How to Customize Your Cocoknits Sweater

We encourage making Cocoknits patterns your own! All of Julie’s patterns, especially Cocoknits Method sweaters, make customization simple. Whether you want to change a neckline, make the garment longer, add some cables, or add bust darts, our method allows you to easily create a unique look and the best fit.

Read below for some resources and inspiration for customizing your Cocoknits sweater!

We love to see how people personalize their Cocoknits Method projects. Post your modified makes on our Ravelry thread, or if you're on social media please show us your finished masterpiece by tagging us (@cocoknits) or using the hashtag #Cocoknits or #CocoknitsMethod.

A Few Ideas


Modify Your Gauge

With Cocoknits Method patterns, it's easy to knit at a different gauge than the pattern calls for because everything shrinks proportionally. If you love one of our bulky weight sweaters but have your heart set on a DK weight yarn, you can make it work! All you need to do is a bit of simple math.

Watch how here: How to Modify Gauge


Knit In-Between Sizes

Do you fall somewhere in between two sizes? There are a few ways you can work around this. 

1.) Knit from multiple size instructions. For instance, you can cast on for a size 1 shoulder, increase to a size 2 bust, and add extra stitches for size 3 sleeves - or whatever other mixing and matching works for you! This is made even easier with the Cocoknits Sweater Worksheet.

2.) Modify your gauge slightly to accommodate in-between sizes. Julie explains how in our tutorial How to Modify for In-between Bust Sizes


Add Bust Darts

Knitters with a larger bust often go up a whole pattern size in order to accommodate the extra room needed at the front. This isn't the best approach because other areas of the garment will likely be oversized, when in reality you just need to adjust that one area. Bust Darts are a great way to add ease just where you need it!

Learn all about them here: How (& Why) to Work Bust Darts


Add Pockets

It has pockets!! Or, maybe it doesn't. But it can if you want! Even if a pattern doesn't include pockets, you can add them to give your sweater that extra personal touch (and a place to hold snacks). Here you can see an Emma (Version A) sweater that Julie added a single kangaroo-style pocket to (like on Franca).

Read here for some helpful tips: Knitting the Perfect Pockets


Customize the Neckline

The way the neckline sits can drastically affect the overall look and feel of a sweater. Maybe you want to add a band of ribbing to bring in your neckline, or deepen the scoop of your crewneck for a bit more breathability. There are several ways to make these adjustments!

Here are a few helpful tutorials: 


Add a Button Band or Hemmed Edge

Not all of our cardigan patterns have button bands (like Lizzie), and not all of our banded cardigans even have buttons (like Emma Version C). But if it's buttons you want, buttons you shall have. You can pick up stitches along the side to add a band or add a few button holes where you want them.

Check out these tutorials:


Get Creative!

All four of the sweaters you see here are the same pattern: Mabel! But each one has its own twist. We encourage you to play around and get creative with your sweater modifications, whether it's as simple as changing the sleeve length or something more complicated like adding in a big cable panel. The sky's the limit!

See these specific modifications here: Mabel Customizations


Special Shoutout

If you're looking for some truly dazzling inspiration, we have to give special recognition to our friend Milli over at Tribe Yarns in the UK! She almost always joins us for our annual KAL at the start of the year, and we just love to see the ingenious ways she modifies her Cocoknits Sweaters. Here are two of our favorites: a brilliant painterly Mabel and a hot pink embellished Franca!

See these modified sweaters on her Instagram page:



Hi Caroline,

If you haven’t finished your shoulder tabs (Section II), you could make them a couple of rows longer and pick up 2-4 extra sts there—depending if you’d like more room at the top of the sleeve.

If you are on your worksheet now, then the easiest way to add the stitches is add sleeve increases to the sleeve columns. Go to the first right side row that doesn’t have increases marked on the sleeve columns (row 17 for 2xl) and add 2 increases there then jump to the last right side row without an increase on the sleeves (row 29) and make that an increase row as well. Adding the extra increases alternating from top to bottom preserves the straighter slope of the middle of the sleeve cap. Hope that makes sense! Please feel free to email us at if you have more questions.

Caroline Harris

Hi, I would like my sleeve circumference to be 52 stitches rather than 48 stitches for Emma, size 2xl. Where do you recommend adding the two sets of increase in the chart? Thank you.


Hi Monika,
Here is how to raise your Molly neckline. Remember that you will be adding a ribbing which will fill it in ~1" so place the raw/unfinished neckline ~1" lower than what you want for finished height. If you want the neck to be less wide, you could increase the number of stitches on the shoulders. If you already have the shoulders created, here is how to include them in your calculations: they will be centered front to back on the person’s shoulders – so if you have 3” knitted, 1.5” of that will fall to the Back, 1.5” will fall to the Front. This means you aren’t at the top of the shoulder, but about 1.5” down the Front already. If you want the raw neckline edge to be – say another 1.5” lower – you plug that into your gauge. Molly is 7 rows per inch. So, you’d work the neckline CO in row 11 of the worksheet instead of row 17. Or, if you want an even higher neckline, you could work the CO in row 7 or 9… You just know that for every 7 rows you work before the neckline CO, you are going to wind up adding an inch to the neckline depth – and plan accordingly. Hope that helps—feel free to email us at if you need more help.

Monika Sutherland

Hello, I am working on Molly and would like to have a higher neckline, less of scoop and more of a crew neck. How can I modify the pattern to accomplish that?


Hi Diana,
The easiest way to change a size is to use a different gauge yarn. Because the Cocoknits Method keeps the same proportions as gauge is modified, this works, while it may not on other types of sweaters. So one possibility is to knit Molly with a slightly larger gauge: at 4.25 sts/in, you would get a bust measurement of 56.5” for the largest size and at 4 sts/in you would get 56” for the 2nd largest size. To figure out what size a different gauge would give, take the total stitches for front and back (near bottom of p. 101), and multiply by two. For the largest size, that gives us 240. Then divide by the number of sts per inch. Often we find that knitting a size with no ease at the bust works well if you add bust darts (see Julie’s “How (& Why) to Work Bust Darts” tutorial here on the website), avoiding an overly large sweater.
That said, we don’t usually recommend Molly as a first sweater – it has various extras that complicate it a bit. If you wanted to knit one of the easier sweaters first, here are some suggestions for those patterns. Emma A, B, or C knit at 2.75 sts/in over 160 sts (2 times back sts, 2nd paragraph, p. 64) yields a bust measurement of 58.25”. Tilda knit at 3 sts/in would yield a largest size of 61”. Lizzie knit at 4.5 sts/in would yield a largest finished bust of 61.5”.
Another solution is to knit Emma at the suggested gauge and add extra stitches in the yoke, at the armhole edges of the back and front. So if you were to use the 3X to start, you would build the shoulders as written in the pattern, and get your worksheet set up. Then if you wanted a 60" finished bust, you would need 180 sts total on the bust. Dividing by 2 gives 90 sts each Front/Back. You will be casting on 8 sts at each underarm, so at the end of the worksheet you would need 82 sts ea for back and front. That is 10 more sts than the 3X, or 5 more increase rows. Now you would add extra inc’s to your worksheet at each edge of the Back in the 5 Right Side rows above those already written in for the size 3X. And then do the same for the armhole edge of each Front. Then you would knit the yoke according to your adjusted worksheet.
Lots of ideas :). Please feel free to email us at with any questions.


Hello. I love your workshop book and would like to make the Molly version B sweater in light blue. However, I am new and never made a sweater before. I’m struggling with measurement for the sweater, my fullest bust size is 56 inches. My size is larger than what you have in the book so what steps should I take to get the correct amount of stitches for this sweater?


Hi Ilene,
There are two ways to do this.
You can knit it as instructed, then go back and fill in the neckline with ribbing (see the Finishing a V-neck with Ribbing video).
Or you can fill in the neckline faster. As you mark the increases on your worksheet, count how many increases are called for on each Front, we’ll say it’s 12 inc’s on each Front. Rather than do them every 4th row X times, then every RS row X times, you can do all 12 inc’s every RS row. Your V neckline would be filled in after row 24. Hope that helps!


I’m beginning the Emma sweater Version A. I have filled out the worksheet. Where do I make the adjustment so that the V front doesn’t come down so low. I woild like to raise it about 1-2 inches about the pattern directions.
Thank you.


Hi Sharon, This is Lizzie. It is included in the book Cocoknits Sweater Workshop, available here on the website or at your LYS.


What is the pattern for the sweater featured in the photo on the “How to Customize your Cocoknits Sweater”? Is it available for purchase?

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