Downton Abbey Knitting

Posted on February 21, 2012 by knittingpatterns4you | 0 Comments

Are you watching Downton Abbey yet? If not, you really should be! I'm pretty much obsessed with the show at this point and can't wait for each new episode to come out every Sunday. It's the only show I watch as it airs instead of much later on DVR!

The series is so well done, it's really impressive. One of the most amazing parts of the show are the costumes, which are impeccably researched and detailed. It's awesome to see the evolving fashion as the years pass! The most recent episodes featured the girls wearing lots of flapper-like looks and black fabric, which is in such stark contrast to what they wore in the first season.

Unfortunately, there isn't that much knitting on the show, so there hasn't been much to knit directly from the show. That is, until the first episode of season 2, where we see the first cardigan of the series! The picture above is of Sybil, the youngest (and most modern) daughter, wearing that first cardigan. Ever since I saw it, I've been planning to knit it for myself.

Here's my sketch of the cardigan I'm working off of:

I decided to knit it in Elann Peruvian Highland Chunky for a variety of reasons, including its wide color range and the affordable price tag. I've only ever swatched in this yarn before, so it was an interesting choice for me since I tend to work in the same yarns over and over again. After knitting almost a full bag of it, I can confidently say I love it!

After knitting with mostly sock-weight yarn for SO LONG, knitting a cardigan in chunky wool on size 10 needles feels like it takes no time at all. Amazing!

Here's the back, almost finished:

As you can see, I'm doing it in a navy rather than the denim of the original. This actually was a happy accident, because I thought I was ordering a denim-like color, but got navy instead . . . and navy is definitely more wearable in my wardrobe. Oh this is color 638 Dark Indigo, by the way. If you want a color more like the show's, I'd order 726 Mid Indigo instead.

This picture is from a few days ago and since then, I now have the back and first front finished, so this project really is flying off the needles. I bought 22 skeins and used about 7 for the back and first front, so I definitely have more than enough yarn to finish. At this rate I should be done very soon!

Here are the design features I'm going with, and the photos I used for reference (all photos are my own screen grabs):

From this picture I took the following:

  • Hip-length
  • Garter stitch edges
  • Wider garter stitch front borders with toggle buttons
  • Garter stitch belt at true waist

In this shot, you can see that the collar is a sailor-style collar. I'm knitting that separately, in garter stitch, and sewing it onto the neck edge. You can also tell that there are belt loops on the sides of the sweater holding the belt on, and that the body is not shaped at the waist.

None of the pictures I saw really showed the armholes, so I am going with set-in sleeves since that's what I like to wear. I'm thinking of doing 2 or 3 buttons but will wait to decide that until I have the cardigan almost done. I have some wooden buttons that I think might work . . . we'll see.

And yes, I'll be writing up the pattern and offering it for sale so you can all have your own Sybil sweaters, too!


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