Saturday, November 13, 2010

Twisty Cowl - design notes and a question!

The idea for this cowl had been kicking around in my brain for some time before I actually put hook to yarn. I had designed a knitted cowl with a simple stitch pattern in a funnel shape and it was way more successful than I had anticipated, so I wanted to use the same principals in a crochet design.

I had the perfect yarn - a jumbo hank of Baby Twist by Alpaca with a Twist. Baby Twist is soft enough for next-to-your-neck wearing, and because it is a DK weight, it would look good in a variety of hook sizes/gauges. Because the jumbo skein has over 500 yards, I knew I could make a whole project with just one skein!

So, bottom up, because I wanted to establish the stitch pattern quickly, then achieve the funnel shape by decreasing hook sizes as I stitched.

Choosing a stitch pattern took some time - I wanted it to be easy to stitch but look interesting. And alpaca yarn is VERY warm - so I wanted to have a little but of openwork so that the wearer wouldn't suffocate if she lived in a place wear sub-zero temperatures are not the norm, but of course if it was too open, it wouldn't be warm at all! I settled on this double crochet cross stitch pattern.

While I had originally planned for no decrease stitching at all, I had pretty much gotten to the smallest hook I could use prettily with this stitch, but I still wanted a closer fit at the neck. So I added a couple of rows of decreasing. I think that at this point in the pattern, the stitch is so intuitive that even a beginning crocheter could handle the decreases.

Now for the question - how far down over your shoulders do you want your cowl to go? My model is 5'5" tall and wears and adult small - you can see that the bottom edge of the cowl just covers her shoulders. Yet a friend of mine who is close to my height (5'10" with proportional should width!) said she would like to make it wider at the bottom so it would cover more of her shoulders. What do you think? How wide do you want your cowl to be? I am genuinely curious, as the width question had never occurred to me - I prefer my cowls to sit on top of my shoulders!

Twisty Cowl is available for download at, and in print versions through your local yarn store, and the Patternworks catalog.


  1. That's a good question, Mary Beth. I've never worn one that covers my shoulders to any degree but I *love* the look. I'm making one now from the neck down so that I can keep trying it on and stop when it covers my shoulders the way I like it the most.
    Just looking at your photos, I think I'd want mine to fit me like yours--no longer or shorter.

  2. I love the cowls that cover my shoulders and b/c I also love shawls, ponchos and wraps I feel it is all in one. I just finished a cowl that covers my shoulders (alittle longer) and goes up to the neck which can be tied up around the neck or turned down.


Thoughts? We'd love to hear them.