The Uncommon Knitter: Honey Cowl

If you were knitting in 2010, you remember the arrival of the Honey Cowl. This slip-stitch neckwarmer, in a distinctive lime green that could only come from madelinetosh, went viral on Knitters responded to the stylish presentation of the pattern, and found it to be a quick, elegant, versatile knit – perfect as a gift or a treat for yourself.

Flash forward to 2016. The Honey Cowl is an established classic, favorited over 50,000 times on ravelry, and in 13,000 queues.

And… I’ve never knit one!

Shop customers recommend it all the time. My fellow staffers have made multiples of them. And we don’t have one to display as a shop sample. So here I am, at the convenient intersection of desire and need! It’s early Spring when I talk to Stephanie, and she suggests Misti Alpaca Pima Cotton and Silk Hand Paint for the yarn. Like madelinetosh, Misti Alpaca comes in breathtaking colors. It is a DK yarn with great drape, and is perfect for the Bay Area climate. I select CSP 21, with beautiful rusts, golds and greens, and happily cast on.

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In addition to changing the yarn, I modified the pattern by casting on 180 stitches after deciding that the 150 stitch version would be too short. I used nearly all of the 327 yard skein on a US 6 needle.


This was such an enjoyable knit! I loved seeing how the colors were revealed, and how the finished cowl turned out! I would recommend this project for adventurous beginning knitters. It’s a great way to get comfortable using circular needles, and the slip-stitch pattern is easily mastered. It’s beautiful in solid or tonal yarns, as well as variegated. Kay Gardner and Ann Shayne, the Mason-Dixon knitters, did a great blog post on in October 2015, outlining tips for knitting a Honey Cowl.

Now that it’s Fall, I’ve checked out the madelinetosh Vintage and have narrowed it down to two colors — Court and Spark and Mala – for my next short version. We recently received a shipment of this popular yarn and have plenty of tempting colors, perfect for the short or long version of the Honey Cowl.

So, dive on in! The knitting’s great!

Specs: I used one skein of Misti Alpaca Pima Cotton and Silk Hand Paint yarn, (83% cotton,17% silk; 327 yds.)
Comparable DK weight options include Handwerks Silky DK, Malabrigo Silky Merino, Noro Silk Garden and Silk Garden Solo, Berroco Corsica and Rowan Softyak DK and Alpaca Colour.
Worsted weight yarns include Malabrigo Worsted and Rios, Imperial Columbia, Berroco Ultra Alpaca, Tahki Mesa, Rowan Felted Tweed Aran and Pure Wool Worsted, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, Crystal Palace Mochi Plus

Needles: 32” Addi turbo and lace tips; ChiaGoo 32” bamboo
Pattern: Honey Cowl by Antonia Shankland, free on