Sunday, March 10, 2019

True Hope Cowl

About a year ago, my sister and I went to Vogue Knitting Live Chicago. One of the things we picked up was a kit for the True Hope cowl.

Profits support Handspun Hope, an organization providing work and training to women in Rwanda.

The program started with their spun yarn. I don't know if they had sheep in the beginning, but they do now. Besides being handspun, the yarn is also organically dyed with natural plant materials from the area.

I chose one undyed skein and a subtle pink dyed from avocado pits. (Avocado pits! Who knew.)
I didn't start knitting on the cowl until August. It was just the thing I needed when I didn't want to make any decisions and wanted a project that was ready to go. It also filled the time before I left for a trip because I didn't want to start on my travel knitting!

The cowl is double knit so you get the same pattern on the front and back but in reversed colours. I was cruising along pretty well until...
one of my yarns ran out! I had three rows left to go plus the bind off. !! What !! I didn't know what to do about that for a while.

I finally decided to shorten the pattern by three rows (even though that wrecked one of the crosses). It's always fun to ravel double knitting because you can see the two layers so clearly:
I got through the new last three rows and used the undyed for the bind off since I had plenty of that. I tried a bind off with the needles first but I didn't like the look of it. I went with a Kitchener bind off instead knowing it would match the cast on and would perfectly marry the two layers together.

Here it is on the right side of the cowl:
You can see that it's quite a bit looser than the cast on. Instead of trying to adjust all those stitches to pull it in, I went with a "faux" bind off; i.e. crocheted a chain stitch.
The top edge is just the Kitchener stitch
bind off. The lower edge has the crocheted
chain stitch.
This looks a lot like a line of bind off stitches while bringing in the length. I had to experiment to find the right length of chain stitch to avoid it being too tight. And with that done (and a blocking), the cowl was ready for wear!
The cowl is quite thick. It's knit with a heavy aran weight and a double layer on top of that. Because of the thickness it doesn't drape very well. It also bunches up quite a bit behind the neck:
I tried it folded over as well:
The cowl doesn't work very well under a coat, but for an extra layer over a sweater on those "in between" days, it's great.

Project Stats
: 6 Aug '18
Finished: 21 Sep '18
Pattern: True Hope Cowl by Ann Turley Dreith
Materials: Handspun Hope Organic Merino Handspun in undyed and avocado pit, 179 grams total

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