Thursday, 16 December 2010

Purple Cocoon

I finished knitting a cardigan for myself two or three weeks ago and I have been wearing it a lot because of the cold weather  - and I haven't yet written a word about it.  Very slack of me.  Anyway here it is - it is knitted in Rowan Cocoon, which is a thick, warm, soft yarn in merino wool and mohair. 

I have a long-standing prejudice that mohair is scratchy, but this is definitely not.  It does shed a little bit, though actually I only noticed when I wore a black t-shirt underneath.  

 The pattern is Elise, by Sarah Hatton, from the Rowan Cocoon Collection book.

I have made some changes - I made the body longer and the sleeves a lot shorter.  (I do not have ridiculously short arms, really and truly - the jumpers I buy generally have sleeves that are about the right length for me, I don't find my coat sleeves hanging below my fingertips - but I usually find the sleeves on Rowan patterns are several inches too long.)

The main modification was that I knitted the button bands at the same time as the fronts.  The pattern specified that the button band should be knitted sideways, picking up stitches all round the edge.  I hate picking up stitches anyway and in this case,  I thought that it would be especially hard to do it neatly, because the fabric is knitted on 7mm needles and so is quite loose.   Instead I adopted a rib pattern that is used for the button bands in an old (machine-knitted) cardigan of mine.  Normally you can't use single rib for an integral button band, because it is too stretchy, but if you slip all the knit stitches on one side, it becomes much tighter, both widthways and lengthways.  In my old cardigan, the side with the slipped stitches was used as the 'public' side, but here I have used it the other way round.  I haven't yet found this stitch pattern in stitch dictionaries, but it is like a rib version of heel stitch, I suppose.  It makes a firm and substantial button band.

Following my own advice, I used short rows to slope the shoulders and then Russian grafting for the shoulder seams.  The result is very neat -  I think a conventional seam, being more bulky, might flatten out the cables.  And so far the shoulder seams have not shown any sign of stretching under the weight of the sleeves. 

There is another important modification that I made to the pattern, that I will write about in another post.

It is a really comfortable warm cardigan - just what I need for the weather we have had this month.  It's cosy without being heavy.  I love the cables too - though I found that it was quite easy to make a mistake, especially in the very wide cable pattern, and not notice for several rows.  Someone said somewhere that Cocoon is impossible to unravel, so you should never make a mistake.   Fortunately for me, that's not true.  I love the colour, too.  Altogether a successful project. 


  1. Hello Barbara
    What a lovely cardi. I have a pine cone for you - sorry I meant to send you a message after I didn't see you at Yarn but forgot as I have been so busy. If you can mail me at with your address then I can post it to you.

  2. Never make a mistake - you can NEVER GO BACK. It is an UNFORGIVING WOOL.

    Knitting is stressful. I am glad you play by your own rules. You're a maverick.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...