Our Soft As A Cloud Cowls are as if we reached up and grabbed some puffy clouds floating by, and they actually feel like they look like they feel. And my, what a wonderful feeling, downy and snuggly, gentle and billowy!

Soft As A Cloud Cowls In Cygnet | Purl Soho

This nebulous ring of softness is made out of our beautiful Cygnet, an undyed blend of 70% cashmere and 30% baby alpaca. Both fibers contribute to cloud-like softness, but it’s the cashmere that brings the ethereal lightness.

Soft As A Cloud Cowls In Cygnet | Purl Soho

All this well-being demands some exquisite stitchery. Our Soft As A Cloud Cowls use simple techniques to etch columns of pretty twists. The Open Mock Cable version (above, left) uses a yarn over and a “pass slipped stitch over” (essentially a bind off); the Spiral Rib (above, front) employs an easy right twist (yes, there’s a tutorial!); and the third version (above, right, and also below) combines the two.

Soft As A Cloud Cowls In Cygnet | Purl Soho

You’ll need just two 50-gram skeins of Cygnet to knit up your favorite version. There are four undyed shades to choose from, the three beauties shown here, plus Heirloom White… Cast on for cloud nine!

Soft As A Cloud Cowls In Cygnet | Purl Soho
Soft As A Cloud Cowls In Cygnet | Purl Soho

Designed for Purl Soho by Joelle Hoverson for her (now out-of-print) book, More Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

Materials

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  • 2 skeins of Purl Soho’s Cygnet, 70% undyed white cashmere and 30% natural-color alpaca. Each skein is 164 yards; approximately 328 yards required. We used the colors Silver Stone, Weather Gray, and Ash Bark.
  • US 2 (3 mm), 16- or 20-inch circular needles
  • A stitch marker

Gauge

40 stitches and 40 rounds = 4 inches in stitch pattern (all three versions are the same gauge)

31 stitches and 42 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

Sizes

Open Mock Cable

  • Finished Dimensions: 20½ inches in circumference x 10¾ inches high

Spiral Rib

  • Finished Dimensions: 20½ inches in circumference x 10½ inches high

Open Mock Cable + Spiral Rib

  • Finished Dimensions: 20 inches in circumference x 10½ inches high

Notes

Slip Stitches

Slip all slipped stitches purlwise with yarn in back.

PSSO (Pass Slipped Stitch Over)

Use left needle to lift slipped stitch (third stitch on right needle) over first two stitches and off the needle. [1 stitch decreased]

RT (Right Twist)

NOTE Our Mock Cable Rib tutorial demonstrates this technique!

K2tog, leaving stitches on left needle, insert right needle between 2 stitches just worked and knit first stitch again, slip both stitches from left needle together. [2 stitches on right needle, no decrease or increase]

Stitch Multiples

Open Mock Cable Rib Cowl is worked over a multiple of 5 stitches.

Spiral Rib Cowl is worked over a multiple of 6 stitches.

Open Mock Cable + Spiral Rib Cowl is worked over a multiple of 11 stitches.

Pattern

Open Mock Cable Rib Cowl

Soft As A Cloud Cowls In Cygnet | Purl Soho

Cast on 200 stitches. We used a basic Long Tail Cast On.

Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches. Place marker for beginning of round.

Rounds 1 and 2: *K3, p2, repeat from * to end of round.

Round 3: *Slip 1 (see Notes), k2, psso (see Notes), p2, repeat from * to end of round. [160 stitches remain]

Round 4: *K1, yarn over, k1, p2, repeat from * to end of round. [200 stitches]

Repeat Rounds 1-4 until piece measures 10¾ inches or to desired length, ending with Round 4.

Bind off, working Round 1 pattern.

Weave in ends and gently block.

Spiral Rib Cowl

Soft As A Cloud Cowls In Cygnet | Purl Soho

Cast on 204 stitches. We used a basic Long Tail Cast On.

Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches. Place marker for beginning of round.

Rounds 1 and 3: *K4, p2, repeat from * to end of round.

Round 2: *(RT [see Notes]) 2 times, p2, repeat from * to end of round.

Round 4: *K1, RT, k1, p2, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat Rounds 1-4 until piece measures 10½ inches or to desired length, ending with Round 4.

Bind off, working Round 1 pattern.

Weave in ends and gently block.

Open Mock Cable + Spiral Rib Cowl

Soft As A Cloud Cowls In Cygnet | Purl Soho

Cast on 198 stitches. We used a basic Long Tail Cast On.

Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches. Place marker for beginning of round.

Round 1: *K3, p2, k4, p2, repeat from * to end of round

Round 2: *K3, p2, (RT [see Notes]) 2 times, p2, repeat from * to end of round.

Round 3: *Slip 1, k2, psso (see Notes), p2, k4, p2, repeat from * to end of round. [180 stitches remain]

Round 4: *K1, yarn over, k1, p2, k1, RT, k1, p2, repeat from * to end of round. [198 stitches]

Repeat Rounds 1-4 until piece measures 10½ inches or to desired length, ending with Round 4.

Bind off, working Round 1 pattern.

Weave in ends and gently block.

Soft As A Cloud Cowls In Cygnet | Purl Soho
Soft As A Cloud Cowls In Cygnet | Purl Soho