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Gringolet Cowl knitting pattern


Knit in the round, this cowl uses a combination of increases (including double yarn overs) and decreases to create geometric shapes. The center of the stitch pattern resembles horseshoes, connecting the pattern to Gawain’s faithful horse, Gringolet. The pattern is both fully written out and charted, so you can use whichever type of directions works best for you.


YOTH Yarns Little Brother (80% Superwash Merino/10% cashmere/10% nylon, 435 yds/398 m per 100 g); 1 skein; sample uses colorway Wheatgrass

or 400 yds (366 m) of another fingering weight yarn, such as Round Table Yarns Camelot


US 3 (3.25 mm) 24" (60 cm) circular needle, or size needed to obtain gauge
Stitch marker


26 sts and 48 rows over 4" (10 cm) in body pattern worked in the round, blocked

Finished Measurements

34" (86.5 cm) circumference and 9" (23 cm) tall

Printing Details

The pattern has been professionally printed on 80# cover stock and uses a half-fold binding (created by folding a single sheet that is twice the size of the finished product in half, creating a 4-page publication). The size of the pattern is letter size (8 1/2" x 11").

Electronic PDF Version Included

On the print copy of the pattern, you'll find a sticker with a coupon code. Enter that coupon code on Ravelry and a PDF version of the pattern will be added to your Ravelry library. That way if you ever lose the print copy, the pattern will still be available to you. If you just want the electronic version of the pattern, you can purchase it on Ravelry here.

The Story Behind the Pattern Name

Gawain was one of the knights of the Round Table—an integral part of the stories both in his own right as well as because he was Arthur’s nephew. Although horses were important to the knights and get many mentions in the tales, not very many horses are given names. Gringolet is one such exception, and the name is used in several stories about Gawain from various traditions, such as the French Erec and Enide by Chretien de Troyes, the English Lancelot-Grail Cycle as well as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and the German Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach.

According to Roger Shermin Loomis, the name was derived from a Welsh word meaning either “white and hardy” or “handsome and hardy.” In either case, the “hardy” definition fits with Gringolet’s character quite well as he is a horse Gawain can rely upon. In Parzival, Gawain comes upon a wounded knight and tends to his injury. Gawain is “rewarded” by having Gringolet stolen from him. Later, Gawain finds himself jousting against a different knight who is riding Gringolet and recovers his horse, which is easily identified by the mark of the Grail it bears. Losing and regaining Gringolet seems to be a recurrent plot point for Gawain.

Photos courtesy of Anne Podlesak and pattern layout by Elizabeth Green, both of Stitch Definition.

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