POW: The Caen Cowl

The Caen Cowl, originally featured in Knitscene Fall 2015, is a plush, warm cowl perfect for wrapping up in. It’s worked in a unique stitch pattern: brioche. Brioche stitch is worked using a combination of slipped stitches, yarnovers, and k2tog to create a thick, fluffy fabric; there’s a free tutorial here that explains how to work it and gives you a few projects to practice on.

caen cowl

Learn to graft a brioche stitch when you take on the Caen Cowl.

Because it’s such a lofty stitch, it makes a very warm cowl without being too heavy and dense. Make it full length and wrap it around your neck two or three times, or try looping it around your shoulders like a short poncho. If you’re making it as a gift and are pressed for time, you can always make it shorter and have the recipient wear it as a single loop.

caen cowl

The lofty stitch will have you wearing this cowl again and again.

For this project, we’ve also invented a new technique for joining the ends: brioche grafting. Senior Project Editor Joni Coniglio is passionate about grafting,so she spent some time working out how to join the two ends together invisibly and then wrote up her instructions on how to graft in brioche stitch. Read her instructions for grafting and watch videos explaining her process here. I encourage you to try this brand-new technique to create a nifty invisible join, but you can always just join the ends together with a three-needle bind-off if you’re feeling less ambitious.

This cowl uses luscious Malabrigo Chunky yarn. Malabrigo is a South American company striving to make a difference in its community by using eco-friendly dyeing techniques, practicing sustainable sheep ranching, and employing local women to make its products.

Made entirely from Uruguayan Merino wool, this yarn is super soft and ideal for wrapping around a delicate neck. It’s kettle-dyed and handpainted in small batches to produce unique colorways. The subtle variations in hue in the Caen Cowl create interest without overwhelming the simple stitch pattern. It’s a perfect pairing for cold, blustery weather.


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