As I said last week, it’s another cold January in Chicago this year! It’s not quite the polar vortex level of cold temps of 30 below from last year, but it’s been close. A Fargo native, I can handle my cold weather. Part of handling cold weather in chill-town (see what I did there? Like Chi-town, eh? Eh?), is leaving the house prepared. Not unlike the Faux Woven Cowl designed during last year’s polar vortex, the Long John Cowl is all about comfortably keeping warm and layering for the cold.
The weave of the Long John Cowl is accomplished by working two rows of knitting, and two rows with slipped stitches. I intentionally designed this cowl so it’s a little tall. Between its height, structure of the stitches, and the chunky yarn used to make it, the Long John Cowl (LJC) keeps your face shielded by staying up while you walk around the big city (or any city).
The LJC also, by virtue of being a variation of your standard stockinette stitch, it is right at home if you roll up the top and bottom hems. As you can see below, it rolls up into a nice donut shape, which is how I’ve been wearing this cowl indoors. When you’re dealing with subzero temps, accessorizing with neckwarmers both indoors and out is a must. But you don’t necessarily want want 2/3 of your face covered when you’re trying to get some work done.
Long John Cowl – The Pattern
2-3 skeins Spud & Chloe Outer in Rhino
size 11 US needles
tapestry needle or crochet hook for weaving in ends
CO – cast on
sts – stitches
k – knit
p – purl
sl – slip
wyib – with yarn in back (hold the yarn on the wrong side of the work as you, in this pattern’s case, slip a stitch)
BO – bind off
CO 72 sts and join into a circle. This pattern is worked in the round.
1-2. k around
3. k1, sl 1 wyib
4. p1, sl 1 wyib
Repeat rows 1 through 4 to desired length. BO all stitches, break yarn and weave in ends.
See? Doesn’t the outside of the LJC look just like long john fabric? The little squares repeating throughout the cowl act as little heat pockets to hold in your body warmth despite cold temps and windchill.
I think I’ve made a decent case here for the Long John Cowl, but I’ll leave you with this: an outtake from the below-zero backyard photo shoot for this post. That’s right! I took photos outside when it was below zero wearing a sweater, gloves and the LJC. The glasses fogging thing was a bit of a problem, but hey! The cowl was warm. I deem this cowl cold-tested, Fargo native-approved.