The BMC (Betty Mouat Cowl)

At last! I can now show you the BMC (Betty Mouat Cowl).

You may remember my cockleshell lace obsession , which resulted in the soon-to-be released Betty Mouat Sweater? One can never have too many cockleshells, I reckon, and this design is a veritable showcase of ’em.

Cockleshell lace is traditionally knit back-and-forth in garter stitch. When used on a stole (which is how you’ll most often find the pattern used in Shetland) the lace pattern is generally worked across the fabric, so that the shells and scallops lie horizontally, like this:

(Cockleshell stole in the Shetland Museum)

The BMC does a couple of things differently: first, it is knit in the round (using Susan Stevens’ innovative no-purl garter stitch method) and second, the lace pattern is worked along the fabric, so that the shells and scallops frame the full length of the cowl.

The BMC is worked in two pieces, using a colour scheme which is mirrored along the centre. The two pieces are then grafted together, and the end result is a cowl/ wrap / snood / infinity scarf / [insert your preferred garment moniker here] that is both dramatic and versatile!

I don’t know about you, but I am very tired of Winter’s browns and greys. I had a strong hankering for bright colours that POP in the Spring sunshine. The shades I chose for the BMC (in Shetland lambswool Albayarn) certainly do that!

I thought of beach huts and deck chairs; seaside rock and pistachio ice-cream.

The BMC is an infinitely adjustable garment. You could make it longer, or shorter; you can wear it many different ways.

I am sporting it here on the beach at North Berwick – a logical choice to photograph this most nautical of designs on a lovely, sunny day!

The BMC now has its own Ravelry pattern page and will be released, together with the Betty Mouat Sweater, on Wednesday 21st March as part of Textisles, issue 2, where you can also read my newly- researched piece about the namesake of these designs . . .