How can any knitter resist a stitch pattern called "Fisherman's Rib"? The name evokes all our most romantic knitting associations: rugged men in densely cabled sweaters materializing out of the fog, abeam a windswept Scottish cliff. Luckily, Fisherman's Rib is as beautiful (and practical) as its name implies, lofty, springy, and super cozy.

But, let's face it, most of us aren't as rugged as your average fisherman. You will rarely hear a fisherman say anything like, "It's lovely, but maybe a little bit scratchy, don't you think?". So for the rest of us, I used the Fisherman's Rib, but not his yarn.

Instead, I took this opportunity to return to one of my very favorite yarns, The Fibre Company's Road to China Worsted. I used it three years ago for the Sullivan Street Bolero and have never forgotten its amazing softness and drape. It's such a gorgeous blend of baby alpaca, cashmere, camel and silk that even the most unweathered on your gift list will be happy with a Fisherman's Rib Scarf or Cowl. Just don't give one to the fisherman in your life. He would never look at his guernseys the same again.

Materials

The Fibre Company's Road to China Worsted, 65% Baby Alpaca, 15% Silk, 10% Cashmere, and 10% Camel. This color is "Lapis".

Scarf

Cowl

Gauge

4 stitches = 1 inch in stitch pattern (unstretched)

Sizes

Scarf

7 1/2 inches wide (unstretched) and 62 inches long (unstretched), stretching to about 80 inches long.

Cowl

17 1/2 inches in circumference (unstretched), stretching to about 28 inches in circumference, and 10 1/2 inches long.

Pattern for The Scarf

Cast on 30 stitches.

Preparation Row: Purl.

Row 1: *P1, knit into the stitch below, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, p2. (See instructions below for how to "knit into the stitch below".)

Repeat Row 1 until you have used all 6 skeins, except for about 2 yards.

Bind off loosely in p1, k1 pattern (you don't have to knit into the stitch below for your bind off.).

Weave in the ends.

How to "Knit Into the Stitch Below"

Insert your right needle into the space right below the next stitch, shown here by the white arrow.

Knit as you normally would, allowing the stitch to fall off the left needle as usual (feels a little scary at first, but don't worry!).

If you turn your work over, you will see that 2 stitches are wrapped around the stitch you just made.

Pattern for The Cowl

Cast 70 stitches onto a 16 inch circular needle.

Place a marker and join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches.

Preparation Round: Knit.

Round 1: *Knit into the stitch below, p1, repeat from * to end of round. (See instructions above for how to "knit into the stitch below".)

Round 2: *K1, purl into the stitch below, repeat from * to end of round. (See instructions below for how to "purl into the stitch below')

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until piece measures 10 1/2 inches from the cast on edge.

Bind off very loosely (use a needle one or two sizes bigger if you have to) in k1, p1 pattern (you don't need to work into the stitch below for the bind off.).

Weave in the ends.

How To "Purl Into the Stitch Below"

Insert your right needle from back to front (just like normal purling) into the space below the next stitch, right under the purl bump. The white arrow shows the spot.

Purl as you normally would, allowing the stitch to fall off the left needle as usual.

If you look below the stitch you just made, you will see that it is wrapped by 2 stitches.