Knits Spring 2009 Gallery: Silk Cocoon Cardigan

Silk Cocoon Cardigan

by Connie Chang Chinchio

from Interweave Knits Spring 2009

 33" sample garment

The images above are from the magazine where the sweater is modeled with about 1" positive ease.

The images below are of our Interweave Gallery Gals wearing the same sample sweater.


 Interweave Gallery Gals
Toni, front Toni, side
Bust:  34.5"
Waist:  28"
Hips:  36.5"
Ease at bust: 1.5" negative ease

  5 feet 5.5" inches

We all LOVED this sweater.

The bust ease measurements are approximate, of course, based on the finished bust measurement given in the schematic. You can adjust the tightness/looseness of this sweater very easily–in the photo above at left, we've tied the wrap a bit more loosely than in the photo above at right, for example.

The only comment I might make here is that the upper arms seem a bit tight on Toni. Either she needs to do fewer reps during her workout, or she needs to do a few more increases in the upper arm section of the sleeve, and adjust the armhole bindoffs accordingly.

The knockout necklace our Gals are wearing is from our sister magazine Beadwork (April/May 2009 issue), and was designed by Jean Campbell.

Stefanie, back Stefanie, front

Bust:  34"

Ease at bust: 1" negative ease

Here you can see how the wrap flatters a more rectangular body type–the tie gives the illusion of a deeper waist than Stef actually has. Stef also has muscular upper arms and would want to work a few more increases in the upper sleeve area.

Notice that this sweater looks equally great on both ultra-feminine Toni and urban rocker girl Stef! It takes on a slightly different look depending on what clothes and accessories you wear with it.

Allison Allison
Bust:  36"
Waist:  27"
Hips:  36"
Ease at bust: 3" negative ease

  5 feet 4" inches

Here's how the wrap style looks on someone with a fuller bustline. Notice that the fuller your bust, the lower those diagonals on the neck edge will fall. So if you have a very full bust, you might consider adding additional width on either side of that lovely sloping diagonal line for better coverage–or going up to a larger size.
Annie, side
Annie, front
Bust:  31"
Waist:  25"
Hips:  34"
Ease at bust: 2" positive ease

  5 feet 3.75" inches

Here's Annie, working the positive ease angle! The sweater wraps around the side more, but the neckline still forms that lovely V that frames her face. Annie moved the tie around to the center of her back, just for a different look (below right).
Elizabeth Annie, back view

Bust:  36"
Ease at bust: 3" negative ease

Waist: 29"
Height:  5 feet 5 inches

Again, Elizabeth's fuller curves mean that the edges of the V neckline do not come up as high as they do on the smaller-busted women above. There is a larger size, a 36.5", which would provide better coverage at both bust and hip. The larger size will also have larger armholes and larger shoulders, all of which would compliment her frame better.

Bust:  40"
Waist:  36"
Hips:  42.5"
Ease at bust: 7" negative ease

  5 feet 3.75 inches


You can see here how the sides of the V neckline are not really providing adequate coverage due to my larger bust. There's a size 40.5", which would fit me a lot better, without the need for alterations. 

Here are some questions to consider as you look at these photos:

  • How do you think the garment compliments each woman's individual body type and personal style?
  • Which body type does this garment look best on?
  • If you wanted to knit a sweater straight out of the magazine, with no pattern adjustments except for sleeve and hem length, would this be the sweater for you and your body type?
  • Would it fit your personal style?

Leave your thoughts in the comments!


Some links you  might find helpful:

Measuring yourself and your clothing

About positive and negative ease

Measuring tutorial with photos


Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Cardigans, Knitting Patterns

41 thoughts on “Knits Spring 2009 Gallery: Silk Cocoon Cardigan

  1. As one of Sandi’s fellow curvy girls, I’d like to see some creative designs that accommodate a full bust. A sweater ought to show off those assets instead of requiring lots of changes to fit them!

  2. So, you all don’t have any tall people to show these on? I’m 5’11” and overall length, waist placement, sleeve length, etc are always issues. Would love to see this on someone over 5’5″. (Preferable over 5’10”!)

    Oh well…

  3. This sweater looks so much better with positive ease. I know the trend is to go for negative ease, but it just doesn’t flatter as much for this sweater.

  4. I love this sweater and want to make it. Just enough lace to make it interesting and a little challenge to knit. Good to see it on both thinner and fuller frames. I agree it would be nice to see some taller women modeling – ideally someone with a long torso (like me!). The snug upper arm is a concern – something I would have to pay attention to in the design schematic (and add to my measurements card). Any kind of short sleeve worn underneath would make for an unattractive bulge or line.

  5. This sweater looked like fun wear for everyone. In fact, I could see that it can be very casual or dressed up depending on the under blouse. In the meantime, I thought everyone who wore it looked great!

  6. I have to say, this looks a little small/short to me on all the models, but I do like it on Allison best. It might be because it complements her pretty complexion or the burgundy shirt she was wearing that day. It also looks nice on Elizabeth, complementing her necklace and dark hair. I don’t know that I would make it for myself, because the asymetrical closure kind of bugs me, but it is a really pretty sweater. I particularly like the pattern stitch at the shoulders and wrists.

  7. I thought I was the only one ‘stretching’ my height to 5’3.75 ”
    I love it!! The sweater is very charming on most body shapes and with different style tops on under it. I liked that you could dress it up or down–very versatile!

  8. This was my favorite sweater in this issue. And I love the fact that you showed it on different people. But what really blows my mind is the fact that the actual EASE on each person doesn’t match with what I would expect.

    It’s -1.5 on Toni, and -1 on Stephanie, but to me it looks looser on Toni. It must have to do with how it’s tied. -3 on Alison looks more relaxed than the +2 on Annie. And the -7 on Sandi REALLY blows my mind because I would never in a million years go with than much negative ease–at my age (58) I don’t do negative ease at all–but even that looks a lot better than I thought it would.

    I probably won’t knit this one, as much as I like it (and ALL of Connie CC’s designs!), because there is too freaking much stockinette stitch for me to survive without dying of boredom. But darn, I love this sweater!

  9. If knitted roomy enough to fit nicely OVER another garment then it would be really nice.

    If wearing this cardigan on it’s own, then it could be a bit close hugging (NOT A LOT). I don’t like the look of TIGHT knits on most folk. A relaxed look is the better look and is a classy look.

  10. I hate to say this, but I really like this on the longer torso shown in the top photo. I cannot say it flatters any of the Galler Gals. I would not wear this but I would make it for a friend!

  11. Sorry to be grumpy, but what’s with that front hemline? It doesn’t look like a design feature, it looks like a mistake.

    Other than that, it’s a nice piece.

  12. I have got to thank you guys for being so innovative in your presentation. I really appreciate seeing these pieces on different body types. I just wish everyone were as people savvy as you are.

  13. More taller models please!! I’m 5′ 9″ which I don’t even consider to be THAT tall (Where I live N Europe, I know lots of women taller than me!) and have no idea how this would look on me. I do notice this wrap cardigan looks short on the shorter people.

    A plea for those of us not the standard 5’5″!

  14. I agrees with Fiberlicious and offer the suggestion that a buttonhole be made at the waist in the seam on the left side so that the tie can be drawn through. Most women have some curves and the sweater is designed for a straight body. another offering is to increase the hip area even more below the waist (still using the buttonhole) and the sweater would ride better along the hip. I remember wrap around skirts in the late sixties and early seventies and dispised how they often dipped on one side.
    Thanks for showing us the different views of the sweater and I agree it looks better on all the models shown on Knitting Daily than in Interweave Knits.

  15. Fiberlicious, to quote an old 60s song, I second that emotion. You’re not grumpy, just fastidious. We mature types prefer to look put together, not coming apart at the seams!

  16. Where’s Debbie? She’s the most like my body type, with narrow shoulders and fuller bust and hips (except I’m not short) so I always look to see if they flatter her. This is the one sweater from the issue I’d really like to make so I was really hoping to see it on Debbie!

  17. I’m short, so I’m happy to see items on people who aren’t tall. How tall was the model for the magazine shoot? Maybe her height would help the tall people.

  18. Here are some questions to consider as you look at these photos:

    * How do you think the garment compliments each woman’s individual body type and personal style?

    Sorry to be “picky” but a garment can SAY nothing, so it cannot “compliment”… It can, however, complement…

    I appreciate seeing the garments modeled on different body types – but I agree with Fiberlicious about the hemline!

  19. Thank you “Philpott” — glad to not be the only one who reads with a virtual red pencil in hand! I also want to second the request for more height variety in models, as well as proportion — I’m short waisted so this sweater would be a blouson on me!

  20. I love these galleries, thanks so much for doing this. I’m with Alison, could you try to put it on some tallerl gals? I know I have to lengthen things, but I am never sure where and how much… I’m 5’10.5. One of the beauties of making my own things is that I can make then fit, which nothing ready made does.

  21. I totally glossed over this sweater in the magazine. It didn’t stand out as something anyone but a stick could wear. Thank you for modeling it on different figures. After seeing how good it looked on everyone, I will definitely put this on my list of things to make. I hope you do this with more designs and print it in the magazine.

  22. This is really lovely and I’m so impressed to see how it fits on “normal” gals instead of the clothes-hanger type gal that most of us are not. I need to see things on “normal” people. I really liked how well this flatters most body types, so I may actually do this sweater because it looks so right on us regular people. Your website is fabulous, by the way!

  23. AllisonN – I’m guessing the model in the magazine is tall, based on how short the cardigan is on her.

    I think the top looks fine on Toni and Stefanie in the arms. I prefer a more close-fitting fit in the arms as opposed to loose or baggy.

    It’s not a bad top, but I’m not sure it’s for me. I do love Alpaca Silk though!

  24. Front looks very plain in contrast to the delicious texture on the peripheries. Actually, it looks like the latter uniform for Capt Kirk when Bill Shatner got fat.

  25. I used to be a Toni-clone in size & height, and my current weight gain is proportional. So I can still tell what your sweater would look like on me! Well, it would be tight. 33″ bust? Could I really get my arms into that? Well, Sandy did… I do love the galleries. So much more meaningful than just pics of a sweater on 1 person.

  26. It is interesting that the model is supposed to have 1 inch of ease at the bust and Annies has two but it looks looser on the model than on Annie, I think it looks better the looser that it is, so I would make it with positive ease. Good on you Sandi for trying it on I am the same measuremens as you are so seeing you in it is very helpful. This is good as I have a few cardigans I have knitted never to be worn as when finished they don’t look anything like they did on the model. One of them I gave to a skinny sixteen year old to try and she still looked huge in it so I guess the model must have been a twig.

  27. For Philpott and Fiberlicious—you know, I went back to the magazine just to check it out—about the hemline, I mean. And then scrolled over our models: And you’re both right…I missed that little detail. So I re-read the instructions and thought about the fact that it rolls! I came up with some solutions: Using a chain-stitch cast on or a cable cast-on would prevent this. It is one of my favorites when there is no ribboning involved and I know the yarn is going to roll!

  28. Too bad the sloppy hem detracts from the beautiful cuffs and shoulder details. I would make this and follow Sandra Jefferies suggestions to fix the problem. Looks relatively good on everyone if they wore the right size.

  29. Oh Ladies! This is a very easy sweater to alter for our various body types. I went back to this pattern and started working on it. Normally, I always do the sleeves first. This is the first time I worked on the back…So you place markers at intervals to prepare for adjusting the waist and the bust line. Trust me, there is very little math involved. For those of us with dress forms—you can play as you go. This is a great beginner top as well! I am excited! And the button idea is great too!

  30. What is not to love about this sweater? Tell me! There is just enough interesting detailing at the cuff and shoulders to make it special without being fussy and sharp enough lines for it to have good structure and not all pulled and contorted at the tie. Nice! And all body shapes look lovely in it, but Sandi looks darling.