Friday, January 31, 2014


I do elaborate things with my head. This cowl has a nice, deep hood to cover hair without crushing it. It loops around to keep everything in place, and to tuck nicely into your coat. The stitch pattern is fun to work, and attractive from both sides. This is a quick project, suitable for both the enthusiastic neophyte and the experienced knitter.

Aran weight wool, about 475yds; I used 3 skeins of Cascade Yarns Cloud.
24" US #10.5 circular needle. 
Small amount of waste yarn for provisional cast on and holding live stitches.
Extra needles for working 3 needle bind off (I used a #8 to hold live stitches and a #13 for binding off).

This springy lace stitch make gauge highly variable. I had about 5.5sts over 1" before blocking, and 4sts over 1" after aggressive blocking. 

You can find instructions for my favorite provisional cast on here.

Provisionally CO 39sts. Set up row: K3, p33, k3.
R1 (RS): P3, (k1, yo, ssk) to last 3sts, p3.
R2 (WS): K3, (p1, yo, p2tog) to last 3sts, k3.
Repeat R1-2 until cowl measures about 58". Do not bind off, but cut yarn. Place live stitches on a piece of waste yarn. Block severely.

When fully dry, remove provisional CO and waste yarn, so that you have two sets of live stitches. Fold cowl in half with RS facing, and join with a 3 needle bind off, keeping your bind off loose.

Starting at seam, and with WS facing you, pick up and knit 45sts from cowl edge. Turn, p3, k42, pick up and purl 45sts from cowl edge. I picked up 3sts for every 4 rows.
Set up row (WS): K3, (p1, yo, p2tog) to last 3sts, k3.
R1 (RS): P3, (k1, yo, ssk) to last 3sts, p3.
R2 (WS): K3, (p1, yo, p2tog) to last 3sts, k3.
Repeat R1-2 until hood measures 10" from pick up.

Shape crown:
Dividing row: P3, (k1, yo, ssk) 13x, bind off 6sts, yo, ssk, (k1, yo, ssk) 12x, p3.
You will now be working back and forth over only one half of your stitches.
R1 and all following WS rows: K3, (p1, yo, p2tog) to end.
R2, 6, 10, & 14: (K1, yo, ssk) to last 3sts, p3.
R4, 8, 12, &16: BO 3sts, yo, ssk, (k1, yo, ssk) to last 3sts, p3.
R18: K27, p3. Do not bind off. Cut yarn, place live stitches on waste yarn.

Rejoin yarn at center back with WS facing, (p1, yo, p2tog) to last 3sts, k3.
R1 and all following RS rows: (K1, yo, ssk) to last 3sts, p3.
R2, 6, 10, & 14: BO 3sts, yo, p2tog, (p1, yo, p2tog) to last 3sts, k3.
R4, 8, & 12: (P1, yo, p2tog) to last 3sts, k3.
R15: P3, knit to end. Do not bind off. Cut yarn, place live stitches on waste yarn.
Block hood rigorously. When dry, place stitches on needles. Fold in half with RS facing, and join with a 3 needle bind off. Sew remaining seam shut.

Weave in ends. You can steam the seams lightly if you want them to lay nice and flat.


  1. Saw this over on Ravelry and as soon as I get the yarn ordered and in... I have a feeling I won't be making just one. This looks perfect for both coziness AND to manage to get around my recent obsession with oddball hairdos and yup, the odd hairdon't. Add in the whole it's gonna get into the -30's this week, again, and it's only January, I think this might well save both my hair AND my ears from freezing clean off! Thanks for making it a free pattern, it's always awesome to see such offbeat and awesome designs being given out simply because the designer rocks. Thanks so much, and stay warm! (And amazingly coiffed.)

    1. Thanks for your awesome comment! It's fantastic to get such great feedback. I hope it helps keep the cold out! Rock on!

    2. Took almost a year, but finally casting on (about 3 weeks before the above comment my fil was diagnosed with cancer and it was a year of trying to take care of him, him passing, dealing with a crazy mil, realizing she couldn't stay alone, looking for, finding, buying and now gods help me trying to get settled in a new place with her living with us ~AHHHHH!!!! sorry. long long day~ and trying to remember that I'm allowed time on my own to create again... even bought a house with both a writing room AND a whole separate studio space for my sewing/knitting/weaving/spinning/hiding from crazy mil needs) but dang it, I'm making this if it kills me. Haven't touched my needles in almost a year, but this is still a design that has been bugging me to get cracking on. As an added spiff, thanks to you I finally grasped how to do a provisional cast on - something that I have actually avoided much desired patterns because of my utter terror of provisional work. Now? I can do it! That alone is worth a long nonsensical but utterly heartfelt (if rambling - have a migraine and the meds make a chatty Magpie - nickname in the Rennie circuit - even more of a babbling fool. Sorry) thanks and a silly Woo-Hoo! I'll shut up now, back to cranking out the first bit of the cowl. Thanks again so much... and really kinda wishing you blogged more!

  2. Could you check the link for the cast on? Blogger is telling me I can't go there because I cannot edit it... (I can't and don't want to!)

    1. Whoa...not sure what happened there. It should be fixed now. Thanks for the head's up! You can also find it under the "Knit" section at the top of the page.

  3. If I don't want to do the blocking, do you think using larger needle can get similar result on the pattern?