Symbiont Cowl by Miriam L. Felton

Symbiont Cowl

January 2017
Worsted (9 wpi) ?
18 stitches and 24 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette after blocking
US 8 - 5.0 mm
185 - 195 yards (169 - 178 m)
7 inches (18cm) wide at cast-on edge, 17 inches (43 cm) wide at fan-edge, and 25 inches (63.5cm) long.
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This pattern was originally published in a kit for Yarnover Truck’s Club.

This gracefully shaped cowl is inspired by the micro-photography of the tiny organism called Licmophora flabellata. A rare symbiotic diatom (a single-celled algae), the delicate fan-shaped structures show beautiful patterning when you look at them through a microscope. Combined with the buttons, the unique shape enables this cowl to be worn in a variety of ways-as a shawlette, as a tubular cowl, and styled like a handkerchief.

This cowl is knit flat in one piece, from the narrow end to the wider, fan-shaped edge. Periodic increases shape the piece. Yarnover buttonholes are worked along both edges during the final chart, and two-row buttonholes are worked near the final edge.

Yarn: 185 yards (170m) of worsted weight yarn. Shown in SpaceCadet Capella (100% Superwash Merino Wool, 195 yds (178m)/100 g), in ‘Pasadena’.
Gauge: 18 sts & 24 rows = 4 inches (10 cm) square in stockinette after blocking.
Needles: 5mm (US 8) straight or circular needles for flat knitting.
Finished size: 7 inches (18cm) wide at cast-on edge, 17 inches (43 cm) wide at fan-edge, and 25 inches (63.5cm) long.
Notions: Four 1 3/8 inch (35mm) buttons, 4 backing buttons (see note), needle and matching thread, tapestry needle for weaving in ends.
Techniques used: knit and purl, k2tog, p2tog, ssk, k1tbl, p1tbl, slipped stitches with yarn in front and back, yarnovers, quadruple yarnovers (with instructions) to make a buttonhole, pkok and INC pkok (instructions included), backing buttons, 2-row buttonhole (with instructions), knit/purl long-tail cast on (video tutorial here: in pattern. Pattern is both written and charted.

Image of Licmophora flabellata via VAN EGMOND PHOTOGRAPHY