Dreaming of Ankhesenamun by Donna Druchunas

Dreaming of Ankhesenamun

June 2014
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
20 stitches and 28 rows = 4 inches
in Stockinette Stitch
US 5 - 3.75 mm
600 yards (549 m)
Circumference: 40 inches Length: 13.5 inches
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This pattern is available for free.

I’ve been obsessed with the queens of Ancient Egypt since I was a little girl. The romance of the Ancient Egyptian court and the myths of Ra, Bastet, Anubis, and the other gods and goddesses who watched over the living and carried the dead to the afterlife.

This cowl is inspired by the beautiful bejeweled collars (usekh), worn by ancient Egyptian royalty. Made out of pure gold and embellished with precious stones, the traditional collars were draped around the shoulders and secured with a clasp. My version is knit in the round out of linen, the most common fiber used in the Nile River Delta in ancient times. Well suited for the warm climate, this linen cowl is also perfect for summer evenings further north.

As I knit it, I can’t but help imagine all of the many Egyptian women who were most likely slaves, spinning flax on hand spindles to provide fine linen thread for the clothing of Egyptian Pharaohs and their families. I named this cowl it for Ankhesenamun, my favorite Egyptian queen, wife of Tutankhamun, who many of us know best as King Tut.