Sunday afternoon, while forced to exercise indoors (rather than be out on the greenway where I belong!) I was also forced (or so I’ll claim) to rewatch “Love, Actually” while I did it. The high point is definitely the moment just past the 46-minute mark when a shawl-collar cable cardigan joins the ensemble cast. Worn by Aurelia, the Portuguese maid in my favorite of the storylines, it’s a deceptively simple little sweater. Chunky. Heather grey. Little patch pockets on the front. A single toggle closure. And it’s pure stockinette, including the shawl collar itself, except for the presence of some … cables. I don’t know if there’s a proper name for this sort of cable, but in my head I call them stockinette cables, which is an oxymoron but still feels accurate to me. You’re just knitting stockinette and suddenly decide to cross a large number of stitches — like 8 or more. There are no purl stitches to set them off or anything, they’re just like waves in the stockinette. On this sweater, there’s one running up each side of the front and back, and up the center of each sleeve.
To emulate it, you could use Lion Brand’s free Autumn Afternoons cardigan pattern, which has all the basic traits including the integral stockinette shawl collar. The key difference is that this collar has a facing, so it winds up being a double thickness. To make the collar more like Aurelia’s, you could omit the facing stitches (clearly described by the schematic) and either slip the edge stitches or work an I-cord edge.
Apart from that and some 1×1 ribbing at the hem and cuffs, all you’d need to add is the pockets, the toggle closure, and the cables. For the latter, you’d want to swatch and see what such a big cable would do to the gauge, and adjust your stitch count to compensate. Since the sweater is worked flat in pieces, it would be quite simple to experiment with one of the fronts to get those details sorted out!
The recommended yarn for the pattern is listed as aran weight, but it’s knitted on US 10.5 needles at 3.5 stitches per inch. Sound familiar? Lopi would be a beautiful choice, although I’ve never attempted to cable with it. (Even “stockinette cables”!) I’d try something like Harrisville’s Turbine. Which I just realized I also recommended in the last Knit the Look! Clearly I have this yarn on the brain — might need to get it onto the needles.
PREVIOUSLY in Knit the Look: the mini Guernsey Literary Society henley