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  • I like this shape:
    It would be fun to figure out how to do it top-down and with some texture. I have no idea whether it would suit Cascade 220, though since I’ve only ever used that yarn for small felted objects.

  • http://vogueknitting.com/vkm/vkm.html Click on “magazine” and then “Color Theory” (or open up your issue at home) and I like the green one in the middle of the top row. EXCEPT that being a middle-aged no-waisted lady, I would make it a good 6 inches longer. I like the bit of plain at the bottom, so you get good and bored with it, then throw in the cables for just long enough, so you know you’ll get through them. (It’s all about the knitting, isn’t it, though this would be a fine sweater to wear, as well.)

  • No question, my favorite “as perfect as it gets” pattern is “Welcome Back Old Friend” at http://www.interweave.com/knit/TSC/welcome_back.asp. It’s a pullover, is thick, warm, cabled, cozy, the perfect sweater for fall, comes in a large size that fits me and is free!!! Er, and, before you ask, nope, haven’t knit it.

  • Here is one that I Like with out a pattern
    Here is one from Knitty.com witha pattern
    They are both simple with a cable.
    Now on to look and see what others are sending in.

  • I must say, it feels pretty weird to be falling into the majority here as that’s not my usual M.O. And so I’ve already commented about my ChicKnits Ribby Cardi made from Cascade 220. That Bonne Marie, she can do some fine designin’. See the gallery (still lacking mine) here: http://www.chicknits.com/galleryribby.html

  • Tweedie’s (http://www.knit.dk/tweedie.htm) shape is just about perfection, as far as I am concerned. It is slightly fitted, flattering, and could be worn to the office or with jeans on the weekend. Furthermore, something made with several colors of yarn would be ideal for Cascade 220, considering its range of shades.

  • this is so fun! I’m having such a great time!
    How about something like this? But chunkier?

  • I love the Welcome Back Old Friend that Ryan already linked, the Samus that Amanda in GA linked and also the very similar Kepler pullover (http://fathomharvill.typepad.com/fathom/2005/08/free_pattern_ke.html#comment-8713697) designed and offered by Emily. I also love Rachael’s new “Sailor”. Go see it at http://myglasshouse.typepad.com. It is in the Sept 28,2005 post. So I guess I really like cables (must be the influence of my Irish and Welsh ancestors coming out!)

  • I prefer pullovers, because cardigans sometimes have the risk of looking too “old” on me. However, if the cardi is hooded, I’m all for it! I like this pullover cause it’s hooded and has bootiful cabling on it. http://www.girlfromauntie.com/patterns/shop/rogue/detail.php

  • I was torn between Rogue and Eris, but I’ll have to say Eris: http://www.girlfromauntie.com/patterns/shop/eris/detail.php
    But as I’m knitting her right now, please don’t choose her as the perfect handknit. I say design!

  • I would like it noted that I have used my knitters perogitive and changed my mind…I voted pullover, but my most comfy sweater would be this…http://www.patternworks.com/PWShopping/partsview.asp?action=lookup&partno=800668&subject=U36.L3&catpos=9

  • I love this sweater from J.Jill:
    What I like:
    *loose instead of fitted
    *the sleeves have some room in them @ the cuffs
    *the collar has a nice soft design
    *where the sweater falls, just below the hip
    That said, I’m totally in favor of a hoodie, just couldn’t find one that said “perfect sweater” to me.

  • I love Anthropologie’s Molly Ann Sweater Jacket (does this thing do HTML?). I like it because it’s romantic and at looks like it would be fairly easy to knit (although making up might be a nightmare).

  • Hey, it does HTML! I hope this works: If you want to hot link just type “without the quotation marks) Then include your link with quotation marks (i.e., “http://www.anthropologie.com/jump.jsp?itemID=7574&itemType=PRODUCT&iSubCat=266&iMainCat=11”). Then do you title like this (without the quotation marks)”>Molly Ann Sweater Jacket“. Do it all on one line (I can’t reproduce it because it’ll just create a link again).

  • Oops, it did something crazy– Let’s try it this way:
    {A HREF=”http://www.anthropologie.com/jump.jsp?itemID=7574&itemType=PRODUCT&iSubCat=266&iMainCat=11″}Molly Ann Sweater Jacket{/A}
    Do the above, only with greater than/less than signs instead of brackets.

  • What I formerly had in this space was a nine-line long url.
    Ridiculous. Do a Google image search of Blythe Danner and find the photo from “Meet the Parents” where she’s wearing the world’s most fabulous cable knit pullover. I voted for a pattern that could do the AC/DC thing w/r/t cardi/pullover status, but I don’t really see how this sweater could be anything but a pullover.
    Anyway, bottom line, what I really want is some REALLY complicated cables. Beginners could do one panel.

  • P.S. LOVE LOVE LOVE Sara’s “Sailor,” Tish. YES to raglan sleeves. NO to dropped shoulders.

  • You can take your long url to http://tinyurl.com/ and it will make it tiny for you, so you can post it. It really works.

  • Okay, so I sort of feel like you all are the cool, hip older girls and I’m somebody’s obnoxious 9 year-old kid sister, begging to be included. I’m such a novice I probably have no business leaving input – I’ve never made anything with shaping or sleeves, and the thought of cables chills me to my very core. But like any obnoxious 9 year-old worth her salt, I refuse to let the details stop me. I’m bound and determined to tag along with the perfect handknit.
    I always figured for a first sweater I’d take a shot at Peppermint Twist in Debbie Stoller’s Stitch & Bitch–I’m not even going to link to it, it’s such a far cry from what has been mentioned in other posts 🙂 But of the above links, I like Lorraine’s suggestion for Tweedie, and also Amanda’s Knitty suggestion–they look like sweaters I’d like to own, and also, maybe, with some simplifications and perhaps a pitcher of margaritas, sweaters I’d like to knit.

  • I nominate the Frieda sweater, by Debbie Bliss as the perfect sweater.. its got cables on the front and sleeves to keep the knitting interesting (though let’s forget about the intended holes in the sleeves.. that’s just weird). It can be dressed up or down, has a nice warm turtleneck, and just the right mix of classic and flattering.

  • I voted for “both”. My ideal pattern is Rogue http://www.girlfromauntie.com/patterns/shop/rogue/detail.php
    It can be a cardigan or a jumper. It has some detailing so you wont fall asleep whilst making it, but it has swathes of plain knitting to soothe the sole (and the hands). It can be a hoody or just collared and would be perfect in my chosen yarn; Rowan Wool Cotton!

  • I know I voted for cari/pullover versatility in the Blogpoll, but Bed and Breakfast Pullover by Kathy Zimmermann is at the top of my “Sweaters I Must Make Before I Die” list.

  • Hi! Longtime lurker, first time commenter!! (just kidding, this feels like a call-in show – in a good way.) I don’t actually have a link, because it’s a sweater in a book, but I really like the Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts – tons of people have made them and it’s a very simple, but versatile, pattern that I think could handle lots of potential modifications. Um, no, I haven’t actually made on myself, but it’s on my list!

  • Something like this: http://www.masondixonknitting.com//wp-content/uploads/2013/04/2005_09.html#001258
    Maybe not a coat, though.

  • I voted for the two-for-one option of a sweater that could be a cardigan or a pullover, although I tend to prefer the cardigans.
    I think this is the basis of a perfect sweater (cardigan version) –http://tinyurl.com/cy7ga. It has a nice shape (fitted, but not tight) and could be easily embellished with the cable, lace, colorwork, stich pattern, etc desired by the knitter.
    I will also note that despite having the words “perfect” and “sweater” in its name, and being availble in both a pullover and a cardigan version, this is NOT the perfect sweater — http://tinyurl.com/du7k8
    And, just for good measure, here is a photo of the perfect beverage — http://tinyurl.com/9f6jt (you know, while we are looking at pictures and all…)

  • I am totally with LaurenP on the “no cables” contingent. Less actual bulk would be good on any body type.
    I am really drawn to something pretty, feminine and a little lacy like this:
    which I think would garner a lot of compliments and appreciation from knitters and non-knitters alike.
    But some other part of me wants something comfy and Professor-ish (elbow reinforcement optional), although with a little more shaping, kind of like this:
    which could become that standby sweater we keep in our cubicles, cars, thrown over the edge of the couch, on the hook near the door, etc.
    Everybody’s input is so interesting!

  • Sand Dollar. I’ll wear it with hose and pretend it is a sweater dress.

  • I really like that Debbie Bliss Lara sweater http://www.theknittinggarden.com/images/debbiebliss/book/alpaca-silk/lara.jpg
    plus if you do a google search, you can see a variety of bloggers who have made it. It has simple, flattering and interesting details and the closure allow you to make it as tight or loose as you want around the waist. It’s also flatteriing on a variety of sizes. The perfect cardian absolutely must have some sort of shaping, or else it would make me look like Mr. Rogers. And, I know it doesn’t seem to be the will of the group, but I’m not a fan of cables, unless they’re used in a non-traditonal way. In fact, I’d say I’m staunchly against them.

  • I could spend all weekend ruling out not-quite-perfect sweaters, but instead will use this one:
    as an example of many elements of the perfect handknit sweater that can be made with Cascade 220. These are the elements of perfection that it incorporates:
    1) It is classic. You will wear it forever.
    2) It is extremely versatile — can be dressed up or dressed down.
    3) The neckline is pretty universally flattering — not too high, too low, or too bulky
    4) It is shaped — but not too-form fitting, so as to flatter the widest variety of shapes (the perfect handknit is most definitely NOT boxy — better to knit a slightly bigger shaped sweater than a shapeless blob just so it’s loose)
    4) The cables give it a “virtuosity” element — something you can take pride in and show off a little. While I’m sensitive to the “cables are too bulky” argument, I don’t think they have to be, the ribbing at the bottom keeps it shapely, and anyway…
    5) There is room for variation in the form and details — another pattern repeat for a longer sweater, different cable or stitch patterns to make it uniquely yours (or make it less bulky), etc.
    Darn near perfect if you ask me.

  • And this sweater actually is in a friendly 220 gauge!
    Okay, so i just finished knitting it, but I think that makes me extra qualified to speak on its behalf.

  • I have 2 cardigans I really like. They are simple but classic. They can be embellished or left to shine on their own. Both are by Margaret O’Leary. http://tinyurl.com/87znm and http://tinyurl.com/8rvwc

  • OK, it’s cracking me up that everybody is using the Tiny URL. Proof that knitters know a teachable moment when they see one. A knitter is nothing if not teachable!
    I voted cardi. While I would love to see a convertible cardi/pullover, I think a perfect cardi is probably quite different from a perfect pullover.
    I’m with the no-cables faction to a degree: I do not want an Aran-look sweater with all-over cables. But a touch, a trim, a smidge of cable could make all the difference. I’m thinking horizontal cables on the borders, a la Rogue, but a more tailored shape than Rogue. Not form fitting, but form-skimming. That flatters everyone.
    I’ll do my homework over the weekend. Probably 5 minutes before it’s due.
    Since it has the same gauge as Cascade 220, I’m doing mine in Denim.
    xoox Kay

  • Oooooh! Oooooooh! I love this tiny url thing. THANK YOU MdB
    So here’s the tiny url for the sweater I love. I know not everyone is gonna like this.
    So for a reality check, I’m with jnovgirl and the Kim Hargreaves PAM. jnovgirl is right on all counts.
    Here’s that url repeated

  • I’m a fan of the Anthropologie lacey cardis.

  • By the way, that’s the name of me and my lounge band: Kay and the Tastemakers. (All Patsy covers, all the time.)

  • Rogue! I will not link because others have done so above, but it is a great pattern and can be cardi or pullover thanks to the excellent mods by Claudia. I made it in Cascade 220 and it is lovely. Also – you can make the side cables in a contrasting color – my Rogue was black with red side cables – verrry rrracy! But do not make the arm cables in a contrasting color, even if you are tempted to do so, you will look like a superhero. In a bad way.

  • Well, I had a suggestion of my own I was going to make. Until I saw this one
    that was suggested by jnovgirl. I love love love it. Can I get 5.5 stitch gauge with Cascade 220? – remains to be seen.

  • … might skew the whole thing a bit more … but hey … fell in love with this one from leigh radford’s new “alterknits” book … take a peek @ the abstract cardi … here … http://www.leighradford.com/alterknit_projects/all.html … i know i should have read how to whatever html it … but hey … this girl doesn’t have a blog (yet) … and i’m fine with that … i live vicariously through the mdk blog … and oh … the mermaid from hanne falkenberg idea ain’t bad either mixed with the abstract cardi idea … but i am getting carried away … farewell my fair ladies …

  • Wow! We sure do have different tastes! I’m not in the no-cable-ever camp, but I’ve yet to see a pattern that has cables that would flatter my belly pudge. Just a thought…
    I’ll agree that this Noro/Debbie Bliss cardigan (http://www.yarn-shop.co.uk/books/collection1.php) is fantatsic! simple, with plenty of oppurtunity to add fun stuff! And although doing stripes in Cascade would be trickier than if we used Noro, I think we’re up to it!(for those of you not keen on stripes, using very similar colors would give a neat gradation effect…)
    Confession: I haven’t voted yet because I’m torn between 2 loves: the comfy pullover that can be worn with anything and the lacey cardigan that dresses up my endless supply of plain fitted Ts…oh the agony!
    I still haven’t voted yet,

  • Could I have a mandate anyway? After the week I’ve had, I think it would help. And if I can’t have a mandate, could I have a margarita, please?

  • I like knitting cables, but don’t want to wear them, exactly… so I love Eris and Rogue, in all their permutations. Also Samus from the new Knitty. Not too simple, not too challenging, plenty room for variation… wait. someone already said all that, right?
    What I really want to know is, what will the time frame be? I might just have to go ahead and start Eris on my own anyway 🙂

  • This is it for me: Norah Gaughan’s Vintage Pink Cardigan from Spring 2005 Interweave Knits. See it here (scroll down to the 7th photo)
    Isn’t it to die for?
    Now to find a yarn that will not break the bank…

  • I like cables. I’m a proficient knitter. I am, however, on the curvy side, so my perfect sweater (and I voted cardigan, incidentally) is something simple with elegant lines. I quite like the Neck Down Shaped Cardigan #241 here (scroll down): http://www.knittingpureandsimple.com/cardi.html
    It’s easily adapted for fancy borders, or even a simple lace pattern. Those of us who are what a southern friend of mine likes to call “blessed” could equally easily toss in some short row shaping to accomodate our magnificent bosoms. Plus, I’ve had my eye on on of the Cascade tweeds, and I think it wants to be in simple stockinette.

  • I like the ones on this page:
    Beautiful, yet simple.

  • I can’t think of my ultimate favourite right now but here’s my 2p’s worth: It has to have some shaping – if it’s well designed it can still work for the skinny ones as well as not-so-skinny amongst this varied crowd. Zippers are a no go (well for me at least 🙂 I think that if we could find something that allowed you to use a v-neck or a round-neck that would be great – anything beyond that start issues of what suits who and whether people like turtle necks etc. I’ll shut up now, I could go on for ages. Maybe I’ll go and look for that ultimate sweater – it must be there in an old Rowan somewhere, right?

  • I’m going for a cardigan/jacket from Chicknits – http://www.chicknits.com – go to Gallery and it is the one called Twist. Worsted weight, hip-length, slightly shaped. Cables down each side of the front opening, a cabled collar with a fringe.
    I am so enjoying this exercise, have found all sorts of new sites, and my cut and paste technique is improving by the minute….

  • http://www.llbean.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?categoryId=42466&storeId=1&catalogId=1&langId=-1&parentCategory=3600&cat4=6448&shop_method=pp&feat=dp27
    LLBean always come up with ‘perfect’ stuff.
    This is such a great search, thank you for all the hard work.

  • jnovgirl totally hits the mark with her list of what makes the perfect sweater! and the Molly Ann Sweater Jacket so fills the bill–great waist shaping detail yet basic enough to modify to your heart’s content–can’t you just see it as a V-neck pullover?
    Anyway, that’s my cent’s worth!

  • I’m nearly speechless. Ask my husband — it’s a rare thing. There are just so many beautiful sweaters! I had a picture in my head of what I would consider the perfect sweater but couldn’t find a picture anywhere. You ladies have come pretty darn close. I’m torn — like Beth R says — between something feminine and delicate and something classic and scholarly. Since I couldn’t find a picture of my own idea, I’m going to jump on board with some already made suggestions. I really like what jnovgirl was saying. It’s a GREAT sweater. I also like the one that Beth R suggested (Hollister Co). And I really like the Leigh Radford keyhole stripes: http://www.leighradford.com/knitwear/keyhole.html
    I also voted for “both” but I think it’s because I’m non-committal and really like versatility.

  • And I just want to say —
    1) Shame on you for introducing me to Anthropologie and Girl Shop! I can’t believe how nice those clothes are. How am I ever going to buy yarn if I’m oggling clothes online 🙂

  • I see the cardigan is winning, hands down. Just please, please don’t let there be a zipper involved. I hate zippers on hand knits.
    Oh, a link… I do like this one:
    http://www.peacefleece.com/adult1.htm (everyday cardigan)

  • I’ve looked at a lot but it boils down to something with imaginitive shaping and details that’s Really flattering
    Almost every cardigan on Chicknits was a contender but I’ve gone for one that’s fascinated me for years (even though a finer yarn)
    AUDREY on:

  • OK, so I skipped the Future Search breakfast brainstorming session and went to early morning yoga. What happens? I’m doing my best to balance a really bad version of plow position when the question of perfect sweater pops loudly into my monkey mind.
    So, my mind sez, that Ribby Cardi http://www.chicknits.com/catalog/ribbycardi.html has real possibility.I think it can be modified into a pullover (or half zip front). It could easily have cables added up the arms or in the ribbing around the bottom ), it lends itself to color work & stripes, it has some natural fitting with the ribbed sides but can be ribbed all over to be form fitting or made in mostly stockinette. The pattern has three collar options, it’d give everyone choices. We like choices, as you know.
    (Have you ever heard the Gil-Scott Heron song that starts with him growling “Mandate, my ass” ? 🙂

  • For me it is Sunday Best (while technically Denim, it would look good in a true Guernsey wool too). Thick yarn for quick knitting, nice surface patterns yet easy to knit. warm when I need it, but not so warm I sweat to death in it, nearly indestructible so I can stuff it in my backpack and throw a load of stuff on top of it without caring, goes in the washing machine and the dry tumbler if it should get really dirty and it should age beautifully too. Also the pattern is gender-neutral, if the sweater curse strikes, wear it yourself.
    You do all know about the sweater curse, right?

  • Alright, I know I commented once already, but I had a total brainstorm while riding the bus today and just couldn’t suppress it. It should be a cardigan sweater, coat style. Should go down to the hips and have a tie at the waist. Definitely shaping. Big square ribbed collar, ribbing at cuffs and button bands. DEFINITELY pockets. Perhaps optional cables. It’s got a retro feel but is classic, and will be so cozy-comfy for the upcoming season. Plus, it would look great in the cascade, especially one of the tweedy ones. Phew, ideas can take a lot out of you.

  • Has to be a wrappy cardi if cardi, or the really lovely bolero’s around now – Debbie Bliss does a good one which Marks & Spencers have virtually caopied. I love it, my Mum loves it, esp. in this season’s plummy colours.
    it’s utterly adorable in a baby-sized version too:

  • the cable detail on this one: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall05/PATTsamus.html
    the shaping of the little green pullover here: http://www.buy-mail.com/jb35.htm
    Now, if I were looking for the perfect cardi it would have to be this one: http://www.buy-mail.com/jb16.htm

  • Holy Guacamole! I thought this homework assignment would be a breeze, but no. It seems that for me there is a cardigan for every occasion. I love the boxy, the fitted as well as the cabeled and the subtley stripey. Life isn’t a box of chocolates, it is a box of cardigans.
    I adore Pam from Rowan that many have pointed out, I have wanted to make it forever. Also, I love, really truly love the Welcome Back Old Friend, though I wish it were a cardi.
    My personal favorite knit is the Zoe Mellor Tartan Jacket (Sorry, the only photo I can find is on my blog in the September 9th entry). I made an adult one for myself years ago and I wear it all the time. 3/4 of it (sleeves, most of body) are stockinette, the edgings and collar are steed stitch and the 1/3 top of the body is intarsia.
    I think my perfect cardi has some stockinette, some either cables or color work and a classic shape. The Tartan jacket, even if not followed precisely, is a great formula for the perfect sweater.
    And agin I vote for the Blue Goose martini- Grey Goose Vodka with Blue Cheese stuffed olives. Really, it is sublime.
    Can’t wait to cast on for the Perfect Sweater!

  • I’m still looking for the perfect sweater pattern but it’s definitely a cardigan because , ya know, I’m 40 now and beginning the warm stage of my life and like to be able to strip layers easily.

  • Ok, so I’m totally at the end and no one is going to look at this, but PHILDAR people! They have great stuff like: http://tinyurl.com/85e2h
    How great is that?? I’m also a big fan of the anthropology suggestions – especially the lacy/white cardi.
    But, just a suggestion, should we *maybe* have 2 patterns? There are some suggestions that I’d never wear…and others that I’d die for…

  • I love all of the sweaters in Poetry in Stitches, but this is a real beauty (and it can be knit as a jumper): http://www.nordicfiberarts.com/pis_kitpages/122sweater.html
    The colours are just delicious, and i think there is a lot of scope for tweaking in order to create something perfect.

  • I love two things in a sweater: a hood and pockets. Here is my choice:
    It is a hoodie sweater.

  • This is so much fun! I love the Kim Hargraves site.
    Ok, I am going to also vote for the Ribby Cardi. I have wanted to try this pattern for awhile and I think it’s easily modifiable for most body types. I haven’t ever sewn in a zipper either, but I think maybe I might chicken out and take it to a tailor to get the zipper added since I don’t have a sewing machine.

  • I’m voting for Eris – either in Cardigan or Pullover.

  • My perfect sweater is:
    -a cardigan
    -cable-free (I’m bulky enough on my own)
    -not belly-baring
    -not bum-covering
    -interesting (some kind of lacy detail or color work or buttons, etc.)
    -somewhere between dressy and casual (can be worn with a skirt or jeans)
    I think the Anthropologie and Debbie Bliss examples are most like my ideal.

  • i’m currently looking at the Pandora Cardigan for my first cardigan, and would love it to be considered in the running – i think it’s the definitive Cardigan – classy and timeless in bright, crisp colors or even basic black. you can see it at: http://www.yarnatwebsters.com/josharp_bohemia.html scroll to the bottom – it’s in green. libby, in utah, where we love wool clothes

  • I’m late, but I love pullovers because my two sides never come out even.
    Oh, and my excuse…off being the bride.