Completing a House – Sardaukar Cowl

Happy New Year! I hope it is treating you and yours well. Mine started out with a nasty bout of the flu – I have decided to consider it good that I got that out of the way early.

Onward and upward!

For the new year I have decided to revisit an old idea. The impetus behind my designing was pieces inspired by Frank Herbert’s Dune. I began with House Atreides and it yielded 5 crescent shaped shawls Atreides, Mapes, Alia, Lady Jessica, and Caladan. From there I moved to House Corrino with Golden Lion Throne and Irulan.

But Corrino has never felt … finished … to me. It always seemed that there was one more lurking in there, but it was elusive. That was until I went to TNNA and met Mira from Baah! Yarns. I was wearing Golden Lion Throne and she really liked the mosaic motif. But she wanted a cowl. A tall cowl. A cowl that would keep her ears warm. And she had beautiful, beautiful yarn for me to work with. Shasta is a 100% merino super-wash in worsted weight. It is wonderful to knit with and the colors are fabulous.

Yarn in hand, it was time to address the most infamous arm of House Corrino. While this cowl was going to be beautiful, it also needed to be functional. Its ability to do its job could not be sacrificed just to look pretty. And so I ended up tinkering with, manipulating, and expanding the motifs of Golden Lion Throne to create Sardaukar.

Sardaukar: Two color mosaic lace cowl by Barbara Benson

Sardaukar the cowl

I had always known that Sardaukar was going to be a cowl. The costuming from the SciFi mini-series had the troopers in these giant, bulky, black cowls and when you think of it a cowl is a logical and functional accessory. It is protective and elegant, just like the Sardaukar. But I didn’t want to be too literal with the cowl and I had to wait for the inspiration to hit. And I am glad I waited

Sardaukar: Two color mosaic lace cowl by Barbara Benson

Flat size is 11 x 19 1/2

The mosaic pattern has been expanded a great deal from what is in GLT, and the lace has been pared down to its bare essentials. Working the mosaic in the round is much easier than working it flat and the same goes for the lace. You don’t have to think about where the yarn is positioned when you slip stitches – it is always on the inside of the cowl. And the only purling that occurs is in the edge ribbing and when you need to purl a YO that is framing a slipped stitch.

Sardaukar: Two color mosaic lace cowl by Barbara Benson

As you can see, your neck will be warm.

Now, I did something with this pattern I don’t normally do. The instructions are only available charted. That is because the pattern is one giant chart (I split it up so that it is on several pages). Due to the nature of the mosaic, there are no repeated rows. That makes this much more of a color-work project than lace. But even with that it is no where near as challenging as GLT. If you have been considering GLT but have been intimidated, this might help you get your feet wet.

Sardaukar: Two color mosaic lace cowl by Barbara Benson

A bit of detail.

Now that House Corrino is done, the next logical place to go is Harkonnen. And I am going to go there, when I find the inspiration. I have to admit I am stumped a bit for ideas because they are just so … so … evil. There is a part of me that wants to do something named Feyd and riff on his … umm … bathing costume from the movie. But I just don’t know. I am open to suggestions and would love to hear them (and your thoughts on this new piece) in the comments.



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