Knitty: little purls of wisdom
beauty shot

I wear my hair very short so I see my stylist at least every 6 weeks. She's a nice young woman and I enjoy my time with her. (She's also the only person who knows exactly how many gray hairs I have and she lies to me so I don't feel so bad). Although not a knitter herself, she always likes to hear me talk about my crafty crafts and to see what I'm working on. And she does this without mocking. So a few months ago when she jokingly asked me to make her a cowl, I decided I would do just that and surprise her with one.

I'm really not all that creative with names so I named this cowl after her: Katie.

The spinning is pretty easy and the more uneven the better, so it's a great project for the relatively novice spinner. However, two color brioche can be a little confusing at first which is why I gave this pattern a Tangy rating. The pattern will show itself after a few rows, so be patient, take your time, and have fun with it.

By the way, she really liked it.

spacer model: Cheryl Burke
spacer photos: Maryse Roudier


Length: 65 inches
The length of the cowl really doesn't matter, but over 60 inches guarantees that your cowl is long enough to wrap around your neck twice.
Width: approximately 7.5 inches unstretched


spacer [MC] Spun Right Round Fiber and Yarns [Falkland; roving]; color: Pegasus; 8 ounces.
spacer [CC] Lamb's Pride Worsted by Brown Sheep Company [85% wool/15% mohair; 190 yards/173 meters per 113 g skein]; color: Grey Heather; 1 skein

Finished Yarn:
spacer Wraps per inch: 8
spacer Ply: 2
spacer Yardage used: approximately 175 yards for each color.
spacer Drafting method: worsted


Spinning tool: Louet S10 DT; bobbin drive with Woollee Winder
Niddy noddy: Louet skein winder
Lazy kate: Louet built-in lazy kate

Commercial Yarn Alternative
spacer Manos del Uruguay Wool Classica Space Dyed [100% pure wool; 138yds per 100g skein]; 2 skeins

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 24-inch US #9/5.5mm circular needle. Note that although this scarf is worked flat, it cannot be worked on straight needles.

spacer yarn needle



14 sts/16 rows = 4 inches in 2 color brioche stitch, unstretched, after blocking.

[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

The MC stripes are made by tearing apart each 4 oz braid lengthwise multiple times and spinning each section one after another. Each 4 oz braid was spun this way and then the yarn from the 2 braids were plied together.

Instructions for the 2-color brioche stitch were taken from Nancy Marchant: Knitting Brioche: The Essential Guide to the Brioche Stitch, 2009, pg. 69.

BRK [Brioche Knit]: Knit the stitch that was slipped in the previous row together with its yarn over.

BRP [Brioche Purl]: Purl the stitch that was slipped in the previous row together with its yarn over.

YB: Move the yarn to the back.

YF: Move the yarn to the front.

All slip stitches are slipped purwise.

Sl1 yon: This move is worked between purl sts. Slip the next st, and then wrap the yarn over the needle and bring it around to the front again, into purl position.

Yf sl1 yb: This move is worked between knit stitches. Bring the yarn to front, slip the next stitch, take the yarn to the back.

The long tail cast-on is explained here.

Ensure you cast on very loosely for this project: make sure to leave lots of room between the stitches on the needles on the cast-on edge.


Using CC and the long-tail method, very loosely cast on 25 stitches.

Setup row [CC]: [P1, sl1 yon] to last st, p1. Do not turn but slide work to the other end of the needle.

Attach MC.

Setup row [MC]: Sl1, yb, [brk1, yf sl1 yb], brk1, yf, sl last stitch. Turn work.

Row 1 [CC]: K1, [yf sl1 yb, brk1] to last 2 stitches, yf sl1 yb, k1. Do not turn, but slide work to the other end of the needle.

Row 1 [MC]: With CC hanging in back, sl1, yf, [brp1, sl1 yon] to last 2 stitches, brp1, yb, slip last stitch. Turn work.

Row 2 [CC]: P1, [sl1yon, brp1] to last 2 stitches, sl1 yon, p1. Do not turn, but slide work to the other end of the needle.

Row 2 [MC]: With CC hanging in front, sl1, yb, [brk1, yf sl 1 yb] to last 2 stitches brk1, yf, sl last st. Turn work.

Repeat Rows 1 [CC, MC] and Rows 2 [CC, MC] until piece measures desired length.

Bind off with CC and break both yarns.


Block, but don't stretch it. The cowl will be very stretchy and that's how you want it to be.
Without twisting, bring the ends together with the [CC] sides facing and whip-stitch the top-most CC loops together using CC yarn. The CC seam should be apparent on the CC side.

Weave in all ends.


designernamespacer Maryse Roudier is a research project manager who in her spare time is a knitter, crocheter, spinner, photographer and all around maker of things. Her crochet designs have appeared in Crochet Today, Knitting it Old School, and Interweave's Crochet at Home and Clever Crocheted Accessories. She lives in the greater Boston metropolitan area with her husband and three stray cats who won't leave the yard but refuse to come into the house.

She blogs intermittently at, tweets as justmaryse, and posts photos on instagram as justmaryse2013. You can also find her on Ravelry.