Cocoon Sweater, aka Polish Sweater
I recently finished making this crocheted Cocoon Sweater, also known as a Polish Sweater. The pattern is available here* and here. [*Sorry, the first link is to a message board that deleted the message containing the pattern. I do not have a copy of the message. -Lisa, 27-Sep-2008]
My camera-shy daughter, Brigid, graciously agreed (i.e., I had to bribe her with chocolate) to model for me.
Here are front, side, and back views of the sweater. Click on photos for a larger view.
Here, the sweater is lying as it would be worn.
Here, the sweater is folded flat. To wear it, you open the bottom part to access the sleeves.
Here's a close-up of the collar area.
The sweater is crocheted in one piece, starting with the back. You crochet a rectangle for the back, then you bring the corners together at the underarms and join them. You then crochet in rounds to make the shawl collar, the sides, and the bottom. After you finish this portion, you attach yarn at one of the underarms and crochet the sleeve in rounds, then repeat for the other sleeve.
The pattern calls for 6-8 skeins of worsted weight yarn and a size J hook but gives no measurements or gauge, nor does it mention what size those skeins of yarn should be. So I played around with it a bit. As it turns out, you need only three measurements:
• the shoulder width, for a fitted sweater (for a looser fit, add one to three inches to that)
• the armhole circumference
• the sleeve length.
Gauge is not important for this pattern, and you can use whatever yarn and hook you want to. For an indication of how much yarn you'll need: Brigid wears a misses/juniors size small, and this sweater is a bit big on her. I used one 16-ounce, 930-yard skein of Red Heart worsted in off-white and had only a tiny amount left over.
The pattern as written (see links to pattern in first paragraph above) starts with a long chain, but instead I began with a foundationless double crochet (directions here, where it's called the Triple Base Chain Stitch). Using the foundationless double crochet, crochet a length equal to the shoulder width, on a multiple of 3 dc's plus 2 more. That is, crochet the length needed, then count your stitches. Subtract 2 from this number, and if you're left with a number that's a multiple of 3, great! If not, add either 1 or 2 more stitches to make it a multiple of 3.
To make the rectangle for the back, repeat rows 2 and 3 of the row pattern until the length of the rows is equal to the armhole circumference you need. Row 2 makes a row of loop stitches, and row 3 is groups of 3 dc in the loops. At the end of a row 3 repeat, bring the corresponding foundation row corner up and join with a sl st. Turn, then work a row 2 across your just-completed row 3 repeat. Bring the other foundation row corner up and join with a sl st, then work a row 2 across the foundation row; remember that the row begins and ends with a 4-dc group rather than a 3-dc group. You will now work in rounds, following the pattern until the body of the sweater fits comfortably and meets in a point in the center. Fasten off.
To make the sleeves, attach the yarn at the bottom of the armhole and work in rounds, following the pattern. I wanted tapered sleeves, though, so I decreased occasionally on the loop stitch rounds.
Here's a close-up of a sleeve.
You can use whatever number of decrease rounds you want, but I tapered the sleeves in the following manner, where a round below actually consists of one round of loop stitches and one round of dc's:
Round 1: Make groups of 3 dc all around.
Rounds 2-3: Groups of *3 dc, 3 dc, 2 dc* all around.
Rounds 4-5: Groups of *3 dc, 2 dc, 2 dc* all around.
Rounds 6-7: Groups of 2 dc all around.
Rounds 8-20: Groups of *2 dc, 2 dc, 1 dc* all around.
End after a dc round.
Begin the cuff rounds. To decrease sc (dec sc), insert hook into the next st, yarn over and pull through (two loops on hook), insert hook into the next st, yarn over and pull through (three loops on st), yarn over and pull through all loops (dec sc made).
Round 21: Dec sc around; or alternate sc with dec sc, or whatever dec amount makes the cuff fit properly.
Rounds 22-23: Sc around. Fasten off.
When I finished the sweater, I crocheted an easy flower for a closure.
Here's a close-up of the flower.
Leaving a long tail, ch 3, join with a sl st in 3rd chain from hook.
Round 1: Ch 1, 8 sc in ring, join with a sl st.
Round 2: Working in front loops only, *sc, ch 6, sc in same st; repeat from * around.
Round 3: Working in back loops of original 8 sc, *sc, ch 8, sc in same st; repeat from * around. Join with a sl st. Fasten off, leaving a long tail.
Weave each tail a bit to secure the ends, then use the tails to tie the flower to the point of the sweater. Use one of the holes in the sweater as a buttonhole for the flower.