Project Inspiration: Brick & Mortar Cowl
Harry's last cowl design, Staying on Track, was a huge hit. Earlier this week he finished another cowl pattern- and I suspect it'll be just as popular. Like all of his designs, it's easily unisex and it uses simple (but eye-catching) techniques to create a sophisticated and professional look.
We will happily give you a hard copy of the Brick & Mortar Cowl pattern for free when you purchase the yarn to make it. Simply mention 'Brick & Mortar' in the special instructions as you checkout. If you just want the pattern by itself, you can purchase a digital download for $5 (click HERE).
The Brick & Mortar pattern is written with instructions for two different versions and two different sizes. There is the soft cotton blend Sanibel & Sandpiper version, and the lustrous Lino version. Both only require 2 skeins of yarn for the short style, and 4 skeins for the longer style. If you follow the instructions exactly, regardless of which of the yarns you choose, your cowl will be approximately the same length shown in the Sanibel & Sandpiper sample.
The Sanibel & Sandpiper version uses 1 skein of the cotton/viscose yarn Sanibel for Color A ($11), and 1 skein of the 100% space-dyed cotton yarn Sandpiper for Color B ($10). Sanibel's semi-solid colorways and silky luster provides the perfect amount of contrast against the colorful and marled Sandpiper. Both yarns are soft and lovely to work with- and it's almost surprising how effortless it is to make gorgeous color combinations with the two. You'll find a few combo ideas further down in this blog post.
Like the Sanibel & Sandpiper version, the Lino version uses only 1 skein of both Color A and Color B ($13 each). I like how much drape Lino gives the cowl, and it's so lightweight and comfortable to wear. The large version being shown, which used 2 skeins of each color, has a nice long length that can easily be wrapped around your neck twice. There are a lot of Lino colorways to choose from, and you have a ton of options for color combinations- but we've found that our favorite pairs combine a bright color with a soft neutral color. Again, you'll find a few combo ideas at the bottom of this post.
The stitch pattern on Brick & Mortar really makes it. I love how the slipped stitches in Color A stand out and break up the purl ridges of Color B, and how it truly creates that stacked-brick appearance. The medium/heavyweight gauge means this cowl knits up fairly quickly, and the project is knit in-the-round so no seaming is required. The Sanibel & Sandpiper version is knit on US size 6 24" circular needles, and the Lino version is on US size 7 (of course, use the needles that give you results that are closest to meeting gauge).
As I mentioned, I put together a few color combinations to help fuel some ideas for you. There are so many options that look really good- and some are more subtle than others. Nonetheless, I felt that the contrast is what really makes the stitch pattern stand out. Our Sanibel & Sandpiper sample was knit up with Graphite #1303 Sanibel & Faded Brick #1918 Sandpiper. I thought that Maize #1350 & Aqua #1904; Ivory #1316 & Ocean #1947; and Horizon #1320 & Pebble #1916 were also lovely matches.
There are also a ton of combo options for the Lino. While you can definitely choose two similar or complimentary colors and still get a gorgeous cowl, the contrast is what really does the magic. Our Lino sample used colors #39 & #64; but I also liked #23 & #34; #26 & #78; and #67 & #60.