Mabel Customizations

The Mabel pattern is infinitely adaptable! Most Cocoknits Method patterns are customizable, but there is something extra inspiring about this blank slate chunky knit. It knits up so quickly that trying something new isn't an enormous time commitment. Whether you want to simply add length to the body or neck ribbing, or add a larger design element like stripes, Mabel is a great pattern to make uniquely your own. It's written in 10 sizes from 36 to 72” (92 to 183cm) bust, so you have lots of options for fit, as well.

This is a Cocoknits Method pattern.

Customization Instructions

We hope these variations inspire you. Show us how you make this pattern your own:

Remember that if you're going to add length, you may need to purchase an extra skein of yarn.


Size Modifications

Even if you don't want to "customize" your Mabel you still might want to modify it slightly. There are simple ways to get a customized fit without doing a lot of work. Here are a few ideas:

  • Adding Bust Darts; this tutorial can help with that.
  • Raising or lowering the neckline. Click here for the video and written instructions.
  • Determine the final measurements you want for each part of your garment and plan for adjustments along the way. Start by measuring a garment you have that fits you perfectly (whatever that means to you) and then compare it to the pattern schematic to plan which size or sizes to knit. The beauty of the Cocoknits Method is that you can easily knit one size for the shoulders, a different size for the yoke, and another for the body and/or sleeves. You just need to add or exclude increases on the Worksheet. You can watch videos from our KAL playlists on YouTube, to learn how Julie has done this in different ways herself. 



Turtleneck Version

Work neckline as per pattern but rather than 1.25” / 3cm, work ribbing for 6” / 15cm or desired length. 


Add a Side Slit

Find center of underarm CO and pm to mark left (BOR) and right sides of sweater. Work to 8" below underarm (or desired length). At BOR (left underarm) k2, pf&b, k to last 3 sts before right underarm m and pf&b, k2, turn.  (2 sts inc'd). Work only on the Back sts.

WS: SL 2 p-wise wiyif, k2, p to last 4 sts, k2, sl 2 p-wise wyif.

RS: K2, p2, k to last 4 sts, p2, k2.

Repeat until 7" or desired length ending with WS.  Next RS, BO p-wise with US 5 using Jeny's stretchy BO. If you want more of an edging, you could either work 2x2 Ribbing or garter st for a few rows before BO.

Repeat for sweater Front.


Striped Version

CO and work first p row with color A. Don’t cut yarn A, work next 2 rows with color B, then 2 rows color A. Continue working 2 rows with each color.

Right Shoulder: Beg with color B (shoulder does not have the CO and set up row of the Back). When you finish shoulder, you should end with same color as Back.

Left Shoulder: Note which color you used for last two rows of Right shoulder. If it was color A, work first row of Left Shoulder ONLY in color B, then 2 rows A, 2 rows B. If it was color B, work first row ONLY in color A, then 2 rows B, 2 rows A, etc. You want to be one row behind on the Left Shoulder, so after row 1, switch to other color and work 2 rows of each color. Work the same amount of rows and note that you will end having worked only one row of either A or B. 

Join & Create Sleeves: Beg at Left Front with second row of color A or B, knit across Left Front as directed, pick up and k sleeve sts with this same color. Now switch to other color - which should be the correct color to continue across Back and Right Sleeve/Front.  As you continue with Worksheet, make sure you pay attention and always change color after 2 rows of each color at the Left Back/Sleeve join, which is the orange m. This way, when you CO center neckline sts, your color change will work out without having a jog in the center front of sweater.

Once you have completed worksheet, work to Left sleeve with appropriate color, CO underarm sts with this color - then you'll need to switch to other color to continue across remaining Body. This will be where your color change happens. Place m here (it is not centered at the underarm but at the back edge of that CO.)

Once sleeve sts are on holders and you are working body in the round, work as follows: 

Rnd 1: K first rnd of new color.

Rnd 2: Sl the first st of last rnd p-wise wyib. Finish rnd normally. 

Repeat these two rows, alternating colors.

Also use this technique for the sleeves from the underarm CO to the cuff, changing colors in the center of newly CO sts. 


Cable Mabel

Choose a cable chart: a chart with an even number of sts will work best. Keep in mind that a cable tends to pull the fabric tighter so you may want to consider knitting a size larger to accommodate this. When you work initial CO, pm on either side of where the cable will be placed and work cable beginning with first WS row. You will probably have at least one Rev St st to frame the cable on either side.]

Here is a chart of the cable that Julie chose.

For Front, you can pm’s once you CO center neckline sts - and as you begin to work the SWSRs, work the new sts according to your chart. To determine which row to begin with:

  • Note which RS row you are on for your Back cable as you work row 3 of worksheet.
  • To the number of this row, add 13 (if the number is over 18, subtract 18) to get the WS Set-up row you should use to work the cable sts as you add them in with SWSRs. You will be on Row 19 when you work across the Front neckline sts, in the same row as your Back cable. You won’t want to be crossing cables in row 17 as that is the first RS row of neckline sts.

(For instance, for 2nd size, Julie worked 14 rows on the Upper Back so she was on row 14 of cable. Rows 15 and 16 were the join and pm rows. 17-19 were rows 1-3 of worksheet. The cable has 18 rows so row 19 put her at Row 1 of the cable chart. To that add 13, so she began her cable with WS Row 14 of the chart, once finished with neckline SWSR’s and set-up sts for cable.)


Add a Puffier Sleeve

Work none, or fewer, decreases at the underarm than described in pattern. For instance on Cable Mabel, Julie did not begin any decreases until she had knit 6” on the sleeve. Then she worked the Dec Rnd as directed every 6th rnd 4 times. This left her with 4 sts to decrease as she began the ribbing. In the first rnd of ribbing she began k1, [p2tog, p1, k2] twice, then continued with [p2, k2] to last 9 sts and worked them as [p2tog, p1, k2] twice, ending second repeat with k1.

If you work fewer decreases in the sleeve, you will need to work more p2tog in first rnd of ribbing - this will give you an even fuller sleeve. Experiment and have fun with it!


Tools & Resources


Cocoknits Sweater Workshop

Our book has all the essential know-how to get started on a Cocoknits Method sweater.

Shop Cocoknits Sweater Workshop


Sweater Worksheet Journal

The Cocoknits Sweater Worksheet is an integral part of the Cocoknits Method. With the worksheet journal, you can keep track of all your Worksheets customizations in one spot, as well as the pattern name, size you knitted, gauge, needles and yarn used.

Shop Sweater Worksheet Journal


Maker's Board

Make reading your Worksheet (or cable chart!) hassle-free while also keeping small metal tools together. Add a Ruler & Gauge Set to use as a straight-edge to more easily read line-by-line or row-by-row.

Shop Maker's Board


Project Porfolio

Taking extra notes? Organize any papers, pens, notebooks, and more in this sleek Project Portfolio. It fits right inside a Kraft Caddy, and can even hold a Maker's Board with its internal elastic band.

Shop Project Portfolio


Stitch Markers

The colors of our stitch markers coordinate with the colored lines of the Worksheet. You can also add extra stitch markers to keep track of customizations (such as cable panels).

Shop Stitch Markers


Knitting Row Counter

Whether it's for colorwork, cables, hem length, neckline depth, or any other such customization, keeping track of your row count is easy with this handy little gadget.

Shop Knitting Row Counter


Natural Mesh Bag

Working with multiple colors? The snaps on the Natural Mesh Bag allow you to keep your two (or three!) strands separate, while also protecting your yarn. One bag can hold 1 large wound skein, or 2-3 small ones.

Shop Natural Mesh Bag



Hi Maureen, yes, there is a great YouTube playlist of Julie making her Mabel, with lots of instruction, hints, and tips. See it in the article: Julie’s Mabel by choosing KAL above, then “Julie’s Mabel,” and YouTube Playlist at the end of the second paragraph. Enjoy!

Maureen Watkins

Having trouble following the Mabel,pattern.are there a few videos .. I am on section three


Hi Andrea, You are right! We will change it :) Enjoy your Mabel!


Question about left shoulder directions for striped version. ’If it was color B" was used twice. Think the first time needs to be deleted?

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