GrahmDecember 5, 2009 at 10:25 pm | Posted in 2009, Finished, Knitting, Original Designs | 2 Comments
I certainly have been on a cowl-kick! For me, there’s something about designing something functional as well as visually interesting on such a small canvas that really gets my knitting mojo flowing!
After working on Sugar Plum, which was cable heavy and very feminine, I wanted something a bit more masculine with a good amount of structure, clean lines, and a little something extra to make it special. After a few swatches and rip out sessions, I settled on a wonderful marriage between ribbing, simple cables, and a smidge of striping, just for fun.
Personally, I love how the density of the fabric allows it to stand up like a turtle-neck under a coat, as well as the great stitch definition on account of my yarn choice (yes, Lana D’Oro again–I just can’t keep away from this stuff!) However, my favorite part about this cowl is that its knit extra long and then folded, so it’s double-thick, extra warm, and showcases two different panels of color and stitch pattern so that it can be coordinated with multiple outfits or jackets.
Finished Size | 19 in. / 48.25 cm in length, 10 in / 25.5 cm in width
Materials | Worsted weight yarn. Approx. 215 yards / 196m of each of 2 colors. Shown in Cascade Lana D’Oro (MC) 1042 and (CC) 1087. US 5 / 3.75mm circular needle, 16 or 24 inches / 40 or 60cm long
Gauge | 20 sts and 26 rows = 4 inches / 10cm in stockinette stitch
I knit this in the round using a 24” circular needle. I would recommend a 16”, as things start to get a bit tight when cabling, but it is do-able. So as long as you stick to the gauge, you don’t have to go out and buy new materials if you already have a 24” at home.
It can be argued that I have a tendency towards a type-A personality, and therefore suffer episodes of perfectionism that I willingly indulge—particularly with regards to my knitting. My motto is: If you’re going to spend the time doing something, do it right. And while this can be applied to really anything in life, you know it meant that, before learning that a crochet hook can be a knitters best friend, I would rip out half a scarf just to fix an unwieldy stitch some two-feet ago. Now, it means taking the time to research the most appropriate cast-on or bind off methods for a particular project, knowing which yarn will hold up best, as well as refining my techniques with each new project. For me, being mindful of my knitting and taking the time to use the proper techniques really transforms the act of knitting from being just a crafty past time into a real art.
So, with that said:
In the ribbing portion, I used the joggles stripe method and carried my yarn. This helped to minimize those unsightly “jumps” in the color work, as well as the need to weave in pesky little ends on every row. It’s a very simple technique, and a great tutorial can be found here.
I also knit my cables without a cable needle, and I promise you—once you work it a few times, you’ll never go back to using your fiddly cable needles or DPNs.
Lastly, to bind off, I used a basic bind-off and just made sure to knit my knit stitches and purl my purl stitches. This resulted in a very clean bind off that didn’t add any unnecessary bulk.
As I mentioned above, the Lana D’Oro knits up very sturdily and allows the fabric to really “stand-up”. While the yarn is very economical, it doesn’t compromise on softness. But if you’re into softer, still, splurge for some Rowan Kid Classic to increase its drape an overall plushness. And with a change in color palette, this can easily suit a woman as well.
So, regardless of wool choice, or lucky recipient!, this is the perfect knit for the eventual frigid onslaught of winter weather that I’m sure (I hope!) we will be experiencing soon. After all, I have all these hand knits waiting so very patiently to fulfill their wooly destiny!
This pattern is available for $3.00 through Ravelry using paypal, no accounts required. It is immediately delivered as a 2-page full-color PDF download with photos.