I wanted to show you our Wheatsheaf Cowl Pattern, for sale on Ravelry. I used some wonderful Rowan Yarn Company Cashsoft Aran which is softer than butter and so warm. I made samples of the Wheatsheaf Cowl pattern using both Aran and DK weight yarns. The difference in circumference was 26inch for the Aran and 22 inch for the DK version. One of our pattern testers for the Wheatsheaf Cowl knitted the cable pattern repeat twice to make a taller cowl, you’d use more yarn, but it would be fabulously warm if you live in colder climate.
Knitted in aran weight yarn, the Wheatsheaf Cowl is a speedy knit, easily made over a few evenings of knitting. Ideal for Christmas knitting or gift knits.
A great stash buster, the Wheatsheaf Cowl is a quick knit. Easily finished in a few evenings by the fire and is toasty warm. Great for gifting and a chance to use up a bit of stash, you’ll need between 200-225 yards (depending on size) but you’ll need more if you knit a deeper cowl.
Wheatsheaf Cowl knitting pattern, image shows matching Wheatsheaf Hat
You could cast on three times as many stitches for a looped style cowl if you wanted the extra warmth, but this will use at least three times the yardage and you might need a little extra if you add depth/height to the ribbed sections. This would loop easily twice around your neck and look fabulous.
The cable pattern used in the Wheatsheaf Cowl pattern reminds me of a Wheatsheaf, hence the name, but bluesocks thought they looked like X’s for kisses. Either way, I love it. It’s a quick knit, great way to use up small amounts of yarn and you can make a matching set as a gift.
The cable pattern has both charted and written instructions to suit your preference.
Wheatsheaf Cowl on cushion
Wheatsheaf Cowl Tension/Gauge
Gauge/Tension for body of cowl in cable pattern – unstretched: 16sts x 32 rows = 3in x 4in/7.5cm x 10cm with 5mm/US8 16sts x 32rows = 3 5/8th in 9.25cm x 4in/7.5cm x 10cm with 5.5mm/US9
Wheatsheaf Cowl Recommended Yarns
I made samples using the following yarns:
Rowan Yarn Company Cashsoft Aran
Rowan Cashsoft DK
Stylecraft Special DK
My Test Knitters used
Rowan Baby Merino Silk DK
I found the Aran weight yarn washed really well and still looks as good as the day it was knitted. The matching hat has worn equally well and is machine washable on a delicate setting.
I think you would need to use a cable needle for any of the Wheatsheaf patterns, the earlier cables in the pattern can be done without, but the central crossover cable does need a cable needle, or spare dpn.
I’ve been asked by a couple of knitters if the cowl could be worked in chunky or bulky weight yarn. The simple answer is yes. However, you’d need to go up a needle size to perhaps a 6mm needle to get enough drape to the piece and obviously both the height and circumference of the cowl would change.
I haven’t tried this myself so I can’t help you on yardage/meters required to complete the cowl.
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We recently released our Wheatsheaf Aran Socks Pattern, for sale on Ravelry. I used some wonderful Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted which was a gift from the lovely Joan Dyer. The socks use different needle sizes to achieve three sizes from Ladies Small/Child up to a Mens size with options for slim, regular and slouchy fit.
Knitted in aran weight yarn, the Wheatsheaf Aran Socks are a quick knit, easily made over a few evenings of knitting. Ideal for Christmas knitting or gift knits.
A great stash buster, the Wheatsheaf Aran Socks are a quick knit. Easily finished in a few evenings by the fire and are toasty warm. Great for gifting and a chance to use up a bit of stash, you’ll need between 200-260 yards (depending on size and if you make the longer, folded cuff.
The socks can be knitted at a tighter or looser gauge/tension and feature ribbing on the cuff, back of the leg, heel flap and sole to ensure a nice fit for many foot sizes. The socks are made for lounging, wearing around the house instead of slippers and relaxing. They’re an attractive sock for lazy days and nights by the fire.
Small US 4-6.5/UK 3-5.5
Medium US 7-9/UK 6-8
Large US 9.5-11/UK 8.5-11
slim fit: 4mm/US6 for all sock
regular: 4mm cuff, 4.5mm for sock
slouchy 4.5mm cuff, 5mm for sock.
I made samples of the small size using 5mm needles for the body of the sock in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted, they would easily fit a slimmer foot or a wider foot due to the nature of the yarn and how springy it is.
I made the large size using Stylecraft Heritage Aran (Acylic/wool blend) and 5mm needles. They fit a wider food very well and spring back to shape after a wash.
I made the small size using 4mm needles for the whole sock, this had good hard wearing fabric and was a lovely neat fit.
Sizing and Fit of the Wheatsheaf Aran Socks
If you want a slouchy sock, use larger needles and for a slimmer fitting more hard wearing sock, use smaller needles.
Size small using 4mm needles and acrylic blend yarn would easily stretch to fit a 9 inch foot circumference.
Size small using Lamb’s Pride and 5mm needles would easily stretch to a 10 or 11 inch foot circumference, but be less hard wearing.
If you need to make a longer foot, the charts are set up so you can repeat a section or part of chart as often as you need to get the desired length. I’ve also included which chart row I ended on for each of my samples so you have an idea of how it worked for me.
There are four options for your heel pattern. I’ve used a slip stitch heel and a ribbed heel for the samples, both worked well and gave a good fit.
I’m knitting another pair for Christmas this year, using some Rowan Calmer I had in stash. It’s so soft and will make such a comfy pair of socks. I’m tempted to make them in my size and keep them 🙂
Our original design was the Amazing Modular Baby Cardigan
This pattern was the result of accidental messing around with some Lion Brand Amazing yarn. I loved seeing how it knitted up in modular squares. I ended up designing the Amazing Modular Baby Cardigan which is super cute and so popular 7 years later.
Amazing Modular Baby Cardigan Pattern
Next on the list and by request was the Adult Modular Cardigan
This time I knitted the cardigan with some Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice (a heavy worsted/aran weight) yarn. It’s a boxy Chanel style jacket and sized from 32-64 inch bust. You can buy the Adult Modular Cardigan pattern here.
Adult Modular Cardigan Pattern
Next is the Sockyarn Modular Baby Jacket
The Sockyarn Modular Baby Jacket was designed to a skein or just over for the largest size, of sock yarn. It means you can use up those odd skeins of superwash sock. Also, a busy Mum can have a machine washable version of the cardigan.
Sockyarn Modular Baby Jacket
Modular Kids Cardigan sized for birth to 12 years approx
The sample for the Modular Kids Cardigan, is knitted with James Brett Marble Chunky and is a very quick knit. It’s always a big hit at show. Every loves this Autumnal colourway. You could use any chunky yarn. But I do love the Brett Marble Chunky and it’s easy to wash for busy parents.
Kids Modular Cardigan Pattern
Aline Modular Cardigan
This green sample knitted and worn by the gorgeous Mirella is our Aline Modular Cardigan, sizes from 32-64 inch bust. The lower body has a gentle Aline shape to flatter your figure. Knitted with Aran/Heavy Worsted Weight yarn, it’s a quick and fun knit with no seaming.
Adult Modular Cardigan Pattern
Why Knit a Modular Cardigan?
Well, I didn’t enjoy seaming in those days. Isn’t it amazing how creative the brain can be when it wants to get away from doing something it doesn’t like? Since then, I’ve learned to love seaming. It does add structure to some garments. The modular joining method used in these patterns gives as structure and strength to the garment but without the need for seaming.
If you are new to modular knitting, you can join pieces later and knit them in separate pieces. But, I promise it’s worth learning. Just trust the pattern and follow the instructions. I’m here to help if you need me.
All pieces are join as you go, knitted on from one another, sometimes in another direction. You won’t get bored, that’s for sure!
You can learn how to make squares on the bias for a lovely draping fabric, how to strategically place decreases to make a half square and show the seams as a decorative element. There’s lots to learn but I promise that an adventurous beginner will be able to do it!
Do I need to add the icord edgings to my finished garment?
In short, yes you do. The iCord edgings are there for a reason. For the baby modular cardigan, they help to size the garment and bring in the neckline and shoulders to fit the child. If you don’t add the icord edging to the cardigan you’ll end up with a floppy, oversized garment for your child.
For the Kids and Adults sizes, it’s not essential, but it does provide a professional finish to your garment. by this time, you’ll have spent money on a pattern, some lovely yarn and your precious time. I’d have thought an extra few hours to take your cardigan from That’s Nice to WOW was absolutely worth it?
It’s a little bit of icord to knit. Take a deep breath, sit in a comfy chair, grab a cuppa and binge watch your favourite series on Netflix.
I used some Debbie Bliss BFL Aran to knit my sample version of the Aline Modular Cardigan Pattern, but any heavy Worsted or Aran weight yarn should be fine as long you as you get the right tension/gauge.
The Aline Modular Cardigan Pattern is worked in garter stitch, with iCord edgings and some short row side panels (for the optional Aline shaping). It’s an easy knit and I’ve included photos of the stages and a diagram showing the joins, pick up edges and direction of knitting for each section. You can choose to have visible joins (on the outside of the fabric which look decorative), or hidden joins (worked on the WS of the fabric and which are hidden inside the garment).
Aline Modular Cardigan Pattern showing the back and first two front pieces with joins visible on the RS of the fabric for a decorative effect.
As always I’d like to thank my incredible test knitters, they are: Mirella, JHankie, CarleneRuns, CoonPrairie and GreatMinds and I hope you like their photos and Carlene’s modifications.
Carlene altered the side panels of her Aline Modular Cardigan pattern sample to be symmetrical, which worked well with her self striping yarn and adapted sizing to make the lower body slightly larger than the upper body. It looks fabulous on her and I love the colours. She also raised the neckline, I’ve added information on how you can do that if you too live in a cooler climate.
If you don’t know Carlene, give her a cheer on Facebook. She’s been growing her hair very long and donated it recently to raise funds for her local Children’s Hospital, read more here.
Mirella in her Aline Modular Cardigan pattern sample
The gorgeous Mirella, modelling her sample knit of the Aline Modular Cardigan pattern in a cool green.
This particular cardigan was a labour of love, I had to think long and hard aout how best to use the decorative joins on the outside of the garment. It took a while to write the descriptions for each of the joins and as I wrote each, I knitted each one again to make sure it was correct.
My testers of the Modular Aline Cardigan pattern have been amazing and I cannot thank them enough for their hard work, dedication and attention to detail.
Do I need to add the icord edge to the garment?
Yes, I think it’s important to finish it with the icord edging. It’s the detail that takes it from a simple cardigan to a professionally finished piece.
It’s not hard to do. I’ve included written instructions and links to various video tutorials which show how to knit an icord edge.
Do I need to add buttons to my Aline Modular Cardigan?
I added buttons to mine because I like to wear it fastened on cold days, but if you live in a warmer climate, then leave them off. I don’t fasten mine as much these days, I’m in the realms of hot flushes/flashes and can go from comfortable to boiled in oil in seconds. I’m sure some of you can relate 🙂
Can I add pockets to my garment?
I suggest adding Afterthought Pockets which are very easy to do. There are a few methods, one using waste yarn. The other to cut the fabric afterwards, pick up stitches and knit the pocket edgings.
I was recently asked by the wonderful Jody at Knotions to review the new Shawlstar book by Elizabeth Felgate, many of you on Ravelry will know her designs. I love her Gaugeless range of sweaters and cardigans designed for any yarn weight.
Liz has an amazing eye for both colour and texture and whether you’re an experienced shawl knitter or a newbie, you’ll absolutely love this book. Liz is known for her attention to detail and this really shows in the book, there’s a great deal of thought gone into making it easier for the knitter and to ensure any instructions are well explained before you start. There are lots of gorgeous photos and plenty of hints, tips and advice to take you through your shawl project. There are more than 40 patterns in the book and I think it’s an absolute bargain at $19.95 (plus VAT if you’re in the EU). That’s less than $0.50 per pattern.
If you’re unfamiliar with Knotions, they’re an online publisher of knit and crochet patterns and their website is a virtual treasure trove of goodies including articles and some fabulous tutorials.
The book is being updated to add some gorgeous new shawl shapes on 23rd March and you can buy it here. (In the interests of transparency, this is an affiliate link and I’ll receive a small percentage from the sale of the book, it won’t affect the price you pay).
The ebook itself has over 60 pages of shawl design recipes you can customize to your yarn/gauge and get the size you want. There are over 40 shawl shapes for you to try and they’re clearly explained with examples so you understand easily how each one works. I love the new shapes which are being added on 23rd March and swatched a couple of them so you could have a quick preview. One of the things I liked is that each shawl shape included in the book has a list of pros and cons for that shape, I found that really helpful.
I love the layout of the book, nice and clean, easy to read fonts and well formatted. Of the new shawl shapes, Rainbow has a little bit of maths to do before you start, but they’ve included a brilliant spreadsheet to do the work for you (easily accessed online). How utterly cool is that?
How does all of this help someone who’s never knitted a shawl? Well, it means you can use any weight of yarn, you just type in the stitches and rows per inch, the intended size of your finished shawl and the calculator does the rest for you.
Flourish and Harpoon have a fill in the blanks option so you can easily record the number of rows, sts or repeats (depending on the design) and print them out whenever you need them. No need for scribbled notes all over your printed pattern every time you use it.
The shawl shapes included in the Shawlstar book are:
Rectangles and Squares
Circles and Half Circles
Unusual and new shapes added in this update
I picked up some 5mm needles and some aran weight Creative & Filz yarn in the Rainbow colourway for this shawl as I just couldn’t resist adding some bright, rich colours to this pretty shape. The shawl recipe in the book includes options for this version which is four segments, you could use six so the shawl crosses over at the front or eight segments for a circular version. The spreadsheet calculator worked perfectly and made it so easy to change the depth/height of the shawl and the width, very clever!
I quickly blocked the increases to nice points but you can leave yours with a straight edge or add a pretty lace border. If I had to be really picky, and this is my personal preference, I’d have added 1 more stitch – a K1 before the final YO increase on the increase row so that the right and left edges were identical, obviously for a circular version that extra stitch wouldn’t be needed. The shawl gives a comfortable neck shape and makes me want to fill those segments with a lace pattern 🙂
Next up is Flourish, this is such a beautiful, sweeping shape and the asymmetry called to me. Again I used the same yarn and needles and soon had this beauty. I can’t wait to play around with this shape and see how it works with a variety of yarns. Self striping yarns like this one, or stripes to bust some stash would really help show off the unusual shaping.
Those of you who know me, will know I’m not usually one to gush or rave about something. But, I do love the Shawlstar book, it’s full of clever ideas, inspirational shawl shapes and lots of helpful advice. Shawlstar makes me want to sneak off work and spend the rest of the year knitting shawls.