Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Slipping into Winter Cowl

Slipping into Winter Cowl

It's been a while since I mentioned it, but it's still true: my four-year-old is still obsessed with pink. Therefore, any time I take him to the craft store, I leave with at least one skein of rose-colored yarn. And when he chose this fiber, I decided to pair the pink with a nice blue-green for a double-wrapping, super snuggly cowl. The graphic color pattern and thick yarn make this a fun, reasonably quick knit that's unapologetically snuggle-tastic.

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore Chunky (75% Acrylic, 25% Wool; 143 yards [131 meters]/100 grams); #029 Pastel Pink - one skein (color A), & #0670 Teal Heather - one skein (color B)
A closer version of the pattern.
As you can see, my slipped stitches
face opposite directions in the different
colors. Grafting, baby.

Needles: One 32" circular needle in size US 10, one 32" or longer circular needle in similar needle size (to hold one half of work for grafting) (also, you don't need this needle if you're going to knit straight through instead of grafting)

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 14 stitches = 4 inches

So let's make a cowl! Of course, before we get started, I should mention one thing. Namely, that I made this cowl in two halves and then grafted them together because I wanted the long slipped stitches in contrasting colors to face each other, rather than continue in the same direction (as you can see in the picture above). If you'd rather not graft a whole heck of a lot of stitches together and/or if you prefer to have all of your long slipped stitches oriented in the same direction, I'll give alternate directions for that option below. 

However, no matter which way you're making this thing, you will begin like so: using your 32" circular needle in size US 10 and your color A yarn, cast on 138 stitches, place marker, and join in round. Then we'll knit a few edging rows, like so:

Edging Row: using color A, purl

Knit this edging row 4 times. Then, we'll begin our main pattern, which is Bean-Sprout Pattern from page 37 of Barbara G. Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, except adapted for the round. And it goes like so:

Rows 1 - 2: using color A, knit

Row 3: using color B, * slip 1 with yarn in back (sl1 wyib), k1; rep from *

Row 4: using color B, * (slip 1 wyib, p1) twice, sl1 wyib, k1 *

Rows 5 - 8:  using color A, * k5, slip 1 wyib *

Rows 9 & 10: using color A, knit

Row 11: using color B, * k1, sl1 wyib *

Row 12: using color B, * p1, sl1 wyib, k1, sl1 wyib, p1, sl1 wyib *

Rows 13 - 16: using color A, * k2, sl1 wyib, k3 *

Knit rows 1 - 16 once, and then knit rows 1 - 10 once again. If you're going for the grafting option, as I did in the cowl pictured, now's the time to transfer this half to your spare needle. If you're not, then skip down below, as I'll resume your instructions after I finish up with the grafted cowl.

So, if you're grafting, you should now be at a point where your first half is on your spare needle and your 32" size 10 needle is free. Then, using this needle and your color B yarn, cast on 138 stitches, place marker, and join in round. Again, we'll knit a few edging rows, like so:

Edging Row: using color B, purl

Work this edging row 4 times. Then we'll go back to our pattern, except in opposite colors. And it goes like so:

Rows 1 - 2: using color B, knit

Row 3: using color A, * slip 1 with yarn in back (sl1 wyib), k1; rep from *

Row 4: using color A, * (slip 1 wyib, p1) twice, sl1 wyib, k1 *

Rows 5 - 8:  using color B, * k5, slip 1 wyib *

Rows 9 & 10: using color B, knit

Row 11: using color A, * k1, sl1 wyib *

Row 12: using color A, * p1, sl1 wyib, k1, sl1 wyib, p1, sl1 wyib *

Rows 13 - 16: using color B, * k2, sl1 wyib, k3 *

Work rows 1 - 16 and then work row 1 again. Using your color B yarn, which you can leave attached to your second half, use the Kitchener stitch to graft the two halves together from the row break. Since you're grafting so many stitches you probably won't to work with a yarn tail that's long enough to finish the entire graft (I started with 120" and got a bit over halfway through, I think), but it's nice to begin with it attached anyway. Once you're done grafting, tuck in ends and block, allowing the purled edging to continue to roll in naturally (but blocking the snot out of the rest of it, since slipped stitch patterns like to curl).

If you don't want to graft, here's where you'll resume. You've just knit
rows 1 - 16 once, and then knit rows 1 - 10 once again. And now, you'll simply continue knitting, except with the colors reversed as I've outlined below:

Rows 1 - 2: using color B, knit

Row 3: using color A, * slip 1 with yarn in back (sl1 wyib), k1; rep from *

Row 4: using color A, * (slip 1 wyib, p1) twice, sl1 wyib, k1 *

Rows 5 - 8:  using color B, * k5, slip 1 wyib *

Rows 9 & 10: using color B, knit

Row 11: using color A, * k1, sl1 wyib *

Row 12: using color A, * p1, sl1 wyib, k1, sl1 wyib, p1, sl1 wyib *

Rows 13 - 16: using color B, * k2, sl1 wyib, k3 *

Work rows 1 - 16 and then work rows 1 & 2 again. Using color B, purl four rows around. Tuck in ends and block, allowing the purled edging to continue to roll in naturally (but, as I said above, blocking the snot out of the rest of it, since slipped stitch patterns like to curl).






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