Scarves are great, but sometimes you need the practicality of  a well-fitted cowl.  No fuss, no muss, and no ends to get tangled or caught in doors (don’t ask).  So, when Lindsay (as seen below) asked me to ponder the possibilities of a 2-skein pattern using Merino Alpaca, I immediately thought of a cabled cowl.  Cowl for the reasons above.  Cabled because Merino Alpaca creates the most divine ‘ropey’** cables I’ve seen.

Obviously, it had to be patterned (cables!), but it also had to be both architectural and flexible – not an easy task.  After some extensive brainstorming, I decided to fallback on my love of rib-to-cable-to-rib patterns.  The transition between 4×4 and 2×2 ribbing and back gives fabric natural places to fold comfortably and drape, while ensuring elasticity.  The end result was Astoria, a cowl worthy of the Oregon Coast and the next pattern preview from the upcoming booklet Shibui Texture:

Astoria from Shibui TextureAstoria, from Shibui Texture

To keep things interesting, though, I decided to stagger the transitions from the two ribs, giving the final design a little more visual oomph.  The staggered transitions also mean knitters won’t have to knit 2×2 rib forever, which is something I’m sure knitters will appreciate :)

All in all, I’m pleased with the design, which is important.  Hopefully, you like it, too.  If so, please feel free to fave it on ravelry or even add it to your queue!  Until the next Texture preview, keep it cowl*.

*Sorry, couldn’t resist.

**No, that’s probably not a word recognized by the Oxford English Dictionary.

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