“I just want more of her.” A wonderful piece on the late lamented food writer, Laurie Colwin.

Road to Rhinebeck Knitting: Free Pattern

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Dear Ann,
As knitters of the Northeast block their Rhinebeck sweaters (or upgrade their Rhinebeck Sweater to a Thanksgiving Sweater), I’d like to be helpful. A free pattern will come in handy for anyone who has the good fortune of having two skeins of delicious Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 4 ply fall into her stash, perhaps even at Rhinebeck. It’s an easy-to-memorize, fun-to-work stitch pattern that looks like a cable yet is not a cable at all. Our tasteful and curious pal Belinda heard my call for a cool mock cable, dipped into her Japanese stitch dictionaries, and pulled this one out. I love the flatness and drape of the fabric (due to the lack of true cable twists); it’s a perfect match for this fluid yarn.
To me, the Donut Cowl is the perfect accessory for times when one wants to tone down the Fiber Freak signals one is broadcasting, and look a bit more refined. It will pass when you’re in a Brooks Sisters crowd; you’ll fit in yet maintain handcrafted superiority. So, here you go. Enjoy, and please let me know if there are any mistakes or problems. (If a doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient, a designer who tech edits her own pattern is a complete idiot.)
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Donut Cowl
Lightweight 4-ply cashmere is a sumptuous yarn that wants an elegant, understated stitch pattern. Too lazy to fuss with an all-over cable, your intrepid cowlista chose a mock cable that is fun to work. Each motif is 3 stitches by 4 rows, with a yarnover that makes a hole in the center. Reminiscent of donuts.
To increase or decrease the width of the cowl, cast on a multiple of 4 stitches plus 5 stitches.
The pattern separates the donuts with single purl stitches, to yield an attractive ribbed effect on the wrong side. For a faster knit, cast on a multiple of 3 stitches plus 6 (for the 3-stitch reverse stockinette edging on either end), and omit the purls between donuts.
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Finished Size: Approximately 60” (150cm) long 8” (20cm) wide
Yarn: Jade Sapphire Exotic Fibres Mongolian Cashmere 4-ply, 55g (200 yards), 2 skeins in #104 Yes We Can Can
Tools
Size 5 (3.75 mm) short straight needles
Waste yarn for provisional cast-on
Gauge
Approximately 6 stitches = 1” in donut stitch
Note: Gauge precision is not critical as long as the knitted fabric is to your liking.
Abbreviations and terms
RS Right side
WS Wrong side
Donut Pattern
Row 1 (RS): Purl 3, *knit 3, purl 1; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, purl 2.
Row 2: (WS): Knit 3, *purl 3, knit 1; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, knit 2.
Row 3: Purl 3, *insert right needle purlwise into the front of the third stitch on the left needle, lift it over the first two stitches on the left needle and pass over the tip of the left needle, knit 1, yo, knit 1 (so that now, on the right needle, there are 3 stitches “wrapped” by the passed over stitch), purl 1; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, purl 2.
Row 4: Repeat Row 2.
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Instructions

Cast on 57 stitches provisionally. (Note: The cast on is (13 x 4 ) + 5. To alter the width of the cowl, cast on a different multiple of 4 stitches + 5.)
Row 1 (RS): Purl 3, *knit 3, purl 1; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, purl 2.
Row 2: (WS): Knit 3, *purl 3, knit 1; repeat from * to last 2 stitches, knit 2.
Continue working the Donut Pattern until the cowl is the desired length or you are nearly out of yarn (ending with Row 4, and leaving enough yarn to bind off or graft the two ends of the cowl together).
donutcowlbindoff.jpg
Undo the provisional cast-on and place those stitches on a third needle. With wrong sides of the piece facing each other, use a 3-needle bindoff to join the two ends of the cowl, forming a decorative ridge at the join. Alternatively, graft the two ends together using Kitchener Stitch.

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. I’m sure I posted a comment, and now it is gone!
    I admired cowl, model, and especially the faux leopard sweater, which reminds me of one from 1986 or so, a VK pattern by some venerable designer. So nice to see the classics come back in style!

  2. Hi Mary! I made a bonedheaded mistake and deleted the published blog instead of the draft! Had to do some fancy dancing to get it back up again, but the comment was a casualty; I never even saw it!
    I’ve learned not to say: “Cool! We had that in the 80s!” to the teen. They think they invented the faux leopard sweater you know.
    xox Kay

  3. I LOVE this! I ‘m pretty sure everyone on my Christmas list will, too. Thank you!

  4. Hi Kay, I just love this pattern,color and that gorgeous model! She just gets more beautiful every time I see a photo!! I love that stitch… I think I need to go find some yarn and start a new scarf…down side on my end,I have 4 girls who will want it! That’s a lot of knitting!!

  5. Hi Kay, I just love this pattern,color and that gorgeous model! She just gets more beautiful every time I see a photo!! I love that stitch… I think I need to go find some yarn and start a new scarf…down side on my end,I have 4 girls who will want it! That’s a lot of knitting!!

  6. Ha! All photographed up. Brilliant job. Glad you liked the stitch x x x

  7. … donuts look the same up or down … madame … tournez la photo en bas svp … is upside down … ha ha … bbb … a rhinebeck en cowl!

  8. You are no idiot, just too funny. Thanks for the laugh and the beautiful cowl pattern. I’ve now got an excuse to buy that cashmere yarn I saw the other day–happy dance! p.s. Love Ann’s beautiful blanket, too.

  9. Love it , although slightly wistful to see you leave the honey cowl behind…
    perhaps you will be posing in this one for the Rhinebeck Style photo shoot Sunday (and for anyone reading this who also wants to pose, stop by, please, the more the merrier)

  10. Awesome stitch, model, fiber and color!

  11. Just to be clear, you’re not suggesting we knit this WHILE driving to Rhinebeck. I just started a cashmere tub scarf but maybe I’ll do your cowl instead. Let the cowling begin…

  12. Thank you so much for this, Kay. It is truly just what I was looking for. Fairly easy (where I live only garter stitch and stockinette are truly easy) and interesting at the same time. Your beautiful model sets it off just perfectly. And that faux leopard sweater (complete with rolled cuff 3/4 sleeves) has my name on it!

  13. Love the beauty and simplicity of the cowl pattern (and the beauty of the model) but question the statement, “for times when one wants to tone down the Fiber Freak signals one is broadcasting.” ?!? I do not understand this impulse. What is this “tone down” of which you speak? I say, Do Not Tone Down the Handmades. Instead, seek out the company of other knitters, yarn shops, fabric stores, and fiber festivals and be content… ; )

  14. Carrie is growing up. The kids seem to do that, and so fast.

  15. Love that cowl, will definitely have to make one or ten of them. Have fun at Rhinebeck. One year, I hope to actually get there!

  16. Beautiful model.
    Beautiful cowl.
    God bless.
    LoveDiane

  17. Ah, boneheadedness, I get it. Nice save.

  18. Thank you for such a timely FREE gift! Holidays, here we come!

  19. I’m still putting off the holiday knitting. I know! What am I thinking? Obviously I’m going to be the crazy woman knitting at the end of December, telling the husband “One more row and then these mittens will be done for Joe.”

  20. Hi@ LOVE the model – your beautiful daughter is really growing up!!
    Love the pattern – thank you! I did want to know what you think of substituting Rowan CashSoft for the Jade Sapphire (I cannot afford that right now – someday!) with this pattern?
    Thanks again!
    Sheri

  21. Hi@ LOVE the model – your beautiful daughter is really growing up!!
    Love the pattern – thank you! I did want to know what you think of substituting Rowan CashSoft for the Jade Sapphire (I cannot afford that right now – someday!) with this pattern?
    Thanks again!
    Sheri

  22. Good luck to you today in NYC, Kay!