This cowl was designed with the intention of using up bits and pieces of worsted weight or bulky yarn, but it can be done in just two colors or as many as you like. It would also be striking in a variegated colorway paired with a solid or semi-solid. Four of the ten pattern rows are not stranded, so this is a great first colorwork project.
For the scrap versions shown, leftovers were divided into darks and lights and then alternated as color 1 and color 2. Each bit was knit with until it ran out, adding the next color in that set wherever that occurred. Adding colors in the middle of pattern repeat gives an interesting fractured effect. All those pesky ends can be joined with a knot that will be hidden inside the tube.
Different yarn weights or gauges can be easily substituted with simple adjustments in the number cast on and length knit. Meterage will vary accordingly.
Skills used: provisional cast-on, stranded knitting, grafting
Finished measurements: the short bulky version shown is 15 cm tall and 63.5 cm in circumference; the long worsted version is 17 cm tall and 117 cm in circumference
Gauge: for DK/worsted version, 23 stitches and 23 rows to 10 cm in blocked stranded stockinette; for bulky version, 14 stitches and 14 rows to 10 cm
Note: Though conversions to the metric system have been made on this page for your convenience, the pattern itself uses American measurements.
- Knitting pattern for easily modifiable, leftover-friendly cowl
- Color chart and helpful links included
- Suitable for intermediate knitters
Materials you need at home:
- Approximately 605 m of worsted-weight yarn (for long version shown) or 160 m of bulky-weight yarn (for short version shown), evenly divided into darks and lights (or into whatever color division you plan to use)
- 4.5 mm/US 7 needles for worsted weight or 8.0 mm/US 11 for bulky weight - DPNs, two circulars, short circular, or a long circular for magic loop (whatever tools you prefer for working a small circumference in the round). You will need a separate needle when you graft, but it can be smaller than your gauge needles
- Waste yarn for provisional cast-on
- Tapestry needle for grafting and weaving in ends
If ‘knitting designer’ had been one of the job choices for those aptitude tests they give you in high school, I wouldn’t have spent so many years trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. My best subject in high school was math; my best classes in college were logic, drawing, and a commercial art class. After careers in computer programming/analysis and child-rearing, knit design snuck up on me, but I think it’s the perfect use of my odd skill set! I love every step of the process, from figuring out how to actually make what I’ve envisioned to putting the finishing touches on a pattern, not to mention all the knitting that comes in between!
I also love reading and hiking and spending time on Brier Island in Nova Scotia every summer.