Francesca and the Darby Cowl

by Craig on December 9, 2010


Francesca is a new yarn this season from Lana Vida. A luxurious blend of fine merino and baby alpaca, Francesca has a cable construction that gives it crisp stitch definition and a wonderfully soft and cushiony feel.

Lana Vida Francesca yarn

Francesca yarn - coral, taupe, pink, and purple

Francesca’s palette contains soft neutrals and rich, bright colors. The coral and pink are warm and bright, a perfect next to your face. The taupe is a beautiful neutral that will easily fit into your wardrobe. The purple is bold and beautiful.

Lana Vida Francesca yarn

Francesca yarn - light blue, natural, taupe, bright blue

The light blue Francesca is a lovely winter shade and the natural is fresh and crisp. The bright blue is eye-catching and exciting – perfect for a cold winter day!

The Darby Cowl

The Darby Cowl in natural Francesca

Speaking of cold winter days – and we’ve had plenty lately here in Philadelphia – the Darby Cowl is ideal for looking stylish and keeping warm. Made with 2 hanks of Francesca, it has fantastic texture from a simple knit-purl stitch pattern.

The Darby Cowl

The Darby Cowl, doubled for extra warmth

Wear it long indoors when the office gets cold then double it up for extra warmth around your neck when you head outdoors.

Here’s how to knit your own Darby Cowl:


one size, approx 6 inches tall and 40 inch circumference

2 skeins Lana Vida Francesca yarn, shown in natural
32-inch circular needle, size 11, or size to achieve gauge

3.5 stitches per inch in Stockinette st, although gauge is not critical for this project

CO 150 sts. Join in the round being careful not to twist.

Round 1: *K2, P1; repeat from * to end.
Round 2: *K1, P2 ; repeat from * to end.

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until piece measures 6 inches. Bind off loosely in pattern. Weave in ends.


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Patti Tyler December 9, 2010 at 11:21 am

I was just looking for a quick gift to knit for a christmas present! thankyou

Gauss December 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm

The cowl looks great – simple and elegant – but what about that sweater? Is it handknit? It’s very beautiful!

Craig December 10, 2010 at 8:28 am

Amber’s sweater is beautiful! It’s not handknit, but it could be!

Craig December 10, 2010 at 8:28 am

Oh good! You’re welcome!

Andrea Hungerford December 19, 2010 at 10:16 pm

I love the colors you grouped together! I had to find something that used all four of the blues/naturals – they knit up wonderfully as a scarf and hats, see here:

or on Ravelry (user name BlueberryHill)


Florence Gartner December 20, 2010 at 9:48 am

This yarn is great and I generally don’t like chunky yarns – pattern as well – must be seen to be appreciated.

Tiffany May 25, 2011 at 10:52 am

I just finished this with Sheep Yarn Two in Aqua. Amazing! I am going to make another for a friend.

Craig May 25, 2011 at 8:14 pm

I bet it’s beautiful in Sheep Two! Good for you, Tiffany!

Pepe May 5, 2012 at 8:50 am

If I want to make this cowl half the circumference, how many should I cast on? Is it multiple of three? I am short, I think this cowl would be too bulky for me.

Craig May 7, 2012 at 11:05 am

Yes, Pepe, it’s a multiple of three. I don’t know if I’d go all the way down to 75 stitches – maybe 90?

trish November 3, 2012 at 10:32 am

craig, i am wanting to knit up the “darby” cowl with a twist. would this be possible without too many complications?


Craig November 6, 2012 at 9:13 am

Yes, it’s possible. Just join your stitches in the round with one twist. It should work out just fine!

Kari Newman February 12, 2014 at 8:56 pm

I am trying to add a hood to this cowl, do you have the stitch pattern for knitting in the flat?

Craig February 23, 2014 at 9:02 am

To knit this pattern flat, row 2 would be P1, k2.

Jean December 30, 2014 at 7:38 am

Just wondered what number or weight the Lana Vida Francesca yarn is

Craig December 30, 2014 at 10:57 am

It’s a chunky yarn. The suggested gauge is 3.5 stitches per inch on US10.5.

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