’m a little saddened that Lion has not taken note of all of the errors that the Craftster KAL identified and sent in.

    That KAL has been active for a couple years and also has instructions for other similar versions of the pattern from other companies.

    Otherwise, I’m glad so many other people are as excited about the pattern as I am – I have to get mine finished!

  • Kate in Vancouver

    Hi again!

    I have an idea about the printed (download-able) pattern and helping you maintain your place as you go along …

    In order to keep things straight in my own head and staying on track on the pattern, I opened up the .pdf version on my computer and then did a cut&paste of the pattern into a word processing program.

    Once it was copied onto a blank page, I went through and deleted all of the size notations that don’t pertain to the size that I’m making, double checking the pattern to be sure that the deletions are accurate.

    I then went through and changed the font and font side to something that was easier on my eyes and would let me make copious amounts of notations as I go along… f.w.i.w., I used Century Gothic in an 18pt size.

    I then printed off the pattern pages (I ended up with 4 pages) and then used a photocopier to double side the pattern into a form that would allow me to take it with me. (2 pages are easier to keep track of than 4)

    On a separate page, I cut & pasted the “Stitch Explanation” section and printed that off and stapled it to the rest of the pattern for reference.

    I hope that this hint helps others… I’ve started on the yoke and have already started making tick marks as I complete the rows.

    Heather says: “Thanks for the idea, Kate. It is amazing what a good “cut and paste” job can do! With all the numbers in a pattern, it can be difficult to focus. I always encourage my students (and myself!) to circle the size they are making – along with all the numbers that follow. There is little worse than starting a knitting project, putting it down for a little while, and then wonder what size you were making! Thanks again.”

  • Jennifer Wiltrout

    Like so many others, this is my first KAL and I’m excited to be a part of it. Although I’ve been knitting for about 45 years, I’ve never made myself a sweater, so this is my first.

    I’m on vacation from work this week and started this Sunday. I finished the yoke last night but have a question. It says to finish on row 2 and for a size medium to make it 47 inches. Finishing it on row 2 makes mine 48″ even though my guage swatch was on the mark with size 9 needles. Should I unravel the rows to make it 47″ and end on which ever row that is? I want to get started on the back today so I hope this gets posted on someone is kind enough to respond.

    Heather says: “Hi, Jennifer: I would stay at the 48″ you ended with-very few people will get exactly the perfect measurement called for in the pattern. Just keep in mind you have an extra inch, so when you mark off the sections for the front, back and sleeves, you may want to add about 1/4″ to each of those measurements to make up the difference.”

  • Jackie Simmons

    I just finished the sweater and it is beautiful!! [ I started before the knit-along] I have a small frame and many sweaters are just too big and bulky. This one is perfect and I could not be happier. I plan one making one for my Mom.

  • Deborah Hester

    I almost ordered this pattern when I first saw it, but had my hands full so decided to wait. What a blessing to see it as the winner! I will be a late starter also with the Christmas Season and my husband having knee replacement surgury a week before Christmas. I hope to start after the New Year. I would love to hear how the cotton yarn works up (I live in the south). Cables can be fun.I use a double pointed needle the same size as my needle so I don’t have to move the stitches back and forth and keep in gauge.

  • Emily

    This will be my first sweater! I ordered the violet woolease, and I’ll get started as soon as it gets here! (despite the fact I still have one and a half pairs of gloves to finish for Christmas)

  • Christina

    Susan B., (#82) I’ll be right there with ya or behind you. I’m not that experienced with knitting but really needed a project to inspire me to go further. I really love this one.

  • Susan

    Saw in a previous post that there is a similar sweater in the Victoria’s Secret catalog. I went to the website and found sweater #205-704 that looks almost exactly like this KAL tunic. I wonder if that is the way it should fit or if the model has a larger size on. I’ve started the yoke in the blue heather and so far it looks good. This will be a project that will not be finished quickly, will take some concentration and patience but hopefully it will be worth it.

    Zontee says: Hi Susan, keep in mind that the VS sweater has a ribbed collar that’s much longer than the one in our pattern. To see how the pattern made by/modeled by real people, please look at pictures of it on Flickr.

  • Lani

    I loved this sweater at first sight! I voted also, but bought the pattern, just in case it wasn’t the winner. I haven’t found the wool yet and am wondering if you can buy LionBrand Wool-Ease in Canada. I live in Vernon, British Columbia and our one and only woolshop doesn’t stock it. I hope to get started before KAL is finished!
    Any info would be much appreciated.

  • Kate in Vancouver

    Hi, Lani!

    Check out Yarn Forward Knitting at

    They’re out of the Ottawa/Kanata region, and they ship pretty much anywhere Canada Post delivers. I bought from them when I lived in Bella Bella a few years back and was very satisfied with their service.

  • Lani

    Hi Kate!
    Thanks for the info…I will let you know how I do.
    Lani in the Okanagan.

    Zontee says: Hi Lani, also Lion Brand DOES ship to Canada, so you can also order from our website.

  • Tracy

    Is it absolutely necessary to block the cable yoke section or can I allow the weight of the body of the sweater to do this for me. It seems that if you block the cabled yoke you could stretch it out too far and then have a funky looking sweater.


    Heather says: “Hi, Tracy: It is not necessary to block the strip, however blocking it will help that curled edge to calm down a little, making it easier to pick up the stitches. I have a “handy-dandy” spritz bottle I use that I just dampen my pieces, let dry, and then they are easier to handle for finishing or picking-up stitches.”

  • Emily

    I am excited to make this sweater, but I have a question on the sizing… I am a 36″ bust and usually like my sweaters a bit ‘fitted’ (like how it looks on the VS model). I’m thinking I should make the size small, but I’m worried that will be TOO small? I want it to fit but don’t want it to look too floaty… any suggestions?

    Heather says: “Hi, Emily: If you like your sweaters fitted, than the 36″ probably would be what you want, since this sweater does flare going down. I’m a 36″ as well, but for myself (who wears things less fitted) the 38” would give some more “ease” in fit. Hope this helps!”

  • MaryAnn

    Thanks for the advice on the sizing Heather. I will get started as soon as I am finished with my daughters knee socks which are a Christmas present. Since I am a school counselor, I don’t have much free time, but I will work along as quickly as I can. As for the self proclaimed Grouch..sweaters almost exactly like this one are popping up on all shapes and sizes in NY and DC. They are very popular! I think, if you like it, make it and wear it.