Knitting Pattern: Ribbon Stitch Cowl

Ribbon Stitch Cowl, free #knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter. Slip stitches make colorwork easy on this simple, unisex cowl.Today’s free knitting pattern has been in the works for (ahem) over two and a half years. Let me explain.

Back in January, 2013, I went to Vogue Knitting Live and I picked up two skeins of yarn.

Ribbon Stitch Cowl, free #knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter. Slip stitches make colorwork easy on this simple, unisex cowl.The one on top is Full Moon Farms Fabulous Yarn. If you’d like to meet the wonderful shearer/dyer/spinner/farmer behind this yarn, Laura Watson, you can check out my interview with her here. I was drawn to it because it had rainbow colors but also a lot of black. And, I had already been chatting with Lindsey from Bartlettyarns about his machine spun, made in the USA yarns, and so I picked up a coordinating black skein (on the bottom). You can read my interview with Lindsey and Susan from Bartlettyarns here.

This post contains affiliate links.

And then, for the next few years, I couldn’t find the “right” project. I started a few projects with these yarns over the years, but nothing that seemed perfect. But then I chanced upon a stitch pattern that I thought would be perfect for a cowl in these two colors.

Ribbon Stitch Cowl, free #knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter. Slip stitches make colorwork easy on this simple, unisex cowl.Now both yarns felt a little too scratchy for direct-to-skin wearing, so I knew that I wanted to knitfelt (or full, also known as shrinking it!) the finished project. For that reason, I made it a little larger than what I needed.

728x90OctoberBannersThe knitfelting makes the fabric a little denser, which will help to keep out the cold in the winter. Of course, you can make your version without knitfelting, and it will be pretty warm, too.

Ribbon Stitch Cowl, free #knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter. Slip stitches make colorwork easy on this simple, unisex cowl.Although it looks complicated, this cowl is actually easy enough for most beginner knitters to make. Slip stitches make the colorwork easy.

Ribbon Stitch Cowl, free #knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter. Slip stitches make colorwork easy on this simple, unisex cowl.You can use any two colors of yarn to make this project. I used a solid (black) yarn and a variegated yarn with black highlights, but you could use two contrasting solids, too.

Don’t forget to share a picture on Ravelry or with my Facebook page if you make one!

Add to RavelryIf you want an easy print format, you can buy an ad-free PDF version on Craftsy.

Click to buy the ad-free PDF version of this @ucrafter pattern on Craftsy

Expand Your Knitting SkillsRibbon Stitch Cowl

Knitting Pattern by Underground Crafter

02-easy 50US terms 504-medium 50Slip stitches make colorwork easy on this simple, unisex cowl project.

 

Finished Size

  • Cowl: 24” (61 cm) circumference x 8.25” (21 cm) width (before felting)/21” (53 cm) circumference x 8” (20 cm) width (after felting).

Materials

  • Bartlettyarns 2 Ply (100% wool, 4 oz/113 g, 210 yd/192 m) – 1 skein in Black (CA), or approximately 120 yd (110 m) in any medium weight yarn.
  • Full Moon Farm Fabulous Yarn (100% wool, 4 oz/113 g, 175 yd/160 m) – 1 skein (CB), or approximately 70 yd (64 m) in any medium weight yarn.
  • US Size 8/5 mm knitting needles, or any size needed to obtain gauge.
  • Yarn needle.

Gauge

  • 18 sts = 4” (10 cm) in pattern. Exact gauge is not critical for this project.

CraftsyAbbreviations Used in This Pattern

  • BO – bind off
  • CA – Color A
  • CB – Color B
  • CO – cast on
  • k – knit
  • p – purl
  • pw – purlwise
  • rep – repeat
  • RS – right (front) side
  • sl – slip
  • st(s) – stitch(es)
  • wyib – with yarn in back
  • wyif – with yarn in front
  • * Rep instructions after asterisk as indicated.

Special Stitch Patterns

  • sl 1 pw wyib = slip 1 st purlwise with yarn in back = Bring yarn to back as if to knit. Insert right needle under next st as if to purl and slip to right needle.
  • sl 1 pw wyif = slip 1 st purlwise with yarn in front = Bring yarn to front as if to purl. Insert right needle under next st as if to purl and slip to right needle. Return yarn to back.

Pattern Notes

  • Carry unworked color up side of project.
  • To make a scarf instead of a cowl, repeat Rows 1-8 until approximately 59” (150 cm) long, or 1” (2.5 cm) shorter than desired length, ending after Row 4. Follow remaining rows of pattern. Additional yarn will be required.
  • For a scrappy version, use one color as CA, and alternate colors for Rows 1-2 and 5-6 throughout.
  • Be sure to carry yarn for slip stitches and up rows loosely to avoid puckering.

Pattern Instructions

  • With CA, CO 37 sts, (or any multiple of 4 sts, + 5 sts).
  • Set Up Row 1: (Right Side) K across.
  • Set Up Row 2: P across.
  • Set Up Rows 3-6: Rep Rows 1 & 2 twice.
  • Row 1: With CB, k1, *k3, sl 1 pw wyib; rep from * across to last 4 sts, k4.
  • Row 2: With CB, k4, *sl 1 pw wyif, k3; rep from * across to last st, k1.
  • Row 3: With CA, k across.
  • Row 4: With CA, p across.
  • Row 5: With CB, k1, *k1, sl 1 pw wyib, k2; rep from * across.
  • Row 6: With CB, *k2, sl 1 pw wyif, k1; rep from * across to last st, k1.
  • Rows 7 & 8: Rep Rows 3 & 4 once.
  • Rep Rows 1-8 until approximately 23” (58 cm) long, ending after Row 4. Fasten off CB.
  • With CA, rep Set Up Rows 1 & 2 twice.
  • With CA, BO as for Row 3 in pattern. Fasten off CA with long yarn tail, approximately 24” (30.5 cm), for seaming.

Finishing

  • With RS facing, use yarn needle to seam short ends together on the wrong side using whipstitch. (A photo tutorial for the whipstitch is available here.) Fasten off. With yarn needle, weave in ends on wrong side. Turn cowl right side out. Spray block if necessary. Optional: knitfelt (full) to shrink and make cowl denser. (A photo tutorial for knitfelting in the washer and dryer is available here.)
© 2015 by Marie Segares (Underground Crafter). This pattern is for personal use only. You may use the pattern to make unlimited items for yourself, for charity, or to give as gifts. You may sell items you personally make by hand from this pattern. Do not violate Marie’s copyright by distributing this pattern or the photos in any form, including but not limited to scanning, photocopying, emailing, or posting on a website or internet discussion group. If you want to share the pattern, point your friends to this link: http://undergroundcrafter.com/blog/2015/10/02/free-knitting-pattern-ribbon-stitch-cowl/. Thanks for supporting indie designers!

Don’t forget to share a picture on Ravelry or with my Facebook page if you make one!

Add to RavelryIf you want an easy print format, you can buy an ad-free PDF version on Craftsy.

Click to buy the ad-free PDF version of this @ucrafter pattern on Craftsy

Interview with Lindsey and Susan Rice of Bartlettyarns

Way back in January, I had the chance to meet Lindsey Rice from Bartlettyarns at Vogue Knitting Live.  The Bartlettyarns booth was stocked with some great wool that was produced in the U.S.A., and I soon learned that they are the oldest operating woolen spun mill in the country.

I also got to talking to Lindsey about crochet and he mentioned that “[C]rocheters are rediscovering us and that this art form seems to be making a great return.”  I knew then that I had to interview Lindsey and his wife, Susan, about this awesome bit of American yarn history.  You can find Bartlettyarns on their website, Facebook page, and Ravelry yarnie page.

Lindsey Rice of Bartlettyarns at Vogue Knitting Live NYC.
Lindsey Rice of Bartlettyarns at Vogue Knitting Live NYC.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you get started in the yarn industry?

Bartlettyarns (BY): Lindsey was enrolled as a 4-H member in New Hampshire and he had a sheep project. Eventually, we met as teenagers in 4-H (long story). Lindsey began a sheep shearing business throughout New England and we got married. Sometimes we got paid for shearing and other times we were given the wool. With several hundred pounds of wool, we ventured to Bartlettyarns to have it processed. We picked out eight colors and started our business attending sheep and wool festivals and farmers markets.

During one trip to Maine, the pulley system that runs the Mule was broken. The owner of the business was explaining the situation to us and Lindsey (a Marine) stated he knew how to splice it back together. Within fifteen or twenty minutes, it was back in operation.

Fast forward many years, many trips to Maine, and a good friendship later, we got a panic call that the Mule was broken again.  The owner was in California on vacation and it was broken for two weeks so they were unable to produce yarn. We arrived to the rescue the next day and fixed it once again.

We always had joked with the owner that someday he would retire and what would he do with the business. We received a phone call two weeks after this and we were offered the business. How could we say no??

The Bartlettyarns Mule in action.

UC: Tell us more about the history of Bartlettyarns and the Barlett Mule.

BY: Bartlettyarns was established by Ozias Bartlett in 1821. His great grandson, Harry, took over the business at age 16 and it remained in the Bartlett family until 1947, when it was sold to owners outside the family. It was originally a water-powered mill, as it sits along the Higgins stream in Harmony. It was converted to electricity in the ‘40s. Today, it runs much like it did then.

The Bartlettyarns booth at Vogue Knitting Live NYC.
The Bartlettyarns booth at Vogue Knitting Live NYC.

UC: One of the things that struck me about your booth at Vogue Knitting Live was your displays of the mill.  Where do you find your inspiration as a dyer?

BY: An excellent piece on the mill was done by WCSH in Portland. They have a show called 207 and they produced an eight minute segment about us.  It originally was supposed to be just two or three minutes long, but turned into a whole show for them.

Our Mule spun yarns are not skein dyed, but rather we stock dye the fiber and then it is blended to make our colors. As for the hand dyed yarns, those are skein dyed and Susan does those. She has an eye for color and she is like a witch with her brew. She tends to dye with colors of the season, prefers to dye on crisp, sunny days for clear, bright colors and on overcast days tend to bring more muted colors.

 

From the Bartlettyarns booth at Vogue Knitting Live NYC.
From the Bartlettyarns booth at Vogue Knitting Live NYC.

UC: To what extent is Bartlettyarns a local product?

BY: We are vey proud that we work with local producers to source our wool, and that the scouring and dyeing is also done here in the US. We are definitely a “made in the USA” company and one that has been continuously run for over 190 years.

Handknit sheet hats for sale on the Bartlettyarns website.
Handknit sheet hat for sale on the Bartlettyarns website.

UC: You have the opportunity to travel to many fiber related events.  Tell us about some of your favorite fiber festival experiences.

BY: Well we do Maryland, New York, TNNA, and a few local fairs. Our children are involved in their spare time and try to come to the larger shows to help us. One child is definitely the salesperson, so he handles the booth, and the other enjoys talking with wool producers about their custom processing options.  We enjoy the educational process with people and how our mill is different, being spun on the woolen vs, worsted system. People enjoy the history and the videos we show at the booth – the noise of the machinery captures their attention.

Probably the most amusing, is when the wife is dragging the uninterested husband around looking at yarns and has the totally bored look on his face. Oops, he hears machinery clinking and clanking, where is that sound coming from???  He sees machinery and mechanical parts moving, he is hooked. The wife gets time to look around, she purchases yarn and is ready to move on and then she has to wait until he is done watching and asking questions and all of a sudden the role is reversed.

Bartlettyarns now offers gift cards through their website.
Bartlettyarns now offers gift cards through their website.

UC: Where can people buy your yarns?

BY: We have three different segments of our business.  We have wholesale accounts, which are primarily yarn shops who carry our yarn.  Next, we have custom processing which allows fiber producers to turn their raw fibers into roving or yarn. We have options that allow them to get their very own fiber back.  Lastly is our retail component where you can come to the mill and purchase directly and get a free mill tour, order from our web site or visit us at one of the shows we attend.  Our website lists the shows and dates.

Thanks so much for stopping by for an interview, Lindsey and Susan!