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MDK Atlas provides superb color combination possibilities. And Joji Locatelli’s Cuatro Wrap is a lovely design—clever, striking and oh so elegant. I wanted to combine those superb, saturated colors in a neck warmer to wear while walking on chilling mornings, and so my cowl edition of the Cuatro Wrap was born.

After much arranging of fetching combinations, I wound a skein of each my chosen colors: Pear, Seaglass, Mallard, and Peat.

The Mods

To achieve the snug fitting, and double wrapped cowl size I wanted, I worked each triangle just to row 65 and at a slightly firmer gauge of 20 stitches and 32 rows to 4″ (10cm).

(If you’re looking for garter tab cast-on support look here for a video tutorial and for step-by-step pictures look here.)

I worked rows 7 and 8, 15 and 16, 55 and 56, and 63 and 64 in the CC, so that more color changes would appear in my smaller triangle sections.

And I substituted a directionless M1 for the M1L’s and M1R’s. Every increase is the same, producing a tiny eyelet as a landmark so it’s really easy to see the spine of each triangle—I love those tiny eyelets. Here’s the M1 I used: insert the tip of your RH needle under the running strand between the needles from front to back, wrap the yarn around the RH needle as if to knit and scoop the new strand of yarn through.

When all four of your triangles have been knitted, double check the number of stitches on your holders so there are no surprises when you’re working the joins.

Set up to join either by grafting as directed in the Cuatro Wrap pattern or as I did, by working a flat 3 NBO.

I worked from the center stitch of the left triangle to the center stitch of the right triangle, knitting with the CC of the right triangle, making one continual row up each of the sides, then held the live stitches next to each other and began to work the flat bind off with the same yarn.

This is a sweet to-go, modular project. All you need in your knitting bag per triangle: 2 balls of Atlas, your preferred needle, and Field Guide No. 22.

Save it for later! (After you order up your four colors here.) Here’s how to save this article in your MDK account with one click.

In the gallery above you’ll find four Atlas combinations we love: Clementine, Citron, Skyline, and Tutu; Merlot, Navy, Mouse, and Shale; Barn Red, Lapis, Wintergreen, and Pear; Wintergreen, Cork, Cedar, and Leek.

About The Author

A passionate perpetual knitter, published designer and enthusiastic teacher, Nell Ziroli continues to be inspired by luminaries and students alike. See all her designs here.


  • Wow! It’s beautiful! Thank you, Neil, for the pattern.

  • It was great seeing both of you in Rhinebeck! Thank you for taking the time to chat- it is very much appreciated! I love getting your email every morning! It’s what I do- coffee and MDK to start my day!

  • Beautiful mod, so well done!

  • Oh Nell, thank you so much for this! I love short cowls, and the addition of color (especially as these happen to be my favorites) transformed the pattern for me. Plus it’s doable: I’m not a fast knitter, and I have two afghan WIPs now, so I hesitate to add a big shawl. Perfect!

  • Nice mod Nell. What are the finished measurements for the cowl?

    • Thank you and that’s a great question, Gail! The depth is 10” and the circumference in 46″

  • Love it! A keeper.

  • I love those colors together!

  • Thank you, Nell. You are the quintessential Queen of the Mod!

  • Thank you Nell, I love everything about the project, from the joyous colors to the size.

  • Oooh! I love this!! Thanks Nell!

  • Thank you Nell. I love the Cuatro Wrap but have no use for such a long item and no time to knit one with far too many WIPs! You have inspired me!

  • This is perfect. I was trying to figure how to make this into a smaller project. Thank you for doing the heavy lifting!

  • Ohmygosh. Just when I told myself I needed to wait until after Christmas knitting to even think about the Cuatro wrap, now I’m pulled back in!

  • Beautiful colors, brilliant design mod! This is a keeper.

  • Love this! Thank you, Nell!

  • Brilliant. I haven’t finished mine. I wasn’t sure if I wanted such a big wrap. I may modify it to be a cowl.

  • I love this modification! Love the big shawls but always struggle with how to wear them on my 5’ frame. Thank you Nell!

  • Ordered atlas cuatro cowl, but can’t get the modifications

    • Hi Sue,
      The modifications are in the article. The 4 triangles are shorter with a few substitute rows of the CC, and then joined either as the shawl by grafting, or with a flat 3 needle bind off.

  • Brilliant! Bookmarked 😀

  • What a cute mod – I love it & it looks great on you!

  • A brilliant Ziroli hack!

  • I once heard a explanation of great game design–simple rules and endless possibilities. The same is true of a great pattern design. Thank you for sharing an alternative version.

    Love the use of colors. I would be inclined towards a more neutral wrap, but when it comes to cowls, bring on that pop of color.

    Just to clarify the yarn requirements, is it two balls of each color? Or one ball of each color and you are using two colors per triangle?

    • My mod used 1 skein of each shade, but you’ll need to work from 2 skeins for each triangle; the MC and the CC. Sorry if that was confusing. Thanks for your kind comments.

  • I love this mod so much, Nell!

  • This is brilliant, Nell. A great excuse to buy more Atlas, for a manageable project.

  • Oh, this is perfect, thank you so much, Nell, for doing all the brain-work! I was really taken with Cuatro when I got my Field Guide, but I don’t really wear big shawls. This mod really is terrific.

  • I immediately wanted to make this wrap but knew it rarely gets cold enough in Texas to appreciate this piece so, thank you, Nell for reading my mind and using your creative genius to create a cowl.

  • I love this pattern. I’d much rather make a cowl than a scarf. A cowl moves right along – perfect for my short attention span. :^). Thanks very much for sharing these wonderful photos, the pattern, and instructions. A joy to read and see.

  • Oh, Nell’s article came at the perfect time! I just finished Blanket of Joy and had lots of small balls left! I’ve been having such fun picking out colors! I’m going to call it my Crazy Quilt Cowl of Joy!! Thank you so much,Nell, for the wonderful modification! …and a “nod of the needle” to Joji for a great pattern!

  • Thank you for the mods. Do you have any idea of total yardage? I am looking at my stash possibilities for a sample project.

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