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Shawl Collar Cowl

A few days ago a friend of mine sent me a picture of some wool socks with an accompanying message, "Today is the greatest day." Now, these socks weren't a gift from me or made by me; they weren't even handmade at all. But I knew exactly why he was so excited. I knew, because it's how I feel about neckwear: Fall is here! I get to wear wool again!

While Brian is happily slipping his feet into thick cozy socks, I am joyfully layering up with my new Shawl Collar Cowl. Unabashedly inspired by my college days of yore, this piece harkens back to treking across campus for early morning class, tailgating for the big game, apple picking and other such quaint and collegiate autumnal activities.

The Shawl Collar Cowl shamelessly conjures the classic 'New England professor', if there is such a thing. The gray ribbed exterior transitions into a smooth, creamy white stockinette interior. Folded over and wrapped around, you'll be outstandingly warm, but not weighted down! This cowl is knit up in the nearly weightless Blue Sky Techno, a feather-light cloud of baby alpaca, extra-fine merino and silk.

It may not be quite cold enough here in New York for wool socks, but it certainly is for some knit neckwear. You won't catch me without a scarf or cowl, shawl or dickie for the next six or so months. If you want to add the Shawl Collar Cowl to your woolen accessory collection, you can find the full pattern just below!

Materials

  • For the cowl’s exterior: 2 skeins of Blue Sky’s Techno,  68% baby alpaca, 10% extra fine merino and 22% silk. I used the color Metro Silver as the Main Color.
  • For the cowl’s interior: 1 skein of Blue Sky’s Techno. I used the color Fame as the Contrast Color.
  • US #10 ½ , 24 or 32-inch circular needle
  • US #9, 24 or 32-inch circular needle
  • Scrap yarn for a provisional cast on
  • A crochet hook appropriate for your scrap yarn

Gauge

16 stitches = 4 inches in rib pattern on larger needle

15 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette stitch on smaller needle

Size

25-inch circumference at bottom edge of cowl by 8-inches tall

Notes

Make 1 Right pulwise (m1R-purlwise) on the wrong side: pick up the bar between the last stitch you worked and the one you're about to work, bringing the needle from the front to the back, then purl into the back of this stitch.

Make 1 Left purlwise (m1L-purlwise) on the wrong side: pick up the bar between the last stitch you worked and the one you're about to work, bringing the needle from the back to the front, then purl into the front of this stitch.

Pattern

Begin the Exterior Rib

Use the provisional cast on method, the Main Color and the larger needle to cast on 151 stitches.

Row 1 (wrong side): *P1, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, p1.

Row 2 (right side): K1, p1, ssk, knit to last four stitches, k2tog, p1, k1. (2 stitches decreased)

Row 3 (wrong side): P1, k1, p2tog, (k1, p1) to last five stitches, k1, p2togtbl, k1, p1. (2 stitches decreased)

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 four more times. (131 stitches)

Continue the Body and Add Darts

DART Row 1 (right side): K1, p1, ssk, k36, place marker (pm), ssk, k7, k2tog, pm, k29, pm, ssk, k7, k2tog, pm, knit to last four stitches, k2tog, p1, k1. (125 stitches)

Row 2 (wrong side): P1, k1, p2tog, (k1, p1) to one stitch before first marker, k1, slip marker (sm), p2, (k1, p1) 3 times, p1, sm, (k1, p1)  to one stitch before nextmarker, k1, sm, p2, (k1, p1) 3 times, p1, sm, (k1, p1) to last five stitches, k1, p2togtbl, k1, p1. (2 stitches decreased)

Row 3 (right side): K1, p1, ssk, knit to last four stitches, k2tog, p1, k1. (121 stitches)

Row 4: Repeat Row 2. (119 stitches)

DART Row 5: K1, p1, ssk, knit to first marker, sm, ssk, k5, k2tog, sm, knit to next marker, sm, ssk, k5, k2tog, sm, knit to last four stitches, k2tog, p1, k1. (113 stitches)

Row 6: P1, k1, p2tog, (k1, p1) to last five stitches, k1 p2togtbl, k1, p1. (2 stitches decreased)

Row 7: K1, p1, ssk, knit to last four stitches, k2tog, p1, k1. (109 stitches)

Row 8: Repeat Row 6.  (107 stitches)

DART Row 9: K1, p1, ssk, knit to first marker, sm, ssk, k3, k2tog, sm, knit to next marker, sm, ssk, k3, k2tog, sm, knit to last four stitches, k2tog, p1, k1. (101 stitches)

Row 10: P1, k1, p2tog, (k1, p1) to one stitch before first marker, k1, sm, p2, k1, p2, sm, (k1, p1) to one stitch before next marker, k1, sm, p2, k1, p2, sm, (k1, p1) to last five stitches, k1, p2togtbl, k1, p1. (2 stitches decreased)

Row 11: K1, p1, ssk, knit to last four stitches, k2tog, p1, k1. (97 stitches)

Row 12: Repeat Row 10. (95 stitches)

Continue the Body and Add Interior Darts

DART Row 1 (right side):  K1, p1, ssk, knit to first marker, remove marker, ssk, k1, k2tog, remove marker, knit to next marker, remove marker, ssk, k1, k2tog, remove marker, knit to last four stitches, k2tog, p1, k1. (89 stitches)

Row 2 (wrong side): P1, k1, p2tog, (k1, p1) to last five stitches, k1, p2togtbl, k1, p1. (2 stitches decreased)

Row 3: K1, p1, ssk, knit to last four stitches, k2tog, p1, k1. (2 stitches decreased)

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 nine more times. (49 stitches)

Repeat Row 2 one more time. (47 stitches)

Increasing for the Interior

Cut the Main Color, join the Contrast Color, and change to smaller needle.

Row 1 (right side): Purl.

Row 2 (wrong side): P1, k1, m1R-purlwise (see pattern notes above), purl to last 2 stitches, m1L-purlwise (see pattern notes above), k1, p1. (2 stitches increased)

Row 3: K1, p1, m1R, knit to last 2 stitches, m1L, p1, k1. (2 stitches increased)

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 nine more times. (87 stitches)

Repeat Row 2 one more time. (89 stitches)

DART Next Row (right side): K1, p1, m1R, k26, pm, m1R, k1, m1L, pm, k31, pm, m1R, k1, m1L, pm, knit to last 2 stitches, m1L, p1, k1. (95 stitches)

Next Row (wrong side): P1, k1, m1R-purlwise, purl to last 2 stitches, m1L-purlwise, k1, p1. (2 stitches increased)

Next Row: K1, p1, m1R, knit to last 2 stitches, m1L, p1, k1. (99 stitches)

Repeat the last wrong side row one more time. (101 stitches)

DART Next Row (right side): K1, p1, m1R, knit to first marker, sm, m1R, knit to next marker, m1L, sm, knit to next marker, sm, m1R, knit to next marker, m1L, sm, knit to the last 2 stitches, m1L, p1, k1. (107 stitches)

Next Row (wrong side): P1, k1, m1R-purlwise, purl to last 2 stitches, m1L-purlwise, k1, p1. (2 stitches increased)

Next Row: K1, p1, m1R, knit to last 2 stitches, m1L, p1, k1. (111 stitches)

Repeat the last wrong side row one more time. (113 stitches)

Repeat last four rows one more time. (125 stitches)

DART Next Row (right side): K1, p1, m1R, knit to first marker, sm, m1R, knit to next marker, m1L, sm, knit to next marker, sm, m1R, knit to next marker, m1L, sm, knit to the last 2 stitches, m1L, p1, k1. (131 stitches)

Next Row (wrong side): P1, k1, m1R-purlwise, purl to last 2 stitches, m1L-purlwise, k1, p1. (133 stitches)

Next Row (right side): K1, p1, m1R, knit to last 2 stitches, m1L, p1, k1. (135 stitches)

Repeat last two rows 4 more times. (151 stitches)

Cut yarn.

Fold and Finish

Remove the provisional cast on and put the live Main Color stitches on the larger needle.

Fold the knit piece along the purled edge so the wrong sides are facing each other. With the Main Color side facing you, hold the two circular needles parallel and join the Main Color. You will knit across both needles at once, placing markers as you go: K50, pm, k51, pm, knit to end.

Here is how: with the yarn in back, use the larger circular needle and insert it knitwise into the first stitch on the front needle and then into the first stitch on the back needle. Knit the stitches together, pulling the needle back through both the back and front stitches. This Row:

With the Main Color side facing and the live stitches along the top, place the far right 50 stitches on the smaller needle.

Fold the far left stitches under and the far right stitches under those, as pictured above.

Holding the two circular needles parallel, use the larger needle to do a three-needle bind off of the first 50 stitches. Here is how: with the yarn in front, use the larger circular needle and insert it purlwise into the first stitch on the back needle and then into the first stitch on the front needle. Purl the stitches together, pulling the needle back through both the front and back stitches. Repeat this. Now there are two stitches on your right needle, slip the first stitch up and over the second stitch and off the needle, just like a normal bind off. Continue. After you’ve bound off those first 50 stitches, removing the markers as you go, you will continue binding off, purlwise, the remaining stitches.

Sew up the diagonal edge, attaching the stockinette interior to the ribbed exterior edge. Repeat for second diagonal edge. Sew in your ends and you are finished!

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57 Responses to Shawl Collar Cowl


  1. Alexandre says:

    Hi!
    After reading the comments above, I'm a little afraid to start this pattern, 'cuz I'm not sure if I will be able to finish it. So, I would like to ask Laura to make a small video, in a near future…

  2. purl bee says:

    Hi Alexandre-

    We don't currently have plans to do a video on this project but we are always happy to answer specific questions as they come up here in the comments section!

    Thanks for getting in touch!

    Molly

  3. Alexandre says:

    Hi Molly!

    Thank you very much for answering my post.
    Today I took a deep breath and bet that dreams can come true:
    I knitted the first two rows of this pattern:

    http://goo.gl/DwZMNI

    If I run into any questions, I come back here to ask for help (=

    Have a nice week!

  4. Thamomma16 says:

    It's a great pattern. It looks like it can be worn by both men and women. Is it a unisex pattern?

  5. purl bee says:

    Hi Thamomma16,
    This is definitely a unisex pattern!
    Thanks for writing in.
    Laura

  6. Gamma930 says:

    I love this cowl, but here in Sunny California it isn’t practical in wool. Can you recommend some other type of yarn that I could use?

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