Aspen Winter Cowl

It's official! My first pattern, the Aspen Winter Cowl, is now available on Ravelry. While I am in no way a fan of cold weather, I've always loved the visual contrast of the last bright leaves of fall against the first snow fall of winter. This pattern mimics the texture of the aspen trees surrounded by a bed of fallen leaves and snow. The picture above, taken by Elisa (ARockandaTree on both etsy and Instagram), captures the exact inspiration for this design.

There are 2 versions of the cowl, town and country. Both are knit with approximately 200 yards of worsted weight wool on size 8 needles. The borders of "snow" are done in seed stitch, and the center section uses my "birch" stitch to recreate the knots and ridges of the aspen bark. The town version is knit in a custom colorway by Robin's Roost made specifically for this pattern:

I created the country version using one hank of Romney lamb wool from the Prado de Lana farm in Pennsylvania. I won this yarn as part of a giveaway on Instagram and fell in love with it. Squishy soft and natural gray, this yarn was a perfect match for the center birch stitch. I used some handspun alpaca from stash for the snow to create the perfect rustic version of the cowl:

The birch pattern really stands out in the Romney wool:
Both Amanda from Prado de Lana and I will be at Vogue Knitting Live in New York City in January. Amanda will be selling copies of this pattern along with the wool I used - if you're going to the event, stop by her booth! I'll be there Saturday, January 14th, wearing my version; if you see me, please say hi!

I was lucky enough to find some very gracious test knitters. Below is a version by Gill (knit.purl.relax on Instagram):

Angela (harknessangels on Instagram) knit a rustic version in Cascade 220 before Pantone announced that the 2017 color of the year is "Greenery":

Joy (joysharynsquiresjensen on Instagram and 1sexygramma on Ravelry - the best rav name ever!) knit this version that looks just lovely:
A big thank you to all of my test knitters including Juliann (juliannph on Instagram) and Amanda of Prado de Lana (she took the test knit to Florida - jealous!). I'll talk more about the background of this pattern as well as my start on my new cowl pattern for spring in the next podcast - stay tuned!


  1. beautiful cowl!! Love the contrasting rib and stitch design.

  2. What a lovely cowl - neat design! Thanks for sharing, saying hello from Impulsive Artistry, found you on Pleasures of the NorthWest! Would you be interested in a being a featured guest artist on my blog - show some of your work/talk about your podcast? I featured all kinds artists on my blog... Let me know!


    1. Thanks for the compliment and inquiry! You can contact me directly at knitreadpray (at) with information about a guest artist post.

  3. I'd be so proud to make one of these! Happy New Year Popping by from the Real Carfty Link Party

  4. This is a beautiful cowl - sadly the Pleasures of the NW's DIY party is for posts that include the patterns or decorations and that are not for sale. Thanks for stopping by though.

  5. It's beautiful, you did a great job. Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party, and happy new year! Pinned.