A few years ago I was in a yarn clearance sale (I know, as if that ever happens!) and there was a single ball of Big Wool in black that I was sure I would be able to find a use for, so I grabbed it along with my other purchases. It then sat in my stash for ages as I had big plans for garments and other things, but no inspiration for this one cuddly ball of yarn. Eventually I decided it needed a fate, so I turned to the trusty Ravelry pattern search, and found Marian. The yarn it was intended for is even chunkier than Big Wool but I figured it would still work, and I was right.
The pattern is just very simple moss stitch in the round, but with a twist – literally! Before you join your cast on stitches to begin knitting, you do what you are always told not to do when knitting in the round – you take the first stitch on your left needled and twist it 360 around the needle. This creates a Möbius strip effect which gives the cowl its distinctive shape.
Having knitted the cowl, I had no real idea what to do with it. I hadn’t made it for me specifically and I thought maybe it could be a good gift, but I didn’t really decide and it sat around unused for a while. One day I think I was a bit chilly at home so I tried it on and realised that I absolutely loved it! In fact, between the Check That Cowl that I designed for Rowan’s launch of Kidsilk Amore around the same time, cowls became my new favourite thing in the whole world.
Later that year I found another lone ball of Big Wool in green which I knew my brother’s fiancée would love, so I made her one in the same pattern as a birthday present. Unfortunately I never got a photo of it, but it looked brilliant in that bright shade of green.
Finally, when Rowan launched Big Wool Colour they sent me a ball for review. I knew just the thing for it by then, so that is now my second Marian cowl! I think it looks even better in Colour, the stitch and the curve really show off all the gorgeous flecks of colour in the yarn. Plus I can wear it with all sorts of outfits, because there’s a bit of almost every colour in there.
I really can’t recommend this pattern enough, just one ball of Big Wool or Big Wool Colour and an evening or two can make you a really versatile accessory. It’s brilliant for a gift in rush, too! You will need big needles though (I used 15mm) but I think they were worth the investment.