Thursday, February 23, 2017

Quatrefoil Cowl

Quatrefoil Cowl
Quatrefoil Cowl

What can I say about this yarn? The minute I saw the color I KNEW I HAD TO HAVE IT, even though this yarn weight (worsted) in a mostly-cotton blend can be hard to design for (Why? Because lace isn't very crisp in this weight, the lack of stretch compared to wool makes it less ideal for cables, etc). So I had to play around with a few patterns before I came up with something I liked, but I enjoy the way this combination of a picot hem and a basic eyelet design creates a feminine, but not overly girly, aesthetic. Of course, just because I used a mostly-cotton fiber doesn't mean you're stuck with that choice; this design would look equally good with wool, and would probably even take the right variegated yarn as well... 

Oh, and before I forget - special thanks to my friend Nikki at Zender Studios for helping me with the pics! :)

Yarn: Lana Grossa 365 Yak (66% Cotton, 12% Yak, 22% Polyamide; 159 yards [145 meters]/50 grams); #004 - 2 skeins

Quatrefoil Cowl
A better look at the eyelets.
Needles: 16" or 20" circular needle in size US 9

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 18 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

So let's make a cowl! First, then, we're going to start with a picot hem. You can find tons of tutorials for this online if you need extra help, but I'll walk you through the steps here as well. So, to begin, cast on 96 stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Knit five rows around. Then, work the following row:

Picot Row: * yo, k2tog; rep from *

Once this picot row is done, knit six rows around. Then we'll begin our main pattern, which is Quatrefoil Eyelet from page 171 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, and goes like so (oh, and yes, I know that your hem currently looks like it climbed out a garbage can; it won't look good until you seam it at the end!). Anyway, we'll work as follows:

Rows 1 & 2: knit

Row 3: * k4, yo, ssk, k2; rep from *

Row 4: knit

Row 5: * k2, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k1 *

Row 6: knit

Row 7: * k4, yo, ssk, k2 *

Rows 8 - 10: knit

Row 11: * yo, ssk, k6 *

Row 12: knit

Row 13: * k1, yo, ssk, k3, k2tog, yo *

Row 14: knit

Row 15: * yo, ssk, k6 *

Row 16: knit 

Knit rows 1 - 16 three times, and then knit rows 1 - 9 once more. Knit six rows around, and then we'll knit another picot row, as follows:

Picot Row: * yo, k2tog; rep from *

Complete this picot row, and then knit 5 rows around and bind off loosely. Then we'll finish the picot hems! To do this, begin on one end of the cowl, and fold the edge between the cast-on/cast-off and the picot row over, so that the yo's from the picot row form a nice ridge at the edge of your piece. Using a long length of your yarn and your tapestry needle, stitch edging in place. Repeat on other end. And once your hems are stitched, tuck in ends, and, if desired, block!

Quatrefoil Cowl
Quatrefoil Cowl
Quatrefoil Cowl
Quatrefoil Cowl
Quatrefoil Cowl
Quatrefoil Cowl
Yes, I know I tend to look
smirky in pictures. You should
see the ones I deleted!!!

8 comments:

  1. You are AWESOME!!! Thanks again for the darling pattern. And you don't look smirky at all. Hugs from Kimmy

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Kimmy!

      I decided to use pictures with me for this one because the cowl just didn't pop on the form... but I get super nervous in front of the camera and always start making weird faces! This is why I abandoned my modeling career years ago. ;)

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  2. Love your patterns; so clear and easy to follow. I am curious why you chose to create your picot edge using a yo k2tog hem instead of knitted picots. I generally loathe hemming but yours look great in the photos. (So do you, by the way,not smirky at all)

    Thanks for sharing your delightful talents!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Becky!

      Glad you're enjoying my site! :) And I'm not totally clear on what you're asking - perhaps why I didn't attach my cast-on edge while I worked instead of hemming it later? Anyway, the answer to that question, at least, is simple: I did it in order to simplify the directions, since I didn't have time for any more complex of a pattern this week!

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    2. Apparently what I was thinking of is called a picot bind off. After looking at it again, I'm guessing you were after a less frilly look. :-)
      I had never seen a picot hem before; I am curious enough to overcome my hemming aversion and try it!

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    3. Ah ha, that totally makes sense! When I first saw your comment I was like, "oh my gosh, is there something I'm missing?" but I did a lot of Googling and nothing came up. :) Anyway, the nice thing about the hemmed edge is that you have a finished edge on both sides for at least an inch or so, which is nice for a cowl!

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  3. Hi Gretchen,
    I just found your website. I love your patterns. Most of the knitting I do is either dishcloths or charity knitting for cancer patients or preemies. I am a widow and a about 17 months ago my older child, my adult son moved home with me. He was with me for 4 months and then his 2 year old daughter came to live with us. He now has full permanent custody of her. As you can imagine, there has been lots of drama surrounding her and may be from time to time. She has not seen her mother in over a year. Her other grandmother cries every times she tries to talk to her on the phone - which is not allowed by the court. She hasn't seen that grandmother in almost a year either. The grandmother calls every 4-5 weeks and mother calls less than once every two months. So, I'm anticipating their involvement to decline even more. Anyhow, I have an invisible disability and take care of her while her dad is at work. So, by the time he is home, I'm exhausted. The little time I find for knitting is wonderful. I knit dishcloths for my adult daughter and to give away. I also knit chemo caps - this is near and dear to me as I am a breast cancer survivor. I also knit preemie hats - my daughter's two sons were each born prematurely. I found some wonderful hat patterns for chemo hats. I also found some cowl patterns that I would like to make for friends. You are very gracious to share your wonderful patterns with the knitting community. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Susan

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    Replies
    1. Hi Susan!

      Thank you for taking the time to write - it sounds like you have a tough (but rewarding!) time of it right now. It's funny, because a friend and I were just discussing the arguments for and against free knitting patterns the other day - on one hand, of course, some designers feel like offering free patterns disregards their time and skills. And while I appreciate that position, every time I get a note like yours I remember my FAVORITE reason for keeping up my site - because it allows me to help passionate knitters with potentially limited resources keep up with their hobby and craft (and so many of these kind knitters also donate their finished products!!!). :) Anyway, again, thanks for saying hi, and let me know if you ever have any questions!!!

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