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Sugar Cube Cowl

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This listing is for the Sugar Cube Cowl knitting pattern.

There are separate listings for the matching hat and mitts, alternatively you can buy all three patterns as a set here.

2020 has been a strange old year: with a pandemic shutting all of us up in our homes, one thing I really missed was coffee-shop knitting. The Sugar Cube Knits set is a homage to this activity, featuring a simple textured stitch pattern, made up of knits and purls, that looks like stacked sugar cubes.

As summer turns to autumn I find myself wanting a lightweight additional layer: cowls are my favourite solution. The Sugar Cube cowl is knitted in DK weight yarn and can be made either short or long (to be wrapped round the neck twice) to add a little extra warmth without resorting to a coat. The stitch pattern is fully reversible, so the inside of the cowl is as attractive as the outside.

The cowl uses a beautiful tonal brown DK yarn, dyed specially by Blue Fern Yarns, to evoke the warm tones of brown sugar. The merino/bamboo blend really helps the stitches to pop.

The cowl is worked in the round from the bottom up, starting with a small section of ribbing, then the large, textured pattern section is knitted. The cowl is finished with a final ribbed section.

  • Short loop: S - short, M - short, L - short: Depth: 24 cm (9.5 in); Circumference: 50 (54.5, 59) cm [20 (21.75, 23.75) in]
  • Long loop: S - long, M - long, L - long: Depth: 30 cm (12 in); Circumference: 132 (141, 150) cm [52.75 (56.25, 60) in]
For the short loop, choose a size that is approximately 0–5 cm (0–2 in) larger than your head circumference, measured around your ears; for the long loop choose the size that would fit if you were knitting the short loop.

  • 22 sts and 32 rnds = 10 cm (4 in) in stocking stitch worked in the round on 4 mm (US 6) needles after wet blocking, or size needed to obtain correct tension
  • 22 sts and 34 rnds = 10 cm (4 in) in Sugar Cube pattern worked in the round on 4 mm (US 6) needles after wet blocking, or size needed to obtain correct tension
185 (205, 220 // 610, 655, 695) m [205 (225, 245 // 670, 720, 765 yds)] of DK weight yarn

I would recommend using a smooth DK weight yarn with good stitch definition to make the stitches pop. Make sure that the yarn you use is soft enough to use against your neck. The sample is knitted in merino/bamboo, but a merino or merino/nylon blend would also work well.

  • 3.75 mm (US 5) circular, 40 (40, 40 // 100, 100, 100) cm [16 (16, 16 // 40, 40, 40) in] in length
  • 4 mm (US 6) circular, 40 (40, 40 // 100, 100, 100) cm [16 (16, 16 // 40, 40, 40) in] in length

  • Stitch marker x 1 to mark beg of rnd
  • Additional stitch markers to mark pattern repeats (optional)

Pattern notes
The instructions are for the smallest size, with larger sizes in parentheses: S - short (M - short, L - short // S - long, M - long, L - long).

The sample is knitted in Blue Fern Yarns Boo (DK, 225 m per 100 g skein, 80% superwash merino, 20% bamboo) in the colourway Muscovado and size L - short. Yarn support was provided by Blue Fern Yarns; you can find all their yarns on their website: This colourway was dyed specifically for this pattern.

If you are knitting the cowl in hand-dyed yarn and are making a size that requires more than one skein, you may wish to alternate skeins throughout to avoid a colour jog when you start a new skein.

This pattern was tech edited by Jo Torr.

A version of this pattern was published in Knit Now issue 91 of Knit Now magazine.
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