Knitting for Goldilocks

“I’m not cold!” my sister insisted. Her lips were blue, but she refused to put on her coat.

We relived this scene almost every winter morning at the bus stop.

These days, this girl takes cold weather a bit more seriously.

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You can tell because she has slept in a teepee, trained for a marathon and showshoed up a mountain in freezing temperatures — and she’s still alive.

So when I set out to design a knitted cowl for another brave, marathon-running lady, my sister was the obvious person to advise me. Here is her standard:

“A running cowl… must be tight enough to stay in place but breathable material so as not to make a face sauna.”

Runners gotta breathe!  So, here is my design to hit that Goldilocks zone. This cowl can be worn up or down, depending on whether you want to wrap your neck or shield your entire face.

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The upper edge is stiff enough to stay above nose and cheeks, but the pattern has eyelets throughout to ensure limited air flow. Also, I used a cotton-acrylic fiber blend that won’t itch and can be thrown in the washer.

This adds up to a cowl that keeps a runner’s nose as rosy as my yarn, without threatening to suffocate her.

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Runner’s Cowl

Download printable PDF

Materials:

  • Size 5 (3.75 mm) double-pointed or circular needles
  • Size 8 (5 mm) double-pointed or circular needles
  • Worsted-weight cotton blend yarn

Notes:

  • C4F (Cable 4 Front) = slip 2 sts to cable needle, hold to front, K2, then K2 from cable needle
  • C4B (Cable 4 Back) = slip 2 sts to cable needle, hold to back, K2, then K2 from cable needle

On smaller needles, CO 100 sts.

Join in the round and place a marker at the start. Work K1, P1 ribbing for 5 rounds.

Switch to larger needles and begin pattern:

Round 1: K8, P2, repeat to end of round.

Round 2 (and all even rounds): K8, P2, repeat to end of round.

Round 3: *K8, P2, K1, (sl1, K1, PSSO, YO) 3 times, K1, P2, repeat from * to end of round.

Round 5: *K8, P2, (sl1, K1, PSSO, YO) 3 times, K2, P2 repeat from * to end of round.

Round 7: *K8, P2, K1, (sl1, K1, PSSO, YO) twice, K3, P2, repeat from * to end of round.

Round 9: C4B, C4F, P2, repeat to end of round.

Round 11: *K1, (sl1, K1, PSSO, YO) 3 times, K1, P2, K8, P2, repeat from * to end of round.

Round 13: *(Sl1, K1, PSSO, YO) 3 times, K2, P2, K8, P2, repeat from * to end of round.

Round 15: *K1, (sl1, K1, PSSO, YO) twice, K2, P2, K8, P2, repeat to end of round.

Round 17: C4B, C4F, P2, repeat to end of round.

Round 18: K8, P2, repeat to end of round.

Repeat rounds 1-18. Then work rounds 1-8 once more.

Switch to smaller needles and work K1, P1 ribbing for 5 rounds.

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To bind off, work one more round K1, P1 ribbing. Then, at the start of the round, slip the first two sts to the right-hand needle. Pass the first st over second. Slip another st from the left- to right-hand needle and repeat. Continue around to complete the bind-off. Weave in ends.

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3 thoughts on “Knitting for Goldilocks

  1. Thanks for the free pattern – I run and I’m going to make this!

    Also, I love the earwarmer/headband your sister is wearing – did you make it, and/or do you know the pattern name?

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