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Hello again, brioche fans and fans-to-be. Today let’s take a peek at an inventive knit that you’ll be ready to take on once you’re comfortable with slip 1 yarnover, brioche knit, and brioche purl stitches: the Cocoon Top.

As much as we love to knit accessories all day long, we also had a hankering for a layering piece that would recall the fisherman rib sweaters we loved—the kind of sweater that gives you fond memories of  Nantucket, even if the closest you’ve ever been to Nantucket is the LLBean catalog. We got to talking about this idea with Nancy Marchant, and were wowed the easy-knitting, chic slipover top she pulled out of her bag of tricks.

In the Cocoon Top, Nancy melds the distinctive vertical lines of two-color brioche with a horizontal texture stitch pattern that adds graphic interest and counteracts the elasticity of brioche with a woven effect. The two patterns shift across the front and back of the top, creating the illusion of shaping.

Plus, it’s reversible, so you can change up the color dominance whenever you want.

New Skills to Clip & Save

The Cocoon Top is a snap, but it also brings new tools to your brioche-knitting skill set.

To make the front and back, which are knit flat from the bottom up, you learn how to work new stitches into the pattern after shifting from brioche to the texture stitch. Don’t fret—Nancy guides us through this in the pattern instructions, with a helpful little sidebar.

The shoulders are shaped with left- and right-leaning brioche decreases. These decreases are taught with step-by-step illustrated instructions. And if there is interest, we just might make a video—the crew at MDK World Headquarters is getting a little video-happy these days. Stay tuned.

The Yarn and the Colors

The yarn is Atlas, our baby. The lightness of Rambouillet wool makes it supremely wearable, and the springiness makes it a brioche natural. I love the tone-on-tone neutrals used for the sample Cocoon Top: the shades Cork and Natural. But to see one colorway is to dream up other possibilities. I’m currently craving a jaunty tribute to the Breton pullover, combining Navy and Natural, and for deep autumnal layering, Truffle and Cedar, or Truffle and Shale. What are your two Cocoon shades?

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  • Maybe Whisper and Pebble or Mallard with Seaglass! So many gorgeous options!

    • A video would be great! And I love the idea of Mallard with Seaglass… You could even test different combos in the video. Yes, please!

  • For me clementine and citron. Please do a video.

  • I love it as sampled, but shale and skyline is pretty tempting. Atlas really does knit up incredibly light and bouncy!

  • Such a clever idea! And the color pairing seems endless!

  • Can’t wait to knit this!

  • Tutu and Merlot!

  • Stunning! I didn’t see a suggested amount of ease in the pattern. Any ideas?

  • Playing around I like Peat and Merlot for Dark shades (i love dark shades but they no longer like me, however) , Barn Red and Cedar for Medium shades and Tutu and Natural for Light shades. I don’r see those pairings mentioned so I thought I’d throw them out there. The possibilities are endless. So fun.

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