hand knit stranded colourwork cowl with orange, blue and grey triangles
Llariega by Belén Fernández, pattern available to buy on Ravelry

Llariega is a short cowl with a simple stranded colour work pattern of triangles using just 3 colours.

Designed by Belén Fernández, the pattern includes a hat design too.

I used Rowan Alpaca Soft DK. One ball each of Naples Blue, Rainy Day and Brick.

I was initially going to use Socks Yeah DK (so many gorgeous colour combos!) but given we have the Moonwake Cowl (a stranded colour work tube cowl) I thought I'd add some variety and use a different yarn... and the Alpaca Soft is... so soft.

Stranded colour work allows you to knit with more than one colour on a row (or round) of knitting. You knit a few stitches with one colour, a few stitches with the other colour. The pattern tells you which stitches to knit with which colour. When you change colour you strand it across the back of the stitches you've just knitted.

I think the Llariega Hat and Cowl are great beginner colour work projects:

  • They are knitted in the round on circular needles - so the right side always faces you and you only need to use the knit stitch to make the pattern.
  • The pattern is charted - so you can see the design you need to create.
  • They are both small projects - it feels doable!
  • It's only 3 colours and thus easier to pick a combo.
  • The pattern repeat is 6 stitches, you're not stranding over lots of stitches, worrying about stranding too tightly or having to 'catch' strands.
  • It's a geometric pattern which is clear to see as you knit - so less need to look at the chart and less chance of going wrong.

The cowl is even simpler:

  • There is no shaping - so you just need to focus on the colour work.
  • It's a cowl! It's worn crumpled around your neck... so any baggy or tight stitches will be hidden.


hand knit stranded colourwork cowl with orange, blue and grey triangles worn with an orange jumper
The jumper is Dandelion, read more about it here.

When doing stranded colour work it is important not to strand too tightly across the back of your work. It will cause the front of the cowl to pucker AND it will make it tight and perhaps even difficult to wear. So be careful not to be too tight.

A top tip is to make sure the stitches on the right hand needle are nicely spaced on the needle. When knitting with the second colour you will 'strand' it across the back of these stitches. If the stitches on the needle are bunched up... the yarn will be stranded over a short distance, trapping those bunched up stitches. They will NOT unbunch. And they make your knitted fabric puckered. So be mindful of how your stitches are sitting. Stop and space out your stitches so they sit beside each other rather than on top of one and other.

This won't help tight floats but will help any wonky stitches - block your cowl! I soaked mine in Eucalan, squished the water out in a dry towel and dried it flat after gently neatening any stitches that had been swallowed into the background. 

Llariega is a narrow cowl, here's how it compares to our other shop cowls.

4 different sized handknit cowls

If you want, you could make it wider. The colour work pattern is worked over 6 stitches. So you should add stitches in multiples of 6. BUT the rib is worked in a multiple of 4. So make sure whichever number you cast on is divisible by 4 (or you could work a different rib stitch!) BUT if you make it bigger, you will need more yarn!

4 handknit cowls on a mannequin
Read more about our other cowls in our Gallery - 

(If you have difficulty accessing patterns on Ravelry, please get in touch and I'll try to help)

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published