Monday, February 22, 2010

Cowl explosion

(you like how that rhymes with bowel explosion? you're welcome.)
If there's one thing I never seem to get tired of, it's cowls. (Though you my faithful readers are no doubt SICK of hearing about 'em!)

pattern: Cabled Cowl from Vogue Knitting Holiday 2009
yarn: 3.5 balls of Lang SilkDream (50% silk, 50% merino)
needles: 5.5mm and 6mm

When I saw this pictured originally in the holiday issue of Vogue Knitting I really didn't give it a second glance (it's modelled in a pastel pink, go figure...) and it wasn't until I saw the myriad of gorgeous versions of it on Ravelry that I decided I had to give it another look.

I'm glad I did. This little number really has become one of my go-to favourites.

I'd also been dying to knit something in Silk Dream again and this was a perfect fit. One of the first "real" things I ever knit was my humoungous Clapotis in a cranberry Silk Dream, and I still wear it a lot (yesterday in fact!). It really is one of my favourite yarns, and not one that people seem to mention much. It has just the right amount of silky sheen and comes in some gorgeously rich colours. Soft, like buttah!

Actually that said, I've been thinking lately that it is time I knit another Clapotis. I mean there's a reason thousands of people have knit it (or does anyone have a suggestion for something similarly awesome?)

In case you're wondering where I house all of these cowls and scarves, I literally have several baskets that I pull from almost every day (though in truth there's really only about 4 items that I seem to rotate through the most...) and I've been thinking lately that it's time for another purge, or at least a frogging of the unworn.

And I promise you there are more substantial knits in the works.

The knitting for this is DONE:

Hold your applause because it's all pieces sitting in a pile in my living room that taunt me every time I walk past. Why does a blanket with a neck hole need to be in 7 pieces you ask? Good question. I am really loathing putting it together for some reason.

I am also one sleeve deep into the Treeline Striped cardigan from the Purl Bee:

I actually feel like I wasted most of my weekend on that one sleeve and I'm still not happy with it. A one-row stripe apparently equals a "negligible" jog.

For those of you new to knitting stripes in-the-round, this basically just means that the stripes don't quite line up perfectly at the end of every row...knitting stripes in a circle is more like knitting a "coil" since the stripes don't "stack".

And while this negligible jog is sort of true because the stripes aren't very wide, it's also meant that my yarn seems to be blobbing-weird-all-over-the-place with every increase. I tore the whole thing out THREE times and have finally gone with some instructions for a seamless jog (I did this almost halfway through my fourth try so the first half of sleeve one is still really bugging me and I may still rip back a fourth time). Using a seamless jog is also changing my tension on the seam since I keep having to pull up stitches from the previous row to make it look nice. yay me!

All that to say, things are not bodding well for this cardigan and it may be a long slog. The Purl Bee is always really great about tons of close-up photos and tutorials, and links to other helpful sites and lots of detail but I find I can sometimes get mired in all of the "extra" instructions. Or I zoom past important details in my "yeah, yeah, I get it, what's next?!" frame of mind and totally screw up something elemental. Right now the opposite is true though. I find I am reading and re-reading the same line over and over again and it seems to make less and less sense every time I do.

Am I over-thinking this?:

Final Round (with Color 1): Knit to end of round, remove marker, K 3(4).

(seems simple, right? I knit a round in colour 1. check. Knit 3 (presumably of the next round?!) check. Wait, is that still in colour 1 cuz technically the next stripe is colour 2)

Place previous 6(8) stitches on a holder. Uh, okay, so I go back to the last row and put those six stitches in front of the three I just knit on a holder. Fine, check.

Break yarn, leaving a tail.. Ummmm, what about those three stitches I just knit? and what about the other 44 stitches still on the needle?

GAHHHH. I am no doubt being a real dummy about the simplest of instructions. In the end I just put it all on a holder and will worry about it when it comes time to attach the stinking things.

Alright...all of that: TMI. Sorry.
How 'bout them Olympics?


Thea said...

I'm just like you -- all that helpful info, so nicely offered, sounds like Charlie Brown Adults (wa wa wa) to me. And then I realize I have a "negligble jog" or something annoying going on. You'd think I'd learn.

But the stripey cardigan does look great, no matter the annoying toil it took - as does the cowl!

Kat said...

Wow. I have fondled the Silk Dream at the LYS many times, but have yet to spring for it. You are the perfect advocate. Now, I'm just wishing I had bought that issue of Vogue Knitting.

Anonymous said...

Ah, I get it.

You are knitting the sleeves first and then join them to the body to knit the rest of the garment in one piece.

So, when you knit to the end of the round this is in fact the center of the armpit. So you knit 3 stitches (which is indeed the next round) but then go back and put these 3 and the ones on the other side of the joggy seam on scrap yarn. These 6 stitches will be sewn together as underarm stitches.

Keep the remaining 34(?) stitches on another circular needle - you will combine these stitches with the body later on.

Get it too?

Reckless Glue said...

Ms. Puffin you are a goddess. I am heartened to hear that that is what I was "planning to do", but when YOU say it it actually makes sense. I heart you so.

AndiPants said...

I flipped right past that cowl in VK. I might have to go back and look at it again! Yours looks great.

littlebirdbigcity said...

I adore that cowl. You always make the best things! harumph. Also...I cannot believe that thing is in 7 pieces! Um, no thanks! That's completely my worst nightmare. That thing would never be finished, if I were the responsible one.

Julia said...

I agree with SmashingPuffin's interpretation of the pattern. Don't worry about the joggy stripes. I bet once it's finished and awesome, you won't notice the jogs past the first time you wear it. I predict it'll be a fave!
Awesome cowl. Can't wait to see the cape!

Anonymous said...

Awesome cowl! Just a tip about one stripe jogs: if you carry the two strands up the inside and knit as you normally would for a sleeve, you can barely tell that the jog is there anyway because it makes a candy cane stripe effect. Try and see if it works!

My Life in SoRo said...

So jealous of all your awesome knits. I wish I had the talent/patience to knit as well.

Rima said...

What a beautiful cowl! It is so very pretty. I love that poncho thingee too.

Rainy Daisy said...


Love the new cowl. They're so handy. Honestly, I think I probably knit my first cowl, having been not-so-sure about the whole cowl thing, after seeing all the beautiful cowls you made. I get it now - they're like scarves, but without the question of tying!

HAHAHHAHAA! Bowel explosion!

Anonymous said...

很用心的blog,推推哦 ........................................

knitlit kate said...

i am LOVIN all your cowliness! this latest one with the cables may just be your masterpiece. AND i can't wait to see your FO of that stripey purlbee sweater and the cape. great choices and you are seriously making me want to stop typing and start knitting this very minute (TYPING. does anyone even say that anymore?)

Anonymous said...

may the blessing be with you.........................................

martha - caknitter said...

The cowl came out perfect and is so pretty. Gives me incentive to try it myself.