Knitty: little purls of wisdom
beauty shot


Worked in the round, this reversible cowl is knit using the stranded knitting technique. The inspiration for this pattern came from came from living in such a large city like Los Angeles and wanting to combine the aesthetic of the city with something a little more tribal.

The result, a combination of urbanized patterns that come from buildings and roads with the combination of more traditional looking tribal patterns that can end up being more on the bold side of design.

spacer model: Grace Akhrem
spacer photos: Arthur Ontman


Width: 7 inches
Circumference: 53 inches



spacer [MC] Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light [100% superwash merino wool; 420 yds/384 m per 100 g skein]; color: Candlewick; 2 skeins

The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze Peppino [100% merino wool; 225 yds/206 m per 65g skein];
spacer [CC1] Titanium; 1 skein
spacer [CC2] Steel; 1 skein
spacer [CC3] Gun Metal; 1 skein

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below — every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 1 40-inch US #5/3.75mm circular needle
spacer 1 40 -inch US circular needle for holding the stitches while grafting — the same size or smaller will work fine

spacer one stitch marker
spacer scrap fingering weight yarn in a contrasting color to MC
spacer yarn needle


24 sts/34 rounds = 4 inches in stranded colourwork pattern, after blocking


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

Use the stranded knitting technique for the color work portion of this pattern. When carrying one color across more than six stitches, it is better to wrap the working yarn around the contrasting color to that the loops in back to not get too long and interfere with the tension of your knitting.

This project uses the backwards loop method as a provisional CO. Directions may be found here.

Directions and tips for stranded colorwork (Fair Isle) can be found here.

Basic instructions for grafting can be found here.

Note that this pattern requires a graft in garter stitch. See this video for assistance.

The charts for this pattern are very large and fit on a letter-sized page.
Click here and print the resulting page. NOTE: Chart A revised 9/30/15


Urban Section (shown at top)
Using scrap yarn and the backwards loop method (see Pattern Notes), CO 315 st.

Join CC1 and knit one row. Place marker and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist your work.

Work rounds 1-62 of chart A, working repeat 15 times around.

Turning Ridge
With CC1 still attached, knit one round and then purl one round (this will create the fold in the pattern that separates the two sections.

Tribal Section (shown at right)
Work rounds 1-61 of chart, B working repeat 15 times around.

Break all colors.

While your piece is still on your needles, weave in all your loose ends and reattach CC1. Pre-measure your yarn about three and a half times the circumference of your piece. Carefully remove or unpick the waste yarn and place all live stitches onto the second circular needle. Starting at the same point where your cast on began, graft your cast on edge to your bind off edge. Using the Kitchener stitch, graft your stitches together in garter stitch to complete the second fold in your pattern that will separate the two sections completely.

Block and weave in final ends.


designernamespacer Grace Akhrem lives in Los Angeles, California, where she spends her time designing wearable knitting patterns. When Grace isn’t designing, she spends her time teaching knitting classes that focus on technique, both locally and nationally.

Her website is and you can find her on Ravelry, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Grace also has a blog. Join Grace's newsletter here.