fern motif jumper
Fern and Feather by Jennifer Steingass, available to buy on Ravelry


Fern & Feather is a top down jumper with a stranded colour work yoke.

Designed by Jennifer Steingass it uses only two colours and has a simple geometric fern design.

I used King Cole Wool Aran in two shades of grey - Steel and Cloud.

This pattern is perfect for a first colour work jumper. And because it is knitted in an aran weight yarn it is a quick knit too. Even for me, a notoriously slow garment knitter.😆

The sweater is knitted in the round and the pattern gives gauge 'in the round' so I used my quick 'in the round' swatch technique and found I had to go UP needle sizes. Shocking for me. As a loose knitter I usually have to go down a needle size.

The pattern suggests using a 4mm needle to get 18 stitches over 10cm. I know from experience I would get 18 stitches with an aran weight yarn on a 4.5mm needle but I actually had to use a 5mm needle. I'm not sure if it's the yarn, the metal needles (I'm using Zing interchangeables) or my mood making my knitting tighter but it is a lesson in checking your tension.

I only achieved the stitch gauge and not the row gauge. But the pattern does give you measurements rather than just relying on pattern repeats so I was ok at the yoke and for the body shaping.


The jumper is sized from 30.5" to 59.5" (80 to 151cm). This is the actual measurement of the jumper. The designer recommends 2"-4" (5-10cm) of positive ease. That is 2-4" bigger than your chest measurement.

I knitted the 35.5" size. It is shown on a 34" mannequin.


There are two neckline options. I chose option B - the slightly wider neckline.


The pattern uses short row shaping to raise the back of the jumper up so it sits on your shoulders better. The pattern doesn't specify which type of short rows to use so I used German Shorts Rows. The one that makes a double stitch. This video is excellent at explaining how to do it.

There was also a new to me type of increase - lifted increases. And they really are invisible within the yoke pattern.


fern motif jumper


The pattern explains how to do them clearly.

If you'd rather a video, be careful when looking for them. There are several versions of this technique as people seem to approach it slightly differently. I don't know enough about it to have a different opinion so I would recommend doing it as the pattern says. This video shows how to do the left lifted increase described in the pattern but after a wee bit of searching I couldn't find one that shows the right lifted increase (as written in the pattern).


grey sweater


Because this jumper falls past the hips I felt it was important it had a stretchy cast off.

I used Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. You can see a tutorial here. It's one of the simpler stretchy cast offs.

I used the same cast off on the sleeve cuffs too.


There is some waist shaping but you don't have to do it if you prefer a looser fit. And because the jumper is knitted from the top down you can try on the sweater to get the right length for you - in the body and sleeves.


Fern & Feather is a quick and enjoyable knit. A combination of:

  • a well written pattern.
  • colourwork which makes it easy to see progress and stay motivated.
  • aran weight yarn for thicker and quicker knitting and
  • the yarn is really lovely to use. I used King Cole Wool Aran in shades of grey - Steel and Cloud.


King Cole Wool Aran is made from 100% wool. It's quite soft with a subtle halo. It works perfectly in colourwork as it's a bit sticky but it's also great in cables too. Check out this range of patterns from King Cole to see it in action.

It's also machine washable.

There are 11 colours available and it's very economically priced at £5.75 per 100g ball. I used 6 balls to knit this 35.5" jumper - 5 balls of the main colour and 1 for the contrast. The total yarn cost of £34.50.


colourwork yoke


To recap:

You can buy Fern & Feather as a digital pattern in the Pittenweem shop (it will be emailed to you) or you can buy on Ravelry

You can see our selection of King Cole Wool Aran here. Or scroll down.👇

Fiona Wright

make your own Fern & Feather

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What do you think of our Fern & Feather. Will you make one?

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