Escher's Oriental Poppy Cowl by Nora J. Bellows

Escher's Oriental Poppy Cowl

July 2011
Aran (8 wpi) ?
16 stitches and 24 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette
One Size
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Project Description
Surround yourself with the lusciousness of huge poppies even in the coldest moments of the year.

Escher’s Cowl has an attractive twist to it when worn long as a fabulous flower-adorned necklace, but untwists itself when you coil it twice about your neck for extra warmth. The cowl is easy to make and becomes the perfect canvas for the oversized poppies that decorate it.

The poppies themselves are created all in one piece and are beautiful works of art that look lovely decorating most any surface: picture them not just on this wrap, but in different yarns (beaded silk!) and decorating different surfaces, such as the top of a gift box, a felted hat, and the ends of a conventional scarf… the possibilities are as tantalizingly endless as Escher’s favorite cowl.


Pattern Difficulty Level
Intrepid Easy: requires knowledge of provisional cast on, knitting and purling, and grafting stitches together.

Approximate Finished Dimensions
Height: 9” (22.5cm) 13” (32.5cm)
Circumference: 42” (105cm)
NOTE: Finished sizes may vary slightly with yarn choice, needle size, and gauge.

16 sts and 24 rows over 4” (10cm) in stockinette stitch. To save time, please check your gauge.

380 yds (348m) worsted weight yarn
Size 10 (6 mm) needles
Metal Noni label and four 2mm seed beads
Tapestry needle, sewing needle, and like-colored nylon beading thread

Pictured Sample
Red Barn Yarn Worsted Weight (worsted weight; 85% wool, 15% mohair; 190 yds 174m per 4 oz 113g skein): 2 skeins of Nora No. 7


Pattern Difficulty Level**
Intrepid Intermediate: requires knowledge of knitting and purling, increasing and decreasing using several methods, picking up stitches, working in the round on circular needles, a small field of intarsia, and some simple hand-sewing (and optional wiring).

Approximate Finished Dimensions
Flower blossom diameter: 8” (20cm)
Stem: 2” (5cm) or desired length

To make poppies the size and appearance pictured, a gauge of 24 sts and 32 rows over 4” (10cm) in stockinette stitch must be maintained.

• 1 ball/skein of light green (A), 1 ball/skein each of raspberry and pink (B), 1 ball/skein of dark aubergine or dark brown (C), and 1 skein/ball of lighter gauge dark aubergine or dark brown (D)
• Size 6 (4mm) double-pointed needle (set of 5) or needle size needed to knit flowers densely (i.e. 24 sts/32 rows over 4” (10cm)
• Lock stitch markers used as stitch holders
• Darning needle and 28-gauge brass wire
Sewing needle and like-colored nylon beading thread

Pictured Samples
Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool (worsted weight; 100% merino wool; 250 yds 229m per 4 oz 113g skein): 10 yds (9m) Spring Green (A), 125 yds (114m) each of Raspberry and Zinnia Pink (B), 10 yds (9m) Midnight Lake (C), and 10 yds (9m) of fingering weight Midnight Lake (D)

Our Recommendations for the Poppies
We suggest worsted weight feltable wool & alpaca yarns.
Alpaca with a Twist Baby Twist (double-knitting weight; 100% alpaca; 110 yds 100m per 1 3/4 oz 50g ball)
Nashua Handknits Julia (worsted weight: 50% wool, 25% Alpaca, 25% Mohair; 93 yds 85m per 1 3/4 oz 50g ball)
Plymouth Galway Worsted or Highland Heather (worsted weight; 100% wool; 210 yds 192m per 3 1/2 oz 100g ball)
Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool (worsted weight; 100% merino wool; 250 yds 229m per 3 1/2 oz 100g skein)
Tilli Tomas Flurries (worsted weight; 100% merino wool with glass beads; 70 yds 64m per 1 1/2 oz 50g skein)
Universal Yarns Deluxe Worsted (worsted weight; 100% wool; 220 yds 201m per 3 1/2 oz 100g skein)

Our Recommendations for the Cowl
We suggest the pictured yarn—a worsted weight, unplied yarn—in order to achieve the same look as the pictured cowl.