by Joni Coniglio
Available on Interweave for $6.50
(Worth the money to buy the issue of Interweave Knits Winter 2017 where it was first published. It's not much more than the pattern by itself and there are a lot of lovely men's sweaters in that issue.)
Shown here in Malabrigo Mecha
Teal Feather and Natural (I used 1.25 skeins of each color)
Skills required: knit, simple color changes, slip stitch, grafting
I am so glad to be posting a finished knit project again! I feel like it's been a really long time, and looking back, I am not wrong. I have so many projects on needles around the house, it's a little ridiculous. I feel like every time I finish something, I give myself permission to start two new things. The result is something of a mess. I knit and I knit and nothing gets done. That is until now. (insert maniacal laugh here.) I finished the first of my planned holiday gifts. This cowl is for my mother-in-law. She picked it out as something she liked when we were looking at sweater patterns for my husband. I thought it would be a nice surprise if I knit it for her. She is one of those people that even if the end product turned out like a monstrous yarny blob, she would still wear it proudly and boast to everyone it is handmade and someone made it for her. She is every handmade gift-giver's dream. Luckily, this cowl does not look like a monstrous blob...always a plus.
The cowl is knit flat and then grafted. The bulky weight yarn knits up very quickly and, in combination with the stitch pattern, makes for a very squishy and comfy cowl. I decided that I would block my cowl before I grafted it together, the thought being that it is much easier to block something flat instead of something round. It worked out great! I just left the cowl on my circular needles and used the chord of the circular needles as a handy place to pin the top of the cowl. (I did make sure to keep my needles out of the water soak and dried any residual water before I pinned.) I pinned and left the cowl to its own devices for two days.
The garter stitch graft was very straight forward. I wasn't paying attention and I actually knit two rows of color A at the end of the cowl, which I shouldn't have because the grafting makes the two rows of color A. The result was that one stripe on the cowl is a little wider than all the rest. I asked myself if it mattered and my answer was "no." You can't tell, especially when wearing the cowl. But, if you make this scarf, make sure you stop on color B even though you would typically stop on color A. It is clearly written in the pattern, I just wasn't paying attention.
I will say, once I unpinned the cowl, there was still slightly more draw-in where the patterned stitching is than with the garter stitching. While blocking fixed most of the size discrepancy between the two styles of stitch, it relaxed and there is a slight undulation to the sides of my cowl. Again, it is not something that is noticeable except if you lay it out flat and stare at it. It is completely invisible when the cowl is being worn.
I used a single-ply yarn with lots of air and fluff to it, so the cowl is very cozy and should be warm. It was a joy to knit with the Malabrigo Mecha. (So many fun colors to choose from, too.) I think my mother-in-law will be very pleased with how this cowl turned out, though I know she would never say otherwise. I guess it is more fair to say that I am pleased with how this cowl turned out...and that it is July and I've already finished something for the holiday rush!
Project Summary: This is a great pattern. Its simple yet unique stitch is really easy to do and does not require a lot of focus or counting past the number three. It's a great project to pack along with you on an outing because it is very easy to pick up right where you left off and know what you were doing. The bulky yarn and simple stitches make it a really quick project, too. There is grafting, which scares some knitters, but the pattern is clear and makes easy work of the graft.