There’s something rather romantic and slightly exotic about the Cossack collar. It conjures up images of Doctor Zhivago, and also of one of my favourite childhood books, Noel Streatfeild’s “Ballet Shoes” (1936), about three adopted girls. The middle child, Petrova, of Russian origin, is for me the most interesting, and Ruth Gervis’s illustration of Petrova and her “sisters” in their Cossack-collared dance uniforms has stayed with me over the years, and inspired the name for this design.
The body and sleeves of this jacket are each constructed seamlessly from the bottom up, then joined at the yoke and shaped using Elizabeth Zimmermann’s saddle shoulder method. The richly textured horseshoe cable and seed stitch panel moves from the cuff to the shoulder, where it is joined to the front and back simultaneously by means of a perpendicular join. Finally, the entire front opening is edged with I-cord and invisible buttonholes.
One of the principal features of the design is that the pockets are double knitted, with no extra lining or sewing to deal with. Thank you, Lucy Neatby, for presenting this possibility in your class on double knitting. I’ve taken it a step further by making it happen in seed stitch on the outside with a stocking stitch lining. All of this makes for a fun knit with minimal finishing.
Note that the collar can be worn either unbuttoned to frame the neck, or buttoned up for extra coziness.