My Experience with Cable Knitting an Irene Cowl

Learning how to knit is a bit of a balance. For example, I look at what other Makers have done and try to create my own pretty version. It’s important to follow advice from those who have the experience. But at the same time, your own creativity brings a lot to the table.

That’s what I did with Irene Cowl by The Chesapeake Needle. For projects like this, it’s not as simple as following the pattern to a tee. I like to put my own unique spin on it, whether it’s with substituting yarn or other tweaks.

First, give all the credit to Lindsay for coming up with this inspiring concept! Her blog goes into a lot of details about what sparked her to develop Irene Cowl. As a fan of literature, I certainly appreciated her thought-out story. I’ll let Lindsay speak for herself on her website. Do check it out. 🙂

A few months ago, I was lucky enough to be a test knitter for the pattern. Originally, my choice of Lavender Cuddle (three skeins) added a bit of punch to the color. I later detailed my experiences on Ravelry, which is a fantastic community for Makers. For this blog post, however, I’ll give you a few more details. 😉


First, I made a lavender version of Irene Cowl.  

In May, Matt (my significant other) started the project himself. He wasn’t the biggest fan of the lavender color from the test cowl I knit in February. And since this cowl was for him, well, that’s kind of important! It’s also where the uniqueness comes in.

He described a new color instead. I deciphered that he wanted a blue, but it was a little tricky to figure out what kind of blue. The color ended up being Lake Blue, which now a part of the High Desert series. Come to think of it, High Desert was released quite a while later. I guess it was in the works far longer than I realized!

Irene Cowl took a while as well, partially because Matt dropped the project after a short time. There was a lot of other stuff going on.

In the summer, we both moved to our current, wonderful home. His discarded cowl ended up in a box. Just as summer neared its end, I found it! It just so happened that he was out of town for his birthday. I bet that I could surprise him for when he returned!


Once I found the cowl, it was time to get to work.

Let’s be honest, he was never going to finish that thing anyway. I, on the other hand, busted it out in three days! I used three skeins of Lake Cuddle, matching his color of choice. Needless to say, I was very pleased with the results.

What do I love about it? It is thick, squishy, and oh so warm! Matt, a Wisconsin native, is already used to the cold. I’m not sure how much use he’ll get out of it here. But hey, I’ve worn it already, so I bet he will too!


All done! Doesn’t it look great? 

Other people (you!) will also love it. I think it’s a great project for intermediate knitters who are learning how to cable, especially with Lindsay showing you the ropes. She really does a great job with her clear instructions.

Because it’s so bulky, I found the 6 round pattern easy to memorize and knit quickly. But before you start, there’s some things to keep in mind.

I recommend making it a semi-solid instead of variegated or highly speckled yarn. The cables may get lost if you do the latter. Nothing is more disappointing than working hard on cables, only for them not to show up in the final project.

Blocking this cowl is also a must. It drapes so much nicer, making the cables bloom. In the end, you’ll have a cowl that you can be proud of.

Have you tried making an Irene Cowl? Let me know in the comments below!

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