Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Star Stitch Cowl

Star Stitch Cowl

So, my local yarn store is having a huge sale on a bunch of discontinued yarns, which is great because some of them are super nice and cheap, and terrible because I know that they won't be available for long. However, the yarn I chose for this piece has a texture that I think would be best replicated by Berroco Comfort DK, if you're looking to duplicate the look and texture of this piece but can't find the yarn. And I'm sure this cowl would also be lovely in any number of cottons, linens, bamboos, acrylics or wools, if the fancy strikes you. Either way, let's get started.
The eyelet design of the front panel

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn VITA (85% Recycled Cotton, 15% Recycled Cashmere; 136 yards [124 meters]/50 grams); #301 Grey (color A) - one skein & #117 Pink Carnation (color B) - 1 skein

Needles: One 24" circular needle in size 7

Notions: Tapestry needle, five stitch markers or scraps of yarn to mark stitches

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches 

Please note: I have updated these instructions as of 2/03/14 for clarity.

Using color A, cast on 123 stitches, place marker, and join in round. Purl 4 rows, placing one of your two additional stitch markers after 60 stitches, and your second additional marker after 63 (so these two markers will be three stitches apart, and centered in middle of piece). Slip stitch markers when you come to them during these purl rows. And once they're done, it's time to begin the pattern, which is Two-Color Star Stitch from page 92 of Barbara G. Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.

Row 1: using color B, knit until first stitch marker; slip marker, k1, yo, knit until you're one stitch before next stitch marker, yo, k1, slip marker, knit until end of row

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Cat's Eye Cowl

Cat's Eye Cowl
I know this yarn is discontinued, but I loved the Arrowhead Lace Cowl I knit out of it so much that I couldn't resist picking up another couple of skeins when I saw it in the store again. Of course, this voluminously draped cowl would look just as nice in another worsted-weight cotton or linen or bamboo or whatnot, and knits up relatively quickly, even with the very wide middle panel (the width is what gives it that drape).
The back

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Sweet Caroline (100% Cotton; 76 yards [69 meters]/50 grams); #32 Pale Yellow - two to three skeins (I squeaked by with two, but had about 8 inches of yarn left at the end)

Needles: One set of straight needles in size 7

Notions: Tapestry needle

Gauge: 20 stitches = 4 inches

So let's get started! Begin by casting on 8 stitches. Then, we'll go to the set-up pattern, which starts as follows (and whose two rows we'll knit multiple times, until we've increased our stitch count from 8 to 31):

Set-up Row 1 (right side): k1, yo, knit until there are three stitches left in row; p1, k1, p1

Friday, January 24, 2014

Striped for Spring Cowl

Striped for Spring Cowl
Considering this is the... fourth? cowl I've knit in this yarn, you've probably gotten the impression that I dig me some Ultra Pima. And I do. Which is why I thought it would be super fun to knit a wide color change piece with some nice drape. And I have to say, I like the way it turned out... 

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima (100% Pima Cotton; 220 yards [200 meters]/100 grams); #3777 African Violet - 1 skein (Color A), #3705 Heathered Pansy - 1 skein (Color B)
The back.

Needles: One 32" circular needle in size 6, one 24" circular needle, also in size 6

Notions: Tapestry needle, three stitch markers or yarn scraps to mark stitches

Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

Using your 32" circular needle and whichever color you've designated as color A (for us, it's African Violet), cast on 210 stitches loosely, place marker, and join in round. Then, purl four rows, placing one marker after 35 stitches, and the second marker when you're 35 stitches away from your row marker on the other side. For now, slip both extra markers when you come to them.

Now that the set-up is complete, let's move on to the pattern. And it goes as follows: