This one came about because I had some gorgeous handspun yarn, made from Polwarth fibre, which I had spun to keep the colour progression through shades of grey, green and blue.
Then I had the idea of making a cowl but making it from a triangular scarf. I could visualise pulling the ends of a triangular scarf around so that they joined, and then knitting to "fill in the gap" as it were to make a continuous loop. I just couldn't immediately see how to actually do it. And of course a cowl doesn't need to be as tall as its circumference, unless you're knitting it for a giraffe!
A bit of maths and some sketches later, I came up with the stocking stitch version and set about knitting it with my handspun.
Then I had the mad idea of trying to make it again, but in garter stitch. Easy enough, except for the one round in the whole thing, because I suddenly had an extra right side row to deal with which threw off the garter stitch. It hadn't affected the stocking stitch because you're always knitting the right side and purling the wrong side but there aren't any purl rows in garter stitch.
I was actually on a train when it got to that stage of the garter stitch sample, and I found myself having to write down exactly what I was doing so I could get it properly written up once I reached my destination. I'm glad the train wasn't busy - goodness knows what my fellow passengers thought I was up to - but my knitting engineering worked, and the garter stitch version came to fruition too.
As for the name, one of my favourite book ideas as a child were Mr Wonka's Square Sweets That Look Round in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. The sweets are little cubes with faces on them, and Mr Wonka proudly shows them off to his visitors who all insist that the sweets do not look round. They most definitely look square. After much insistence, and much rejection of the notion by the visitors, Mr Wonka throws open the door of the room and all the square sweets on the table turn their eyes towards the door to see who is entering. Mr Wonka proudly declares that the sweets do indeed look round! Since this cowl is worked almost completely flat, except for one joining round, it is arguably a flat cowl. It just looks like it was worked in the round.
You can find the pattern here in my Ravelry store, or click through the photograph at the top!