Fisherman’s Rib Scarf and Cowl | Purl Soho

How can any knitter resist a stitch pattern called “Fisherman’s Rib”? The name evokes all our most romantic knitting associations: rugged men in densely cabled sweaters materializing out of the fog, abeam a windswept Scottish cliff. Luckily, Fisherman’s Rib is as beautiful (and practical) as its name implies, lofty, springy, and super cozy.

But, let’s face it, most of us aren’t as rugged as your average fisherman. You will rarely hear a fisherman say anything like, “It’s lovely, but maybe a little bit scratchy, don’t you think?”. So for the rest of us, I used the Fisherman’s Rib, but not his yarn.

Fisherman’s Rib Scarf and Cowl | Purl Soho

Instead, I took this opportunity to return to one of my very favorite yarns, The Fibre Company’s Road to China Worsted. I used it three years ago for the Sullivan Street Bolero and have never forgotten its amazing softness and drape. It’s such a gorgeous blend of baby alpaca, cashmere, camel, and silk that even the most unweathered on your gift list will be happy with a Fisherman’s Rib Scarf or Cowl. Just don’t give one to the fisherman in your life. He would never look at his guernseys the same again.

Share your progress and connect with the community by tagging your pics with #PurlSoho, #PurlSohoBusyHands, and #PurlSohoFishermansRibHatAndCowl. We can’t wait to see what you make!

Materials

Fisherman’s Rib Scarf and Cowl | Purl Soho

The Fibre Company’s Road to China Worsted, 65% Baby Alpaca, 15% Silk, 10% Cashmere, and 10% Camel. Each skein is 60 yards/ 50 grams. This color is “Lapis”.

Scarf

  • 6 skeins of Road to China Worsted; approximately 360 yards of a worsted weight yarn required.
  • US 9 (5.5 mm) straight or 16-inch circular needles

Cowl

GAUGE

16 stitches = 4 inches in stitch pattern (unstretched)

SIZES

SCARF

7½ inches wide (unstretched) and 62 inches long (unstretched), stretching to about 80 inches long.

COWL

17½ inches circumference (unstretched), stretching to about 28 inches in circumference, and 10½ inches tall

Notes

How to “Knit Into the Stitch Below”

Insert your right needle into the space right below the next stitch, shown here by the white arrow.

Fisherman’s Rib Scarf and Cowl | Purl Soho

Knit as you normally would, allowing the stitch to fall off the left needle as usual (feels a little scary at first, but don’t worry!).

Fisherman’s Rib Scarf and Cowl | Purl Soho

If you turn your work over, you will see that 2 stitches are wrapped around the stitch you just made.

Fisherman’s Rib Scarf and Cowl | Purl Soho

How To “Purl Into the Stitch Below”

Insert your right needle from back to front (just like normal purling) into the space below the next stitch, right under the purl bump. The white arrow shows the spot.

Fisherman’s Rib Scarf and Cowl | Purl Soho

Purl as you normally would, allowing the stitch to fall off the left needle as usual.

Fisherman’s Rib Scarf and Cowl | Purl Soho

If you look below the stitch you just made, you will see that it is wrapped by 2 stitches.

Fisherman’s Rib Scarf and Cowl | Purl Soho

Scarf Pattern

Cast on 30 stitches. We used a basic Long Tail Cast On.

Preparation Row: Purl.

Row 1: *P1, knit into the stitch below, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, p2. (See instructions below for how to “knit into the stitch below”.)

Repeat Row 1 until you have used all 6 skeins, except for about 2 yards.

Bind off loosely in p1, k1 pattern (you don’t have to knit into the stitch below for your bind off.).

Weave in the ends.

Cowl Pattern

Cast 70 stitches onto a 16-inch circular needle. We used a basic Long Tail Cast On.

Place a marker and join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches.

Preparation Round: Knit.

Round 1: *Knit into the stitch below, p1, repeat from * to end of round. (See instructions above for how to “knit into the stitch below”.)

Round 2: *K1, purl into the stitch below, repeat from * to end of round. (See instructions below for how to “purl into the stitch below’)

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until piece measures 10 1/2 inches from the cast on edge.

Bind off very loosely (use a needle one or two sizes bigger if you have to) in k1, p1 pattern (you don’t need to work into the stitch below for the bind off.).

Weave in the ends.