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Jianzhi Cowl

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When gift-giving occasions come around for my children’s teachers, I like to knit things. It makes their presents unique and special; and let’s face it, teachers spend a lot of time out in cold playgrounds, so anything that helps keep them warm is a big plus.

When my eldest was in grade four, I wanted to knit her teacher a cowl, but was stumped as to what sort of pattern to put on it. I decided to turn to the teacher’s Chinese heritage for ideas, and Googled around a bit to see what I could find. What I discovered was an absolute treasure trove of gorgeous inspiration and stunning artistry: “Jianzhi”, the Chinese art of papercutting, traditionally done with red paper and displayed with a white background.

Adapting one of the background designs I found into knitting gave me a great motif, and this cowl is the end result. It uses the double knitting technique to make an accessory which is not only reversible, but double-thick; sure to keep you warm even on a freezing day!

Skills required
  • Knitting
  • Purling
  • Working in the round
  • Chart reading
  • Double knitting know-how (explained in pattern)
Size information

Adult - one size fits all. Finished measurements: 25” circumference, 8.5” height.

Yarn requirements

Approximately 155 yards of each colour

Other materials needed
  • 3.75mm circular needle, 20" long
  • 5mm needle, for bind-off
  • Stitch marker

34 sts (17 per side) and 25 rows = 4” in double knitting stocking stitch on 3.75mm needles
You will get a PDF (2MB) file

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