I went nearly six days without knitting.
Certainly not by choice.
I am trying to get some life-mojo back, and to recover the illusion that I am in any way organized. Working 70 hours in a week does not help this effort.
So it’s time to clear the decks with a couple of recent projects. They have something in common, other than the obvious … both are examples of ways to incorporate shaping into accessories to achieve a better fit.
We’re talking about cowls.
I will be the first to tell you that there is nothing remotely swan-like about my neck. Stubby as it is, it does get cold. Cowls are the single best way to feel toasty warm without putting on the bulk.
The yarn is Sundara Sock in my favorite colorway, Hot Chilies.
This cowl differs in construction from many others, in that it is knitted from the top down. I used that for some shaping flexibility.
Mods: I started at the top on US 4, at the appropriate gauge. I wanted this not to crush down on itself into a smoosh on my squat neck. After 2 repeats of the spiral pattern, I bumped up to a US 5. I added no pattern repeats, but when it came time to knit on the edging, I went up again to a US 6.
The pattern instructs the knitter to not pin it out while blocking. I went a different route — as evidenced in the first photo, using a vase to give it a little structure, which allowed me to open up the edging a little bit. Ultimately, this means no breezeway where the cowl ends, which would defeat the purpose of the cowl entirely.
Again, I incorporated some shaping, though it’s a little hard to see in this shot. This one is knitted in the more traditional bottom-up construction.
Mods: Cast-on using US 9, through first repeat of pattern. Changed to US 8 to purl ridge of 3rd repeat; changed to US 7 for 1.5 repeats and top edge. I had less yarn than the pattern called for, so I knitted a total of 4.5 pattern repeats before the top edge.
I found this bulky merino-alpaca blend to be a little bit hairy ~ more than I would have liked. It did soften up with a soak, and I know that subsequent wearing will make the finished piece softer. (I knitted at slightly tighter gauge than I would have on a different project, knowing that the alpaca would relax with a bath.)