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Dear Ann,

Of all the colorful, happy-making knitting in Field Guide No. 23: Glow, the Kos Neckwarmer is the one that I associate most closely with Arne & Carlos, as designers and as people.

The name says it all—in Norwegian. The word kos—pronounced, roughly, “koos”—evokes warmth and light, closeness and comfort. The concept is similar to the Danish word hygge, but as Arne told us, kos is much more. A person can be kos, and a relaxed moment between friends, while sharing a snack, a sunset, or a laugh can be kos. Reading a good book and dozing off under a pile of blankets: also kos. Kos is a vibe.

That’s a lot for a handknit to deliver, but somehow, the Kos Neckwarmer pulls it off.

Although the chart is small and supremely simple—a perfect project for a knitter new to stranded colorwork— it results in a lively, vibrant yoke. You start at the bottom edge, with bands of striped ribbing, and then work the yoke, which has decreases built into the chart. When you get to the neck, you can easily adjust it to your desired level of turtle-ness: full-on, mock, or a plain old crew or roll neck if that’s your wish. Try it on and see how you like it!

To whip up a Kos Neckwarmer for yourself, you’ll need 2 balls of Norwegian Wool in a main color; for the sample, Arne & Carlos chose Peat—and 1 ball each of 3 other colors: Ribbon Red, Cloud Dancer, and Emerald.  So many possibilities!

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to get kos.



PS Looking for an alternative colorway? We love how this version shows off the muted shades in the Norwegian Wool palette. You’ll need 2 balls of Norwegian Wool in Cappuccino and 1 ball each of Frost Pink, Vanilla Custard, and Mountain.


  • I just started the Kos neckwarmer and I am so glad that I did. It is fun to knit! Haven’t done much color knitting, but it certainly makes me want to do more. Went with the original colors and I love them!!

    • I love that band of white diamonds in the original colorway. So glad you’re enjoying it!

  • Exciting possibilities here, as you outlined, both in color and neck style, love it!

  • Love the second colorway! And I’m normally a red-and-green lover. (And almost never go for brown).

  • Maybe I shop at the wrong stores, but only in the knitting world do I see neckwarmers, cowls and hand warmers.
    We knitters will make anything and I love it.
    That pattern reminds me of the thing my mom made me when I was a tiny girl up in Michigan. I live in Georgia now and don’t need pieces like this but once or twice a winter, but make them anyway because there are patterns for them and I got the yarn in my stash.

    • Either Georgia is just too warm for retailers to sell them, or you are indeed shopping at the wrong stores. 😉 The Garnet Hill (cashmere!), Peruvian Collection, and Sundance catalogs, not to mention all the outdoor outfitters are full of mitts, cowls, hats, and scarves. Shoot, I’ve even seen them at Saks, with Saks price tags. Much more fun to make our own!

  • I independently chose the alternate colorway for mine! I chose to put the Vanilla Custard as the MC though, so it’s a different feel. Almost done!

  • Could the Kos be the beginnings of a sweater?

    • Or a really cool poncho!

  • Wondering how it will lay on my shoulders. I am not a young model, nor slight shouldered. I guess measure and add repeats. Right?

    • Just knit it as the pattern says. It lies just fine on my 74-year old once-upon-time wrestler husband’s shoulders. 😉

  • I knit my husband an earlier Arne and Carlos cowl in the same dimensions, and he swears by it. It really keeps out the back of the neck drafts, better than a scarf or a regular circular cowl.

  • I’m thinking I would try more of a cowl neck… perhaps keep knitting on the larger needles to make a looser rib, or even knit the ribbing flat to make more of an open collar… Do you think that would work Kay, or do you have other suggestions for how to modify the T-neck? I used to love turtlenecks in my younger days, but I just can’t wear them anymore.

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