Rustic Lace Cowl


I am pretty good about not buying yarn impulsively. I will buy yarn if I already have a project in mind or if I have just stumbled upon an amazing sale that is too good to pass up. Otherwise, I’m content to admire yarn from afar. When we visited The Tin Smith’s Wife, a darling yarn store with an impressive inventory, in Comfort a few months ago, I came across Fibre Company’s Acadia, a merino, silk and alpaca blend. There was something seductive about its luster and rustic silkiness that I couldn’t resist buying two skeins in “Sand,” even though I had no goal or project in mind. This open-ended approach to knitting usually causes some distress, reminding me that I’m a bit of a control freak Type-A at heart.


I was fortunate to find a pattern that only required two skeins of Acadia: the Avery Cowl designed by Kate Gagnon Osborn. Most likely drawn from Barbara Walker’s first Treasury of Knitting Patterns, the Avery Cowl is a four pattern repeat knitted in the round of what Walker calls the “Frost Flower” pattern. Here’s Walker’s description:

“Frost Flowers” is not the correct name for this lace, unless the author happens to be an unusually good guesser. But it is quite an old pattern, dating from at least the early nineteenth century, and therefore probably has its own quaint name by which it is, or used to be known.  In spite of its rather complicated appearance it is a simple lace, consisting essentially of only four rows, which are repeatable three times and then alternated on the half-drop principle. (204)

This also knitted up quickly and I was able to finish this on the same night as the Brier Toque. There are no modifications here. Note that the cowl is photographed upside down. I like how the flowers seem to open up and fan out this way.


I decided not to block this cowl as I think the rippled, pillowed flowers go well with the uneven nubby texture of this yarn.