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Beekeeper pattern by Olive Knits at Eskdale Yarns NZ
Beekeeper pattern by Olive Knits at Eskdale Yarns NZ

Beekeeper Cardigan pattern

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Beekeeper is knit top-down and worked flat from the neckline to the bottom hem, with sleeves and neck/front band ribbing worked last. The neckline shaping happens gradually with a curved neckline that is formed with stitches cast-on as you go. The upper bodice is worked to the sleeve divide, then sleeves are separated from the body and the lower portion of the body is worked from there. If you take the time to swatch in pattern and get to know the Little Bee stitch pattern ahead of time, it will make the sweater process more comfortable right from the start.

Tutorials can be accessed online.

Skill Level Intermediate

To fit bust sizes 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 44, 48, 52) in/80 (85, 90, 95, 100, 110, 120, 130) cm

Recommended Ease
Approximately 3-4 in/7.5-10cm positive ease included in the pattern for a comfortable fit. (There is no need to go up a size unless you like a more loose/relaxed fit.) Knitting the size that represents your actual bust measurement will result in a sweater with this fit. Cardigan is designed to be worn open, without buttons

DK|Knitted With Polwarth Shimmer|85% polwarth wool, 15% silk | 330 yards in 115g |950 (1010, 1100, 1200, 1296, 1455, 1630, 1850) yards/869 (924, 1006, 1097, 1185, 1330, 1490, 1692) meters

Yarn notes
Medium-bodied garment with drape and a bit of sheen. The “little bee” texture shines in this wool blend with a hint of silk. When considering substitutions, err on the side of more wool vs. more silk. Silk adds sheen and a bit of drape, but you can achieve a similar effect with a superwash merino or wool blend with a bit of linen, hemp or cashmere.

US Size 7/4.5mm 24 – 32 in (60 – 80 cm) circular needle (body)
US Size 7/4.5mm 12 – 16 in (30 – 40 cm) circular needle (sleeves)
US Size 5/3.75mm 12 in (30 cm) circular needle or DPN (sleeve cuffs)
US Size 5/3.75mm 24 in (60 cm) circular needle (neckline)
Note: Use needle size necessary to obtain gauge

18 st and 30 rows with larger needle over 4 in/10cm in Little Bee pattern

Additional supplies
Yarn needle, stitch markers, and waste yarn

Want the best of both worlds? This pattern is a beautiful A4 paper pattern AND has a Ravelry code so you can save it in your online library.