Please note that this pattern does not provide instructions on how to embellish the cowl canvas. It is intended to be a blank slate for you to decorate as you please. However, I have tutorials available on my website for how to incorporate stitching into your knitting. In addition, I am teaching online classes on this topic where we dive deeply into how to customize your knitwear into truly one of a kind – wearable! – pieces of art! Click here for my designs, tutorials, classes and more!
For my embroidery adventures, please follow me @BloomHandmadeStudio. Likewise, you can search the hashtags #embroideryonstockinette and #embroideredknitting for a gorgeous gallery of embroidered pieces.
The structure and shape of this cowl are a perfect blend of art and practicality. Made entirely with single crochet, slip stitches and a bit of decorative embellishment, it is proof that simple beauty can also be remarkably utilitarian. The shape of the piece is that of a lampshade, close enough to the neck and chest to ward off breezes from all directions, but not at all constraining around the shoulders and arms. And the simplicity of the underlying straight stockinette makes a perfect canvas for decoration of the maker’s choice. The stitches created by the knits and purls are excellent anchors for everything from sashiko-inspired stitches, embroidery, surface crochet and…. more! Not feeling the stitching on top? No worries, you can make this piece your own by choosing a beautiful palette of yarns, or making stripes, or using scraps, or…. well, the possibilities are endless! You’re the artist and this is your cowl canvas!
This pattern is written for all sizes, ages, genders and any weight of yarn. Directions are given for taking measurements of the wearer and how to do simple calculations based on your gauge to complete the design. I provide my measurements and calculations based on my size and gauge to help guide the process.
Madelinetosh Tosh DK
100% merino wool
225 yards (206 meters)
per 100 gram skein
One skein of Antler
One skein of Dirty Panther
Notes on Yarn Selection
This pattern is written for any weight of yarn. You need not opt to use Tosh DK. Or even a DK weight. But if you are going to incorporate embroidery, I encourage you to choose a yarn with a high twist, which will be resistant to the friction caused by the additional stitching. Also, I recommend a solid or semi-solid, as the embroidery may be lost in a variegated yarn.
I required 200g of DK weight to make the cowl of my size and incorporate embroidery. If the wearer of your canvas is petite and/or you are not including extra stitching, you may be able to make your cowl with 100g of yarn.
US 6 (4.0 mm) needles
5 sts and 8 rows / inch
k2tog knit 2 together
ssk slip one stitch as if to knit, slip the next stitch as if to purl,
knit these two stitches together
st st straight stockinette