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I found myself in need of a snug cowl. A Cushiest Cowl. The air-trapping quality of brioche adds extra insulation to this very utilitarian accessory, and Nancy Marchant’s Garter Ridge design adds a bit of fun.

Choosing colors is the hard part—there are so many great combinations. Seaglass and Peat are the shades that I decided to use, this time …

The Mods, Nell Style

My own gauge is a little firmer than the pattern calls for, and for an even closer fit I reduced the cast on to 96 stitches, still a multiple of 8 (which is the pattern repeat ). My finished circumference is approximately 21″ (53cm) and the depth is about 10″ (25.5cm). My version took just one skein of each color!

To recreate my version:

  • Cast on with Seaglass as A. After working a dozen rounds in 2 Color Brioche Stitch, begin to work from Dotty Wrist Warmers Brioche Pattern Chart 2: rounds 1–8, then rounds 1 & 2. After 4 more rounds of brioche, work 2 consecutive rounds of B which reverses or swaps the colors, and brings the Peat to the foreground.
  • Continue with Peat as A. To further mirror the first half, reverse the direction of the arrows by beginning with rounds 5–8, then working rounds 1–6. End with a dozen rounds of 2 Color Brioche Stitch before working the bind off rounds.

That’s it!

The BOR Play-by-Play: I don’t use a marker for the BOR, the unused strand of yarn marks that for me:

From Left to Right: Finishing a round with yarn B with yarn A waiting to be moved up for the BrP; Yarn A up and over for that final BrP; BrP completed with yarn B left at the front for BOR, and yarn A brought forward to work the BrK

After posting the beginning of this project to social media, a friend responded with an excited comment about wanting to learn this mysterious stitch. We immediately made a date to meet up for coffee. She quickly learned the new stitches, and practiced on this very project; I love that other hands have added to the warmth. And I look forward to seeing the mods you make to your Cushiest Cowl.

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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.


  • Very cute! Thanks for sharing.

  • The design reminds me of Angelfish 😉
    Good job!

  • Oooh -the snugness of this cowl. I haven’t gone brioche yet but this might just inspire me. And I could wear it on the one day in Georgia that may be cold enough to enjoy the cushiest warmth! Or possibly a ticket to Somewhere North is in order! Beautiful Nell. And I love the color choices and the 2 skeins only!

  • Thank you, Nell – always learning from you!!

  • Beautiful, clever and inspiring!

  • This is so in line with yesterday’s post about creativity. Taking a basic pattern and changing it up to make it your own.

  • Nell great article and mods. And of course great photo of you. ❤️

  • You’re a genius! Love this, thank you.

  • Nell your spatial reasoning skills blow me away! I would never have figured out that solution to flipping the direction of the arrows.

    • Just brilliant Nell! Love all you’ve done here, and I haven’t been a big fan of 2-color brioche. You made everything good. xoxo

  • Nell was such a great teacher at Swanee. Loved her class. Here she is again giving us super tips on her cowl. Thank you Nell

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