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Madison, CT 06443


Welcome to Madison Wool!  We are a fiber lover’s paradise, with fine yarns for hand knitting plus one of a kind, handspun art yarns that you cannot find anywhere else! 


Get Knitting! Free Pattern: "The Cowl of Many Colors"

Ashley Martineau


It's getting chilly, so of course, that means Cowl weather!  Inspired by Ashley Martineau's pattern in, "Neauveau",, I wanted to play with bits of my handspun too, but play with color and texture using different needle sizes and not patterns.  I like my knitting in the round to be 'mindless', so changing yarns and needles seemed easier to me than knitting from a pattern.  I was going for a 'puffy shirt' look, thinking that certain parts would pop out and thought that using  a commercial novelty yarn to anchor those down would do the trick.  The cowl didn't come out to the picture in my head, but I like it just the same.  Grab your 25-50 yard handspun bits, a little silky novelty yarn, and tons of 24 inch circulars (ok, just 3 sizes--6, 10.5, and 15), and get knitting!



“The Cowl of Many Colors”: Easy cowl featuring handspun yarn

Don’t know what to do with small oddments of handspun yarn?  Or does your stash bust out with bits of this and that?  Make this cowl, and enjoy! Feel free to change this pattern up!


Sizes and needles are approximate!  Use what you have available. This cowl came out to be 10 inches tall, and full length from neck down=17 inches.  Keep knitting to make it taller, add stitches to cast on for a longer cowl.  (gauge approximate, about 4 stitches per inch on size 10.5 cast on edge).

5 foot long piece of silk ribbon, or I-cord, or crochet chain yarn, for weaving through top to pull in for ‘tulip’ effect at the neck. Have fun changing this tie up!

Grab your circular needle collection!  This cowl uses 24 inch circulars, sizes 6, 10.5 (or 11), and 15.  Or whatever is close!

Yarns: Yarns in this cowl were of the heavy worsted/chunky variety.  Yarns used:  Crafty Scientist Handspun Merino/sparkle yarn (50 yds), Aslan Trends Litoral Sparkle (novelty yarn, color 1378, 110 yds/skein, used less than half a skein ), Crafty Scientist yarn plied with cassette tape (30 yds), Crafty Scientist assorted chunky handspun yarns (50-75 yds), Crafty Scientist icelandic with a ‘twist’ yarn (yarn spun with twists; lockspun yarn a good choice also for drama at this part), Crafty Scientist kid mohair lockspun (about 25 yds, for top bind off).

The Recipe (not quite a pattern)

Cast on 68 stitches on size 10.5 needles using a soft yarn (here, used the merino/sparkle white yarn).  Join for knitting in the round; be careful not to twist unless you want a twisted cowl look.  Knit 5 rows.  Change to size 15 needles.  Knit 5 rows with another handspun yarn (used cassette tape-plied yarn).  Change to size 6 needles, then knit 3 rows tightly with the Litoral sparkle yarn (this is a smooth, rayon novelty yarn.  Use something smooth here, and of a heavy worsted variety).  Using this to try and make the other parts knit on size 15 needles look ‘puffy’ by comparison—can skip this and just make a cowl of many colors on size 15s! Change back to size 15 needles, then knit 5 rows with another handspun yarn (here, used oddments of purple and pink yarns).  Change again to size 6 needles, and knit 3 rows with the Litoral).  Change again back to size 15s, and knit 5 rows with another handspun with some ‘funk’—here, used Icelandic yarn with twists off of it, but check your stash or spin something up!  Locks would be great here too.  Change again to size 6s, and knit 3 rows with the Litoral.  Change to size 15s, and knit 3 rows with soft handspun (here, used cormo with kid mohair bits), then two rows with a lock spun yarn (used kid mohair), and then bind off with the lock spun loosely.

Weave in ends, and wash with Soak wool wash or Unicorn Fibre Wash.  Lay flat to dry.

When dry, take a yarn needle and weave the length of ribbon/yarn through the top of the cowl, right below the lockspun yarn at the top, about an inch from the top.  Put on, then pull as tight as you would like for the effect you want.  Keep it long and loose or tight around your neck as a high cowl/snood.  Enjoy the compliments!