Ocean Pathways Cowl PDF Knitting Pattern
The first thing that jumps out at you when you look at this cowl are the colors. The color choices and inspiration for the Ocean Pathways Cowl design come from colors used for the city of Atlantis in the 2018 movie Aquaman, starring Jason Momoa.
Collaborating with geeky Gamer Crafting and asking for an Aquaman inspired color palette for the yarn then was a no-brainer. The neon hues of purple, pink and blue of Atlantis were so visually stunning on the big screen, I just had to replicate it as a point of reference in my cowl and Gamer Crafting came through with her interpretation. Thank you! The colors were important to articulate because they also represent healing.
The theme of Aquaman for me is one of healing from disconnection. In his journey to reclaiming his birthright, Aquaman’s son Arthur Curry (who also happens to be Māori in this retelling) works through feelings of inferiority as well as imposter syndrome. For many living in diaspora, Arthur’s story pulls at the heartstrings.
As I was working on finding a way to communicate disconnection and reclamation in this piece, I came across the work of Kirsten Lyttle, a Māori-Australian artist, who describes the Aramoana motif as especially poignant for her as Māori diaspora. Her words were the answer I was looking for. Aramoana, or Ocean Pathways is the basis of the motif in this design.
I also included elements of the Pātikitiki (flounder fish) and nihoniho (teeth) motif to communicate a story of hope, resilience and strength. As Taika Waititi proclaimed during his 2020 Oscar acceptance speech, “We are the original storytellers”. That we are.
The story I wish to share through the motif in this design is that while we may be separated by oceans, it is our diverse experiences and knowledge that can tie us together. This design is for those healing from disconnection and navigating the waters back to home.
The Ocean Pathways Cowls offers two options for knitting up this design: as a tubular cowl or as a regular one. The tubular version requires knowledge of the provisional cast-on and the kitchener bind-off, but both written and video instructions are given.
- Animal-based fibers are best for this project; you want a yarn that is elastic, has nice twist and blooms out after blocking to even out the colorwork stitches.
- Gamer Crafting 100% Superwash Merino (100% Merino; 437 yds./400 m).
Yardage for Tubular Cowl:
- Total: 570 – 660 yds./520 – 600 m
- MC: 385 – 440 yds./350 – 400 m
- CC1: 110 – 125 yds./100 – 114 m
- CC2: 120 – 140 yds./ 110 – 130 m
- CC3: 120 – 140 yds./110 – 130 m
Yardage for Regular Cowl:
- Total: 450 – 525 yds./410 – 480 m
- MC: 255 – 300 yds./230 – 275 m
- CC1: 80 – 95 yds./70 – 85 m
- CC2: 90 – 105 yds./80 – 95 m
- CC3: 100 – 115 yds./90 – 105 m
- US 5/3.75 mm or size to obtain gauge
- For the tubular cowl, two 16 in./40 cm circular needles
- For the regular cowl, one 24 in./60 cm circular needle
- 32 sts and 32 rnds = 4 in./10 cm in main stitch patterns with needle size and after blocking.
- Stitch markers
- Locking stitch marker
- Darning/tapestry needle
- F-5 Crochet hook
- Scrap yarn
- Tube Width (Flat): 7.5 in./19 cm
- Tube Length (before seaming): 28 in./71 cm
- Circumference: 25 in./63.5 cm
- Height: 12.5 in/32 cm
For Tubular Cowl:
- Provisional Cast-On
- Kitchener Stitch
- Knitting in the Round
- Stranded Knitting
Note: in the photos I am wearing a kirituhi stencil. Kirituhi was initially developed so that non-Māori could get “Māori-inspired” tattoos. For Māori, they are used for kapa haka performances and for wāhine to feel empowered—I use it as a forward expression of my cultural heritage without violating the specific mana and tikanga of tā moko. The mana of kirituhi is safe to wear as it is purposefully made to be a “generic” design.
Māori — Native people of New Zealand
Kirituhi — A Māori-inspired tattoo or marking
Kapa haka — Dance performance
Wāhine — Woman
Mana — Authority
Tā moko — A traditional permanent marking of the body and face
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Kia ora, I’m Francoise, aka Frenchie. I’m a Franco-Maori, American-Australian living in Osaka, Japan, working as a knitwear designer and design coach.
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