We are super excited that knitwear designer, author, and blogger Jen Geigley has dreamt up a signature creation just for Purl Soho! Jen’s Thermal Cowl hits all her most defining notes: Very wearable, very modern, and very cozy.

Thermal Cowl | Purl Soho

We love the blown up scale of a classic thermal waffle, achieved here with a very simple cable pattern and our Big Good Wool. A big and chunky undyed wool from the Andean highlands, Big Good Wool brings natural beauty to the warmth and comfort of thermal.

Thermal Cowl | Purl Soho

Knit in the round, Jen starts and ends the Thermal Cowl with a couple rounds of a lateral braid stitch. Besides creating a beautifully detailed selvage, it’s also a fun knitting technique that seems to turn stitches 90 degrees… wild and wonderful!

Thermal Cowl | Purl Soho

You’ll only need two skeins of Big Good Wool to knit up this cozy beauty. And at a little over 3 stitches to the inch, you’ll be done before the wind really whips up!

Thermal Cowl | Purl Soho

Designed for Purl Soho by Jen Geigley.

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


Thermal Cowl | Purl Soho
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  • 2 skeins of Purl Soho’s Big Good Wool, 100% undyed Andean highland wool. Each skein is 274 yards/ 200g; approximately 403 yards required. We used the color Winter Grass. (Please Note: Big Good Wool is no longer available. To view our full line of Purl Soho yarns, click here! Be sure to check your gauge when substituting yarns.)
  • US 11 (8 mm), 32- or 40- inch circular needles
  • A cable stitch holder
  • A stitch marker


13½ stitches and 16 rounds = 4 inches in stitch pattern


Finished Circumference: 66 inches, to wrap twice around neck
Finished Height: 9 inches


C4F (Cable 4 Front)

Slip 2 stitches onto cable stitch holder and hold in front of work, k2 from left needle, then k2 from cable stitch holder.

C4B (Cable 4 Back)

Slip 2 stitches onto cable stitch holder and hold in back of work, k2 from left needle, k2 from cable stitch holder.



Using a Long Tail Cast On, cast on 224 stitches. (Note: We accidentally posted this pattern with a cast on of 144 stitches. We’re so sorry for any trouble this has caused!)

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

Round 1: Purl to end of round.

Work Lateral Braid

Lateral Braid Round: Using Cable Cast On, cast 1 stitch onto left needle, *k1 through back loop (tbl) into second stitch on left needle, keeping stitch on needle; knit first stitch on left needle, slide both stitches off needle onto right needle; slip last worked stitch from right needle back to left needle; repeat from * to last stitch, knit last stitch, then pass second stitch on right needle over.

Next Round: Knit to end of round.

Repeat Lateral Braid Round.

Work Cable Pattern

NOTE: If you lose track of which cable you are working as you knit, cables that slant to the left are front cables. Cables that slant to the right are back cables.

Round 1: *C4F (see Notes), C4B (see Notes), repeat from * to end of round.

Rounds 2-4: Knit to end of round.

Round 5: *C4B, C4F, repeat from * to end of round.

Rounds 6-8: Knit to end of round.

Repeat Rounds 1-8 three more times.

Repeat Round 1 once more.

Work Lateral Braid

Work Lateral Braid Round.

Knit to end of round.

Work Lateral Braid Round.

Purl to end of round.

Bind off purlwise.


Weave in ends and block as desired.

Thermal Cowl | Purl Soho