Tamatori. Not one of our usual puns. Tamatori was a pearl diver in Japan, so legend goes. She recovered a pearl that the Dragon God had stolen from her husband’s family and was chased ‘by all the creatures of the sea’ as she made her escape - some woodcuts show her fighting an octopus. She died for her pains as she cut open her breast to hide the pearl and the cloud of blood this caused both enabled her escape from the sea monsters and her death from the wound. A good, old-fashioned fairy tale of derring-do, death and sacrifice!
This colour yarn and the stitch pattern on the purl side of the original cowl made Belinda think of octopus tentacles and suckers and the story above was one of the more innocuous ones found whilst Googling once you get past the live sushi videos (ugh) and a really rather fruity woodcut by Hokusai (you have been warned!).
The little pattern is lovely on both sides - the inner, purl side, as you’re knitting is the inspiration for the name, the outer knit side is just as decorative however.
There are two sizes given and two different weights, so you can knit a small cowl that will pull over your head and give a snug, tuck-into-your-coat cowl (like the London Cowling) if you knit the smallest size in the DK, the larger one gives a cowl that you can twist and wrap round twice for warmth / effect. The Chunky yarn will give cowls that are slightly bigger in circumference than the DK ones, measurements given below. We used:
Juno Fibre Arts Alice DK 70% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk, 10% Cashmere; 243yds/225m per 100g skein, color: Boudoir; 1(2) skeins, OR
Purl Soho Super Soft Merino Chunky 100% Peruvian Merino, 87yds/80m per 100g skein, color: Oyster Gray; 2(3) skeins
For the DK cowl: 58(116)cm / 23(45¾)” circumference, depth 31cm / 12¼”.
For the Chunky cowl: 65(129)cm / 25½(51)” circumference, depth 29cm / 11½”.
21 sts and 25 rows to 10cm / 4” in stocking stitch in DK yarn
11 sts and 14 rows to 10cm /4” in stocking stitch in Chunky yarn
3.25mm and 4mm circular needles, 40(80)cm / 16(32)” long depending on whether you’re making the smaller / larger size if using the DK yarn.
8mm and 9mm circular needles 40(80)cm / 16(32)” long depending on whether you’re making the smaller / larger size if using the Chunky yarn.
The pattern is both written out and charted.
A stitch marker for marking the beginning of the round (we only ever use a loop of yarn).
A latch hook / darning needle for darning the ends in.