Chocolate Cake Sweater

Finally, I’ve made something that counts as cake! (Remember this post? This has got to be one of my most linked-to posts ever! Cake and frosting, you guys liked this description, and why not, it sounds delicious…)

chocolate cake sweater

Today we have the Chocolate Cake Sweater. Because this piece is Cake in its best form. Practical, wearable, comfortable. Goes with all of my favourite colours: teal, golden yellow, coral, leopard print. Warm. Super classic style that will never go out of fashion.

Ravelry notes here. The pattern is aptly named, the Ladies Classic Raglan by Jane Richmond, my favourite designer for simple, wearable knitwear. The entire pattern fits on one page and is very easy to follow.

chocolate cake sweater

I think it’s a great first sweater, even simpler than the St. James sweater I started with. Easy, simple, stockinette in the round, but the crew neck is nicely shaped, and the long sleeves make it more wearable for cold weather than the short cap sleeves.

chocolate cake pullover

The yarn is basic Cascade 220 in the non-heathered solid dark brown. I like the price of this yarn – approximately $8-9 per ball, which makes a full sweater in my size under $40. Where else can you get a brand new, custom fit 100% wool sweater for $40?

After knitting over the knee socks, I craved something simple to knit next, out of thicker yarn. This was the perfect next project! I’d actually started knitting this yarn into Chuck (check out both Lladybird’s chuck and K-Line’s chuck – how cute is this pullover?) but the cables were barely visible in the dark colour. If I’m going to go to the trouble of knitting cables, I want everyone to see it! Plus, I’d originally bought this yarn for the Classic Raglan, then got distracted by the Chuck pattern, but in the end stuck to the original plan.

close-up of neckline

For our cold and damp Vancouver winter, this is the perfect layering sweater. Goes under jackets, layers over long sleeve or button-down shirts, even vests if you like. I’m thinking – ok, I always think this! – that I should make a handful more in different colours.  Seriously though, this is a year-round wardrobe item for me, except for maybe a few weeks in July. Even then it gets cool in the evenings, so the sweaters never really get packed away.

chocolate cake sweater, back view

It’s really easy to pull on over a dress. The body is not too cropped yet not too long. I can imagine it with my Chantilly Dress, maybe even the bright Chantilly, jeans and a leopard-print scarf – so many possibilities with a basic item like this one.

Time to complete: 2 weeks, 1 day. Very quick!

One thing about this sweater is that it isn’t that exciting, as finished projects go. It’s plain, it’s brown, there are no fancy details or bright colours to lure you in to admiring it. It’s just there. Even these photos are a little ordinary, just a plain old brown sweater. I think this is why we’re drawn to making exciting pieces – they’re enjoyable to make when you spend hours looking at a colour or pattern that you love, and even more fun to wear and show off when they’re done! But I know I’ll get a ton of wear out of this plain brown sweater, and that makes its plainness all right with me. I wore it all day yesterday, and it was warm, comfortable and only the tiniest bit itchy.

happy with my new sweater!

Proof that I do make cake items, sometimes! And when I do, there is more than enough frosting to go around.

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38 Responses to Chocolate Cake Sweater

  1. Marisa February 5, 2013 at 6:16 am #

    I know that this post is about the sweater (which I do like), but I really love your skirt! It’s so pretty!

  2. Rachel February 5, 2013 at 6:35 am #

    That is so pretty and the color looks great on you. I have gotten back into knitting but I have trouble balancing it with sewing. How do you do it?

    • Tasia February 5, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      Hey Rachel! Well for me, I have a unique situation in which I sew for work… so I can only sew when I’m at the office! That means I knit at home, and sew at work.

      I could knit at work but that would be a bit distracting.. sometimes I do bring a project and knit during my lunch break, but for the most part, knitting happens at home, at knitting night and in the car, and sewing only happens at the office.

      I think if I had both hobbies happening at home, I’d knit in front of the TV, or when I was really excited about a project. I’d sew when I had longer stretches of time to really get into it, or sew when my hands got tired. Good luck finding a balance to do both!

  3. Sam February 5, 2013 at 6:51 am #

    That’s a lovely sweater. A great way to have chocolate cake guilt-free.

    I totally agree with your comment about being drawn to making exciting pieces. I always want to knit much fancier things in finer weight yarns than I would actually want to wear. I’m constantly drawn to lace shawls, but have absolutely no requirement for a lace shawl in my wardrobe! But if I do knit anything in a heavier yarn it gets worn a lot, because it’s nearly always cold in the UK!

    • Tasia February 5, 2013 at 10:03 am #

      Ha, I know! I kind of have no need for a lace shawl either.. but that doesn’t stop me from thinking about knitting one! You’re right though, it’s nearly always cold here too, so a heavy knit sweater is a totally useful piece for my lifestyle and climate.

  4. Susan February 5, 2013 at 7:11 am #

    I love your new sweater! It looks like a perfect classic design. Great color too.

    • Susan February 5, 2013 at 7:15 am #

      Oh and I had totally forgotten that it was you who coined that analogy! Everyone (sewing-wise) that I know now uses it, and it’s even inspired the name of a pattern company! :)

      • Tasia February 5, 2013 at 10:03 am #

        I know! Isn’t that cool? Cake Patterns.

  5. Sally February 5, 2013 at 7:17 am #

    I love this sweater! Even though cake usually isn’t too fancy, it is definitely my most loved kind of clothing – there’s just something about clothes you spend a lot of time in, and you know you can throw on whenever :) Can’t wait to see more sweaters!

  6. Maggie February 5, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    I love this sweater. Yes, it is not super exciting I will agree, but I do love the look of it. I am a sucker for raglan sleeve sweaters :) Great job!

  7. Sanne February 5, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    Nice! It will definitely go with everything. (Although I would recommend Chuck in a different colour, I absolutely LOVE mine)

    • Tasia February 5, 2013 at 10:06 am #

      Ooh! Your Chuck looks great so far, the tealy blue shows off the cables nicely! I’m thinking of an orange or ivory Chuck, something bright or light.. add it back to my never-ending knitting list!

  8. Erin B February 5, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    Love the sweater. I have a similar one next in my queue as Doon as I finish the cardigan I’m working in now (maybe by Friday!?) I’m casting on! I need more cake, too.

  9. Steph A February 5, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    I love, love, love your sweater!! The colour is fabulous, chocolate brown is such a wonderful colour. Funnily, I’ve been buying this colour fabric over the last year, and I’m amazed at how much it coordinates with many things! Great piece of cake! (and I’m going to copy you, just bought the pattern too, it’s such a fantastic basic piece it’ll be good for my project 333 wardrobe I’m working on.)

    • Tasia February 5, 2013 at 10:07 am #

      Totally copy it! I don’t mind at all. It’s a very easy, well-written pattern that was fun to knit and went by quickly!

  10. Ashley February 5, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Your sweater is INCREDIBLE!! And so are your knee high socks :) I just LOVE reading your blogs! You give me the boost of inspiration I need! Thank you!!

    • Tasia February 5, 2013 at 10:07 am #

      Oh, thank you! I’m so glad you enjoy the blog and checking out my projects!

  11. maddie February 5, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    what a beautiful piece of cake indeed!

  12. Rachel February 5, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    Nice cake! Love how yours turned out! Mine is slightly too big to make it dressy enough to wear with a skirt but I’m thinking about another one from some stash yarn. I know what you mean about a a simple brown sweater not being super ‘interesting’ to showcase but you know, those are the pieces that are actually worn!! and worn a lot. Hence cake, I guess huh?! haha

  13. Lora February 5, 2013 at 11:17 am #


    I think you made an important fashion point in that a basic article of clothing opens the door wide for great accessorizing. I stumbled on a blog several months ago dedicated to simplicity. One of the credos was make separates interchangeable so it seems like you have a larger wardrobe. Accessories would definitely help expand the look of one’s clothing repertoire.

    Nice post. I’m inspired to expand into accessories!

  14. Truly Myrtle February 5, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    It looks so cute on you – I love it :)
    Aren’t these classics so useful? I used to have a fingering raglan sweater that my mother made in the 60’s… not sure what happened to it – but it was simple, classic and stylish.
    And brown is so 2013 in my opinion ;)

  15. Danielle February 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    Oh, I just LOVE this! I’ve had my eye on this pattern for ages, but it’s just jumped to the head of the queue. These are my favourite kind of garments – always flattering, never dated-looking, go-with-everything ones, that you know you’ll still be friends with in ten years time. I’ve been in a knitting slump lately after a particularly deflating fail, but this has inspired me to pick up the needles again with fresh vigor – thanks for sharing!

  16. Irina February 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    It is not at all uninteresting, it is an essential foundation piece. Every closet has to have those foundation pieces around which one can build varied looks! I admire how neat your decreasing and seams are! Great work!

  17. Lauren February 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    Ah, I love this! Sure, it’s simple – but that means you can wear it over and over (partially because it goes with everything, and partially bc people will be less likely to notice that you’ve been wearing the same sweater for 2 weeks haha!). I actually have this on my to-knit list; I may have to push it to the top of the queue now after seeing yours. So inspired!

    You should definitely knit the Chuck sweater, but take heed – it is very short! Double check those measurements – it hits me pretty high, like above my belly button. I want to knit it again, but in the longer version like Kristin’s. I love the short length, but it does make it difficult to pair up with some of my separates. It needs a *very* high waistband :) just fyi!

  18. Ashley February 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    This totally counts as cake-in the best way possible! It looks like it’s the perfect sweater to snuggle up in, to pull on with jeans, or to wear with a skirt. So versatile! Great job!

  19. Chris February 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    i love your Chocolate Cake Sweater. Who doesn’t love chocolate cake? Even though fancy sweaters are beautiful, there is nothing like the perfect classic sweater!

  20. Jane February 5, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    Very nice sweater! I think there’s definitely something to be said for plain projects – glad you like the finished product, that’s alway what counts.

  21. Jo February 5, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    Nice! I love the practicality of it. I’m planning on making a plain black skirt…. super practical too. I think it’ll go great with my Renfrews.. ooh wait, that’s practical too! Yay, cake! :)
    I can’t believe you made it in two weeks! That must be satisfying!! :)

  22. Major Moma February 5, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    I love this sweater. I don’t knit, but if I did, this would definitely be on my to-do list. It looks absolutely classic.

  23. Marie F. February 6, 2013 at 1:13 am #

    I like your new sweater! I really like the patterns from Jane. I started knitting last summer, and after 3 hats, 2 pairs of mittens, and 2 scarfs/cowls I want to try a sweater. I think it might be easier than a cardigan (I really love the Grace cardigan, but the button hole, button band put me off a bit). I have been thinking about trying this Classic Ladies Raglan sweater, and your version have convinced me to knit it next. Now, I just need to choose in which colors I want it. I’m thinking maybe a striped sweater (breton style) using natural color and pale blue… =)

  24. Erika February 6, 2013 at 1:49 am #

    It’s supercute! A little bit of cake in the closet can come in very handy… =) I love cake and almost never add frosting – neither to my sewing nor to my baking. In both those scenarios I also think it’s actually harder to make a nice cake; there’s no riff-raff’s to hide behind. No busy prints to hide that seems don’t meet perfectly, no huge bow to conceal an uneven neckline. No pretty pink cream-frosting with little stars and pearls on it to enchante the eye and make us forgive the dry muffin underneth. Might be why it took me ages to make a garment I was even halfway happy with…

    It’s easy to make pretty frosting, but it takes craftmanship to make a nice looking and well-fitting / well-tasting cake. Of course there’s a lot of people (like you) who make beautifully executed pieces of frosting, but I sometimes find myself wishing they had done it in a solid colour so I can see and appreciate the craftmanship I know they’ve put into it! So thank you for this pretty piece of cake, I loved the look!

  25. Burke February 6, 2013 at 5:43 am #

    Hey Tasia –
    I was wondering if you had any tips for someone wanting to learn to knit. Did you just pick out a pattern and give it a go, learning as you went along?

    • Tasia February 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

      Basically, yes! But I have more tips for you, it felt like a lot to write down in a comment so I’m doing a post on it shortly..

  26. Burke February 6, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    Yay! Can’t wait!! :)

  27. Hethie February 9, 2013 at 2:02 am #

    It is gorgeous, and a great colour on you! I know what you mean about being drawn to ‘icing’ things more though. I often go for patterns that use lots of texture and knit them in a ‘cake’ colour. I knit owls by Kate Davies in a deep purple colour – it’s great because I can wear it with everything but it’s got enough detail that I get really excited about it!

  28. jaclynmariet February 9, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    How would you rate this pattern in difficulty? I like knitting and I would love to try a basic sweater sometime. My experience, however, is limited to hats/scarves/baby things. Is this a do-able project for someone like me?

  29. Joyce Wilson February 12, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

    Is there anything you can’t do? You just continue to amaze me with your talents. It is so refreshing to see a young lady so interested in sewing and knitting. Wish I had your talents. Keep up the great work and keep those blogs coming. I am an old geezer but not too old to learn something new. God bless you.


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