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Thursday
Oct042012

Laura's Loop: 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!

The 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

The Pattern

The Gauge

16 stitches = 4 inches in rib pattern on larger needle

15 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette stitch on smaller needle

Finished Size

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

Pattern Notes

Make 1 Right (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 (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.

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!

Reader Comments (52)

when i saw your cowl, i said: hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!! i want it!!
i loooove it, it seams so warm and smooth... humm... so thank you so much for this tutorial :)
October 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkipulkai
OUTSTANDING!!! CAN NOT WAIT TO SCOOP UP THE YARN AND CAST ON...I THINK I WILL MAKE SEVERAL AND HAVE ALL MY HOLIDAY GIFTS SETTLED. WHAT FUN. THANKS PURL AS ALWAYS YOU HAVE SUCH GREAT IDEAS AND SUPERIOR ASTISANS! BAMBI
October 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbambi marksohn
Why is this not on Ravelry so I can put it in my queue? Or it is and I missed it?
October 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersusan
Hi Susan-

It should be up soon!

Thanks so much for writing in!

Molly
October 5, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
ah, what an uncommon and still simple shape. perfect.
thank you for sharing your ideas!
October 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commentereva
I LOVE Techno. It has become my new fav yarn. I am certain I will be making more than one of these. 1977 is my fav color in this yarn, so one in that color is a given. Thanks! Can't wait to get started on this. Cool design!
October 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn
Another wonderful, inventive, unique pattern! I love it and really look forward to making my own. Thanks so much!
October 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterzenitude
It is beautiful! I just shared the link!
October 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlepemalestvari
I love this and am going to give it a try. Is there a way to increase the length of the cowl (particularly making the base longer) without screwing up the transitions in the pattern?

Thanks!
October 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey
I think I'll try this in crochet and see if it works as well.
October 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaquine
What a fantastic idea! I'm still a beginner at knitting and this looks like a great challenge. ha! Thank you for the post. :)
October 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteramigurumigirl
Hi Lindsey.
Great question. Yes, there is a way... You can either cast on more stitches. This will mean a greater number of stitches to overlap in Fold and Finish section. Or, you could simply knit evenly at the beginning of the main color (and then again of course at the end of the contrast color). This will change the look slightly, as the slopped edge will change to go straight up and then begin slopping. Another option would be to work evenly a few rows before and a few rows after you change colors, this will add height at the top of the cowl, but it will be the least disruptive to the cut of the cowl. A little hard to describe, but I hope this helps.
Laura
October 8, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
love love love! thank you!
October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLena
Any other yarn suggestions for this pattern? I'd like to make few as gifts and would like to keep the price down. Thanks!
October 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
Hi Andrea.
I think Manos' Semi Solids or Maxima would be beautiful options. They have a bit of a think and thin character to them, but I believe the'd read well.
http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/company/11-Manos-Del-Uruguay?variety=3

Also, Cascade's Chunky Baby Alpaca would work. It's a heavier fiber and will be extra warm: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/2142-Cascade-Yarns-Baby-Alpaca-Chunky

Thanks,
Laura
October 10, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Love the Shawl Collar Cowl- do you have instructions to Crochet it? Thanks!
October 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
Hi Beth-

We don't have crochet instructions for this project but you can check out all of our free crochet patterns here: http://purlbee.squarespace.com/crochet-projects/

Thank you!

Molly
October 14, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi, I've been following Purl Bee for some time and decided to make this wonderful cowl as we already have full-blown autumn where I live and it's gonna turn only colder in coming months so it's about time to get more great neckwear. I made it with some yarns I had at hand, I used dark blue ar MC and some fluffy and colorful effect yarn as CC and it turned out great, very thick, warm and soft. So thanks for the pattern, it was also a quick knit! However I run into a little problem at the end: when I knit together the outside and inside and then knit the next row with CC facing, the working yarn was at the end of that row and when I turned the work, it was, of course, in the beginning of the row, that is - on the right side. But then the pattern called for placing the "far right stitches" on the smaller needle. It meant that the working yarn would now be on the smaller needle not on the larger that has more stitches - as it is shown on the photo... I couldn't figure out how to do it so I ended up placing the far left rather than the far right 50 stitches on the smaller needle and then folding the cowl so that the needle with more stitches goes under the needle with less stitches (kinda like mirror version of what's in the picture). Thus I ended up with cowl that looks just like the one pictured so it's alright - but I'm still curious what did I do wrong and if somebody else run into same problem?
I hope it's understandable what I'm talking about, English is not my first language. :)
October 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersangri
This is another great pattern ! There's so much in those pages ! Thank you !
I've the same problem as Sangri, perhaps it's because there's something I've not understand well, english is not my first language too :)
October 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteremsoe
I love the way this looks!
I've started it, but I'm having trouble with the darts. I've redone them about 4 times now and still can't figure it out. I have the correct number of stitches on my needle when I start the first dart row, but somehow I either end up with 1 stitch less than I'm supposed to have between the two markers, or, I end up with enough stitches but somehow the stitches on either side of the markers don't match up (the pattern isn't correct). Any suggestions on what I might be doing wrong?
I've never run into a problem with the other projects I've done from here, but this one definitely has me stumped. Thanks for you help!
October 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
Hey Rachel.
Let me re-study the pattern. So far I cannot find the error and neither can my editor. But we will figure this out.
Thank you for taking the time to write in. Please don't lose faith in the site! We appreciate your readership.
Laura
October 28, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello, I love this pattern and it was wonderful, however, I wanted to note that I had the same issue as the person who posted on the 20th of October. I still COMPLETELY love this pattern and just wanted to post this to give that person the peace of mind in knowing that they weren't the only one.

Thank you for making an AMAZING pattern. I can't make patterns, but I sure can knit someone else's!
November 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commentershynsweet
Hi! Thanks for this wonderful pattern. I also had the same problem with the yarn being on the wrong side for the bind off. I'm not sure if you did more or less rows with the main yarn - maybe it has to do with the way the provisional stitches are picked up. Thanks to Sangri for letting me know I'm not crazy and for the solution to the problem. I totally love the way it has turned out.
November 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFuschia
Did anyone run out of yarn on the exterior rib section?
I have 4 more rows & I'm out of yarn!!
November 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCindy Lou
Fuschia and Sangril.
Thank you so much for your detailed comments. They pattern has been fixed! I really appreciate you taking the time to let us now!
Laura
November 5, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Laura-
Sorry! I didn't mean your pattern is incorrect. My post was poorly written. I meant the knit purl pattern of the cowl I'm working on. If a dart starts out on the right stitch by the time I get to the end of the dart somehow the stitch on the other side isn't what the pattern notes say it should be. I think I'm starting the dart on the wrong stitch, but even when I change it I can't get it right. Does that make more sense? Thank you so much for your patience and help!
November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
Just finished making the cowl except for the part of the pattern that reads "Sew up the diagonal edge, attaching the stockinette interior to the ribbed exterior edge." Should I sew it with needle and thread, or yarn? Any specific stitch?

Thanks so much. My cowl looks great and I can't wait to wear it!
December 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermediie
Hi Medlie,
I simply used a running stitch along the purl row. I found it was the least conspicuous option. Glad to hear you are excited about the cowl.
Thanks,
Laura
December 15, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I was hesitant to start this project, as I am not too advanced a knitter, but this pattern was very well-written and easy to follow! I had amazing results my first go, and am now on to making a second! Thanks so much!!!!
December 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSayra
Hi Laura. I absolutely love this scarf. Here's my concern: I haven't knitted for years but really want to make something that I truly love. Is this a reasonable project for someone who is detailed but not a knitter??? If so, is there a book you would suggest on how to follow along with the K1, p1 and ssks??? I am sure there is a way to put it all together (ie., beginner books with your good instructions).

I really want to get started so I look forward to your feedback. Thanks so much.
Diana Dahlen 415-735-8609
August 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiana
Hello Diana!
We really love the TNNA How to Knit booklet. It's extremely clear and has wonderfully helpful illustrations. You can find it here: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/215-TNNA-How-to-Knit
Thanks,
Laura
August 6, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello,
I have a question about joining yarn. I'm about to start on this cowl, and I know I'll have to join the gray skeins sooner or later. My issue is that whenever I join yarns, I either have a lumpy knot holds or a soft knot that will undo itself. Could you post a tutorial or otherwise recommend the best way to join yarn?

Thank you!
October 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMalerie
Hello Malerie.

That's a great idea for a tutorial. We'll put it on our list to do.

Like with most techniques in knitting, there are several ways to do things. When I join a new ball of a contrasting color yarn, I simple stop working with the first skein and begin working with the next skein, leaving generous enough tails to weave in later, securing them.

Hope this helps. Do let us know if you have more questions.
Laura
October 2, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Is the gauge swatch 16 sts by 16 ROWS equals 4 inches? No rows are given in the pattern.
October 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDebra
Hi Debra,
The gauge is
16 stitches and 28 rows = 4 inches or
4 stitches and 7 rows = 1 inch

We often leave the row gauge out of patterns on purpose because it tends to confuse people. Their stitch gauge will be perfect, but their row gauge will be a little off. This is simply a characteristic of hand-made things. But often times people are frustrated and even paralyzed by this. Typically the stitch gauge is most important and the row gauge secondary.

In any case. I am sorry for not including it. I hope you find it helpful. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Laura
October 29, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi,

I'm at the section where you start the darts. Is it correct that you break pattern in rows 1, 3, etc. and knit only (instead of K1P1)? I can't tell from the photos if that's correct. I'm using mohair and frogging will be awful if it's wrong.

Thanks - Joanne
November 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne
Hi Joanne,
Right Side rows (even before the DARTS section) are primarily knit, other than some selvedge stitches and shaping along the edges. If you take a look at Row 2 in the first section of the pattern "...knit to last 4 stitche...", you are knitting most of this row.
Hope this clears things up.
Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Laura
November 7, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
@Laura, Thanks - I did the first part wrong but decided to follow the pattern at the darts. It looks fine and I'm in the home stretch of the lining. Thanks for the lovely pattern. I hope the finish-up will go smoothly as it's usually where I get lazy. ;-)

Joanne
November 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne
hi I am a new knitter can a do this pattern on straight needles
November 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlorraine
Hi Loraine,
I recommend the circular needles for this project. While it may be possible to make it work on straights, the circulars will give you flexibility to see better what you are doing.
Please let me know if you have any questions as you go along.
Laura
November 18, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Great pattern! I opted for straight needles, switched to 3 needles at the end, and it turned out great!
November 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHelen
I'm just starting this project and I'm a tad nervous. The pattern says to cast on 151 stitches. At 4 stitches per inch, thats 37.75 inches...seems long. I read once that you should just trust. So I am doing as instructed, hoping it turns out.
January 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda Voss
Hi Brenda,
The cowl is created by overlapping the ends. After the overlap, the circumference is really more like 2/3rds of the 151 stitches... 25 inches. Keep with it, I think it will become clear to you soon, but please let us know if you have any other questions.
Laura
January 6, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello,

I am am working on this Shawl Collar Cowl right now and I am having a problem. I am just starting it and I am a somewhat new knitter. The problem I am having is with the ssp. I have looked at other videos of how to do a ssp and they always say to slip both stitches as if you were knitting. Your pattern says to slip one purl wise and the other one knit wise. I am also having trouble executing the ssp the way the pattern says to do it. Do you have any suggestions ? I would really appreciate it. Thank you!

Hailey
February 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHailey
Hi Hailey,
Like with everything in knitting... there are a variety of ways to do the same stitch. For this project, I prefer the look that results from slipping the two stitches separately, the first purlwise and the second knitwise. You can always modify our patterns for what you like best, if that means slipping the two stitches knitwise or another way, that's great. The main goal is to decrease a stitch.

As far as "executing the ssp the way the pattern says"... do you mind expanding? Is there something about the pattern that has you stumped?
Please write us back anytime! I'd love to get this sorted for you.
Laura
February 10, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I'm reading through the pattern before I cast on and have a question. What is the functional difference in execution of the ssp and the p2togtbl?

I'm guessing the result is intended to be two mirrored decreases for symmetry (like the ssk and k2tog). But I can't find the difference in the instructions for how to work them. In your tutorial for the p2togtbl, it even says that it's the same as a ssp. When I've worked a p2togtbl in other patterns, I've not reoriented (slipped) the stitches first. Is this the difference?

Thanks!
February 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRashida
Rashida!
Great question. I though I had alread corrected this... ssp and p2tog tbl ARE the same, as the tutorial states. The pattern should be p2tog tbl paired with a p2tog for mirrored decreases (like ssk and k2tog).
Thank you so much for pointing this out.
I am going to hop in and edit this straight away!!!
Laura
February 17, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
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...
February 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandre
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
February 18, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
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!
March 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandre

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