Ojo de Gallo Cowl

Soft, warm, snuggly, uses a scant skein of handspun from The Border Tart, but you can use anything. This pattern is so easy. And most importantly, it’s the lovely Ojo de Gallo pattern from our own Lisa Risager, adapted to work in the round.

You need:

A circular needle, any size. Check the ball band on your yarn and use that size, or go a size bigger if you want a looser fabric. With this lovely handspun, I used a 5mm needle. A bigger needle produces a looser fabric, and that’s what I’m after. So my suggestion is 5mm or even 5.5mm on DK equivalent weight yarn. But as ever, your call.

One skein or two, approx 100g of DK or similar weight handspun or any other DK yarn you choose. Try to support your local handspinners if you can, or if you don’t know anyone, look someone up on Etsy or Folksy. Something like this or this would be perfect.

A large eyed needle for sewing in your two ends.

How to do it:

Cast on any multiple of FOUR stitches. If you’re small, or you want a close fitting cowl, something like a collar, try 68, 72 or 76. If you want a larger cowl, something that will pull up and over your head, try 80, 84 or 88. If you want a long smooshy thing that you can wear as a long loop, and double over your head, double that number of stitches, go 160 or more. Always a multiple of four though.

The one I made here is 88 stitches, and is wide enough to go over my head, but because the fabric is so spongey, the top third doubles over to make  light, springy, off-the-neck collar.

Use any cast on you like. I used a cable cast-on but long tail or backward loop will be fine – anything that makes you happy. The cast-on will be firmer than the cast-off, but do a stretchy one if you like. There are oodles of tutorials out there.

Place a loop of contrast thread or stitch marker to mark the beginning of a round, and join.

Lisa’s Ojo de Gallo Pattern, adapted to work in the round:

Round 1: [K1, YO, K1, P2] repeat to end
Round 2: [K3, P2] repeat to end
Round 3: [slip1, K2, psso, P2] repeat to end

Repeat these three rows until it’s long enough or there’s no yarn left.

No hemming, just lots of soft squooshy knitting.

Use any stretchy bind off – again there are lots out there. This is what I do:

Knit 1, place knit stitch back on left hand needle and K2tog. Repeat to end.

Draw thread through last stitch and sew in ends..

This one, 88 sts using light DK on 5mm needles, came out 18” long – perfect for 100g of handspun. It pulls right up over my head at the back for that Chekovian peasant look, very fashionable in the east Durham coalfields this winter.



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