Glass Island by Anna Pack

Glass Island

December 2018
DK (11 wpi) ?
19 stitches and 25 rows = 4 inches
in pairs of stitches over double knitting
US 6 - 4.0 mm
295 yards (270 m)
One size
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This pattern is available for free.

This colorful cowl is knitted in luxurious 100% baby alpaca and is double-sided to make a super thick and snuggly winter accessory – which is also reversible!

I first squished this yarn a year ago and totally fell in love with the two vibrant colors – a deep royal blue and bright yellow-green - wondering how I might be able to combine them. Fortunately, there were two Knitty patterns which inspired me. I really love the use of contrasting blue and yellow in a striking geometric design in the ‘Urban tribe’ cowl. However, the technique used (back-to-back layers of stranded colorwork) could have resulted in too bulky a cowl using my chosen yarn, so it was the construction method of the ‘Love actually is all around’ cowl, using double-knitting technique, which I preferred for producing a reversible design. I’m a big fan of this technique as it produces a beautifully smooth fabric and there is no reverse side to hide. The cowl also uses a two-color tubular cast-on and a Kitchener bind-off which gives a neat, stretchy, invisible edge.

I often see design inspiration in the patterns found in historic architecture. Glass Island is a reference to Murano, the home of Venetian glass. The particular geometric pattern in this cowl is based on part of a twelfth-century marble mosaic floor, located in the island’s basilica of SS. Maria e Donato. On a recent trip to see the floor, I was like a child in a sweet shop on discovering that photography was permitted (which it hadn’t been on my previous trip a few years ago) so I came away with a huge stash of photos!

The cowl really brightens up the neck of a winter coat, or looks great worn with a cosy sweater for snuggling up indoors. Roll on winter!

Join the Skein Reaction Ravelry group for information and discussion about my designs.


Circumference: 25 inches/64cm
Height: 8 inches/20cm


Juniper Moon Farm Herriot 100% baby alpaca; 219 yd/200m per 3.5 oz/100 g skein;
MC Royal Heather; 1 skein
CC Golden Llama; 1 skein

Recommended needle size
One US #6/4mm circular needle, 16 inch/40cm long

Stitch markers
Yarn needle

19 sts/25 rounds = 4 inches/10 cm in double knit stockinette stitch after blocking
20 sts/27 rounds = 4 inches/10 cm in standard stockinette

Information is given covering the following techniques:
Two-color alternating cast-on
One-needle Kitchener bind-off
Double knitting technique.

Since this pattern was originally published on, some of the video tutorials linked in the pattern have been removed from Youtube. I have located alternative instructional videos as follows:

Tubular cast-on for double knitting: see this video.

Tubular bind-off for double knitting: Work one set-up round using the appropriate yarn colour for the reverse side of the cowl by slipping the knit stitches (with yarn at back) and purling the purl stitches (with yarn in front). Using a long tail of the alternate colour yarn and a yarn needle, graft the stitches as described in this video (note, for this pattern it is not necessary to work multiple set-up rounds as described at the start of the video).