The Line

The whale-line’s path through the boat is complex and treacherous for the whalers. When a whale has been harpooned, the line zips around them with the potential to sever any limb it entangles. Melville calls it the “magical, sometimes horrible, whale-line.” In this cardigan, I sought to capture the twists of the line in the colors of both hemp and Manilla.


450 (1620, 1940, 2150, 2660) yds worsted weight yarn; 410 (460, 550, 610, 700, 750) yds in A, 410 (460, 550, 610, 700, 750) yds in B, 630 (700, 840, 930, 1070, 1160) yds in C.

Sample shown in Dragonfly Fibers Traveler (worsted weight; 100% superwash Merino wool; 280 yds/4 oz per skein) in The Chase (A), The Whale-Line (B), and Weaverknits Grellow (C).

Size 8 (5.0mm) 29-inch and 16-inch circular needles and set of 4 dpns, or size needed to obtain gauge

Cable needle

2 stitch markers

Stitch holder or waste yarn to hold unworked sts

Yarn needle

21 buttons, approximately .5 inch in diameter

Sewing needle and thread to attach buttons

Skills Used

Cables; picking up and knitting; seaming


32 (36, 40, 44, 48, 52)-inch bust circumference. Pullover is meant to fit with 1 to 2 inches of positive ease across the bust. When only one number is given, it applies to all sizes.

Finished Measurements

34 (38, 42, 46, 50, 54)-inch bust circumference

23 (23.5, 26.5, 27, 28.75, 29.25) inches total length


18 sts and 24 rows = 4 inches in St st. To save time, take time to check gauge.