Friday, February 1, 2013

Chicken and Waffles Cowl - New Pattern

Since November, I've been working up a cowl pattern based on the Gap's wildly popular two-toned waffle cowlneck.  By reverse engineering from the photos, I was able to recreate the stitch pattern, which not surprisingly, is a variation of a tuck stitch that in turn is a variation on brioche.  I say not surprisingly because a commercially available cowl is going to be made by machine, and many decorative machine knit stitches involve tuck stitches. 
My initial swatches  were ok, but I didn't really love the resulting fabrics; things were a bit droopy after blocking. I was disappointed. Then, I had the chance to inspect the actual cowl and I didn't feel quite so bad.  You see, the actual cowl is worked up flat and seamed. The materials are definitely acrylic because the fabric has been steam blocked and actually pressed beyond an inch of its life.  There is absolutely no "sprong" left to the rib stitch pattern - none, nada, zip.  The knit "waffles" are flat as pancakes.  The irony that  this is called a waffle cowl does not escape me.

Turns out the commercially available version is as flat and lifeless as my swatch.  So I set about developing my own variation  rather than just duplicate the commercially available one.  And the result is the Chicken and Waffles Cowl.

So named because side one has the waffle look, and side two has the look of bird feet (at least to me).  My version is worked up in the round (no seaming) using a bulky weight and a worsted weight yarn in contrasting colors.  I used one skein of Patons Classic Wool Roving (and I used just about the whole skein) in Dark Grey as the main color, and less than one skein of Patons Classic Wool (worsted weight) in Lemongrass for the contrast color.  The finished dimensions are about 15" high and 40" around, blocked lightly.

Side 1

Side 2

The Chicken and Waffles Cowl pattern  is available for immediate pdf download for $3 US.  I hope you give it a try, and let me know how you like it.


  1. I'm in awe Sarah how you can take a commercial product look at it and deconstruct it and come up with your own similar version! Love the colour choice you used and the end product would give gap's flat version a run for its money.

  2. I'm working on this cowl and it's lovely, soft and squooshy. I love being able to use the different weights together. The only thing I'm not totally thrilled with is the line where the round connects. It's not bad, just not seamless. Any advice? Thanks!

    1. This is a really good question. Stay tuned for a new post specifically on this issue, but for now, my best tip is don't twist the yarns at the join. Just drop the old, pick up the new and continue on. I'll put some pictures up of my version - the join isn't invisible, but I can live with it.

  3. Great! I'll look for the post. And many thanks for this great pattern! I think it will make a perfect gift for just about anyone. I plan to make several and play with length and depth.