Wednesday, August 26, 2015

81-Yard Cowl

81-Yard Cowl

If you're looking for a true one-skein knitting pattern, then you've come to the right place; the 81-Yard Cowl is designed to use, quite literally, one and only one skein of yarn. And the inspiration behind the pattern was the yarn itself - although I bought it a few years ago, I've never been able to find the exact right use for it until I just decided to make something, already! So for all of you out there with one odd skein and no purpose in sight, I encourage you to make an 81-Yard Cowl (or 103-Yard, or 151-Yard, or whatever) of your own. And if your fiber isn't chunky weight, just hit me up in the comments. This pattern is very easy to modify for any yarn you may have on hand!

Yarn: Berroco Versa (50% Cotton, 50% Acrylic; 81 yards [75 meters]/50 grams); #3692 Villa - one skein

A closer look at the ol' pattern.
No, it's not a terribly instructive picture. Sorry.
Needles: One 16" circular needle in size US 10.5

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 14 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

So let's make this thing! With that in mind, cast on 76 stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Since we're basically going to be knitting until we run out of yarn on this thing, we're not going to do any edging or anything. Instead, we'll get straight to the pattern, which is Rickrack Faggoting Stitch from page 260 of Barbara G. Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, except adapted for the round. And it goes like so:

Row 1: k1, * yo, ssk, k1; rep from * 

Row 2: k1, * k2tog, yo, k1; rep from *

Knit rows 1 & 2 until you're nearly out of yarn. Bind off loosely, tuck in ends, and block. 






54 comments:

  1. Perfect yarn for the perfect pattern.

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    1. Thank you! There are lots of similar fibers out there, so I'm excited to see some prjoects! :)

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  2. If I want to change the size of the cowl, am I correct in figuring that I need to cast on a multiple of 4?

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    1. Hi there!

      You actually need to cast on a multiple of 3 plus 1 (which in some cases is a multiple of four, but not always). Let me know if you have any other questions! :)

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  3. I have some ribbon yarn in my stash - wonder how it would look in this pattern.....Gonna have to give it a try!

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    1. I think that might work out well! Obviously I haven't seen your yarn, but, depending on how wide it is, it might look even better to cast on fewer stitches and knit it on larger needles than it calls for. Just a thought. :)

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  4. Great idea, thank you for sharing.

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    1. Glad you like it! :) Let me know if you have any questions.

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  5. Love this! Pretty new knitter so would you mind telling me the modifications for worsted weight? Thanks so much!

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    1. Hi Maura!

      That's an easy fix - we'll just change the cast-on number! What's your approximate gauge, and how big around would you like it to be? :)

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    2. Good morning! I don't know the gauge because I don't know much about it in general! I'd like to keep it the 81" around if it's possible.
      Tba.'s 😃

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    3. Hi again!

      Do you have a specific yarn you're using? And the cowl is about 20 - 21" around - the 81 yards refers to how much yarn I used to make it. If you're using worsted weight, though, 81 yards won't get you nearly as far (as in it will be narrower). :)

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    4. Hello!!

      I am trying to use Red Heart's worsted with I guess you could call ribbon. It was a gift.

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    5. Hi again! If you like the way the cowl pictured fits around the neck, you should go ahead and use a 16" circular needle in size US 8 and cast on 91 stitches. Then you should be able to follow the pattern as written! :)

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  6. Thank you so much! This will be a learning experience for sure! Never ssk'd before either! I so appreciate your help!

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    1. You are very welcome! :) Let me know if you have any other questions.

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    2. Okay. I completely changed my mind. I now want to use the original Sugar'n Cream. It's worsted. And.I still would like it to look like the one in tbe pics. I apologize for this! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. This is it, I promise!

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    3. No worries! I would go ahead and cast on 106 stitches on size US 7 needles. Just be sure to cast on very loosely, since the Sugar'n Cream has basically no stretch. In fact, you way want to cast on 109 or 112 stitches if you're making it for a larger-headed person, just to be safe! :)

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  7. This is just the pattern I needed. A friend gave me a 100 yard skein (27 grams) of a variegated yard which is 705 Angora / 30% wool. It is a hand-dyed yarn called "Bunny". It doesn't give the weight on the tag, but from what I can tell reading other online posts it is probably DK weight. Any thoughts about how this might work up? thank you.

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    1. Well, you have a few options! You could either get gauge by knitting a swatch with appropriately sized needles (US 5 or 6). Then we can figure out your cast on number. Alternatively, you could get gauge by knitting a stockinette swatch with larger needles - even the size US 10.5 that this pattern calls for, or something in the middle, like an 8. Either way, once we figure out your stitches per inch we can get the right cast on number. And your final option, of course, is to not swatch at all, and I can use the average dk weight gauge to make an educated guess. Your choice!

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    2. I sort of like the idea of no swatch since it is such a small amount of yarn and it doesn't have to be an exact size as long as it will go over an adult woman's head. . . Do you think the 70% angora 30% wool will knit up nicely for this? It seems to me it will.

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    3. Yes, I think that would be lovely. :) And if you're comfortable with me guessing, then I would use a 16" circular needle in size US 6 and cast on 118 stitches loosely. Then you can proceed from there!

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    4. Thank you, Gretchen. I will try that (probably after the first of the year) and let you know how it turns out. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed 2016.

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    5. Wonderful! No rush. :) Let me know if you have any questions, and have a wonderful Christmas & New Year as well!

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    6. Well, I couldn't wait to try it. Finished it last night and it is beautiful. Thanks for your help and a great pattern.

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    7. Yay! I'm so glad it worked out for you!!! And please, let me know if you ever have any questions about my other patterns. :)

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    8. Hi again I decided to make the cowl as well but using a 4 medium weight 85% acrylic & 15% polyester yarn but how many stitches should I cast on and needle size Thanks

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    9. I would cast on 97 with size US 8 (5 mm) needles! Let me know if you have any other questions. :)

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  8. Hi Gretchen! I have a 164 us skein of bulky begging to be this pattern. I am at a loss as to how many to cast on. I would like it long enough to wrap. Any suggestions?

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    1. That is supposed to say yards :)

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    2. Hi Rhonda!

      I think more or less doubling the pattern would work well for your yardage and your wrapping goals. Go ahead and cast on 151! And please, let me know if you have any more questions. :)

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  9. Hi Gretchen, Are you supposed to have to knit stitches together where you join your rows? The rest just has 1 knit stitch between the design Maybe I'm not supposed to start each row with a knit

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  10. I mean 2 stitches together where you join

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    1. Hi Linda!

      Yes, I have the two knit stitches together at the join so you don't have to deal with a yo right there. It's virtually invisible once you're done. If you'd rather omit that first k1 you can, of course; simply cast on one less stitch! :)

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  11. What an awesome site! Came across the easy Cowl, and have to compliment you on your patience and generous advice!

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    1. Well I'm very glad to hear that you're enjoying my site! Keep having fun poking around and let me know if you ever have any questions!!! :)

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  12. I have a Bulky weight yarn. 3-3.75 st/ inch on a 10-11 needle. Help please?

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    1. Hi there! It sounds like your yarn is perfect for the pattern... You can just go ahead as written! :)

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    2. Awesome! Thanks for the quick reply!

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    3. Any particular cast-on you prefer for this?

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    4. I pretty much always use the long tail cast-on! :)

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  13. Hello Gretchen, I have a 145 yard (3.5 oz) ball of wool that is an Icelandic Lopi wool--80% new wool and 20% polyamide. The only circular needle size I have is US size 5 with a 30 inch length total. How would you recommend that I adapt your pattern for this one-ball of yarn? Thanks!

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    1. Hi there! :) Do you have any idea of the gauge? Unfortunately I think that your yardage and needle length (since it's the 30 inch) would give you quite a short cowl! Have you ever tried the Magic Loop? That might give you more options for size!!!

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  14. Thank you SO much for your quick response. I am a beginner and the Magic Loop looks a little complicated for me. Would it be possible to follow your pattern and knit it on two needles and sew it up? I have all the needle sizes in pairs. US size 8 gives me four inches to fourteen stitches and size 5 is three inches. I would like the cowl to be wider and longer. Could I go ahead with the 10 1/2 regular needles as per your pattern and knit till I finish the yarn? Thanks again Gretchen and Merry Christmas.

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  15. I was thinking of making this pattern with this kind of yarn. I think it could be quite interesting. What do you think? I've looked at both and I think one ball would be enough

    https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0052UOPRM/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A3N5GJZOVPPISN&psc=1

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    1. Hi!

      Yes, one ball would totally be enough. :) Just remember that using a fuzzy yarn like that will mean that you won't see much or any stitch definition in the finished project (which doesn't mean it won't be good, but it will be different!).

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  16. Hi Gretchen. I'm using Patons Jet 12 ply (Pixel), and have CO 76 sts as per the pattern. I've only done 3 rows but it's looking rather narrow. I've checked info on Ravelry and it says the Jet Pixel is an Aran weight, while the Jet solid colours are bulky weight. Both are still called 12 ply though! I haven't swatched. What should the circumference of the cowl be? If I need to make it bigger, how many sts to CO and do I need to change needle size? Many thanks Linda :)

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    1. Hi Linda!

      First off, I apologize for my delayed response - I had some weird connectivity issues (?). Anyway, I looked up your yarn and it says that it's a bit smaller gauge - 16.5 stitches/4 inches instead of 14. Which means you have 2 options - cast on more stitches, of course, or use bigger needles. If it were me and that yarn I would probably go the bigger needle route - like, 11s or even 13s! If you don't have those, though, cast on 79 or 82 instead. :)

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  17. Hello,
    I liked the cowl very much. I wish to knit for my grand daughter.Please tell me what is SSK?
    Regards,
    Prachee Bapat

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  18. Hi! Glad you like it! :) And the ssk is the slip, slip, knit, a left-leaning decrease. You can find more info here: https://www.purlsoho.com/create/slip-slip-knit-ssk/

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  19. Hi I love this pattern! Would I be able to knit this on size 8 straight needles with the yarn in the link below? Should the pattern be modified in any way? Please let me know, thanks!

    https://www.ebay.com/p/Skeins-of-Loops-and-Threads-Sugarspun-Yarn-Sandcastle/2206086268

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    1. Yes, if you're going to knit flat and seam it you will have to modify the pattern, and you'll also need to change the cast on if you're working with a smaller weight yarn. I can't tell the gauge of your yarn from the pictures, but I would probably cast on at least 97 stitches (you want a multiple of 3 + 1, and you want the cowl to be at least 21" or 22" around. If you need more help with the cast on number, let me know the exact gauge). Anyway, the pattern should be modified as follows:

      Row 1 (right side): k1, * yo, ssk, k1; rep from *

      Row 2: p1, * yo, p2tog, p1; rep from *

      Hope that helps! :)

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    2. Thank you so much! I will give this a go!

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    3. Wonderful let me know if you have any other questions!!! :)

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