Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Vaduz Cowl

Vaduz Cowl

First, let me acknowledge the last few pattern-less weeks. It turns out that moving internationally with three children is just as hard as they say it is, especially when you also decide to assemble all of your new furniture by hand as soon as you arrive (thanks, IKEA!). Long story short, I've barely had time to comb my hair, much less knit. But I will say that my new city of Zürich, Switzerland is just as inspiring as I hoped it would be, and I plan to launch a pattern collection with this place in mind. 

Until then, I hope you enjoy a design I made before our move, the Vaduz Cowl. And why'd I call it that? Well, Vaduz is the capital of Switzerland's neighboring Liechtenstein. And since I gave this cowl to my sister, who then helped me with my family's move, and then took a day trip on the train, the cowl made it to the world's sixth-smallest country before I could. With that in mind, may it accompany on your (or your sister's) next adventure as well!!!

Yarn: Malabrigo Mecha (100% Merino Superwash Wool; 130 yards [120 meters]/100 grams); #031 Mostaza - one skein

The cable.
Needles: One pair of size US 11 needles, cable needle (cn) or double pointed needle for cabling

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 12 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

So let's make a cowl! First things first, then cast on 32 stitches loosely (you can also use a provisional cast on, if you prefer a seamless look). Then we'll move straight to our main pattern, which combines Staghorn Cable from page 251 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns with some basic knits and purls. So first, we'll define our cables like so:

fc (front cross): slip 2 stitches to cn and hold in front, k2, then k2 from cn

bc (back cross): slip 2 stitches to cn and hold in back, k2, then k2 from cn

And then we'll continue like this:

Row 1 (wrong side): (p2, k2) twice, p16, (k2, p2) twice

Row 2: (k2, p2) twice, k4, bc, fc, k4, (p2, k2) twice

Row 3: k2, p2, k4, p16, k4, p2, k2

Row 4: p2, k2, p4, k2, bc, k4, fc, k2, p4, k2, p2

Row 5: (p2, k2) twice, p16, (k2, p2) twice

Row 6: (k2, p2) twice, bc, k8, fc, (p2, k2) twice

Row 7: k2, p2, k4, p16, k4, p2, k2

Row 8: p2, k2, p4, k4, bc, fc, k4, p4, k2, p2

Row 9: (p2, k2) twice, p16, (k2, p2) twice

Row 10: (k2, p2) twice, k2, bc, k4, fc, k2, (p2, k2) twice

Row 11: k2, p2, k4, p16, k4, p2, k2

Row 12: p2, k2, p4, bc, k8, fc, p4, k2, p2

Knit rows 1 - 12 until piece measures roughly 20" (or desired length) and you've just finished row 6 or row 12 of the pattern (if you want things to line up exactly you'll want to end on row 12, but I ended on row 6 and I challenge you to find my final row!). Bind off loosely and seam. Tuck in ends, and wear to Liechtenstein. Or, you know, the grocery. 






26 comments:

  1. First off - beautiful cowl! Secondly - glad to hear from you!
    I don't envy you doing the moving part! But where you moved to sounds heavenly!!

    Linda in VA

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    1. Hi Linda!

      Thank you! And yes, I'm back, and only slightly traumatized by our move. :) Luckily everyone is finally settling in and I've even made my first trip to the yarn store (well, technically it was a Target-like store, but the selection was pretty decent anyway!). :)

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  2. Beautiful! I just found your blog from the coaster pattern that All Free Knitting featured. I hope I am skilled enough to make this! Thank you for making the pattern free! I am sure folks would be willing to pay for this one.

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    1. Thank you! And I'm always happy to answer questions if you have them. :) The only tricky technique here is cabling, so I think you can do it!!!

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  3. Just wondering if this gorgeous cowl could be knit in the round? I'm glad you're moved. Whew!! Thank you for such a beautiful pattern.

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    1. Hi Robin! You could make modifications for this to be in the round, but you would either need to have the cable go the other way (which would kind of defeat the point) or turn the whole thing into sort of a tube, so you knit the pattern twice, basically, as a tube, and then connected the ends. If you'd like to do that I'm happy to help! :)

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  4. It's gorgeous. I'm working on it and realized that there is a mistake on row 8. It should read P2, K2, P4, K4 etc...
    Thanks.
    Giulia

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    1. Thank you! I'll fix it. :) I was half asleep when I was trying to get it done, so I'm not surprised. Thanks for catching it though!

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  5. This is perfect for Heather! Did she like it? And it went to Liechtenstein!

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    1. Yes, I think she liked it a lot! The eldest picked out the yarn, so he was very pleased with his success! And yes, it's now better traveled in this region than I am. Balls!

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  6. Sweet pattern. Knitting
    rules!!
    Cheers, Anita.

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    1. Thanks Anita! I am in love with this yarn. :)

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  7. congrats on the move and we are all looking forward to seeing how the move inspired you....

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    1. Thank you! I have some really fun ideas (well, I think so), but I haven't had too much time to execute them yet! :)

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  8. love the cables ! I just happen to be looking for new patterns on freevintageknitting and your knits came up.So happy to of found you.I love your knits.

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    1. Thanks Sonja! I'm glad you found me too. :) And please, if you ever have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. I'm always happy to help!

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  9. Hi from Boise! Is this pattern as written large enough for a man approx 17" neck? If not, could u help me with the resizing? I read your comments and still am amazed at your kindness and response to each person. Especially with three little guys! Your must be an amazing time manager...or sleep deprived.. Ha ha! Take care and thank you for sharing your
    Lovely creations and help for those less talented and or skilled.
    Lol!

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    1. Hi again Andrea!

      As written, this cowl is about 20" in circumference, but quite stretchy so it can fit over a person's head. I think that would be very workable for a 17" man neck. However, since the pattern is knit sideways rather than top to bottom, it's extremely easy to make the cowl bigger around - just knit more! I also think the height of the cowl would be just fine for a man (at about 10.5" if fully blocked, slightly shorter otherwise). Let me know if you have any other questions! :)

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  10. Thank you so much for your reply. Also, what method of blocking would you recommend? I am NOT a very experienced blocker, in fact I think I've only blocked one thing in my entire knitting career, which is just a couple of years.😊 I would assume then that to increase the height I would have to adjust the initial cast on? Thank you so much and have a lovely weekend.

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    1. Hi Andrea!

      I'm not a huge blocker either (I know, I know, I shouldn't admit it). Honestly, I didn't block this cowl (I don't think! I dunno. I was in the middle of the move. My memories are fuzzy!). However, if you do block it, I would soak it for about 20 minutes in cold water, rearranging it in the water a few times to make sure everything gets wet. Then towel it dry (some squeezing will be unavoidable, but don't wring or twist). Finally, pin it flat on a towel and wait for it to dry (everything I've ever seen specifies rust-proof pins. Most sewing pins or safety pins will do). Truth be told, I usually only block when I absolutely have to - when I've knit something that rolls! I like designs like this with knits and purls because they typically don't. :)

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  11. Thank you sweetie... Have a beautiful day!

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  12. Wow, what a stunning cowl. It will be perfect for the winters here in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. I am wondering whether you are still in Switzerland as it's 11 months since your original post. I just have one question if you don't mind, I will be substituting the wool you used and wondered what the thickness is? Would it be a bulky wool? Thanks again for such a brilliant pattern.

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    1. Hi Sue!

      First of all, yup, I'm still in Switzerland! :) And secondly, this is indeed a chunky weight yarn (I include that information in the tags at the bottom of the post, just so you know). And I'm glad you like the pattern! :)

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