Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Building Bridges Cowl

Building Bridges Cowl
Building Bridges Cowl

My main motivation for designing this cowl was simple: I felt plain, ugly, unadulterated guilt. After all, I've hardly changed direction with the seasons, and spring has definitely sprung. So I finally went to the yarn store and found a fiber a bit more appropriate for warmer weather, and came up with a design to match (speaking of the design, it's based on a bridge here in Zürich. Check out the pic below!). I also thought this design might be a nice candidate for the double-wrap for still-chilly days. Or crazy movie theater air conditioning, or the eventual advent of fall...

Yarn: Lang Yarns Riva (52% Cotton, 48% Acrylic; 115 yards [105 meters]/50 grams); # 0009 Rosa/Grau/Blau - three skeins, & scrap yarn (roughly 36" if you wanna get real precise) for holding provisional cast-on and live stitches on other end during blocking

Building Bridges Cowl
A closer view of the pattern.
It looks like an x!
Needles: One pair of needles in size US 7; one pair of needles in size US 8 for provisional cast on

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

Which brings us to the patterns! Using your size 8 needles, then, cast on 40 stitches provisionally. Transfer stitches to your size 7 needles and we'll move straight to the main pattern, for which you'll need the following notation:

rt (right twist): knit two together, leaving stitches on left-hand needle; next, insert right-hand needle from the front between the two stitches just knitted together, and knit the first stitch again.  Finally, slip both stitches from left-hand needle together

lt (left twist): with right-hand needle behind left-hand needle, skip one stitch and knit the second stitch in back loop; then insert right-hand needle into the backs of both stitches and k2tog-b (knit two together through back loops, inserting right needle from the right)

The bridge detail that inspired the pattern.
Pretty much it just looks like a bridge.
And once you've got that down, we'll continue as follows. As a little note here, I realize that this stitch pattern is absurdly long. I promise you that it's very intuitive nevertheless, and you will only need to reference it a few times at most after your first pattern repeat! :)

Rows 1, 3, 5... etc..., up through 39 (wrong side): k2, p36, k2

Row 2: k2, lt, k32, rt, k2

Row 4: k3, lt, k30, rt, k3

Row 6: k2, (lt) twice, k28, (rt) twice, k2

Row 8: k3, (lt) twice, k26, (rt) twice, k3

Row 10: k2, (lt) three times, k24, (rt) three times, k2

Row 12: k3, (lt) three times, k22, (rt) three times, k3

Row 14: k2, (lt) four times, k20, (rt) four times, k2

Row 16: k3, (lt) four times, k18, (rt) four times, k3

Row 18: k2, (lt) five times, k16, (rt) five times, k2

Row 20: k3, (lt) five times, k14, (rt) five times, k3

Row 22: k2, (lt) six times, k12, (rt) six times, k3

Row 24: k3, (lt) six times, k10, (rt) six times, k3

Row 26: k4, (lt) six times, k8, (rt) six times, k4

Row 28: k5, (lt) six times, k6, (rt) six times, k5

Row 30: k6, (lt) six times, k4, (rt) six times, k6

Row 32: k7, (lt) six times, k2, (rt) six times, k7

Row 34: k8, (lt) six times, (rt) six times, k8

Row 36: k9, (lt) six times, (rt) five times, k9

Row 38: k9, (rt) five times, k2, (lt) five times, k9

Row 40: k8, (rt) six times, (lt) six times, k8

Row 41: k2, p17, k2, p17, k2

Row 42: k7, (rt) six times, p2, (lt) six times, k7 

Row 43: k2, p16, k4, p16, k2 

Row 44: k6, (rt) six times, p4, (lt) six times, k6 

Row 45: k2, p15, k6, p15, k2

Row 46: k5, (rt) six times, p6, (lt) six times, k5

Row 47: k2, p14, k8, p14, k2

Row 48: k4, (rt) six times, p8, (lt) six times, k4

Row 49: k2, p13, k10, p13, k2

Row 50: k3, (rt) six times, p10, (lt) six times, k3

Row 51: k2, p12, k12, p12, k2

Row 52: k2, (rt) six times, p12, (lt) six times, k2

Row 53: k2, p11, k14, p11, k2

Row 54: k3, (rt) five times, p14, (lt) five times, k3

Row 55: k2, p10, k16, p10, k2 

Row 56: k2, (rt) five times, p16, (lt) five times, k2    

Row 57: k2, p9, k18, p9, k2

Row 58: k3, (rt) four times, p18, (lt) four times, k3

Row 59: k2, p8, k20, p8, k2

Row 60: k2, (rt) four times, p20, (lt) four times, k2 

Row 61: k2, p7, k22, p7, k2

Row 62: k3, (rt) three times, p22, (lt) three times, k3

Row 63: k2, p6, k24, k6, k2

Row 64: k2, (rt) three times, p24, (lt) three times, k2 

Row 65: k2, p5, k26, p5, k2

Row 66: k3, (rt) two times, p26, (lt) two times, k3

Row 67: k2, p4, k28, p4, k2

Row 68: k2, (rt) two times, p28, (lt) two times, k2

Row 69: k2, p3, k30, p3, k2

Row 70: k3, rt, p30, lt, k3

Row 71: k2, p2, k32, p2, k2

Row 72: k2, rt, p32, lt, k2

Row 73: k2, p1, k34, p1, k2

Row 74: knit

Knit rows 1 - 74 four times (the eagle-eyed among you might wonder why I didn't stop that fourth repeat at row 73, since we're about to graft. It's all a matter of running yarn placement, fyi!). Clip yarn tail, leaving a tail of roughly 3 - 4 feet for later grafting, and then use a tapestry needle to thread scrap yarn through live stitches to hold for blocking, and block flat. Finally, place each end of the cowl on each one of your size US 7 needles, and, using the Kitchener stitch, graft. Tuck in ends!

Building Bridges Cowl

Building Bridges Cowl

Building Bridges Cowl

Building Bridges Cowl

Building Bridges Cowl

Building Bridges Cowl


  1. Replies
    1. Glad you like it! I really enjoyed this yarn. :)

  2. Hi! I am thinking of knitting this interesting scarf for my daughter-in-law. It looks like it may be just a little short to wrap double around someone's neck. How long was the finished length ? Thanks !

    1. Hi Sue!

      Each pattern repeat is about 10" long, so in total it's about 40". Of course you could always add another repeat! :)

    2. i want to make this scarf. bought this beautiful summer yarn but only have 200 yds. do you think this will possibly make it? I won't wrap it around, most likely, so don't need it longer. love this pattern.

    3. You can definitely get at least two pattern repeats out of 200 yards (which will be about 20") and if you're willing to play a bit of yarn chicken my bet is that you can finish a third as well, which will take it to about 30". Let me know if you have any other questions! :)