Let me introduce you to the Coffee Kitchen Cowl. Named after one of my favourite coffee stops in Cockermouth. This is a simple make, comfortable, practical and sure to be essential on those days when you need something you can tuck inside a coat or jacket without adding bulk. The yarn is called Canopy and is produced by the The Fibre Company, I’ll admit I was seduced by the colour and bought it with no project in mind. It is the softest yarn to wear and the colours just gleam. It’s getting easier to find the Fibre Co. yarns in the UK. I usually buy my yarn online from Tangled Yarn, but there are other stockists.
For a long time it was simply called the “draught excluder”, but now I have finally got around to publishing the pattern I felt it needed a better name. So why the Coffee Kitchen? Well, firstly that’s where most of this sample was knitted earlier this year. Secondly it shares a lot of the same qualities. It’s comfortable, reliable and will always make you you feel warm and cosy – just like the cafe itself. If you ever find yourself in Cockermouth, look it up and peruse their extensive coffee and tea lists, then take yourself round the corner to the bakery and treat yourself to a loaf of real bread.
This is a cowl that suits all ages – as you can see from the photos it’s equally at home in the city or in the wild outdoors. You can even make a narrower version and wear it as a head band. The cast on and cast off edges will roll naturally to give a gently curled edge.
So, here’s the pattern. Don’t forget to check out the cheats and hacks at the end.
Coffee Kitchen Cowl:
Size: circumference 48cm, height 17cm (after blocking)
Tension: 25 stitches = 10cm (measured over stocking stitch in the round using 3.25mm needles or size needed to obtain tension)
You will need:
3.25mm circular needle with 40cm cord
stitch marker to mark beginning of round
1 skein of Canopy Fingering (Made by the Fibre Company) 50g / 183m/200y. Yarn composition: 50% Baby Alpaca, 30% Merino, 20% Viscose Bamboo. Shade used: Macaw
Abbreviations: See end of pattern
Cast on 120 stitches, join for working in the round, being careful not to twist stitches. Place marker to indicate beginning of rnd.
Rnds 1 -5: Knit
Rnd 6: *k3, p1; rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnds 7 and 8: As rnd 6
Rnd 9: *sl1 (purlwise), k1, yo, k1, psso last 3 sts; rep from * to end
Rnds 10 – 12: *k3, p1; rep from * to end
Repeat rnds 9 – 12 until work measures 16cm from cast on edge.
Knit 5 rnds.
Cast off loosely.
Weave in ends and block by soaking in tepid water. Squeeze out excess water (do not wring) and leave flat to dry
yo: yarn over
sl 1: slip 1
psso: pass slipped stitch over
The Cheat Sheet:
- I always tell my pupils that in yarn crafts there are no “rules”, do what you love and do what you want – and don’t let the knitting police tell you otherwise.
- It’s fine to substitute the yarn, I won’t get cross (but do check out the Fibre Co, the quality is amazing and the colours are stunning).
- You can substitute any 4 ply or fingering yarn. Shilasdair luxury 4 ply works well and the now discontinued Rowan Cashsoft 4 ply was perfect. Fyberspates Vivacious would be great.You’ll need about 200m for the size as written. Choose something special as it’s going to be close to your skin. Yarns with a “halo” like Mohair and Baby Alpaca aren’t so great as the stitch definition can be lost – but try them if that’s want you want to use. Look for a soft, smooth yarn with a high natural fibre content. Silk or viscose blends will have a sheen that reflects the stitches well.
- If you prefer to knit on double pointed needles or magic loop, then go right ahead – it’s your knitting.
- Cast off your way. You might prefer a stretchy cast off or to use a size larger needle. Either way, the choice is yours. No-one but you will ever know…
- Want it longer, wider? Just increase the cast on stitches in multiples of 4 – but you’ll need more yarn. Work more rounds as you wish until the cowl is your perfect size.
- Make these for friends and family as a quick festive make – if you have horse riders, climbers or cyclists in the family I’m told these are great as they don’t “dangle” and keep out the wind!