Schist Cowl

The sculptural layers of this cowl were inspired by the rocky coastline of MacMahan Island, Maine (cowl also available as part of a three-cowl pattern booklet, the MacMahan Collection, for $7). To create a knit fabric that appeared layered and three-dimensional, I experimented with different stitch combinations, finally hitting upon a pattern of wide, shallow knit/purl triangles that creates natural folds.

The cowl is worked sideways and flat, and then seamed, meaning that the circumference of the cowl can easily be changed—just add or subtract additional repeats of the stitch pattern. Instructions are given for a provisional cast on, which allows the seam to be worked using a three-needle bindoff, but a conventional cast on and bind off could also be used, followed by simply sewing the center back seam.

Yarn is held double to work this cowl.

Finished Size 19 ½"/49.5 cm circumference, as shown. Height of cowl is approximately 6 ¼"/16 cm.

Materials Yarn Madelinetosh Tosh DK, 100% superwash merino wool, 225 yds (206 m)/100 g skein, color Whiskers, 2 skeins. Contrasting waste yarn in similar gauge for provisional cast on. Needles US size 9/5.5 mm: straight, plus additional needle for three-needle bind off. Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge. Notions Tapestry needle.

Gauge Approx 18 sts/23 rows to 4"/10 cm in pattern st. Measure gauge on blocked swatch, but do not stretch/flatten swatch completely while blocking.

Notes Cowl circumference can be changed in increments of 2 ¾”/7 cm—the length of one pattern repeat (16 rows).

Pattern is in PDF format; after purchase, you will receive an email with download link, which will allow you to download the pattern file. To purchase from, click on the "buy now" button below; to purchase from this site, click on either of the "Add to Cart" buttons.

Price: $3.50