Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Bunker Bay Cowl

Araucania Ruca is lovely by the waters of Bunker Bay
Knitting whilst on holiday is one of life's most pleasant pastimes.

However, the times between knitting need to be filled in with activities and this morning we went out for a coffee (and cake, a delicious orange/almond cake - divine).
Whilst we were waiting for our coffee's and staring out across the bay, I was struck by how much the water reminded me of the wool I am using on my hitherto unnamed project.  The same blues, pale aqua's and slight greens ...

I have been  toying with some 'ocean' themed names .. Sea grass cowl, ocean ripples but they didn't seem quite right - until we had coffee at Bunker Bay.  This delightful spot on the extreme South West of Western Australia is rapidly developing into a tourist mecca and it is easy to see why - just as it's easy to see why my new cowl now has a name.

Bunker Bay Cowl

This cowl is a long, lined, cable cowl that wraps around the neck for a decidedly warm feel.

Material Required.

.. Araucania Ruca 550m   (220grams)
..4.00mm circular needle
..Waste yarn for provisional cast on


Using your preferred provisional cast on method, cast on 266 stitches.  I always use the crochet method mainly because it is very quick and easy.  This you tube clip is very straight forward to follow.

Once you have 266  stitches, attach the working yarn for the set up row.

Place a stitch marker to indicate the beginning of the row.  

15 rows of circular knitting counted

I always find it tricky to keep track of rows when knitting circularly.  I purchased a packet of 500 mini hair ties and I use these as my markers.  As they are very thin, I add one everytime I reach the end of the row.  The cable pattern in this cowl is repeated every 6 rows.  I know that when I have collected 6 stitch markers, it's time to cable.  They are also very useful to keep matching sets of DPN's together not to mention their intended purpose - keeping unruly hair tidy.
If I need to keep track of a lot of rows, I collect 10 and then like a Chinese abacus, I will move one of the markers one stitch to the left. As you can see from the picture on the right, I am currently on row 15.  The marker to left of the first stitch indicates 10, and the 5 on the right add to 15.  If you need to keep track of over 100 rows, then it is simply a case of adding another tie to the left of the next stitch to indicate 100.

6CF  -  Slip 3 stitches onto a cable needle and hold in the front of your work. K3 then K3 from cable needle

How to 6CF without a cable needle.

I am a big fan of cabling without a cable needle and I thought I would show you how it is done.

Step 1.  Identify the stitches that will be used in the cable.  In this case, it is the 6 stitches on the LHS needle up to the purl stitch.

Step 2.  Slip all 6 stitches purlwise onto the RHS.

Step 3.  Using the LHS needle, pick up the first of the 3 slipped stitches as shown.  The LHS needle has picked up the stitches in front of the work making it a front cable.  A back cable is simply a case of picking up the same 3 stitches, but from the back.  Gently slide all 6 stitches to the end of the RHS needle.

Step 4.  Using the thumb and middle finger on your left hand, firmly squeeze your knitting and pull the RHS needle back to release the stitches.  DON'T PANIC.  I know that you now have stitches off the needle but they aren't going anywhere because of the 'firm squeeze' you are still applying.

Step 5. & 6  Quickly re-insert the RHS needle into the stitches. With a bit of practise, this motion becomes very fluid. These stitches now need to come to the front so using the LHS needle, pick up/slip these stitches starting with the one closest to the end of the RHS needle. All 6 stitches are back on the LHS needle but the order has changed.

Step 7 & 8.  Knit the 6 stitches and you are finished.

When I am working on a piece that requires a lot of cabling, I find that this method saves me a lot of time.  The yarn for this project is very lustrous (made from sugar cane would you believe) and there is nothing more frustrating than a cable needle that keeps falling out of your work.

Row 1:           K6, P1 to end 
Row 2 - 5:      Repeat row 1
Row 6:           6CF, P1, K6, P1 to end
Row 7:           K6, P1 to end
Rows 8 - 11:  Repeat row 7
Row 12:         6CF, P1 to end.

Rows 1 - 12 form the pattern and are repeated a further 4 times (5 patterns in total).

Rows 60 - 105.  Knit 6, P1 to end.  This forms the inside lining of the cowl.

Row 106:       Undo the provisional cast on and, using the 3 needle bind off method, cast off all stitches.

The cowl can be worn long over tops or wrapped around your neck for warmth when wearing a coat.

All in all, a good holiday knit.

Happy knitting and happy holidays,

Thanks so much for visiting.  We'd love to have you join us on Facebook , Pinterest  & Ravelry too.

More cowls and scarves from Fitzbirch

Disclaimer: We are all part of one big crafting community so please do not sell our patterns or claim them as your own. You are free to do what you wish with finished items but if you sell them online, please link back to us for pattern credit. Please use your own images if advertising an item for sale from our patterns.  We are not expert pattern designers and believe knitting and crochet is a wonderful art form.  Therefore, many of the ways we create things may not be according to established methods.


  1. I love the colour of the yarn. I'm not good at knitting anything other than ruffled scarves but this makes me want to learn. I stopped by from Fluster Buster.

  2. I love the yarn. My mother tried teaching me to knit but I could never catch on. Thank you for linking this up on Fluster's Creative Muster Party!

    Fluster Buster

    1. Thanks Robin and thanks for another great Muster Party.

  3. This is a gorgeous cowl. What is the yarn?

    1. Thanks Debra .. The yarn is Araucania Ruca. Its made from sugar cane and is very lustrous. I love knitting with it and have the same yarn in 3 different colourways. This cowl is Colourway 9 in blues and teals.

  4. just purchased some Araucania Ruca and have been scouring the web for a suitable pattern I have found it! Beautiful.

  5. Wondering if it would make sense to do the provisional cast-on, then 23 rows of the K6, P1, then do the cable rows, ending with 23 rows of the K6, P1, thus putting the 3-needle bind-off seam on the interior lining side so it would be less visible?

    1. Hi Eleanor,
      Your idea is a good one and I would definitely try it when I knit this cowl again (in one of the other 2 colourways that I have in this yarn). Thanks for the suggestion .. Louise

  6. Hi Louise, this pattern is beautiful, I've never done cables but I'd like to try this pattern. I had a question about the steps not using a cable needle, why is step 4 necessary? because I look at the photos of step 3 and 5 and it looks exactly the same. I'm a newbie so sorry for the ignorance, just trying to understand. I plan on trying it out on some test knitting first to get used to it :)
    Kindest Regards, Neek.

    1. Hello Neek, I am so glad that you are giving this cable method a try. It is now my go-to method of cabling as it is so much quicker.

      When you look at step 3, all 6 stitches are sill on the RHS needle. The point of the LHS needle has just been inserted into the front of the stitches. From this point, you pull the RHS needle back to drop the 3 outer most stitches from the needle. Once they are released, the next 3 stitches move onto the LHS needle. You then need to pick up the 'released' stitches with the RHS needle. Whilst pictures 3 & 5 look the same, there is a major difference in that in picture 5 each needle now contains 3 stitches. If you look closely at picture 3 you will be able to see that all the stitches are on the RHS needle. (I should have made the picture a little clearer but it was a bit difficult holding the knitting and taking a photo at the same time :-) )

      The 3 stitches that were released and then picked up, can now be transferred back to the LHS needle, ready for knitting. Without step 4, there would be no change in the order of the stitches.

      I hope this helps but if you need more clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us. Happy Knitting, Louise

    2. oh I see it now!! haha thank you, that really helped :)

  7. Hello!
    Can you tell me where to get this yarn from? I am having a hard time finding it. Thank you!!

  8. Love this yarn 💓 Can you post a link to the yarn you used?

    Thank you 🙋


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