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Allotrope Double Knit Cowl

Knitting
March 2013
DK / 8 ply (11 wpi) ?
22 stitches and 28 rows = 4 inches in double knit
US 8 - 5.0 mm
US 6 - 4.0 mm
274 - 822 yards (251 - 752 m)
S, M, L
This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download

Even if winters in Canada weren’t so cold, I would love cowls. Like a soft necklace, a cowl can function as a scarf, frame the face as a collar, or be arranged under a coat. It can be slipped over the shoulders like a wrap or pulled up around the ears when hats are forgotten or are still on the needles.

This particular cowl uses the technique of double-knitting to make a fully reversible pattern. If double knitting is one of your final frontiers as a knitter, this would be a good second project, perhaps after a dishcloth. Double knit means double thick, so I would recommend wool lighter than worsted weight. Instructions are written for the shortest cowl, with instructions for the mid-sized and longest cowls in parentheses. Further customization is easy – just cast on a multiple of 8 and adjust the number of repeats.

The name of this cowl comes from teaching Chemistry with a knitters’ eye. Allotropy is the ability of chemically identical substances to look different because of the ways the atoms attach to – knit to – each other. For example, the diamond in a ring and the graphite in a pencil are both allotropes of pure carbon. In a diamond, the carbon atoms are knit together in a lace pattern, while graphite is made of carbon knit into stockinette swatches. On one level, the name of the cowl is just a reference to its diamond pattern, but allotropy is a deeper analogy both of knitting and of knitters. It’s incredible that we as knitters can unite our other passions through our needles.