It’s winter here, which means I have a shit ton of hand knits to share with you. My latest creation is the Pyukkleen cowl, from Ysolda Teague’s Knitworthy. I’ve knitted so many garments from Knitworthy now that it has its own tag, and Ysolda patterns make up the bulk of my knitted projects. What can I say, I know what I like.

A woman wears a leather jacket and cowl with fair isle motifs in blue, brown and green.

My colour and yarn choices took me in a different direction to the written pattern. I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted instead of the aran weight Shetland yarn indicated in the pattern, meaning my gauge was a bit tighter overall. This worked to my advantage height-wise, as I didn’t want or need a cowl that tall (designed to block out the wind when riding a bike). Instead, I added several pattern repeats for a cowl that would sit more like a scarf around my neck (about 108cm round).

A swatch knitted in fair isle motifs, in colours of brown, orange, blue and yellow.
My happy swatch.

I also went for a more vibrant, 70s style colour scheme, inspired by directly ripped off from NikkiFB’s project on Ravelry. It took a lot of experimentation to choose colours which not only looked good together but would make the pattern actually stand out. I’ll write another post entirely on that process. (Edit: you can check that out here.)

A woman stands in front of a fence. She wears a handknitted, fair isle cowl, handknitted brown jumper, jeans and brown suede boots.
Worn with my handknit Owls jumper.

Because my gauge changed, I had to reconsider what needles to use for the i-cord cast on and off. I am not a fan of the method, though it gives such nice results I sometimes grit my teeth and sit through it. You can imagine my frustration when my painstakingly knitted i-cord ended up being so tight it pulled the cowl inwards!

In changing the gauge, I changed the ratio of stitches:rows (which was 1:1 in the pattern). So I had to size up in the i-cord to a 5mm needle for the vertical rows to match the stitches of the cowl (knit on a 4mm needle).

Flatlay of a handknit fair isle cowl, in orange, yellow, blue and brown.

I also found the joining of the i-cord ends to be confusing and not particularly well explained in the pattern. I mostly followed this method, though obviously I was kitchener stitching the end stitches to the live, provisionally cast on stitches of the beginning (instead of plain CO sts as is featured in the tutorial). Let’s just say I don’t want to knit i-cord edging again for a very long time.


As much as it pains me to admit, the whole process was worth it. The sheer hatred which powered me through choosing a colour scheme and figuring out i-cord edging turned to love once I saw the finished project. The colours! The pattern! The ostentatiousness! I’ll happily wear this cowl this winter (or just look at it and pat it occasionally, not sure yet) and move onto a palate-cleansing, no-brain-necessary project.

A woman stands in front of a garage door. She wears a handknitted, fair isle cowl and handknitted brown jumper.


The details:
Pattern: Pyukkleen by Ysolda Teague (my Ravelry notes)
Pattern details: “After a couple of days slowly riding up the hills with plenty of time to observe the constantly shifting colours of the landscape I couldn’t resist this armful of blues, golds and rich browns. A sampler of some of my favourite nought and cross and peerie patterns allow the colours to shine in a subtly shaded pattern, although two colours would be equally effective. Stranded colour work in Aran weight creates a fabulously warm fabric with plenty of body that means the loose cowl can stand up to protect your nose from the wind or be pulled down into attractive gathers. Pyukkleen is an excellent first stranded colour work pattern with its geometric patterns, short floats and lack of steeking.”
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted in Calypso Heather, Amber Heather, Chocolate, Golden Heather, Pumpkin & Orange
Needles: 4mm for cowl, 5mm for i-cord
Mods: Different gauge (23 sts & 27 rows / 4” blocked). Cast on 216 sts for an approx. circumference of 37.56” or 95cm (finished circumference approx. 108cm round, 22cm high).
– Different colour scheme with small motifs worked differently to charts

Author: Siobhan S

20 something, living in country Australia. Spoonie profile: ME/CFS, dysautonomia, anxiety. All about sewing, knitting and food. Unapologetic disability advocate.

11 thoughts on “Pyukkleen”

  1. I live in Australia too and we have had some freezing mornings.
    Do you by any chance know how to knit cool, fashionable gloves which aren’t ugly? The hard thing about gloves is when you want to use your phone or take something out from your bag and it makes it hard to feel.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, I’m allergic to wool & somewhat interested in learning how to knit. But is it even worth it when I already don’t have time to make everything I want to sew & cross stitch, especially when there are so many yarns out there I wouldn’t be able to use?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s totally worth it! But I think knitting is worth it for everyone. The advantage of knitting over sewing and cross stitching is that it can be totally mindless – perfect for when you need to pay attention to something else but still prefer to be doing something with your hands. There are many knitters who, for whatever reason, don’t use wool. Amy Singer’s No Sheep For You might be a good place to start, or a wool-free group on Ravelry. There are many beautiful non-sheep-wool yarns out there that are a delight to knit with.


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