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Knitter’s Spotlight: Sunburst Cable Cardigan by Erica Patberg

It started with a simple request on a knitting forum last November. A mom was looking for a pattern to match a picture of a cardigan her daughter desperately wanted. Hundreds of knitters responded, but no one knew where to find anything like it.

EDIT: This pattern is no longer available through Ravelry or Erica’s website. We’re sorry for the inconvenience, but we don’t have any way to provide the pattern. That’s when Erica Patberg saw the post and decided to design the pattern herself. “I was intrigued by the unique construction, the radiating cables and flattering lines.”

The cardigan that started it all.
The cardigan that started it all.

Erica has been knitting for 15 years and designing for the last three. Chances are you’ve seen her work, though you probably know her by the name Hank (on Ravelry) or CogKnits (her website). Her patterns have been published in Interweave Knits, Knitter’s Magazine and Knit.Wear – including the inventive and somewhat controversial, Dropped Stitch Cardigan. Erica isn’t just talented, she’s always up for a challenge!

It took a few months and some “dogged determination,” but by the end of March Erica had finished the Sunburst Cable Cardigan (sadly this pattern is no longer available), knit in our Vintage yarn! The stylish sweater is knit sideways with cables wrapping around the waist. She knit short-rows for more flattering shape and finished it off with an i-chord edge. “I’m really pleased with the result. It captures the spirit of the original sweater and makes it available to the handknitter.”

What’s your favorite project?

It’s constantly changing, since my favorite project is always my current project. I get so excited about new design challenges and coming up with new and elegant approaches to knit design. There is always something new and unique to create or discover. I do have a few really fun projects in the works that I can’t wait to share!

Erica's Design.
Erica’s Design

Any knitting disaster stories?

Before I learned about gauge and choosing yarn appropriate to the project, I attempted to knit a ribbon yarn tank top for my mother. It just grew, and grew and grew. It was an enormous disaster. A few years ago, I came across it while organizing my yarn and finally tossed it. It was cathartic.

If you could knit something for anyone it the world, what would it be?

My husband is pulmonologist. I really want to knit a traditional Aran sweater for him, complete with lots of lovely cables. Hidden in the pattern of the cables along the back I want to knit a pair of lungs! The only trouble is that he is always too warm and, despite the chilly climate in the Netherlands, I doubt he would ever wear it.

What’s your favorite thing about knitting?

I love that a simple pattern can be so meditative – the rhythmic clicking of the needles, the fabric growing slowly under your hands, the transformation of a ball of yarn into something beautiful yet useful. But I think that my absolute favorite thing about knitting is that “AH-HA” moment in design when I finally work out a tough problem. It gives me such a sense of accomplishment and joy.

Sunburst Cable Cardigan by Erica Patberg
Sunburst Cable Cardigan by Erica Patberg

Do you have a cool design you want to share?  Or did you recently finish a project with Berroco yarn?  You can post it to the Berroco Lovers forum in Ravelry.

14 thoughts on “Knitter’s Spotlight: Sunburst Cable Cardigan by Erica Patberg

  1. I am glad to see some attention being paid to this fantastic designer. I have been drooling over the Dropped Stitch Cardigan since the Knit Wear spring issue was published. I look forward to following her work and hopefully feeling brave enough to attempt one of her projects soon. But for now I will settle on drooling over their innovation and beauty!

  2. I and some folks in my Skein Lane knitting workshop were interested in this sweater and we were using the photo as a guide to self-designing. I did have some worry about “knock-off”…..I don’t know the rules. Do you have advice on that topic?

    Thanks….Carolyn Pugh, Skein Lane Studio

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      I’m not sure if I totally understand your question, but I think it depends on your intent. For personal use, or something small like a knitting group, it shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, our designer’s are often inspired by the ready-to-wear sweaters they see. It would be more of an issue for a company like us to produce this kind of pattern (without out any real personalization), especially if we were somehow depriving the original designer of business. Hope that answers your question!

  3. I love that you are spotlighting Erica. She is amazing. I do have the pattern for the Sunburst Cardigan because I belong to the forum mentioned above and we all worked through the design process with Erica. It’s too bad it still isn’t available on Ravelry 🙁

  4. Hi. My daughter in law loves this sweater. I want to make it for her but can’t find a site to purchase it. Can u help. Happy to buy it

    1. Hi Joyce,

      Unfortunately we do not have the pattern and have not been able to find a place online where it is available. This blog was highlighting the pattern, but it was always Erica Patberg’s design.

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