Whether it’s a summer fete or a holiday party, I always seem to be looking for the right “thing” to accessorize my outfit. Ok, so yeah, there was the time I used a python as a wrap, but I won’t be doing that again. I like wraps and scarves, but sometimes, I just want something simple to throw on, maybe add a bit of color, and not have to worry about sitting on it, stepping on it, or dragging it through the chicken sauce. I envision something light but warm, and something I can keep with me instead of checking it at the coat check. Oh, those winter parties when you give up your coat and realize the place is still so cold, but who wants to wear a coat indoors? And those summer soirees where the AC is blasting or the wind is coming off the water, and you wish you just had a little something. Anyways, why knit if you can’t make what you want? So grab some chunky yarn and make your own easy knit capelet and see if this doesn’t help at least some of those festive situations. (And if you want to see the python pic, scroll to the bottom!)
This simple project is made using Lion Brand Yarn’s Jumbo Alpaca Blend. It’s a super chunky jumbo yarn and is listed as 7 on the Craft Yarn Council’s standard weight system. But an interesting thing about this yarn is that its not quite solid. If you look closely, you can see that it’s almost a mesh, kind of like a continuing ladder of yarn. I think this makes it lighter and stretchier than you’d expect. And it blocks amazingly well. The knit stitches feel bulky when you’re working with it, but then when you wet block and lay it all out, you realize it has an incredible amount of stretch, and all of a sudden, the shape and stitches of the capelet all become clear.
Because the yarn is so thick, this is actually a pretty quick and easy knit. It’s also a great way for you to try a bit of raglan shaping, where you separate the piece into 4 parts – front, back, and each shoulder. The front and back pieces increase in size, but the shoulders stay the same. Since each stitch is so large, there’s only 2 rows of raglan increasing, just right if you want to dip your feet into the raglan water. In the pattern, the stitch markers indicate the separation between the 4 pieces. The knit8 is the shoulder – you can see that it doesn’t change, even as the front and back increases using the “kfb” or knit front and back technique.
Once you’re finished with the capelet, you can choose to add a matching ribbon for a more formal look, or add a big button to keep things a bit more casual. I can see this garment coming in handy not just for special occasions, but also for those colder nights when you want warmth on your shoulders but not necessarily be covered or cocooned in a large blanket. Jumbo Alpaca Blend comes in a great colors – some neutral to match any outfit, and some itching to stand out against a little black dress.
I made this capelet using one full skein of Jumbo Alpaca Blend. Because it’s a more expensive yarn, I kept it to one skein only, which means the pattern is one size only. It fits loosely on me, so I can see it fitting up to a size Large. Beyond that, you’ll need another skein of the yarn. If you’re interested in making a larger size, I’ve included some sizing notes below.
- 1 skein of Lion Brand Jumbo Alpaca Blend (8.8/250g, 63yds/57m)
- US 19/15mm circular knitting needles
- tapestry needle
- blocking mats
- st(s) – stitch(es)
- k – knit
- p – purl
- kfb – knit in the front and back. This is an increasing stitch, making 2 stitches out of 1.
- pm – place marker
- Skill level: Beginner
- Blocked Gauge: 4 sts and 4 rows rows in 4 inches.
- Additional sizing: If you’d like to make the cape larger, you can continue the pattern from Rows 3-6. For example, adding one more increasing row would be Row 7: k5, kfb, k8, kfb, k10, kfb, k8, kfb, k5. Once you’re done with the increasing rows, work 6 (or more) rows of stockinette and 3 rows of garter stitch.
- You can choose to sew on a ribbon closure, a button closure or others.
- No additional button hole needed if you choose to use button closures. The gauge itself is loose enough to double as button holes.
- Wet blocking is highly recommended. The yarn can handle a lot of stretch to give it the right length.
Easy Knit Capelet Pattern Instructions
Row 1: Cast on 32.
Row 2: P across. (32)
Row 3: K3, kfb, pm, k8, pm, kfb, k6, kfb, pm, k8, pm, kfb, k3. (36)
Row 4: P across. (36)
Row 5: K4, kfb, pm, k8, pm, kfb, k8, kfb, pm, k8, pm, kfb, k4. (40)
Row 6: P across. (40)
Row 7: K across. (40)
Rows 8-11: Repeat Rows 6-7 twice. (40)
Rows 12-14: K across. (40)
Bind off loosely. Weave in ends.
Oh yeah, here’s me, my husband, and a python. This was at part of the entertainment at one of his company’s holiday parties.