Three-Color Slipped-Stitch Cowl

Download PDF Version here: ThreeColorCowl-Pattern PDF

Link to Ravelry page

This cowl uses three colors of worsted weight yarn. It is worked flat in a six-row, slipped-stitch pattern, and seamed. You knit from the bottom up, changing colors every row, but using only one color across one row.

Casting on loosely is recommended because you start slipping stitches on the very first row after casting on. The lower border and body of the cowl are knit using US size 9 needles (or size needed to get gauge). For the top border, you switch to smaller needles.

The cowl is shaped with decreases on three rows on its lower half. You decrease 8 stitches evenly on rows 13, 19 and 25 – going down from a total of 123 stitches to 99 stitches. [I could not do this completely unobtrusively because of the color changes, but that doesn’t bother me because the slight staggering of stitches isn’t noticeable when I put on the cowl. The pattern includes instructions for decreasing (the way I did) but if you know of another method to achieve cleaner decrease lines, you could use that instead].

IMG_7790 (800x600) IMG_7816 (800x599)
IMG_7809 (800x661) IMG_7725 (800x657)

Abbreviations:

  • MC – Main Color
  • CC1 – Contrast Color 1
  • CC2 – Contrast Color 2
  • sl1 – slip 1
  • wyif – with yarn in front
  • wyib – with Yarn in back
  • pm – Place Marker
  • sm – Slip Marker
  • ssk – Slip, Slip, Knit the 2 slipped stitches together
  • k2tog – Knit 2 together

  Finished Dimensions:

  • Circumference – 21.5” (top edge), 26.5” (bottom edge)
  • Height – 8.5” to 9.5” (depending on the number of pattern repeats you choose to do)

Yarn Requirements:

  1. 90-100 yards (40-50 g) of worsted weight yarn in the main color
  2. 70-80 yards (30-40 g) of worsted weight yarn in the first contrast color
  3. 70-80 yards (30-40 g) of worsted weight yarn in the second contrast color

For the samples in the pictures above, I used the Patons Classic Wool and KnitPicks WotA.

  1. In the Green-Red-Blue scarf, green is the main color (MC), red is the first contrast color (CC1), and blue is the second contrast color (CC2).
  2. In the Grey-Blue scarf, dark grey is the main color (MC), light grey is the first contrast color (CC1) and blue is the second contrast color (CC2).

Needles:

  • 24-inch (or longer) US size 9 circular needle (for cowl body)
  • 24-inch (or longer) US size 7 circular needle (for top border)
  • 24-inch (or longer) US size 10 circular needle (for casting on loosely)

Notions:

  • 1 tapestry needle for seaming and weaving in ends
  • 8 stitch markers

Gauge (in main pattern stitch after blocking):

  • Approx. 4.5 stitches and 8 rows per inch

Slipped Stitch Pattern (worked over an odd number of stitches):

  • Row 1 – RS (in CC1) – *sl1, k1, repeat from *, ending with a sl1
  • Row 2 – WS (in CC2) – *p1, sl1, repeat from *, ending with a p1
  • Row 3 – RS (in MC) – knit all stitches
  • Row 4 – WS (in CC1) – *sl1, p1, repeat from *, ending with a sl1
  • Row 5 – RS (in CC2) – *k1, sl1, repeat from *, ending with a k1
  • Row 6 – WS (in MC) – purl all stitches

Repeat rows 1-6 for slipped stitch pattern

  • When slipping stitches, make sure the yarn is always on the wrong side of the work. On the right side of the work, stitches are slipped wyib; on the wrong side of the work, stitches are slipped wyif. All stitches are slipped purlwise.

Cowl Pattern:

Using the main color (MC), loosely cast on 123 stitches.

Lower border:

  • Row 1 – RS (using CC1) – *k1, sl1, repeat from *, ending with a k1
  • Row 2 – WS (using CC2) – knit all stitches
  • Row 3 – RS (using MC) – *k1, sl1, repeat from *, ending with a k1
  • Row 4 – WS (using CC1) – knit all stitches
  • Row 5 – RS (using CC2) – *k1, sl1, repeat from *, ending with a k1
  • Row 6 – WS (using MC) – knit all stitches

These first 6 rows form the lower border of the cowl.

Main body of cowl:

The following rows 7 to 12 form the pattern repeat for the main body of the cowl. The first and last stitches of every row are selvage stitches, and are knit. All the stitches between the first and last stitch are worked in the pattern stitch.

***Please note that on row 12, you need to place markers for decreasing.

  • Row 7- RS (using CC1)– *k1, sl1, repeat from * to the last stitch, end with k1
  • Row 8- WS (using CC2)– k1, *p1, sl1, repeat from * to the last 2 stitches, end with p1, k1
  • Row 9- RS (using MC)– knit all stitches
  • Row 10- WS (using CC1)– k1, *sl1, p1, repeat from * to the last 2 stitches, end with sl1, k1
  • Row 11- RS (using CC2 – k2, *sl1, k1, repeat from * to the last 3 stitches, end  with sl1, k2
  • Row 12- WS (using MC)– k1, purl all stitches to the last stitch, end with k1

Repeat rows 7-12 eight or nine more times, or till you get your desired height for the cowl body, making decreases at the same time. Decrease eight stitches each on rows 13, 19 and 25 (the first rows of the second, third and fourth pattern repeats) evenly. A total of 24 stitches are to be decreased.

This is how I worked the decreases:

***On row 12:- k1, p5, [pm, p15] 3 times, pm, p21, [pm, p15] 3 times, pm, p5, k1

First decrease row – On row 13:- [knit in pattern to the marker, sm, ssk] 4 times; [knit in pattern to 2 stitches before the next marker, k2tog, sm] 4 times, knit in pattern to the end of the row. You now have 115 stitches remaining on the needle.

Knit rows 14-18 in pattern.

Second decrease row – On row 19:- [knit in pattern to the marker, sm, ssk; knit in pattern to the next marker, sm, sl1, ssk] 2 times; [knit in pattern to 3 stitches before the next marker, k2tog, sl1, sm; knit in pattern to 2 stitches before the next marker, k2tog, sm] 2 times, knit in pattern to the end of the row.

You now have 107 stitches remaining on the needle.

Knit rows 20-24 in pattern.

Third decrease row – On row 25:- [Knit in pattern to the marker, SM, ssk] 4 times; [knit in pattern to 2 stitches before the next marker, k2tog, SM] 4 times, knit in pattern to the end of the row.

You now have 99 stitches remaining on the needle.

Knit the next 5 rows of the pattern.

Repeat rows 7 to 12 five or six more times (total 9 or 10 repeats of stitch pattern) or until your cowl is about half an inch shorter than the height you want, ending with the last row of pattern stitch on a WS row.

Top border:

For the top border, switch to size 7 needles (or size 6 if you want the cowl to fit closer around your neck at the top).

  • RS – Using CC1, *k1,sl1, repeat from * to the end of the row, ending with a k1
  • WS – Using CC2, knit all stitches
  • RS – Using MC, *K1, sl1, repeat from * to the end of the row, ending with a k1
  • WS – Using CC1, knit all stitches
  • RS – Using CC2, *k1, sl1, repeat from * to the end of the row, ending with a k1

WS – Using MC, bind off all stitches knitwise.

Block the un-seamed cowl to desired measurements.

Seam the left and right edges of the piece, weave in ends.

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13 thoughts on “Three-Color Slipped-Stitch Cowl

  1. After you have done the decreases in the main body and ended up with 99 stitches, the pattern says “Knit the next 5 rows of the pattern.” Then you are supposed to repeat rows 7-12 five or six more times for a total of 9 or 10 repeats of the stitch pattern.
    1) Shouldn’t it be 6 rows of the pattern?
    2) Shouldn’t it be a total of 6 or 7 repeats?
    Sarah

    • Hi Sarah,

      The last decrease row – the one that leaves you with 99 sts – is the first row of the 6-row stitch pattern (and it’s being worked on the 4th pattern repeat). So you’ll need to work 5 more rows of the stitch pattern after the decrease row, before starting the next repeat.

      It’s a total of 9 or 10 repeats because the decreases are made on the first row of the second, third and fourth pattern repeats. If you’re working 5 or 6 additional repeats after the last decrease, you end up with a total of 9 or 10.

      I just made some changes to the blog post to make it less confusing. I’m hoping that helps!

      Happy knitting 🙂

      • Hi Patricia,

        I’m not sure what’s missing. Do you have 115 sts on the needle before starting row 19? You should have 107 sts after working the decreases. But, as I say in the pattern, you need not work the decreases exactly as written. As long as you can continue to work in-pattern after the decrease row without the decreases being too prominent, or not to your taste, you should be good.

        I wish I could offer more specific advice! Hope you’re able to figure it out!

    • Thanks so much, Linda! You got it – odd number of stitches to follow the stitch pattern, plus maybe a few garter edge stitches on the left and right since you won’t be joining the edges. A baby blanket sounds like a really good idea! I should probably do one myself.

      Happy knitting! 🙂 🙂

  2. thanks for sharing ur pattern , i luv it but i am soooo confused. newish knitter so that explains it! the part where is says’ this is where i worked the dec’ it says on row 12 is that really row 7 again? 1st dec row is after pattern7-12 rows each time i repeat pattern? sorry i am so confused

    • Hi Bonnie! Rows 7-12 are the pattern repeat – maybe it’ll be easier if you think of these rows as the stitch pattern itself, row 7 representing row 1 and row 12 representing row 6. The first decrease row is row 13 of the cowl – which is the first row of the 6-row stitch pattern (and also row 7). I worked the decreases on rows 13, 19 and 25 of the cowl, and those are all the first row of the stitch pattern (which is row 7 as written in the pattern).

      I’m sorry it’s so confusing! I should rewrite it to make it clearer. For now, just look at rows 7-12 as the stitch-pattern repeat.

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