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Marl the Spectrum Cowl

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

Pattern available on Ravelry.


Marling, in a nutshell, is simply working with two strands of yarn held together at the same time. It is also an excellent way to play with color! Mini skeins, anyone?

The Marl the Spectrum Cowl combines simple color fades for subtle colorwork with the more striking look of marling done with two contrasting colors as well as some mad texture from the post stitches used to create the basketweave stitch! Bonus: reversible fabric!

Marl the Spectrum Cowl, Designed and Crocheted by Connie Lee Lynch of CrochEt Cetera by Connie Lee with yarn from Elemental Fiberworks and featuring buttons from Dimensions Raku Fired Clay

This design is a result of my discovery that although marling is a hot knitting trend, there are disappointingly few crochet designs featuring the technique. So I had to change that!

I wanted to push myself a bit outside my comfort zone and do something really bold. So I did some looking around and landed on this set from one of the Into the Wool Fiber Retreat Sponsors (which I am SO excited about going to next week!!!), Elemental Fiberworks, who specializes in science themed colorways!

Ring Nebula and Bold Spectrum Minis from Elemental Fiberworks

This specific base has unfortunately been discontinued by Mary's supplier, but she's working on an alternate base that will be a little bit lighter, but might just make this even better! I'll come back and update here as well as on Ravelry with the new yarn base as soon as we sort out the details and I work up a sample with it. I decided to go ahead and publish the pattern, though, because I know y'all like to use your own stash and local/favorite indy dyers anyway!

So let's take a closer look!

Marl the Spectrum Cowl Hand Painted Button Detail

Here's what I used:

  • Superwash DK Targhee/Silk by Elemental Fiberworks, DK (3) Weight, 1 full skein (100g, 290 yds) Ring Nebula, 1 set Bold Spectrum Minis, 6 skeins (25g, 72 yds ea)

  • MC: Ring Nebula (232 yds) (she has LOTS of cool Nebula colorways!!)

  • C1: red (44 yds)

  • C2: orange (61 yds)

  • C3: yellow (55 yds)

  • C4: green (61 yds)

  • C5: blue (55 yds)

  • C6: purple (44 yds)

  • I/5.5mm Crochet Hook

  • Stitch Marker(s) (optional)

  • Scissors

  • Darning Needle

  • 5 or 10 ½” Buttons

Skills you’ll need to know or learn:


15 sts and 11 rows = 4" in pattern after blocking.

Finished measurements following above gauge are approximately 8" by 23.5" - instructions are given in pattern for how to modify the size.


You probably know by now that I love to make removable and reversible buttons, and this cowl was no exception! I had these amazing square buttons from Dimensions Raku Fired Clay and even though they were too big to actually fit through the spaces between the stitches in this piece, I really wanted to use them with it! So I paired them with some ½” clear glass cabochons that I hand painted with finger nail polish and then glued to a button setting. I tied them together with leftover yarn from the minis and voila, custom toggle buttons!

Toggle Buttons Made with Dimensions Raku Fired Clay Buttons

The pattern itself includes color-coded written directions with stitch counts and a chart, as well as several supporting photographs to help illustrate color changes. My pattern testers, including Tenia Wilson and Rose M Bush, were, as always, an integral part of getting this design published. I couldn't do this without their input!

There are so many fun color combos you could use for this but if you're looking for more rainbow sets, I can recommend Elemental Fiberworks, of course, as well as What the Flock! and Brediculous Yarns, both of whom are local dyers who have held trunk shows at my LYS Yarn Matters here in Willliamsburg. They've all been a delight to work with! AND this design will work with a variety of yarn weights - even worsted or bulky for a super chunky cowl! Just keep in mind that you'll probably have to adjust your hook size to get a suitably squishy fabric. If I did this one with this yarn again, I might use a J hook instead, actually.

Now that we've talked about yarn, head on over to my Ravelry Shop for the Marl the Spectrum Cowl pattern and be sure to use coupon code RAINBOWMARL to save 10% for the pattern launch now through September 30th!

Happy crocheting, y'all!

Marl the Spectrum Cowl, designed and crocheted by Connie Lee Lynch of CrochEt Cetera by Connie Lee with Ring Nebula and Bold Spectrum Minis from Elemental Fiberworks


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