A beautiful cowl knitting pattern

Faina's Santorini Cowl

Faina’s Santorini Cowl

Faina Goberstein has designed many beautiful knitting patterns, but I love her slip-stitch Santorini Cowl so much. The colors are what got me right off the bat: pink, gray, and cream, effortlessly working together to create a beautifully textured cowl. It’s a statement piece. I invited Faina to be a guest blogger today to tell you about her pattern and the slip-stitch technique that she used to develop it. —Kathleen

The Santorini Cowl: An Ode to Slip-Stitch Knitting

I am so obsessed with slip-stitch knitting that I can talk about it non-stop. These stitches seem to have minds of their own; the more you work with them, the more they open to you and you feel like you just follow them. If you make a little bit of a change in the stitch pattern and work with solid yarn or multiple colors, you end up with a very different fabric every time.

When I was designing Santorini Cowl (get the kit!), I had in mind an easy project that used a few slip-stitch patterns that would help me to reinforce what I was teaching in my Slip-Stitch Knitting video workshop.

There were three tasks to accomplish:

Choosing yarns and colors.
The beautiful Anzula yarn, For Better or Worsted, was a huge help for my inspiration. After swatching with many beautiful color combinations, I finally settled on one that was exactly what I envisioned for this design. These four colors help each other pop in any combination or order.

When designing a slip-stitch project like this, it’s worth the time spent swatching to come up with the perfect color palette; some color combos work wonderfully, and some just don’t complement each other well.

Choosing stitch patterns.
Since the video workshop covers stitches from four groups of slip-stitch techniques, starting from basic to more advanced, it made sense to mix some easy, traditional stitches with my favorite woven waves. In the end, I used three traditional patterns: polka dots, linen stitch, and stripes, which with their geometric simplicity and vertical orientation, beautifully harmonized with horizontal and artsy waves.

Cowl shaping.
In order to show all these patterns in the most effective way, each stitch pattern had to be knitted for several rounds. The finished cowl is 13” tall overall, and if I did not add any shaping and made a straight tube, when worn, it would naturally fold a few times and none of the stitch patterns would show!

15KN03Therefore, the shaping was a must. One thing I learned while swatching numerous slip-stitch patterns for the Slip-Stitch Knitting video workshop and The Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting book, is that you want to avoid shaping within the pattern, or at least placing decreases and increases on the rounds where stitches need to be slipped. If I wasn’t careful about this, the pattern would get distorted.

Therefore, I placed all decreases on the resting rounds between the patterns. After the intended shaping was done and the neck circumference was decreased, the cowl draped in such a way that it shows off the stitch patterns.

Tips for Successful Slip-Stitch Knitting

A stitch can be slipped with the float (strand of yarn) placed intentionally in the front or back of a stitch. We slip all stitches as if to purl, unless otherwise stated.

Take care of length of a float. Short floats can cinch the fabric and distort the gauge, while a long float can snag and look sloppy.


The length of the float should equal the width of the stitches it floats over.


If you slip as many as 5 stitches at a time with yarn in front, you can do it one at a time, or all 5 together as follows:

1. Insert RH needle into next 5 stitches.


2. Lay the yarn in front of stitches and slip the stitches off.


3. Put yarn in back and work the next stitch.

There is so much more to learn about slip-stitch knitting. Get my Slip-Stitch Knitting video workshop or The Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting today! There’s also a beautiful kit for the Santorini Cowl available, which includes the pattern and the beautiful Anzula For Better or Worsted yarn.

Enjoy knitting the slip-stitch pattern and the Santorini Cowl.

—Faina Goberstein

Faina Goberstein is the co-author of The Art of Slip-Stitch Knitting published by Interweave/F+W in Summer 2015. She is obsessed with slip-stitch techniques and loves to spread her findings while teaching fun and interactive classes. Visit her website and see what she’s up to.

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