18th March 2012: Yes I know! It's today ... but mothers are entitled to be late sometimes and this is really lovely! So you can give the yarn and pattern to your mother or make it for her and it's actually incredibly quick and easy to knit as well, so you might even finish before the day is over ...
You will need two 50g balls of fine yarn: Blacker Yarns Shetland 4-ply or the 2-ply would be lovely, or possibly our 4-ply alpaca yarns or the attractive dyed ones in Jacob/mohair and Zwartbles/mohair, or the very lovely Wensleydale. The picture is of grey Gotland!
Using 3.75mm needles, cast on 44 sts. If you use a provisional cast-on, you will be able to make the cowl seamless, but the lacy stitch will also fairly easily lose the join if you do not.
Row 1: k2, knit next stitch wrapping yarn around both needles once, then around right hand needle and knit the stitch in the usual way, dropping the loop and stitch off the left hand needles as usual, repeat this to the last 2 sts, k2
Row 2: K2, *p2, k2 repeat from * to end.
These 2 rows form the pattern: give your work a downwards tup every now and then to pull out the elongated sts and keep the knit stitch border very loose so as not to pull the sides in, just keep them firm.
Work through the whole of the 2 balls of yarn and then cast off very loosely and join the ends together: you can just join as a tube or put a twist in to create an attractive knot feature.
Very lovely and very loving - I hope you enjoy it!