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Floral Double Knit Cowl

Feb 4, 2014
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I designed this cowl because I wanted a chance to try double knitting. I figured that a cowl, just being a tube of fabric, would be an easy way to start double-knitting and also an easy way to show off both sides of a reversible fabric. I pretty immediately had visions of a bold and bright background on one side with the design in a subtle solid and the reverse being a subtle background and bold and bright design. I chose a floral motif because I love flowers and love love love bright floral fabrics!

The design process was as smooth as could be expected (I know to expect a few bumps along the way!). I used Illustrator to draw a repeating chart for the floral motif and picked out my yarns based on their color palette and how delicious I knew they would feel around my neck. When I started knitting a swatch, I quickly discovered that my gauge in double knitting is very different than my gauge in stranded knitting (something I am already comfortable with). In retrospect, it's not much of a surprise, but it did mean that I changed the number of pattern repeats from what I had originally planned.

I learned two important lessons while working this cowl. 1 - double knitting isn't hard but it sure is slow! I was very surprised to find that it took me 40 hours of knitting to finish the cowl - I can knit a sweater in that amount of time! 2 - I love a challenge. I find that any time I push myself to learn a new technique or push against the limits of what feels safe and easy, I am rewarded with bursts of creativity and pride in the finished project. This cowl was a solid reminder of this fact.

To knit the cowl, I used 6 skeins of Cashmere-Merino-Silk DK by Sublime, three in latte (my neutral background color) and one each in raddichio, very cherry, and spicy. I used size 5 US circular needles for a gauge of 5 sts and 7.5 rows per inch. Since this is a simple cowl, you can easily change yarn, yarn weight, and needle size and still have a wearable project.

Assuming you know how to double knit:
To knit the cowl, cast on 318 sts.
Work 3 horizontal repeats and one vertical repeat of the floral chart available for free at
Bind off.

The chart shows how the finished knitting will look on one side of the cowl, so for every color 1 stitch you K, P the next stitch in color 2. Likewise, for every color 2 stitch you K, P the next stitch in color 1. If you desire stripes, as the pictured cowl, change color 2 every 14 rows for 5 stripes. 

If double knitting doesn't interest you, you can use the same chart for stranded knitting instead!

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Soficrafts64 wrote
on Feb 28, 2014 3:44 AM


I don't know double knit yet but you make me intrested.

I think that in futur I try this tecnique.

Good job!