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About the designer

ashkearns on craftsy.com
Guelph, Ontario, Canada

I have been artistic all my life, but no medium has obsessed me more than knitting. I live with my needles in hand! After leaving a career in social work, I decided to make fiber art central in my ...

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Lion Tamer

from Ash Kearns Handknitting
(6) Name: 'Knitting : Lion Tamer
Lion Tamer
Lion Tamer
Lion Tamer
Lion Tamer

Basic Skills Necessary:

  • Provisional cast-on (instructions given)
  • Buttonholes (instructions given)

Pattern Description:

Have you ever had a skein of very "busy" hand dyed or handspun yarn that wouldn't be tamed? This design started with a gorgeous skein of hand dyed wool was re-knitted many times. It obscured any stitch pattern and the colors pooled in a strange way. It just couldn't decide what it wanted to be! Lion Tamer Cowl was finally the answer!
Lion Tamer Cowl is completely customizable in circumference and depth by changing the cast-on number and knitting longer or shorter.

The cowl starts with a provisional cast-on for which detailed instructions are given. After knitting the body of the cowl, the button bands are finished on each end in a contrast yarn. Two versions are included. The smaller version is perfect for a 100 gram skein of busy hand-dyed yarn. The wider striped version pictured here incorporates handspun and commercial yarn (in case you don't have quite enough of your handspun!). Punctuate your cowl with a set of fabulous buttons, matched or mismatched. Due to its flexibility and simplicity, this design is great for experimentation!

The Lion Tamer is sure to domesticate even the wildest yarns in your collection!


18 sts / 24 rows = 4 inches in Stockinette stitch using 5mm needle or size to obtain gauge. For the most accurate measurement, remember to wash and block your swatch.

Sizing / Finished Measurements:

  • Version I (striped as pictured): Circumference, 23.5 inches. Depth, 16.5 inches. Version II (one skein): Circumference, 26 inches. Depth, 11.5 inches. Easily adjustable in circumference (length) by knitting longer or shorter. Adjustable in depth (width) by adding/subtracting 11 stitches (approximately 2.5 inches) to cast-on, which will include a buttonhole.


  • Version I (striped as picture): About 200 yards of Worsted Handspun needing to be tamed and 200 yards Manos Maxima (100% merino wool)
  • Version II (plain, one skein): 190 yards of worsted weight variegated yarn needing to be tamed and about 60 yards of contrast color Worsted weight yarn
  • 5mm needles, straight or circular
  • 4.5mm needles, straight or circular
  • Stitch markers
  • Wool needle

You Will Also Need:

  • 6 buttons for Version I, 4 buttons for Version II

Suggested yarn:

400 yards of Worsted weight

Preferred Brand/Yarn:

Manos del Uruguay Maxima