Julie's Mabel

Julie and the Cocoknits team are continuing our annual tradition of making sweaters together by hopping into The Everlasting KAL to knit Mabel for 2023. You can follow along with Julie as she knits away on her (fifth!) unique Mabel over the course of eight weeks. Between February 3 and March 31, we'll be posting gradual updates on Julie's Mabel, with an inside look at her knitting process and modifications. 

Watch our Instagram Story Highlights to see WIP try-ons, technique demos, and all the pro tips Julie has to share. You can also watch everything on our YouTube Playlist with accurate Closed Captions. Updated weekly!

The Process...


Week 1: February 3rd-9th

Prep Week!

Julie picked up six skeins of Bread & Butter Bun in the color Cottontail from her LYS, A Verb for Keeping Warm. She previously knit a different Mabel using this same yarn, so she skipped swatching this time. Since Bread & Butter Bun relaxes slightly after blocking, Julie sized down to US 10.5 (6.5mm) needle to get the pattern gauge of 3 st per inch. She measured a few of her favorite sweaters to get an idea of what final measurements she finds most comfortable. By doing a bit of math, she decided to knit a size Large.

TIP: Is "rowing out" an issue for you? Julie is a self-proclaimed "loose purler," so she'll use a US 10 (6mm) needle for her purl rows to prevent rowing out (when your purl rows are looser than your knit rows). You can watch Julie explain this here.

Resources & Tutorials:


Week 2: February 10th-16th

Sections 1-3

Casting on! Julie completed Section 1-3 of her Mabel by knitting the upper back and shoulder tabs, and picking up stitches for the shoulders and sleeves. She finished off by placing her Colorful Stitch Markers in preparation for her Worksheet. Since she skipped her swatch, she double checked the gauge on the upper back piece - 3 st and 4.5 rows in 4”, as she expected. Section 1-3 is a great opportunity to measure row and stitch gauge for those daredevils who prefer to skip swatching.

Resources & Tutorials:


Weeks 3 & 4: February 17th-March 2nd

Filling out the Cocoknits Worksheet

Julie filled out her Cocoknits Sweater Worksheet without making any modifications. You can watch a complete walkthrough of how she filled out her Worksheet on our YouTube playlist, starting here. After casting on new neckline stitches, she joined to knit in the round, then worked shadow wrap short rows to shape the rounded neckline.

Once her yoke was complete, she tried on her sweater for the first time…and it fit perfectly! You can watch her try-on here.

TIP: To raise or deepen your rounded neckline, simply move the cast-on and short row steps up or down your worksheet. For full instructions, watch our tutorial How to Customize a Neckline: Rounded (Cocoknits Method).

Resources & Tutorials:


Weeks 5 & 6: March 3rd-16th

Sleeves & Body (+ Neckline)

After completing the worksheet, Julie knit the body until she reached the end of a skein. She then put the body stitches on hold while she worked the neckline ribbing. This step is typically done in the “Finishing” section of the Mabel pattern. However, by knitting the neckline ribbing at this point, she was able to get a better idea of the overall fit and avoid any potential yarn chicken with the body and sleeves. 

She picked up 76 stitches around the neckline and decreased to 60 stitches, as the pattern calls for. Going down to a US 8 (5 mm) needle, she knit the collar to about 2 inches in 2x2 ribbing. She then went up to a US 10 (6 mm) needle and bound off in pattern, using this trick to neaten up the edge. 

Julie returned to the body, joining in her new skein by wet felting the ends together, sometimes called “spit splicing.” Typically she’ll knit her sleeves first, but this time she finished the body at about 19” from neck to bottom edge, and then knit her sleeves. Like the collar, she also used a US 8 (5 mm) needle for the cuffs and body ribbing. When she tried on her Mabel, she decided the body was more cropped than she wanted - so she ripped back the body ribbing, added 2 inches of stockinette (10 inches total after sleeve separation), then re-knit the 3 inch / 7.5 cm of 2x2 ribbing. A super quick fix with chunky weight yarn! Click here to watch her try it on.

And just like that, her knitting is done! Now on to the finishing touches…next week!

TIP: The easiest way to pick up stitches around a neckline (or anywhere!) is to use a super skinny needle. Julie prefers to use a size US 0 (2 mm) 40'' (100 cm) circular needle. You can watch her demonstrate this here.

Resources & Tutorials:


Weeks 7 & 8: March 17th-30th

Finishing & Blocking

Since Julie finished her neckline ahead of time, the only thing she had left to do before blocking was seam the underarms and work in the yarn ends. She carefully wet blocked her finished Mabel using components from the Sweater Care Collection - you can watch her process here.  And voilà! In her own words, Julie now has the “best, softest, coziest, thick and yummy sweatshirt.”

TIP: When seaming the underarms, if you cast on more stitches for the body than you did for the sleeve (or vice versa), there’s a little trick to grafting these asymmetrical edges neatly and evenly. You can watch Julie demonstrate here. 

Thank you for following along with Julie’s Mabel for our 2023 KAL! If you want to make a Mabel for yourself - or any other Cocoknits Method patternsign up for our Everlasting KAL emails for tons of helpful resources.

Resources & Tutorials:

Julie's Many Mabels



Julie seen here wearing her new Mabel and holding all the other Mabels she made previously, plus one (top, gray) made by her friend Sarah and AVFKW. They were each knit with Bread & Butter Bun and have a variety of modifications, which you can see in our article Mabel Customizations.

Click here to watch Julie's entire process on YouTube - nearly two hours of content, including a walkthrough of her Worksheet, tips & tricks for modifications, and more.



Hi Lewis,
While we don’t ask our models their bust measurements, the model in the white sweater is quite small—maybe 32-34” and she is wearing a size Large (44” bust) so there is approximately 10-12” of ease. The sweater is large on her in all the dimensions. The yoke is longer than a more close fitting one would be, and the circumference at all points is larger. You may find that going up another size would get you the loose fit you are looking for. You might also find that there are variations you can make for your particular fitting situation. If you have a sweater or sweatshirt that fits the way you would like Mabel to fit, measure it, then adjust the length of the yoke (which is also the length of the armhole) and the final number of stitches to get the fit you would like. Hope that helps and feel free to email us at knit@cocoknits.com with any other questions.


The model wearing the white sweater seems to have a more oversized fit under the arm, whereas the other Mabels look more fitted. I prefer the roomier look of the white Mabel and am wondering how to achieve it. I’m between sizes and sized up already but I think I might need to add extra stitches either in rows or as additional CO in the armscythe when picking that up. Could I get guidance on which might be preferable for that look?

Karin Fitzpatrick

Just wanted to say thank you for donating to Unwind a fiber art getaway in Blowing Rock NC. I learned a lot of new techniques. Happy Knitting Karin


Hi Kelly, Have you had a chance to look at Julie’s Mabel Videos on the YouTube play list, linked at the end of each update above? If not, you will probably find videos 28-35 really helpful for these questions. If you still have questions after viewing them, please email us at knit@cocoknits.com. We are happy to help!

Kelly Lamb

Hi Julie, This is my first Cocoknits sweater and Im making Mabel. Im having difficulty with picking up the stitches for the collar. My selvage edge is a bit loose and not super neat. Am I picking up the right leg of the selvage V or am I working with the stitch adjacent? Is there a stitch ratio for the collar? Thank you for your help.


Hi Shirley, No need to rip! Julie ends up with slightly different stitch counts all the time. Since you know the extra stitches are between the yellow and red markers, just decrease 2 stitches evenly over the neckline. Choose where they won’t be obvious, maybe 1 near each marker. One of the great things about the Cocoknits Method is you can often adjust as you go along and rip less. Feel free to email us at knit@cocoknits.com if you have more questions. Enjoy your Mabel!

shirley howson

Somehow I ended up with 2 extra stitches in my neckline (between the red and yellow markers) for a total of 202 (size L) stitches for the yoke. How will that affect my neck ribbing? Do I need to rip back and figure out where I messed up? thanks


Hi Mary, Unfortunately, it sounds like you missed doing Round 4 on p. 9. It is a plain knit round after the Backward-Loop CO. That gives a purl bump for the SWSRs. It’s probably possible to do some kind of work around, but ripping back and doing Rnd 4 is probably your best bet. Hope you are back on track soon! Feel free to email us at knit@cocoknits.com with more questions.

Mary Bullion

I am having trouble understanding how to do the shadow wrap on the backward cast on for the neck. There is no purl bump to lift, just the yarn wrapped around for the backwards cast on. What should I be lifting up?


Hi Susie, You are welcome to knit-a-long on any Cocoknits Method sweater you like.

Susie Zavodnyik

I would love to participate, but I live in Florida. I just can’t see me getting much use from a bulky knit. Suggestions? Maybe I should wait until next time


Hi Susie,

Julie doesn’t usually like to recommend ease because it is such an individual choice. We don’t ask our models their bust measurements, but this model is small—maybe 32-34” and she is wearing a size Large (44” bust) so there is approximately 10-12” of ease.

As always, it is a good idea to base the size you knit on a garment that you like the fit of.



Just wondering what the recommended ease is and what is the ease if the sweater on the model. Thank you

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