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Shake a Tail Feather

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Shake a Tail Feather is the eighth design of my Organics Collection, a series of designs inspired by the natural world or by the work of other artists who are inspired by nature. The inspiration for the colourwork came from the pattern of layered feathers that form the plumage of birds.

The idea for the design’s name came from the yarn used in the sample: John Arbon Textile’s Yarnadelic colours are named after a brilliant and eclectic collection of modern music, and so I wanted to use a similarly groovy song as the title for this design. Shake a Tail Feather felt like the perfect tribute to this wonderful yarn collection and to the inspiration behind the colourwork pattern.

John Arbon Textiles are offering a 10% discount on Yarnadelic Worsted using the code JATUNWIND10 (code expires end of April 2023).


The wearer is 5’10” / 178 cm with a 37” / 92.5 cm chest circumference. The sample has been worked in size L, giving the wearer 11” / 27.5 cm of positive ease at the chest. To allow for the wearer’s height, the yoke has been worked to a depth of 8.5” / 21 cm and an extra 1” of length has been worked into the sleeves.


This garment is worked top-down, in the round. After the neckband, short row shaping is incorporated to optimise fit. The majority of the yoke features a stranded colourwork pattern. Once the yoke is completed, stitches are separated into body and sleeves, which are each worked separately and in the round. Before the cuffs, a section of stranded colourwork is added to the sleeves, which echoes the pattern of the yoke colourwork.


This garment is graded into sizes XS (S, M, L, XL) (2XL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL). Recommended positive ease is 4-11” / 10-27.5 cm at the chest circumference.

Finished Garment Chest Circumference:

35.25 (38.5, 44.75, 48, 51.25) (54.5, 60.75, 64, 67.25)“ /

88 (96, 112, 120, 128) (136, 152, 160, 168) cm.


Using 4.5 mm / US size 7 needles, or needle size required to meet gauge, 20 stitches over 24 rounds in both stockinette stitch and colourwork, blocked, creates a 4x4” / 10x10 cm square.


The sample has been worked using John Arbon Textile’s Yarnadelic Worsted / Light Aran base (216 m / 236 yds per 100g) with colourways The Beautiful Ones as the Main Colour and Hey Moon as the Contrast Colour.

YARDAGE (includes ~10% excess)

Main Colour:

748 (789, 888, 979, 1044) (1137, 1235, 1283, 1322) metres

818 (863, 972, 1071, 1142) (1244, 1351, 1404, 1446) yards

346 (365, 411, 453, 483) (526, 572, 594, 612) grams

Contrast Colour:

180 (191, 216, 243, 258) (285, 310, 313, 324) metres

197 (209, 236, 266, 282) (312, 339, 343, 354) yards

84 (88, 100, 112, 119) (132, 143, 145, 150) grams


4 mm / US size 6 circular needles (to work neckband, cuffs and waistband; varying cable lengths would be helpful)

4.5 mm / US size 7 circular needles (to work yoke, body and sleeves; varying cable lengths would be helpful)

1 marker

scrap yarn

tapestry needle to weave in ends


-long tail cast on

-joining and working in the round

-working half-twisted ribbing

-working left and right lifted increases

-German short row shaping

-reading colourwork charts

-working stranded colourwork with two colours

-long tail cast on with two colours

-Ladder Back Jacquard technique(optional)

-working a repeating pattern of decreases

-decreasing using K2tog and SSK

-standard bind off

You will get a PDF (533KB) file







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