Free Pattern: Bruntsfield Cowl! Plus Edinburgh Yarn Fest Highlights

new Bruntsfield cowl in Daughter of a Shepherd Hebridean wool

One of the many perks of living in Europe: I was within reasonable proximity of the Edinburgh Yarn Fest! What an amazing treat to be surrounded by such talented crafters, and such beautiful wool, for a whole weekend.
Highlights: I took a class with Karie Westermann on pattern writing. Karie loaded us up with a ton of great information; she didn’t hold anything back. She also has a great teaching style: she’s organized, she’s encouraging of students, and she had prepared some handouts which I’ve found myself referring to a few times since the class. If you get a chance, definitely take one of her classes.
I saw some great people I already knew, including Sonya Phillips, Ysolda Teague, and Stephen West. I also met some people who I’ve been admiring from afar for awhile now: Bristol Ivy, Thea Colman, Kirsten Kapur, Anna Maltz, Tom van Deijnen, and (OMG sooo exciting) Cecilia Campochiaro. My husband and I both got to chat in-depth with Ellen Mason. What a rad lady. I love her laid-back style and I’m obsessed with her new smock pattern (I got to see her smocks in person and they are so frigging cute).
I was too chicken to introduce myself to Kate Davies. She just looked so unbelievably intimidatingly gorgeous at her booth, and she was undoubtedly quite busy the whole time.

My funds were limited, so I shopped very carefully. I spent a lot of time at the Black Bat Rare Breed Wool booth, and my big splurge was 3 skeins of Whistlebare 4ply (it was just so shiny and pretty!). The surprise sleeper hit of the fest was Rachel Atkinson’s Daughter of a Shepherd, made from her dad’s Hebridean sheep. The breed and the story are captivating enough on their own, and the yarn bewitched me (and a lot of other festival-goers) with its deep natural black color, fuzzy halo, and intoxicatingly sheepy aroma (there were a lot of yarn-huffers wandering around).

From one daughter of a shepherd to another: thanks, Rachel, for sharing your beautiful yarn with us, and I’m so glad I could meet you and chat with you.

I came home with a single treasured skein of DoaS, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I wanted a project I could wear where everyone could see it, in a relaxed gauge that would allow the the fibers to lay flat and bloom a bit. For the Bruntsfield Cowl, I used a stitch pattern called Portcullis Stitch from Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury…, which doesn’t curl at the edges, and has an open-textured, almost crocheted look to it. Plus, it’s easy to memorize.

Bruntsfield Cowl

Processed with VSCO with s5 preset

1 skein Daughter of a Shepherd July 2015 Clip
1 pair 4.5mm (US #7) needles (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Waste yarn
1 4mm crochet hook (size isn’t super important, just something reasonably close to your needle size)
Extra needle one size bigger than knitting needles for 3-needle bind-off
Tapestry needle

Gauge: Approximately 25 stitches x 21 rows= 4” in Portcullis Stitch
Cowl measurements: 28” circumference and 10.5” wide
Notes: Cowl is knit flat, starting with a provisional cast-on. The cowl is finished by knitting the open stitches together with the cast-on edge, using the 3-needle bind off technique.

K: knit
P: purl
K2tog: knit 2 stitches together (1 stitch decreased)
SSK: Slip next 2 stitches as if to knit, slip them back to the left needle and knit these 2 stitches together (1 stitch decreased)
KYOK: knit 1, yarn over, knit 1 into same stitch (2 stitches increased)
SK2p: Slip 1 stitch as if to knit, knit next 2 stitches together, pass slipped stitch over (2 stitches decreased)
RS: Right Side
WS: Wrong Side

Using one-step provisional cast-on, waste yarn, crochet hook and main needles, cast on 65 stitches. Break waste yarn. Using working yarn, begin stitch pattern:
Row 1: [WS] P all stitches
Row 2: [RS] K2tog, KYOK, *SK2p, KYOK,* repeat **’s to last 2 stitches, SSK.

Repeat these 2 rows until work measures 28” from beginning edge. Repeat Row 2 once more.
Very carefully, remove waste yarn from beginning edge to expose open stitches. Place open stitches on size 7 needle. You should have 65 stitches on each needle. Turn work so that WS is facing out, with both edges of open stitches lined up side-by-side. Using extra needle and 3-needle bind-off method, knit both edges together.

Weave in ends and definitely wet-block! This yarn blooms and softens very nicely after being soaked in warm water. I added a splash of apple cider vinegar to the water.


Processed with VSCO with m5 preset
Emi says, “Thanks for the new bed”

12 thoughts on “Free Pattern: Bruntsfield Cowl! Plus Edinburgh Yarn Fest Highlights

  1. Amy Greeman April 20, 2016 / 2:46 pm

    Thea Colman is the BEST. I love her. I had her teach here a year ago and I wanted to be her best friend. Did you know she and Steve went to college together? Love the cowl and loved this post!

    • Huelo April 20, 2016 / 3:07 pm

      Ha, the knitting world just keeps getting smaller! Thea is super fun! We had a great conversation, and I loved seeing all the samples of her designs. Thanks for reading and commenting, hope we can get you to a knitting event on this side of the pond someday. 🙂

  2. Jacquelyn Jantunen April 27, 2016 / 5:31 pm

    Thanks for letting me vicariously attend the Fest. What fun that must have been! And thanks for the pattern. I think I’m going to try it with the mohair/merino my friend Dorothy from Mosquito Ridge Yarns kindly swapped me. She got some boring old jars, and I got some droolable yarn. 😉
    Dorothy’s facebook link is below. Now if only I could bring myself to finish the sleeves of our grandson’s sweater, I could knit the cowl with a clear conscience. Sleeves and sock legs bore me to tears…

    • Huelo April 28, 2016 / 11:51 am

      Thanks for the link, what lovely looking yarn! And would make a perfect Bruntsfield!
      Funny you mention it, I am also struggling with finishing some socks that are in the boring-me-to-tears stage. 😀

      • Jacquelyn April 29, 2016 / 7:37 pm

        Out of curiosity, do you do toe up or top down socks?

      • Huelo April 29, 2016 / 8:39 pm

        Good question! I will do toe-up if the pattern calls for it, or if I want to be sure of how much yarn I’m using, but usually I do top-down. I find that, since the cuff is usually the most repetitive part, that if I leave it ’til last there’s more danger I won’t finish the socks! What about you?

  3. Jacquelyn Jantunen April 30, 2016 / 1:13 am

    Almost always top-down, although I have found a pattern that I’d like to try, Toe-up Socks With Gusset and Slip Stitch Heel, by Wendy D. Johnson. I think the slip stitch heel is more durable than the usual toe-up short row heel. Unfortunately I’m usually in a rush when I’m knitting socks, with gift deadlines looming, so I tend to stick with top-down, which I’ve pretty well memorized (except for turning the heel, which I always have to check). I’ve also had some unfortunate experiences with the few toe-ups I’ve done, so I don’t have a confident feeling about them. But one day I’ll give Wendy’s pattern a try.

  4. Jacquelyn Jantunen July 15, 2016 / 5:30 pm

    I have a question about the Bruntsfield Cowl, which I’ve just started with the Mosquito Ridge yarn. When I got to the end of the RS row I had 3 stitches left, instead of 2, so I did a SK2p. I imagine that will work out OK, but I’m wondering where I went wrong. I’ve counted the stitches in that lovely pattern several times and keep coming up with the same number. Any ideas?

    • Huelo July 15, 2016 / 6:37 pm

      Hi! Interesting dilemma…I have a couple questions. Is your stitch count remaining at 65 stitches, even when you do sK2p at the end instead of SSK? And, are you doing the first and last KYOK in the pattern, after the k2tog and before the SSK at the beginning and end of the rows?
      Thanks for getting in touch. I’m looking forward to seeing your finished cowl!

  5. Jacquelyn Jantunen July 16, 2016 / 5:14 pm

    Note to self: read whole pattern carefully before beginning… I now see it’s basically a tube, once the two long sides are knitted together, right? So that means I need to start again, since it looked too short when I used the required 65 stitches, causing me to cast on more stitches. Turns out the gauge is bang on, so clearly swatching would have been a big help too. So let’s hope that the gremlin that was telling me I was doing it wrong will retire to the wings and this time everything will be perfect.
    Thanks for your suggestions!

  6. Jacquelyn Jantunen July 16, 2016 / 5:54 pm

    It’s going perfectly now, and you were right — I was missing the last KYOK before the SSK at the end.

    And I just have to add: did I actually say “it’s basically a tube”? It’s a cowl for goodness sake; what else would it be?! I can just imagine you thinking: “They let her have access to sharp pointy things AND the internet? Things must be pretty loosey-goosey over there in Canada.”

    • Huelo July 16, 2016 / 7:38 pm

      Hahaha, you’re cracking me up! And I’m from the States, so I can hardly be judgmental of whatever weapons Canada allows its citizens. 😀
      You are correct, the cowl is knit side-to-side and then joined together at beginning and end to make the tube. Happy (gremlin-free I hope) knitting! ❤

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