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Section Cut Cowl

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Many of my explorations in knitwear design are rooted in my architectural experience. Among other interests, I continue to be inspired by analog line drawings. In college and graduate school, my design studio instructors often created open-ended assignments, allowing students to create and explore with simple lines in graphite. From time to time during critiques, instructors would analyze and rotate our drawings upside down to allow us to view our own work with new eyes.

In the moment, it was easy to be frustrated, thinking the instructor didn’t understand the idea behind the work, but through the years I realized this reinterpretation of the work simply allowed for a fresh perspective. In fact, years later, I found myself using this same strategy with my own design students! Years later still, I find myself creating knitting patterns that can be appreciated from many angles and worn in many ways.

SECTION CUT COWL is another design in my knitwear portfolio that has no clear front, back, top, or bottom. This versatile design uses 2 colors of fingering weight yarn in garter stitch with stockinette welts on both sides of the fabric. Welt sizes change with each pattern repeat with an intuitive rhythm that is fun to create. The final piece is part whimsy and part sophistication, depending on how you look at it. The pattern is written for 2 cowl sizes: one close-fitting, and one with slightly more drape, as shown in the sample. The sample version is shown in 2 colors, but the welts could easily highlight multiple colors of yarn for a different look.

I’ve always loved section drawings: they are vertical cuts through buildings showing the inner relationship of spaces. I love that the architect chooses where to make the cut in order to reveal the space inside. In the same way, the wearer of this cowl gets to decide how to style it. Creating this knitting accessory inspired by section cuts makes me very happy. I hope you have fun knitting and styling your own SECTION CUT COWL.

Suburban Stitcher Sock, 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon, 460 yd / 421 m per 100 g, or similar fingering weight yarn (

1 color is used for the cowl body and 1 color is used for the welts. Either size uses less than 1 skein of each of 2 colors. It may be possible to make a cowl of each size with 2 skeins by inverting MC and CC, as yarn estimate includes a 15% buffer. Sample shown in size large, colorways Steel (MC) and Chicory (CC).

9.6” tall x 21.3” around (24 cm tall x 54 cm around)
MC: 212 yd / 194 m (46 g)
CC: 147 yd / 134 m (32 g)

11.2” tall x 28.4” around (28 cm tall x 72 cm around)
MC: 331 yd / 303 m (72 g)
CC: 193 yd / 176 m (42 g)

20 stitches & 36 rows = 4” (10 cm) in garter stitch knit flat after blocking
Gauge is not critical, but will affect finished size of piece
US 6 (4.0 mm) circular needle, min. length 24” (60 cm) or size needed to get gauge
Additional needle of same size or smaller to join welts

The pattern includes written directions and a photo tutorial for creating the welts, as well as a schematic in each size to help plan out your colors!

Share your finished creations on Instagram with #SectionCutCowl.

Yarn Support: Suburban Stitcher (
Tech editing: Bronwyn Hahn
Test knitting: Lili B., Barbara D., Laura H., Jennie K., Amanda K., Kathrin K., Erin L., Louise R., Katherine T., & Amy W.
You will get a PDF (2MB) file