Stitchcraft Freebie: A Basque to Your Cardigan

I hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Today’s Stitchcraft freebie is a cardigan that I’m currently in the middle of knitting up.  You may recognize it from my fall project board (which I’m slowly, but surely plugging through on.)

I’m just about done with the back bodice, so once I’m 100% done with it, I’ll be able to provide all of my modifications for you all and give a proper review.

This cardigan is from the 1942 May edition of Stitchcraft magazine (same edition as the cherry ripe jumper)

Pdf link to download the Basque Cardigan Pattern: A Basque to Your Cardigan.

Click here to add this pattern to your Ravelry Queue or Favorites.


The first thing I had to do with this pattern was to look up what ‘basque’ meant.

It means:

“A short extension below the waist to the bodice of a woman’s jacket, etc.”

or “A tight-fitting bodice for women”.

Ahh, this makes perfect sense now… Yes, it is close-fitting and the fit of this cardigan extends beyond the waist.  This is one of the things I love most about this cardigan: It’s long enough to wear with non-high-waisted skirts and trousers.

I had a bit of trouble getting started on this particular pattern since my gauge was quite different than the gauge provided on the pattern.  Using a fingering weight yarn, the gauge is 7.5 sts per inch measured over the rib pattern (K2, P1) using US size 5 needles.  This is huge!

Normally for my fingering weight yarn I would never dream of working with anything larger than a US size 3 needle, since there would be lots of holes in my knitting.  So can you imagine using 2 sizes larger?!  I started doing my gauge with US size 4 needles and didn’t like the look of it, as I anticipated.  I went down to 3’s, then I decided to go down further to my standard size 2’s.  And guess what?!  I got the same exact gauge as the pattern calls for using a US size 2 needle, not the US size 5 that was initially given.  ( I’m wondering if this was a typo…)

The bottom basque and the neckband area is knit in a moss stitch pattern, using a boucle yarn.  I didn’t find the right weight/color to match with my main yarn so I decided to incorporate a silk mohair yarn in with my wool fingering weight yarn just for the moss section.

Here’s my back piece so far:

(Sorry it’s a bit blurry).

The color isn’t quite the true color of my cardigan, instead of being Cherry-red, mine is more of a blood red/burgundy.

The rib pattern is quite forgiving; there isn’t any waist or hip shaping since the expanding and contracting rib stitch will accommodate for most curves. –>Perfect for beginners!!!

I can already tell that my cardigan looks quite on the long side, but I measured it next to my favorite hoodie and the length will be perfect once it’s all completed.

I’m not planning on doing any major alterations, but I am leaning towards knitting long sleeves on this cardigan instead of the elbow-length sleeves its shown in.  I want to wear this during the winter, and while I don’t care for a long-sleeve in a ribbed pattern, I think it will be more practical and I would get a lot more use out of it.

If anyone finds that they want to knit this cardigan also, feel free to ask me any questions about it since I’m knee-deep in it.

And as always, feel free to comment if there’s a particular type of pattern you’d like to see me post up.  If no one has anything they’d like to see, I’m thinking about adding in some 40’s fair isle patterns.  Yay or Nay?

In: Free Patterns Knitting

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

Comments (11)

  1. Tasha November 7, 2011 — 1:39 PM

    This is such a cute cardigan! How odd about the needle sizing, though honestly I rarely even look at recommended needle sizes, I’m a curmudgeon like that. I just go by what I think makes sense for my gauge as a starting point. I knit loose and never end up being able to use the recommended needle size anyway.

    I think I’d vote for long sleeves, too, it seems like it would be much more versatile in the winter. I can’t wait to see how this turns out, either way!

    1. Tasha November 7, 2011 — 1:40 PM

      I forgot to add–lest you couldn’t already guess my answer–big yay! for any fair isle patterns you may post. :)

  2. Rachel November 7, 2011 — 2:11 PM

    YAY! on the Fair Isle :) I think the pattern is looking great- it is always a bonus if it can be worn with non-high waisted clothes… :)

  3. Oh, I love the combination of the deep red wool & silk/mohair in the moss stitch section! This pattern is going in the ‘definitely one of these days’ pile for sure… thanks for sharing it :)

  4. Great progress! This is going to be a lovely sweater.

  5. Jill November 7, 2011 — 10:11 PM

    Hi, finally making an official comment!

    I adore this pattern. Something about a puff sleeve gets me every time. I also knit, the standard, scarves, gloves, hats (even leg warmers thrown in there) but have never braved an actual sweater.
    These patterns just may bring me to it. Absolutely lovely, can’t wait to see the finished product!

  6. Nikki E. November 15, 2011 — 10:32 PM

    First of all, thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU for sharing all of these wonderful vintage knitting patterns. With one possible exception, I think I’ve downloaded them all, so I feel a bit greedy asking this, but here goes. I was intrigued by the jumper shown under the cardigan and noticed that part of the pattern for it appeared on the same page as the end of the cardigan pattern; would it be possible to post the rest of it (I think the textured diagonals would be quite flattering, especially for a larger-busted gal like myself)? If so, I would really appreciate it!

    Cheers (and keep up all the great sewing and knitting),

    1. Liz November 23, 2011 — 11:15 PM

      Hey Nikki,

      I was just about to scan in that jumper pattern for you and I remembered I had already scanned it in. It’s called the Lightning Zig-Zag Ribbed Jumper. :)

      The picture is a bit deceiving, but this jumper is the same one that is underneath the basque cardigan; the angle the photo is taken makes the zig-zags appear one-sided but they really aren’t.

      Keep the requests coming! :)

  7. Freya & Gerd August 21, 2015 — 1:51 AM


    Can you help us? We would like to make the whole of this beautiful cardigan and jumper under neath, for a costume for the show Noel Cowards ‘Blithe Spirit’ which we are making at Teatret Vårt, in Norway. Do you have the whole pattern you can send us or can you tell us where we can find it?

    Many Thanks,

    Gerd and Freya

    1. Liz September 24, 2015 — 10:52 AM

      Sure thing – just emailed you directly.

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