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Blooming Bessie cowl

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Channeling all the opulence of the Tudor court (but less of the murderous megalomania), the Blooming Bessie cowl uses luxury yarn and simple, but effective stranded colourwork to create a knit to treasure.

Slipped stitches frame the floral motifs, which are finished at the top and bottom with narrow bands of garter stitch. And with options for single or double loop, and for working the charts all in two main colours, or working with a gradient set (or other small amounts), you can create more versions of Blooming Bessie than Henry VIII had wives.

Key information
The Blooming Bessie cowl is worked in the round, from the bottom up. The floral motif is created using stranded colourwork

Suggested yarn:
4ply yarn that meets gauge. The single wrap sample is knitted in Kremke Eco Cashmere (100% cashmere, 112m/122yds per 25g ball) in the colours Rose (10130) as mc and Cherry Red (10041) as cc1.

For the double wrapped, I’ve used Old Maiden Aunt Alpaca Silk in the Greige colourway as mc (70% baby alpaca, 20% silk, 10% cashmere, 365m/400yds per 100g), paired with a set of 5 merino/yak miniskeins from Truly Hooked (60% superwash merino, 20% yak, 20% nylon, 80m/88yds per 20g).

If you’re relatively new to stranded colourwork, you may want to use a more “woolly” yarn, as the grip will make things easier for you; otherwise, go to town with luxury fibres for the ultimate softness.

For hints and tips on yarn substitution, have a look at my blog.

Yarn requirements:
Main colour: 190m/208yds for single wrap | 340m/370yds for double wrap.
Contrast colour: 175m/191yds total for single wrap | 310m/340yds total for double wrap.

For the double looped cowl I changed contrast colour as shown on set 2 of the charts, using 5 colours for the contrast. I used approx. 15g/60m of each of the contrast colours.

If you wish to work the single looped cowl in the colour pattern shown in set 2 of the charts, you will need approx. 9g/36m of each of the 5 contrast colours.

Finished size:
The cowl is around 26cm/10.5in high. The single wrapped cowl has a circumference of 68.5cm/27.5in, and the double wrapped cowl has a circumference of 137cm/54.5in.

Suggested needles (and notions):
3mm (US 2.5) and 3.25mm (US 3) circular needles – 40cm for single wrap cowl, and min 60cm for double
stitch marker
tapestry needle

Gauge:
24 sts and 30 rows to 10cm (4in) over colourwork, knit in the round using 3.25mm needles.
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