Outlander shrug with hood

Hands up all of you who watch Outlander and have become besotted with the knitwear. It took me a couple of episodes to start noticing the amazing handknits and then I couldn’t look at anything else.

I immediately had a look to see if, perchance, the patterns had been published and there were lots of lookalikes of things such as the arm warmers. I had noticed at one point that Claire (the heroine) wore a möbius and got excited as I’ve knitted the odd möbius in my time, an example of which is here. In fact, I knitted this pink one, which was almost exactly the right sort of pattern and I thought if I could make it from some heathered wool, it would be a good imitation. Claire’s version was all in garter stitch, which would make the garment thicker and therefore warmer. So mine had to be in garter stitch too, which is a bit of a pain when knitting in the round. Back to one row plain, one row purl!

Sadly, I had no yarn which reminded me of the Scottish highlands, and couldn’t wait to have some delivered to my house, so blended my own. I used some green 8ply alpaca/merino that I bought in New Zealand, some Dairing wool/linen mix, and some run-of-the-mill sock yarn from Spotlight which is variegated browns and it worked out pretty well.


I know that lots of people just put a twist in their knitting to emulate the möbius, but truly, it’s not the same. It is the easiest cast on ever, but you finish up with the wires of your circular needles in two circles, which is odd until after the first row, and then it’s just magical. A möbius in knitted from a central spine and the top and the bottom of the garment are knitted at the same time as you knit around the double layer of needles. The cast on becomes the spine and then everything grows in both directions from that point.  I always use the cast on from Cat Borhdi’s book “A treasury of magical knitting” which I bought for a couple of dollars on ebay many years ago.

cat bordhi

However, if you don’t want to buy the book, there is a free möbius pattern here, which includes a link to the crucial method of casting on.

This was my Easter knitting activity. I did the möbius part first using the basic pattern from the book, and then began to think about the hood. At some point I remembered I had an almost identical pattern to this and dug it out. It is by Naturespeak Knits. I finished up using the hood component as it was much better than the one I had planned. I was a bit sorry that I hadn’t used the pattern from the start, but then I remembered that I just couldn’t do the cast on as described in the pattern. It made no sense to me. The rest of the pattern is nice though if you want to give this a go.


The hood finished up being quite big for me, but works when folded over.


Because of the twist, the front and back finish up at different lengths, which I always think is rather flattering.


A möbius takes a big of arranging. If you haven’t come across the term before or you slept through maths when that topic was discussed, a möbius strip only has one side and one edge. Such an interesting concept. If you can’t understand what I am talking about, check out this activity. 

If you look carefully at my top you can see that the twist goes over my shoulder and then under itself again at the front.


The shape can be changed easily by just moving the twist around.


and this way keeps my neck warm.


I’m not sure how much I like the back view of the hood when it is up, but it is really warm and certainly keeps the wind off my neck.


Of course if I don’t fold the hood over I get a much slouchier effect at the back which I think is more authentic.


oops, out of focus shot, sorry!

In these photos I am wearing my grey denim Jamie jeans, and green Burda 7866 top, made back in 2013. The brown trousers are my Ralph Pink Coco trousers, completely revamped to fit me, and a self drafted yellow knit top. This little knit shrug will be really handy for sitting in the car on long road trips, especially when Mark opens the roof and I get blown to pieces!


24 thoughts on “Outlander shrug with hood

  1. This is brilliant, Sue! Too bad I don’t feel like learning anything new right now – my knitting brain is on vacation until next fall! However, your Möbius is a fascinating construction, especially complete with hood, and I’m keeping these informations to try it eventually. BTW, it was fun to follow the links you provided and look back at your earlier posts!

  2. It’s so original with the inbuilt twist. I love the chunky and tweedy look you got with this yarn combination. How difficult was it to handle the weight on the circular needle?

    1. To be honest I didn’t notice the weight on the needle. When I was knitting in the round, I had the needle coiled twice which supported the weight nicely.

  3. I’m eagerly awaiting the next series (Clare and Jamie left in the American deep south at the end of the last). The costume in any tv is fascinating to me – particularly historical stories. There are some Highlander inspired knits on Ravelry. Love your mobius!

  4. Hello! I’m scouting the internet for a pattern just like this for a shrug for my winter wedding. Could you tell me where you got the pattern from? I can’t access the link sadly! It’s absolutely beautiful!

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