At Purl Soho we have a customer who, no matter the season, breezes into the store draped in the most meticulously combined textures layered to perfection and always, I mean always, in neutrals from head to toe. She makes one color feel like a rainbow with her play of hues and shades, textures and cuts. This woman, she can really wear gray.

This lovely fashionista was on my mind when I coupled this dynamic duo of yarns. One, Habu’s Viscose Sizing, a crisp, stark white ribbon wrapped in a delicate black thread. The other, Alchemy’s Haiku, a gorgeous hand-dyed silk and mohair blend with a downy glow.

As with our customer’s ensembles, the Salt + Pepper Cowl is an in-depth exploration of tactility and versatility. The ends are ribbed pulling both yarns, contrasting with the nearly weightless body of the cowl, which is knit in a smooth single row stripe. A slit at one end can be worn at the top, folded over like a collar. Or flip the cowl over and wear the slit draping over a shoulder for some extra length, drama and jaunty asymmetry.

Thank you, chic, beautiful customer of ours, for the inspiration. You’re one of so many who exhilarate our senses every day! -Laura



8 1/2 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch using Yarn B


  • Finished Dimensions: 22 inches in circumference by 17 inches long


A large portion of this cowl is constructed by working single row stripes in the round. If you are unfamiliar with this technique, please visit our tutorial by clicking here.


Begin with Ribbing

With Yarn A, cast on 188 stitches.

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

Holding both Yarn A and Yarn B together, *k2, p2, repeat from * to end of round.

Continue working in a 2 x 2 rib until piece measures 3 inches from cast on edge.

Still holding both Yarn A and B together, knit.

Continue knitting each round until piece measures 3 1/2 inches.

Continue with Stripes

Round 1: With Yarn A, knit.

Round 2: With Yarn B, knit.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until piece measures 13 1/2 inches from cast on edge, ending with Round 2.

Next Round: With Yarn A, k2tog, knit to last two stitches, ssk. (186 stitches).

Working with Both Yarns Again

Holding both Yarn A and Yarn B together, knit to end of round.

Continue knitting each round until piece measures 14 inches.

Next Round: *K2, p2, repeat to last two stitches, k2.

NOTE: You will now be working back and forth in rows rather than in the round. You will turn the work at the end of each row.

Row 1 (wrong side): Slip 1 purlwise, p1, *k2, p2, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 2 (right side): Slip 1 purlwise, k1, *p2, k2, repeat from * to end of row.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 17 inches from cast on edge.

Repeat Row 1.

Cut Yarn B.


With Yarn A, loosely bind off in pattern.

Weave in your ends and block gently.