Sunday, January 26, 2014

Cat's Eye Cowl

Cat's Eye Cowl
I know this yarn is discontinued, but I loved the Arrowhead Lace Cowl I knit out of it so much that I couldn't resist picking up another couple of skeins when I saw it in the store again. Of course, this voluminously draped cowl would look just as nice in another worsted-weight cotton or linen or bamboo or whatnot, and knits up relatively quickly, even with the very wide middle panel (the width is what gives it that drape).
The back

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Sweet Caroline (100% Cotton; 76 yards [69 meters]/50 grams); #32 Pale Yellow - two to three skeins (I squeaked by with two, but had about 8 inches of yarn left at the end)

Needles: One set of straight needles in size 7

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches

So let's get started! Begin by casting on 8 stitches. Then, we'll go to the set-up pattern, which starts as follows (and whose two rows we'll knit multiple times, until we've increased our stitch count from 8 to 31):

Set-up Row 1 (right side): k1, yo, knit until there are three stitches left in row; p1, k1, p1

Row 2: p1, k1, and then purl until end of row

Knit rows 1 - 2 until you have 31 stitches on your needle and you've just finished row 2 of the set-up pattern. Then we'll knit two transition rows and move on to the main pattern. So first, knit this:

Transition Row 1: k2, kfb 24 times, k2; finish p1, k1, p1

Transition Row 2: p1, k1, p1, knit until end of row

And then it's time to move on to the main pattern, which is Cat's Eye from page 178 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. So here goes:

Row 1 (right side): k4, ((yo) twice, k4) 12 times, p1, k1, p1

Row 2: p1, k1, p3, (p2tog, (p1, k1) into double yo, p2tog) 12 times, end p2

Row 3: k2, yo, (k4, (yo) twice) 11 times, k4, yo, k2, p1, k1, p1

Row 4: p1, k1, p4, ((p2tog) twice, (p1, k1) into double yo) 11 times, (p2tog) twice, p3

Knit rows 1 - 4 seven times through (this is easy to figure out by counting the single yo holes at the edges), and then it's time to work in some short rows. So let's proceed as follows:

Row 5 (short row): k4, ((yo) twice, k4) 12 times, w&t

Row 6 (short row): p2, (p2tog, (p1, k1) into double yo, p2tog) 12 times, end p2

Row 7 (short row): k2, yo, (k4, (yo) twice) 11 times, k4, yo, k2, w&t

Row 8 (short row): p3, ((p2tog) twice, (p1, k1) into double yo) 11 times, (p2tog) twice, p3

Rows 9 & 10: repeat rows 1 & 2

Rows 11 & 12 (short rows): repeat rows 7 & 8

Rows 13 & 14 (short rows): repeat rows 5 & 6

Rows 15 & 16: repeat rows 3 & 4

For your reference, you now have 10 single yo eyelets along the top & bottom edges of your piece. That will make it handy for you to count as you finish up this section of the cowl with seven more repeats of rows 1 - 4 (and you have 17 yo holes along the edges). And once you've finished with all of that, it's time to start reducing. First, then the transition rows:

Transition Row 1: purl until you're two stitches from the end, k1, p1

Transition Row 2: p1, k1, p3, p2tog 24 times, p2

And now, for the decrease rows!

Decrease Row 1: k1, yo, (ssk) twice, knit until last three stitches; p1, k1, p1

Decrease Row 2: p1, k1, purl until end of row

Repeat decrease rows 1 & 2 until you have eight stitches left on your needle, and you've just completed decrease row 2. Bind off loosely and seam piece together.


  1. Could you clarify the increase fro 8- 31 stitches, I seem to be having a problem with this. Thanks

    1. Sure! You're just repeating your two set-up rows, which add one stitch every two rows, until you have 31 stitches on your needle. Does that help?

  2. Yes it helps alot! I was misreading the pattern : )

  3. I am just loving your wonderfully clear instructions! And this is such a cool pattern. I'll definitely be checking out more of yours. Thanks so much!

    1. Wonderful to hear! And just let me know if you ever have any questions!!! :)