In keeping with Holli’s wish for woodland creatures in the nursery, I decided the cutest way to bundle up baby would be this owl cocoon. The pattern is from ShiFo’s Patterns, and is available on Ravelry and love knitting for $5.00. Since you can’t actually see the pattern before purchasing it, I’m here to tell you whether or not it’s a pattern worth paying for.

What to expect:

The pattern consists of a cocoon worked in the round in double crochets with light weight yarn and an E hook, which means it takes some time. The eyes, beak, feathers (breastplate), and wings are stitched up separately and sewn on. The breastplate is a swatch of crocodile stitches, and will take some patience if you’re not used to it.

crocodile stitch in pastels

My thoughts:

My first impression of the pattern upon downloading was that it seemed pretty vague and a bit disorganized. Unfortunately, that didn’t really improve as I went on with the project. The vital information took several readings to figure out what I needed, and the width measurements are extremely confusing. According to their measurements, the cocoon is wider than it is long, which is not the case. My best guess is that they measured the width by how wide it would be if you laid it out before sewing together, except that the piece is made in the round, so that doesn’t make much sense.

The cocoon itself is easy enough, but I strayed from the pattern when I got to the top. For the last 8 rows, the pattern instructs you to break off your yarn and join at the beginning  of the previous row, giving you a V to fold over at the top. I don’t like breaking and re-joining so often. It gives me more ends to worry about, and (I think) increases the likelihood it will all fall apart if it needs to be put in the washing machine. (Pretty likely if a baby is using it.) So instead of breaking, I chained 2 and turned and continued to do so at the end of each row. I do not think the finished product suffers for it. cocoon pieces

The pattern could also really do with more instructional photos for the pieces that are sewn on. I had to rely a lot on what I would do if I were writing the pattern, and studied the main photo a LOT in order to figure out what it was I was supposed to do. It took me a few readings to figure out what was meant by the instructions for the eyes. I think these pictures will shed some light on those instructions:

owl eyes     owl eyes

All in all, the pattern could have used some editing. In addition to the vague instructions, at one point the instructions say to join pink yarn… but pink is never mentioned in the colors used. These are things I wouldn’t have much to say about for a free pattern, but a paid for pattern should really be tested and edited.

owl cocoon pre-sewing (Don’t worry, I realized the beak was upside down before I sewed it on.)

The Verdict:

So, is this a pattern worth paying for? Eh… not for a beginner. While I’m happy with my finished product, it took a lot of detective work and some guessing to get it done.