Last week I was lucky enough to be hiking through the Yucatecan jungle. There, I found myself absolutely mesmerized by the foliage: palm fronds the size of blankets, rubber plants that incomprehensibly grew out of giant rocks, and mossy tree trunks twisting around each other as if they were plaited by Goliath hands.

Braided Cable Cowl | Purl Soho

I wished for a way to bring a small piece of this ecosystem back with me that didn’t require stuffing a palm tree in my suitcase. I realized that the Merino Script I had packed for my trip held the answer! At jungle’s edge, I knit up this Braided Cable Cowl, inspired by the intertwined branches of trees and rambling paths of vines.

Braided Cable Cowl | Purl Soho

Clever short rows worked into the cables give this cowl a flattering fit and elegant shape. And Purl Soho’s doubled Merino Script, with its relentlessly organic beauty, lends amazing warmth. Tropical jungle, please meet the icy wind blowing down Broome Street! -Gina

Materials

Braided Cable Cowl | Purl Soho

  • 2 skeins of Purl Soho’s Merino Script, 100% merino wool. This color is Artemisia Green. NOTE: I used almost all of both skeins for my cowl, so if your gauge is not accurate, you may end up needing 3 skeins of Merino Script. (If you decide to buy a third skein to be on the safe side, don’t wind it until you know you need it. Unwound yarn can be returned for store credit within six months of buying it!)
  • A US 11, straight or 20 or 24-inch circular needles
  • Cable stitch holder

If you decide to start out with a Provisional Cast On for a seamless finish, you will also need…

Gauge

12 stitches and 18 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch, working with 2 strands of Merino Script held together

Size

Adult

  • Finished height: 10 inches
  • Circumference at top edge: 20 inches
  • Circumference at bottom edge: 26 inches

NOTE: You can omit the short rows in this cowl if you want. This will still make a cowl with a finished height of 10 inches but the circumference will be 20 inches at both the top and bottom edge.

Abbreviations

C8F: Slip purlwise the next 4 stitches to a cable stitch holder, hold them at the front of the work. Knit 4, then knit 4 from the cable stitch holder.

C8B: Slip purlwise the next 4 stitches to a cable stitch holder, hold them at the back of the work. Knit 4, then knit 4 from the cable stitch holder.

Wrp-t: wrap and turn

Pattern

Using 2 strands of Merino Script held together, use a Provisional Cast On to cast on 46 stitches.

NOTE: If you would rather not work a Provisional Cast On, you can instead use a long tail cast on. At the end of the project you will sew, rather than graft, the two ends of the cowl together.

Row 1 (wrong side): [P12, k5] 2 times, p12.

Row 2 (right side): [K12, p5] 2 times, k12.

Row 3: Repeat Row 1.

Row 4: C8F, k4, p5, C8B, k4, p5, C8F, k4.

Row 5: Repeat Row 1.

Row 6: Repeat Row 2.

Row 7: Repeat Row 1.

Rows 8: Repeat Row 2.

Row 9: Repeat Row 1.

Row 10: K4, C8B, p5, k4, C8F, p5, k4, C8B.

Row 11: Repeat Row 1.

Row 12 (short row, right side): K12, p3, wrp-t,

Row 13 (short row, wrong side): K3, p12,

Row 14: Repeat Row 2. (NOTE: If there is a wrapped stitch, just work it as a normal purl stitch.)

Row 15: Repeat Row 1.

Row 16: Repeat Row 2.

Row 17: Repeat Row 1.

Row 18: Repeat Row 4.

Row 19: Repeat Row 1.

Row 20 (short row, right side): K12, p5, k12, p3, wrp-t.

Row 21: (short row, wrong side): K3, p12, k5, p12.

Repeat Rows 6 -21.

**Repeat Rows 6-11.

Repeat Rows 14-19.

Repeat from ** three more times.

Repeat Rows 6-21 two times.

Repeat Rows 6-11.

Finish

If you used a provisional cast on:

Braided Cable Cowl | Purl Soho

Removing the scrap yarn, slip the live stitches of the Provisional Cast On onto the spare needle.

Braided Cable Cowl | Purl Soho

Holding the two needles parallel, use the Kitchener Stitch to graft the two ends together.

If you used a long tail cast on, bind off in pattern. Cut the yarn, leaving a tail approximately 20 inches long. Sew the cast on and bind off edges together using a whip stitch on the wrong side of the piece.

Weave in the ends.

Block gently and enjoy your Braided Cable Cowl!

Braided Cable Cowl | Purl Soho