This page, written by and for the KnitList, contains
information about one of our favorite knitting designs, the Wonderful
Wallaby. Chances are, if you've been on the KnitList even a short
time, you will have read of a member of the list starting, finishing,
or working on a Wallaby... this is the pattern they're referring
The Wonderful Wallaby is the short name for Cottage Creation's pattern
"The Wonderful Wallaby- A Hooded Sweater for all ages." It is a
seamless, hooded sweatshirt, with a pouch (hence the name "Wallaby").
The pattern is written for sizes ranging from very, very small
children (size 2) to adult extra-extra large. Its basic design is
simple, but very easily adaptable to a creative knitter's whims. It
is a joy to knit. On the KnitList it is often referred to as the WW.
Basically, it looks like a sweatshirt. But, you were probably
expecting a better answer than that, so a picture of a Wallaby can be
Mariella's Knitting Page. Here
is a picture of a hoodless wallaby, submitted by Cherylin Roosen-Runge.
And another by Lorraine Major.
You can get the pattern by contacting the designer:
At the Farm on Deer Creek
Carpenter, IA 50426-0700
You may also be able to find the Wallaby at your local LYS, a list of LYS's that carry the pattern is at the bottom of this FAQ.
The cost of the pattern is approximately $6, US.
The pattern itself calls for worsted weight yarn, but knitters have
been successful in using a number of different yarns, including bulky,
aran, DK, sport weight yarns (in wools, cottons and acrylics) and even
novelty yarns, depending on the intended climate and use for the
Wallaby. Several people also mentioned using several strands of
different yarns, to give the sweater a different sort of look. The
most important thing is the ability to get the gauge, 9sts/2 inches
out of the yarn (there is no row gauge in the pattern. As the
sweatshirt is measured in inches, not rows, row gauge is not as
important as it is in other patterns). Among the KnitList's favorite
yarns for the Wallaby are WoolEase, Plymouth Encore, and Patons
The most important hint is to read the directions thoroughly.
The pattern is not written in a "normal" fashion (e.g. CO 20 st., k 4
rows, etc.) but more in a chatty, conversational style, which (if you
haven't done other Cottage Creations patterns) can be difficult to get
used to at first, but is fine if you're familiar with the pattern.
Read the entire set of directions, both adult and child directions (no
matter which you happen to be knitting), from beginning to end.
The most common problem with the Wallaby is the pouch.
The pouch should be done the second row after the ribbing, as
mentioned on the last page of the pattern, knitting in a contrasting
color yarn that row helps to identify where the pouch stitches should
be picked up. Some people recommended picking up the pouch stitches
(onto another needle) as you are knitting the second row, or shortly
afterward (ignoring the knit 6 inches line in the instructions) to
make knitting the pouch easier.
Someone recommended changing colors on the third row of the body of
the Wallaby, it becomes obvious where to pick up the pouch stitches.
Similar color switches can be done on the sleeves to match the
Instead of using a crochet hook to pick up the pouch stitches, use
something called a "Cro-Needle" from Inox. It is a circular knitting
needle with a crochet hook at one end. Then, when the stitches are
picked up, they can simply be knit off the other end of needle.
It is also a good idea to count both the pouch rows and the main body
rows to make sure they match up exactly, or use safety pins to mark
off every few rows to make sure they match up.
Use an afghan hook to pick up the stitches from right to left with the
bottom ribbing facing toward you; Then turn the wallaby upside down
and transfer the stitches to a circular needle.
When doing the garter stitch hood, to make the kitchener stitch work
correctly, finish by knitting halfway across the hood, then begin
Many people recommend doing a three needle bind off at the top of the
hood (both garter and st. stitch) instead of kitchener stitching.
A great number of people recommend NOT using ties on wallabies for babies and small children (choking hazard.)
The Wallaby is an extremely versatile pattern, and can be modified
very easily. The pattern itself contains directions for making a
non-hooded version, as well as a few other variations, including a
short sleeved version. Here are some of the KnitLister's
Do the ribbings in one color, and the sweater in another color. Then,
after attaching the sleeves, do a few stripes of the ribbing
Trim the (otherwise) unadorned garter stitch hood with I-cord edging
Make a selvage on the edge of the pouch and placket garter stitch
borders by purling the first stitch
The pocket is an ideal area to do some kind of design
To convert the Wallaby to other size yarns, do a swatch with your
chosen yarn and find the number of stitches you get in 2 inches, grab a pocket
calculator, divide your chosen size by 9, multiply by the gauge you
just found, and then find a sweater in the book that matches
(ballpark) your result. Use that pattern for stitch numbers and the
size you are making for length measurements. As long as you are using
a basically stockinette kind of gauge, the pattern will work
The Wallaby looks great when cables are added, but remember that
cables pull in, so you'll need to add more stitches to offset the
For short, but
well-endowed knitters. When making a raglan sweater, the danger for
short people is that when you cast on for the appropriate bust size, you
end up with too many stitches to decrease in the yoke, making the yoke
too long. (One approach is to knit the raglan in shrinkable cotton,
e.g. Fox Fibre.) Another way is to cast on for the appropriate bust size. Knit on until you get to the
underarm. Here, instead of the paltry few stitches that the WW pattern
instructs you to put in hold, put 8% of the stitches in hold, ala
Elizabeth Zimmerman's percentage system. Do the same for sleeves. When
it comes time to join body and sleeves together, you will have the
number of stitches on your needle for the size SMALLER than what you
cast on for the body. This means you'll get to the end sooner, with a
To make the hood less pointy:
About 8 rows before reaching the top of the hood, do two decreases on
the 4 middle stitches. Repeat the process on every right side until
you reach the desired length.
Put the two center stitches between markers about 2.5" from the top of
the hood, then every other knit row decrease before the first marker
and after the second marker.
about 1 inch before the end of the GARTER STITCH hood, knit a kind of
gusset on the center two inches. E.g. say you were getting
10sts/inch, and the hood was 80 sts. wide. Knit 49 sts, k2tog, turn;
*knit 19 sts. k2tog turn. Rep. from* until only the center 20
To get a line of 5 garter
stitches marching up the raglan sleeve-to-body join, echoing the garter
edge for Wallaby pouch and also the front opening and collar or hood
edge, mark a center stitch for decreases at each
sleeve-to-body junction. (I took my center stitches from the body but
you could take them from the sleeves just as well.) * When you get to 3
sts before the center stitch, purl one, purl 2 together, purl one
(center stitch), purl 2 together, purl one. Seven stitches are involved,
but the visual result is 5 purled stitches. Knit the next round. Repeat
from *, always starting the purl stitches 3 before the center stitch.
The Overlapping Placket (the neck opening of the sweater):
Two people sent in versions of creating an overlapping placket, I'm including them both. Version 1
Instead of using 10 stitches, use 6, centered in the front of the
sweater. Start the placket at the same place as in the regular
directions and knit these 6 stitches in each row so that you are
creating a garter stitch area centered on the stockinette front. Do
about 6 rows this way, or about an inch. Now, knit to the placket and
knit all the stitches of the placket. Turn the work and knit the
placket stitches and continue knitting around again to the
placket. When you get to the placket, pick up six stitches by picking
up the loop behind each of the stitches of the placket and knitting
one stitch in each. You can do this in two ways. You can use a double
pointed needed in the same size as your circular needle to pick up the
6 stitches or you can use a slip stitch (double knitting) technique.
If you use the extra needle (easier), pick up the loops from the row
behind and below the row you are working on (6 stitches) and knit them
onto this extra needle.Turn the work and knit 6 stitches and continue
knitting the row until you come around to the placket again. Knit the
placket stitches, turn, knit the placket stitches and continue back
until you get to the stitches on the extra needle. Knit the 6
stitches, turn, knit them again. In 3 or 4 rows, you will have enough
ease that you can use the circular needle to knit both sides of the
placket and then continue on your merry way following the WW
directions. To use slip stitch on that pick up row, take a deep
breath. When you get to the point where you want to split the placket,
*slip the first placket stitch without knitting it. Pick up the loop
behind the stitch (the stitch one row behind the stitch) and knit
that. * Repeat between the * six times. When you get to the end of the
placket, turn the work. Now, *knit the stitch you just made (a new
stitch), yarn forward (that is, put the yarn to the front of the
knitting not over the needle), slip the next stitch, yarn backward
(put yarn back but not over the needle)*. Knit to the end of the row
and beginning of the placket. Now, *knit the first stitch, yarn
forward, slip the next stitch, yarn back* and repeat that. Turn the
work and slip the first stitch, knit the second, etc. If you do this
right, you get two separate layers of knitting. Again, in 3 or 4
rows, you should be able to separate the two layers you made and knit
regularly, you do this by pulling all 12 stitches off the needle and
putting every other one onto one end of the circular and the rest onto
the other end and it should be obvious as to which set goes on which
end. Again, proceed as directed in the WW directions.
a) identify the ten center stitches with markers as instructed in the pattern.
b) knit those stitches with both your working yarn and a yard long length of your yarn (it is best if this is done on a row that does not contain any decreases)
c) after knitting the ten stitches with both yarns, drop the extra yarn and continue around until you reach the center placket stitches again.
d) when you reach the double stitches, they need to be split, transferring half of each stitch to a double pointed needle and the other half of each stitch to the circular needle.
e) at this point you need to know whether you are making a placket for a male or a female, if a female, the button hole needs to be placed on the right hand edge as you would wear it, if a male, the button hole needs to be placed on the lefthand edge. Depending on which gender you are knitting for, you may need to transfer the stitches back on to the circular needle and put the ten other stitches on the double pointed needle.
f) from this point on you knit back and forth, always keeping the first ten stitches on each side in garter stitch. The stitches will be tight (very tight) on the needle for the first five or six rows, and the
double pointed needle should be used until all stitches can be transferred back to the circular needle for knitting back and forth comfortably.
g) when all the stitches can be knit on the circular needle again, make the first buttonhole (a simple one row buttonhole over three or four stitches works very well).
h) calculate how many buttonholes you will need, children's sizes usually need two, adult sizes usually need three, and remember to subtract four rows from the remaining rows, since you will not want to have a buttonhole on the last few rows (you will be binding off five stitches on each side).
i) bind off five stitches on each side when the decreases are done. Then follow the pattern, knitting the first 5 stitches and doing the NECK RIBBING.
The following is a list of places that carry the Wallaby pattern, this
is by no means the complete list, but these LYS owners do have the
pattern, and many of them take mail orders. They're listed
alphabetically by state or province.:
Wool & Wicker 120- 12051 Second Avenue, (Steveston) Richmond, BC V7E 3L6 604-275-1239
Cottage Yarns 607 W. Orange Ave. South San Francisco CA 94080 (415)873-7371 fax:(415)726-5052
Elegant Stitches 14115 S. Dixie Hwy Miami FL 33176 (305)232-4005
Yarns International 5110 Ridgefield Road at River Road Bethesda MD 20824 (301)913-2980, 1(800)927-6728
The Yarn Shop 7336 Baltimore Blvd. College Park MD 20740 (301)779-8391, 1(800)884-9276
Farmhouse Yarns 421 Sound Drive Mt. Desert ME 04660 (207)276-4282
I haven't updated this site in a very long while. For that, I apologize. However, I plan on upgrading everything around April 2002. So, if you've got comments/pictures/hints/etc. now is a good time to send them in. Really. I mean it.
And in case I don't get around to it fast enough - sign the guestbook here and view it
Any questions, comments, suggestions, additional pictures, errata? Send them to me
This FAQ could not have been done without the KnitList, so special
thanks to ListMoms. Also to Emily Way (the owner of the invaluable Woolworks site.)
I'd also like thank the following contributors:
Kristina Noel Batiste,
Doreen L. Marquart,
I'm currently doing the TKGC master knitting programme. To follow along with my progress, check here.
Angela Danielle Batiste