Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cowl with a Point

I had a hard time resisting this colourway of Fleece Artist's BFL Sock wool...and then I stopped trying. It's gorgeous. Beautiful tones of red shot with yellow and peacock blue. So I bought the skein.

I knew I wasn't going to make socks out of it, however. But what else to make?

An idea started to percolate and I got itching to make a cowl. A long looped cowl (sort of like the Honey) that I could wrap around twice and wear at the office when I'm cold.

The colours are beautiful enough, but I really love how
well the yarn blended from one to the next. No short
choppy transitions here!
But I wanted something that would lie flat in front, so I thought it needed to have a corner, or a point. I started the project once but wasn't pleased with the stitch pattern and threw it into a box while I got distracted with other projects.

I pulled it out recently when I realized I only had socks to work on and thought to myself that socks are meant to be the easy project to work on between projects, or when a project is too big to leave the house; not to be the main project. So I remembered this cowl and pulled it back out.

Project Stats
: 16 Jul '12
Finished: 21 Jul '12
Pattern: my own (see bottom of post)
Materials: Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester Socks, 1 skein, I think the colour was Hercules (they're not labeled) ($24)
Before I had thrown it into a box, but after I had ripped back the first attempt, I had made a swatch of variations of the stitch pattern I had in mind. There were about five different stripes. I considered them. And then decided to alternate two of them. And then I started knitting...

It didn't take too long for me to have a cowl pretty close to what I had envisioned.

I really like how the bottom layer can lay flat because the point turns the corner.
It's a little bit "kerchief-y" but kerchief's are hot right now (well, knit ones are), so that's ok. I think the next one (and, yes, I think there will be a next one) may have a twist knit into it. (Like a Mobius strip.) So both layers will lie better, and they won't get "crumpled up" where they have to twist over each other to make the double loop.

Someone who is not me might even like to wear the cowl as a shoulder wrap. Not too bad from the back,
but really not my style from the front:
Too howdy-doody or giddyup, or something.

The construction is pretty simple,
and it is knit from bottom to top. If you would like to knit your own, here is what I did:

Cast on 240 sts, join in round
Knit 2 rounds
(K2tog, YO) to end of round
Knit 2 rounds
Knit 2 rounds
Repeat from beginning for pattern.

Like I said, pretty simple, right? Knit and purl rows for the most part. Now to make the point, you need to do the following:
At the same time place marker after stitch 60. On every other row do a centered double decrease at the marker. (CDD=slip 2 tog as if to knit, knit1, pass the two slipped stitches over). On the alternate rows, make sure to knit the center stitch of the decrease even if it is a purl row.

You will need to move the marker to the right as you do the decreases. Don't worry, that is normal.

Knit as wide as you'd like. When you're ready, just cast off (bind off) on the second last row of the pattern. Mine is about 7 inches wide and took 200 m (220 yds).

Oh yes, and since someone will ask, I used 4 mm needles (US 6).

Go forth and make a point with cowls...

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