orange multi coloured cowl


The Half Linen Stitch Cowl is done!

And it is gorgeous. Well worth the wait - I started it back in August.ūüėÜ

I used Manos Alegria Superpool Sock Set, a bundle of 100g of highly variegated 4ply and a coordinating semi-solid 20g skein in shade Trapeze.

We started selling this yarn back in August. It's a super super soft merino blend (a classic sock blend of 75% wool and 25% nylon) and the colours are big and bold.


variegated skeins of yarn


As a sock the colours come out as narrow stripes.


striped sock


But I wondered how they would come out when worked across more stitches. And since the yarn is very soft I thought a cowl would be the perfect project to check it out.

We already have a Simple Cowl pattern which is free in the Pittenweem shop and online. Using that as the starting point I decided to:

  • Use the coordinating mini skein for the twisted 1x1 rib at the start and end.
  • add a slip stitch pattern¬†which would break the colour patterning up further.


When you slip stitches you don't work the stitch. You just move it from one needle tip to the other. This means that you break up the line of stitches as you're effectively bringing the stitch from the row below onto your current row. When using different colours of yarn or a variegated yarn you can easily get different colours on each row. 

I've used slip stitches before and love the effect they have on both colour and texture.


linen stitch cushion


This cushion was knitted in 2013 for the Pittenweem Community Craft Project - Couthie Cushions. You can read more about it on Ravelry. I used leftover bits of DK yarn.

And I made this cowl a couple of years ago in Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply (Denim). It took me aaaaggggeees.


denim blue cowl

  Jessica Jones, pattern on Ravelry or Etsy.


Both these project use a slip stitch pattern called Linen Stitch.

This is where you knit one stitch then slip one stitch. Repeating it across the row/round and for every row/round.

For the new shop cowl I used Half Linen Stitch (in the hope it would work up quicker). Half Linen just means I knitted a round in between each slip stitch round.

But most importantly, when working any Linen Stitch pattern you slip the stitches whilst holding the yarn at the front. This creates a horizontal bar - giving the effect of a woven fabric. 



orange multi coloured cowl


It is so straightforward to do and the results look and feel amazing.

For our cowl, knitted in the highly variegated Manos Alegria Superpool Sock Set, it has diffused the colours and created a more dappled appearance.


orange multicoloured cowl


The Half Linen Stitch Cowl pattern is based on our free Simple Cowl pattern but instead of a 3mm needle I've specified a slightly larger needle - 3.25mm. Slip stitches can produce a denser fabric and you want to have a bit of drape to the cowl. If you are a tighter knitter I'd strongly recommend considering a 3.5mm or even 3.75mm needle. You want the little horizontal bar to sit flat against the fabric, not to pull it in. You are not trying to create a rib effect.



The free pattern also includes helpful tips on how to get started knitting in the round and also how you can modify the pattern.


Long term readers will know how much we love a cowl. Both as a practical accessory to wear but also a perfect knitting project to make and gift.

I mostly knitted this cowl at our Shop Groups and when travelling and visiting. So it's a perfect easy going knit...

  • It‚Äôs knitted in the round on circular needles - so it's more portable to carry around.
  • it's knitted using one needle - so you don't need to carry multiple sizes.
  • there is nothing too taxing, so you can pick it up and put it down, or chat and drink without worrying about losing your place. Just make sure you mark the start of your round and double check if you're on a slip stitch round or not.
  • once you cast off, and sorted your ends, you can wear it. Although it does benefit from a gentle wash and a flat drying!

Why use Manos Alegria Superpool Set?

  • It is super super soft merino wool.
  • The colours are vibrant and bold making it interesting and entertaining to work with as the colours come together. Especially when using slip stitches.
  • You get a small skein of coordinating semi solid yarn. Use for the ribbing¬†like we did for this cowl or you can keep for another project.


multicoloured skeins of yarn


This year we also started stocking Lang Hand Dyed Alpaca Soxx. This has a similar bold colour but the yarn is 70% alpaca rather than merino. It too would make a lovely Half Linen Stitch Cowl as the colours would diffuse and merge in the same way as the Superpool Set.

In fact any of our hand dyed or self striping 4ply yarns would work well with this stitch pattern. Or add an interesting texture to solid of semi-solid coloured yarns. Check out our 4ply yarn range here.

Or check your stash!


Half Linen Stitch Cowl by The Woolly Brew 

You can download the pattern here.

Measures - approx. 40cm tall and 31cm wide laid flat.

Yarn - 1 x 100g 4ply (A) and 1 x 20g 4ply (B) in a contrasting or coordinating colour. We used - Manos Superpool Sock Set in Trapeze.

Needles - circular 3.25mm x 40cm or 60cm long.  Click for our circular needle range.

you will also need a stitch marker and wool needle

Techniques - cast on; work in the round; knit; purl; K1tbl (knit 1 through back leg); slip 1 purlwise with yarn at the front; cast off in rib.

Fiona Wright
Tagged: free pattern neck

make your own Half Linen Stitch Cowl

Get in touch

What do you think of our Half Linen Stitch Cowl. Will you make one?

Let us know if you need any more info.ūüĎá