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Thisbe Cowl knitting pattern

The shop currently has 1 in stock.

The tall, skinny cables in this cowl resemble the crack in the wall through which the lovers Pyramus and Thisbe communicated. The length of the cowl provides warmth as well as a nice drape so it can be worn comfortably. The pattern is both fully written out and charted, so you can use whichever type of directions works best for you.


Malabrigo Arroyo (100% superwash Merino wool, 335 yds/306 m per 100 g); 1 skein; sample uses colorway Reflecting Pool

or 300 yds (274 m) of another sport weight yarn, such as Round Table Yarns Tristan


US 6 (4 mm) 16" (40 cm) circular needle plus DPNs, or size needed to obtain gauge
Cable needle
Stitch marker


22 stitches and 40 rounds over 4" (10 cm) in stockinette in the round, blocked

Finished Measurements

29" (73.5 cm) circumference and 6.5" (16.5 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

The source for the story of Pyramus and Thisbe seems to be Ovid’s Metamorphosis, but a number of authors have chosen to tell this story over the years, especially during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, including Boccaccio, Chaucer, Gower, and Shakespeare. It is a tale of doomed lovers and was often used as a cautionary story, although with Shakespeare, it is given almost a comical turn as the play put on by the bumbling amateurs in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Similar to Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare likely based that story off Pyramus and Thisbe as well), the parents of the two lovers hated one another and refused to allow their children to wed, much less even speak to one another. That did not stop the two lovers; their houses were next door to one another and they found a small crack in the wall between their houses through which they could speak, pass notes, and even touch fingers.

They decide to defy their parents and run away together, agreeing to meet beneath a tree outside of town. Thisbe is the first to arrive. But she comes upon a lion who has just made a kill and whose mouth is still bloody, so she flees the scene. But her scarf falls off as she flees, and the lion rips the scarf, getting blood on it in the process.

Enter Pyramus. He finds Thisbe’s scarf with the blood as well as the tracks of the lion. Thinking she has been attacked and killed by a wild animal, he kills himself by falling on his sword. Thisbe returns to find her lover dead and thus uses his sword to kill herself.

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

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