We’re often asked if we know a good cowl pattern, or have a book of them. This request has been particularly common in the past month or so, so I thought I’d give a virtual version of my in-shop answer. A book of cowls: unfortunately, no. A good cowl pattern: here are four, and all the better because they are free.

To some, a cowl is a tube designed to fit closely around the neck, almost like a dickey. A turtleneck detached from its sweater. Here is one such cowl, in simple 2×2 ribbing, knit with the soft and slightly shiny Debbie Bliss Andes, a dk weight blend of alpaca and silk. The pattern is available at the shop–just ask for the Andes cowl.

To others, a cowl is a long loop of a scarf, designed to be wrapped around the neck twice. We have two cowls that meet this description, the first of which is available online, and the second, at the shop. Meet the Big Herringbone Cowl (above) and the Moebius Cowl (below). We used a worsted-weight merino/silk blend and a mohair/silk blend, respectively.

Somewhere between the two shapes is this newest cowl, knit from String Theory Merino DK. The Purl Ridge Cowl pattern is also available as a free pattern from the Hillsborough Yarn Shop, as of Thursday afternoon, when I bound off, wove in the ends, and immediately tried it on. Cozy.

My challenge to you: choose a color.

String Theory, as I have gushed several times in as many weeks, does incredible things with yarn and dye. My photographs don’t do it justice. Come and see the stuff with your own two eyes!

Swans Island. Again.

Every time we get a box from Swans Island, Anne and I exchange an open-mouthed look of delight. It’s so exciting to open those boxes, to see the new colors and welcome back those that we’d already sold out of. 

And those are just the reorders. Our joy is doubled when we pull aside a bag of Swans Island yarn to reveal a packet of Swans Island patterns! There were so many in our most recent shipment that we had to get a bigger binder.

Below, you can take a peek inside the Swans Island Patterns binder, though I must say, it really deserves a full-on browse. Start here and if you like what you see, come by the shop to see the rest! You’ll be Swans Island junkies like us in no time.