Better than Burberry

Better than Burberry, originally uploaded by elemmaciltur.
Start: 15th October 2010
Finish: 07th November 2010
Needles: 6 mm Addi Turbo
Yarn: 100% Alpaca in grey bought from the Benediktbeuern Textile Market this year; 260 m / 100 g / skein; Using 4 skeins in total with yarn held double - got 9 repeats altogether
Pattern: Burberry Inspired Cowl by Julianne Smith

Better than Burberry, originally uploaded by elemmaciltur.
So, the latest must-have-accessory this winter is a super-chunky, oversized cowl. At least we knitters call them cowls. Other variations out there are called "loop scarf"...or the latest according to my research, and coined by "Burberry", it is called a "snood" - which is totally misleading, because a snood is a headgear.

Whatever it is called, I'm going to stick to the term "cowl" (which is also misleading in the its own way).

I certainly saw this "Burberry Inspired Cowl" pattern floating on Ravelry for a while now - however, it was during my anti-cowl time, so I didn't pay attention to it. That is, until someone in MuKnit knitted it up and cowls were creeping on me from every corner (blame the fact that my work has to do with fashion now), I ended up succumbing to the siren call of a big chunky cowl.

I had a particular yarn in mind: I meant to do it in 100% silk, hand-dye by this German dyer (Elvira Dick). I knew that she was definitely going to be at Benediktbeuern textile market, and so I went there with a purpose back in September. Unfortunately, they were having some problem with the logistic of the silk yarn and so there were only some sportsweight in golden colours and none in worsted. So, I decided to go for the next best one: 100% pure alpaca in sportsweight.

I ended up knitting with two strands held together to get a bulky weight, which worked out quite well. I used up pretty much 98% of the four skeins I bought and got about 9 repeats out of the cowl. Long enough to make a double loop, so that it will definitely lay close to neck and keep it warm.

So, why is my cowl better than the Burberry's original? First, I made it. Secondly, according to this blog post, the fibre content is 90% wool and only 5% cashmere - whilst the "snood" is being advertised as cashmere. Oh, and for the record, the wool they used isn't even specified whether it's even merino. And for a price tag of 175 pounds (about EUR 205), I think that it's a bloody rip-off. Besides, you can see from the photo on Jhek-Jhek's blog that there's a very visible seam on the cowl, whilst I did quite a perfect grafting job on mine and have a practically seamless cowl....besides, now that I can see how the cable is done on the original one, I bet I can reverse-engineer it easily enough if I feel like knitting it...and I probably can just get it done in 100% cashmere AND still have a cheaper price-tag than Burberry. So yeah, mine is definitely better than Burberry's. :-p

Have a great weekend everyone!


Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Very nice piece. I think the "loop scarf" is the best description but that is just me. I have a very short moebius I knit up in alpaca that I really like but this would be a good addition to any wardrobe. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

TomH's picture

Stunning! What pattern did you use? Did you use the "Burberry Inspired Cowl" pattern?