Friday, 19 January 2018

Connections Cowl Pattern

Sometimes, you see a ball of yarn and you know it was meant for a particular person. I found a couple of balls of this Rowan Silkystones in my Mum's stash and knew it must have been intended for my sister, Pip, because the colours are so much hers. The yarn is half tussah silk, half linen, giving it considerable weight. There are only 100m in 50g.
The tussah lends more of a sheen than a shine and though the yarn is soft, the linen gives it a stiffer handle than wool. Thinking two balls would be enough to become not so much a cosy cowl as a decorative one, my first idea was openwork crochet. This looked ok (bottom of photo), but the dense knottiness of crochet made the resulting fabric too rigid.

The second sample, knitted up in grand eyelet mesh stitch, turned out much more flexible and well able to drape in the way I had imagined. 
While I was trying it on, the finished cowl caught the attention of my companion, Elinor Gotland. No surprises, she is an absolute fiend for silk.
'Not a bad result. I shouldn't mind wearing something like that myself, Beaut.'
'I can knit another, though Rowan have discontinued Silkystones yarn. It's anyone's guess how long ago Mum bought it. '
Elinor slid an appraising eye over the cowl and then a covetous hoof.
'You know, I don't think your colouring can really take those turquoise tones.'
'Lucky I made it for Pip, isn't it?'

Connections Cowl Knitting Pattern

Connection - noun person who aids another in achieving goal
                   - noun something that connects, links
                   - noun something that communicates, relates


200m double knitting yarn
5mm knitting needles


After washing and light blocking, in grand eyelet mesh pattern
10cm squared is 15 stitches and 12 rows

Finished Cowl Measurements

25cm deep, 140cm circumference


k = knit
k2tog = knit 2 stitches together
p = purl
psso = pass slipped stitch over
sl = slip as if to purl
st = stitch
yfwd twice = wrap yarn two times around right needle


Cast on 40 stitches

Start by knitting pattern row 1 straight into the cast on row

Row 1   k2 *sl 1, k2tog, psso, yfwd twice, repeat from * to last 2 st and k2
Row 2   k2 *[p1, k1] into double yfwd, p1, repeat from * to last 2 st and k2
Row 3   k all st

Repeat these three rows 53 times in total.

On the 54th repetition, work rows 1 and 2 as normal
To finish and close the loop of the cowl, on Row 3, holding the other end of the cowl parallel to the live stitches and making sure there is no twist in the length of the cowl, pass the right needle through the first stitch on the left needle and then through the corresponding cast on stitch and knit one stitch through both edges. Repeat with the second live stitch and the second cast on stitch. There are now two new stitches on the right needle. Pass the first stitch over the second and off the needle, thus casting off one. Continue casting off in this fashion. Where there is a long single strand in the cast on edge, knit and cast off two of the live stitches through each long cast on strand. 

Wash and pin out on a towel to block dry.

My companion was not in the sweetest temper while the new cowl was being photographed.
'Pip, get your chin up, pin those wrinkles back.'
Elinor strutted about, tutting and sighing and pointing the camera at artistic angles.
'Candlelight would be kinder, still, let's just try to make the best of what you've got. Left a bit, away from me a little further ... one more step ...'
I leaped in to stop her, an instant before Pip went backwards into the water. 

That cowl really does suit her.

Edited to Add

Loose Connections - same pattern knitted up in Drops brushed alpaca/silk double knitting yarn. More details at the end of this post.


  1. and goes well with the hat

  2. Thanks :) I made that hat years ago, one of my earliest woad dyes. Indigo blue is the best light and wash fast plant dye.