Starsky Cardigan

One for the boys (or not)

After a lot of interest in the Marilyn cardigan from the Santa Monica photo shoot by men and women, @butterflychildart, my partner in crime decided to work out the pattern for the famous cardigan worn by Paul Michael Glaser. He played Starsky in the 1970’s TV series Starsky and Hutch.

Starsky cardigan
Starsky and Hutch

Doing a research we discovered that there were two versions of the cardigan that starsky wears. There is only a slight difference in the bottom panel of pattern around the body. More than one was probably used in filming so they didn’t wear out is quickly! In some photos you can see snagged yarn where it got must have got caught rolling over car bonnets or fighting bad guys.

Monochrome version of Starsky’s cardigan
Starsky’s well worn cardigan

This cardigan is another example of a Cowichan style knit, Marilyn Monroe’s. The colours are typical of the 70s as well as the Cowichan style, mainly cream and different shades of brown. Perfect in the 70’s worn with denim!

As with the search for a pattern for Marilyn cardigan we found there were similar patterns out there, but none really matched the photos of the original. We purchased a pattern that was very close and then we had a guide to work from. This makes it so much easier to then make alterations as the sizes are already worked out. For instance, pockets were added. Also, the original belt looked like a single thickness of garter stitch, but we opted for double-sided knitting to strengthen the belt. It’s also nice a stretchy.

Even when it’s knitted, we could see more alterations were needed, mainly in the sizing so we needed to change the number of stitches to compensate for using the honeycomb brioche stitch instead of plain knit stocking stitch.

Starsky pattern
Starsky collar

I’d be interested to know if others looking at the photos of both Marilyn and Starsky in their cardigans, think the stitch looks chunkier and more textured than stocking stitch?

The finished Starsky version

As with the Marilyn cardigan, please feel free to get in touch using the contact page if you’re interested in having your own version – this one or the other, and in stocking stitch or honeycomb brioche.

I’ll leave you with another famous face sporting a Mexican knitted cardigan. Another pattern to draw up, maybe?

Steve McQueen looking cool in a cardi

9 thoughts on “Starsky Cardigan

  1. Hi I’m interested in the Starsky cardi what would be the rough cost to have you make me one? Kind regards mick


  2. so, after analyzing the photos and from what I know of the way sweaters for markets are constructed in Mexico (having lived on the border of Juarez for a few dozen years I know that quite a few small groups of people “mass” produce the sweaters by dividing the work between a group of people able to knit sections. then someone with sewing talents would put all the pieces together. It looks like the sweater was done in pieces, and sewed together for a double layer look, (at evidenced by the pattern shown on the inside of the right sweater side- there is a cable like pattern and a rougher version of the band pattern inside, There is also a two knit one purl rib for the bottom of the sweater, and some evidence of the bottom being sewn rapidly in the uneven stitches. This piece work would explain the color variations as well. The front section has a honeycomb brioche stitch below the pattern band, but it is not shown on the inside- making me think a more experienced knitter did the outside and a newer one the inside. I think if the pattern was approached by doing it in pieces, most all of the work could be copied to match the original sweater. The other easier way would be to go there to where he got the sweater. My guess is the market is still there, and the sweaters are still there for sale. I am going to play with this idea, and make a smaller version to test the theory. If I am closer to the truth than I suspect and it comes out closer to the actual sweater I will post pictures of the results.


  3. The double thicknes comes from the knitting board used to knit these sweaters, they are not worked on needles.


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