Spin Off 2021 Cowl-Along Gallery: Textured Cowls

From tweedy yarns and energized singles to cables and knitted stitch patterns, a warm cowl keeps chilly weather at bay.

Spin Off Editorial Staff Mar 31, 2021 - 5 min read

Spin Off 2021 Cowl-Along Gallery: Textured Cowls Primary Image

Photo courtesy of Sondra Gingery

Last December, we asked handspinners to join us for a splinalong and make a handspun cowl using the craft of their choice. And for the past couple of months, cowl-along members have been providing support for each other and offering advice when projects went astray. Last week’s gallery celebrated the diversity of crafts our skilled makers employed. This week, we turn our attention to textured knits. From energized and tweedy yarns to cables and knit-purl stitch patterns, each cowl begs to be touched. Enjoy part two of our three-part gallery series. —Editor

Amanda Cluxton of Ontario, California


Photo courtesy of Amanda Cluxton

“The fiber I used was the Purple People Eater colorway from Paradise Fibers. It was a fun, fuzzy birthday gift I got myself a few years back. I spun energized singles using my Turkish spindle and let the yarn sit for about a week before starting to knit. I kept the yarn on the spindle’s legs with the shaft removed; that way it didn’t get too crazy. The pattern, from Spin + Knit 2017, is the Stone and Fire Cowl by Amy Tyler, and I followed the recipe exactly. The tail from the cast on was kept orderly by winding it around a paper bobbin. I also found a lightweight barrette to use as the clasp. This cowl was super fun, fairly quick, and a great little project.”

Martha Driscoll of Danvers, Massachusetts


Photo courtesy of Martha Driscoll

“For the Spin Off 2021 Cowl-along, I spun some commercial Corriedale roving at 22 wraps per inch, using top-whorl spindles. The two-ply yarn is springy and soft, measuring in at a sportweight. The pattern is the Coffee Bean Cowl by Woolly Smile, and the buttons are deer antler from Favour Valley Woodworking.”

Jill Fry of Millarville, Alberta, Canada


Photo courtesy of Jill Fry

“For my project, the Wild Grass Cowl by Purl Soho, I dyed and then carded a blend of 60% Rambouillet/25% alpaca/15% Angora. I spun the fiber woolen into a soft and nubbly two-ply yarn. I love the colour, texture, and feel of my finished cowl, although I wish I had knitted it a little narrower.”

Sondra Gingery of Delta, Ohio

Sondra Gingery

Photo courtesy of Sondra Gingery

“I blended New Zealand Halfbred wool with Merino, silk, and bamboo on my drumcarder. I spun the fiber from the batt into a two-ply, sportweight yarn. The pattern is the Storyteller Cowl by Ethan Pyle.”

Stefanie Johnson of Blandinsville, Illinois


Emily wears her sister’s handspun cowl. Photo courtesy of Stefanie Johnson

“My Squish Cowl with a Cable cowl was made for my sister, Emily, whom I haven’t seen in ages. (She lives almost 1,000 miles away.) I blended some camel and silk top with varying amounts of rose grey alpaca on my drumcarder. The resulting handspun yarn was a subtly variegated three-ply with depth. I knitted the cowl using a slip stitch pattern. As an accent, I used some handspun gimp yarn made from the same alpaca to knit the edges and a double-sided cable.”

Shannon Kelly of Chicago, Illinois


Photo courtesy of Shannon Kelly

“Iʼm working on the Livestock Conservancyʼs Shave ʼEm to Shave ʼEm challenge, so I decided to use this cowl as one of my breed projects. I purchased Black Welsh Mountain lambʼs roving from Desert Weyr farm in Colorado and spun it on my drop spindle into the fluffiest two-ply woolen yarn I could manage. This was my first time spinning a yarn with a finished object in mind, so I wanted a simple stitch pattern and chose to knit the cowl in fishermanʼs rib, following pattern instructions from Purl Soho. Itʼs a little scratchy for next-to-skin wear, but it does a great job of keeping out the cold!”

Sarah Thornton of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Photo courtesy of Sarah Thornton

“Branching Out Cowl: The moody blue/green/brown yarn was spindle spun from Merino top from a low-twist single plied with higher twist. The yarn paired surprisingly well with a more rustic New Zealand crossbreed wool yarn that I spun and plied on my wheel from a carded batt. The sturdy crossbreed yarn and the garter-based, mosaic stitch pattern provided structure, so the cowl stands up protectively around my neck. I finished the cowl with I-cord button holes and two live-edge arbutus wood buttons made on Vancouver Island.”

Join us next week for a look at Colorful Cowls.