Pod of Cetaceans Cardigan

Pod of Cetaceans Cardigan, button band

Pod of Cetaceans Cardigan

Growing up on Cape Cod in the 1980s, I have many memories of nautical themed sweaters, with boats, anchors, captain’s wheels, or whales forming the yoke. With these sweaters came Nantucket jewelry baskets, alligator polos (collars flipped up, of course), plaid pants, embroidered pants, and any other garment with the shape of the Cape Cod arm littered gratuitously about. This cardigan was inspired by a pullover my mother started for me and finished several years later for my brother, if I am not mistaken. I thought it might be a fun design to revive. The garment is knit seamlessly in the round from the bottom up, then steeked open.

For those interested in the pattern, please take a look at the pattern specifications and schematic before purchasing. Please be advised that because the jacket is steeked, it will require, in cases of yarn substitution, a feltable wool that is not machine washable.

Note of caution: Any knitter who chooses to abuse this pattern by making matching whale sweaters for the family Christmas card should be flogged, or at the very least have his/her knitting needles confiscated.

The pattern is available as a Ravelry download for $5.00.

Shoulder yoke



Skills used

Knitting in the round, reading a chart, increasing, decreasing, knitting with two colors, steeking, picking up stitches, hand sewing facings, duplicate stitching (optional).


0-3 mos (6-9 mos, 12-18 mos, 2 yr, 3-4 yr, 5-6 yr)
Model shown in size 3/4 yr.

Finished measurements

Chest: 18.75(20.75, 23.5, 26.25, 29.25, 30)”
Back length: 10.25 (11.5, 12.75, 14.5, 16.75, 17.25)”


17 stitches and 24 rounds = 4” in stockinette on US 7 (4.5 mm) needles
20 stitches and 25 rounds = 4” in stranded pattern on US 7 (4.5 mm) needles

NOTE: Swatching the stranded pattern in the round is imperative. I chose to cast on 36 stitches for three whale pattern repeats plus 11 stockinette stitches for a steek. In addition to checking gauge, this extra swatching will provide a valuable opportunity to practice steeking.

Working the little hair she has...


Harrisville Designs New England Highland [100% wool; 200 yd (183 m); 100 g skein]; color: #33 Midnight blue (MC), 1 (2, 2, 2, 3, 3) skeins; #44 White (CC#1), #7 Tundra (CC#2), 1 skein each.

NOTE: If substituting yarn, use only non-superwash, feltable wool; otherwise, the steek will not hold and the garment will unravel.


US 7 (4.5 mm) circular, length appropriate for size
1 set of US 7 (4.5 mm) DPNs

US 6 (4 mm) circular needle, length appropriate for size
1 set of US 6 (4 mm) DPNs

Crochet hook, any size between 3.25-4.0 mm will do


Stitch markers
Scrap yarn – the scrap yarn used for the crochet chains must be feltable wool (and not superwash)
Tapestry needle
5 (5, 7, 7, 9, 9) 3/4″ buttons



Front yoke

Pod of Cetaceans Cardigan, back yoke

Pod of Cetaceans Cardigan, optional whale spouts

Pod of Cetaceans, facings

More photos can be found here.