striped cowl


Felted Tweed Colour was a new addition to our Rowan range last year. 

It’s the same blend of wool and alpaca as the one colour original but this new Colour version has 4 shades blended from one to the other creating a gradient effect. We've got some BIG swatches in the Pittenweem shop which really show the colours beautifully.

Seeing them displayed together I immediately wanted to use two different shades in narrow stripes. It could have been a scarfy shawl type thing but instead I cast on a cowl. I quite fancied going round and round. 


I choose shade 22 (A) and 26 (B) which I thought would give me a high contrast.

I wanted a long single loop and quite a loose drapey fabric so I used a 60cm long circular needle, 3.75mm and cast on 180 stitches.

I didn’t use a rib or other edging stitch and was happy to leave a rolled edge. 

I then knitted two rows from each ball. Carrying the yarn up the inside.


Unfinished Stripey cowl



When you knit in the round you’re actually knitting a spiral and when you start a round with a new colour you get a step in the stripe. There are different ways to combat this but the simplest method, apart from just accepting it, is as follows:

On the last row, in this case the second row, of the stripe sequence slip the first stitch (with the yarn at the back) as if to purl.

Slipping gives an elongated stitch blending the spiral and making the colour change less noticeable.

I sometimes forgot to do this but it looks ok.

In total I knitted 18 stripes of A and 17 of B.

By then I wanted i-cord edges (I'd just finished doing an i-cord bind off for Briochette shawl).

So I did a i-cord bind off in B. And then picked up and knitted stitches around the cast on edge and bound off with an i-cord. Again in B.

To work an i-cord bind off do as follows:

With the right side of your knitting facing you cast on 3 sts at the beginning of the row.

*With your right needle, knit 2 stitches and then knit together the next 2 stitches through the back loop.

Slip the 3 stitches now on your right needle to the left needle *.

Repeat from *to* as many times as you need to knit all stitches. At the end, knit together the last 2 stitches. Then fasten off with your tail of yarn and neatly sew to the start of the i-cord.

You can see an i-cord bind off tutorial here on Andrea Rangel's website.


If I had known in the beginning I wanted this I would have done a provisional cast on instead. Using a spare piece of yarn and this technique. It keeps the stitches live so you can go back do something else to them.

It’s the same method I used in the Moonwake cowl. 

At the end ‘unzip’ the provisional cast on and put the stitches back on the needle and bind off with an i-cord.

But I got there in the end!


striped cowl


This cowl didn’t require any stretching. I simply soaked in Eucalan then squished out excess water. I laid it flat to dry, straightening the sides and keeping the open edges even. 

Mine measures 25.5cm tall and 43cm across laid flat.

I love it. It's light and drapey. I really like how the smooth colour transitions of each ball are still there but they really pop in the contrasting stripes.

This same idea, narrow stripes of contrasting self striping yarn, would also work with our Simple Cowl pattern using 4ply yarn.

Using two Zauberball shades would work really well or for a more subtle effect use one Zauberball but split the ball into two 50g balls and knit 2, 3 or 4 stripes from each ball. Like these socks (5 row stripes).


stripey socksMagic Socks (available for free on Raverly) in Crazy Zauberball shade 1701


Another idea is to use a solid colour yarn and a self striping yarn. I think of this like venetian blinds. Where one set of stripes is one unchanging colour, and the other set ‘flickers’ through a colour sequence. I don’t have an example of this to show… maybe I should cast one on? 😂 


Striped Cowl, knitting pattern available for download here.

Measures - 25.5cm tall and 43cm wide laid flat. Simple to modify size.

Yarn - we used Rowan Felted Tweed Colour 175m/50g, 1 ball of shade 22 (A) 1 ball of shade 26 (B)

Needles - 3.75mm x 60cm Click for our circular needle selection.

Stitch marker to mark the start of your round.

You will also need a wool needle to weave in your ends.

Crochet hook and some smooth DK yarn if you do a provisional cast on.

Techniques - provisional cast on; work in the round; knit; slip stitch; i-cord bind off.

Fiona Wright
Tagged: free pattern neck

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