New Favorites: the Two-Point Cowl

New Favorites: the Two-Point Cowl

I have two chief concerns right now, winter wardrobe-wise, being opposite sides of the same coin: First, how to knit myself a couple of sweaters that aren’t too warm for my climate and work well with my collection of pants. (What shape? What yarn? The internal debate is interminable.) Second, what to do with the assorted beautiful wool in my stash such that it is wearable in my climate. Of the two, the one I’m trying most to focus on is the latter, since it makes use of stash — and specifically of yarn I have because I’m dying to knit with it! So I keep going back to my dickey and what I said about Brandi’s neck pieces — the notion of sewing myself a couple of simple things that would fill in for lighter-weight sweaters (e.g., a sweatshirt instead of a pullover; a kimono jacket instead of a cardigan), and layering them with wool neck accessories that are easier and more flexible to wear than were I to commit the same yarn to a full sweater. Which brings me to Churchmouse’s Two-Point Cowl, pictured above in two different gauges. The simple but effective pattern — which wears more like a wrap than a cowl, and also looks great more bunched up — is easy to adapt to any gauge, making it a good candidate for the variety of yarns I have in waiting. And it’s a great pattern for just letting a good yarn shine.

(p.s. Sorry for my unintended absence yesterday. I was sick all weekend and didn’t get a post written. All better now!)

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: All square

How to knit the Double Basketweave Cowl with chunky yarn

How to knit the Double Basketweave Cowl with chunky yarn

When the gorgeous OUR Yarn arrived at Fringe Supply Co., we were of course eager to see it knitted up. I’d already made my Log Cabin Mitts in the DK weight (we’re now down to just a couple sweaters’ worth of the DK, in black only) so we asked my pal Jo Strong to knit up the Double Basketweave Cowl using one strand of chunky instead of the two strands of DK called for in the pattern. The result is the deeply beautiful black cowl I’ve been wearing on chilly days in the studio (as seen in yesterday’s 10×10 outfits, Day 9).

We still have lots of the chunky-weight OUR Yarn, in both black and toffee, so if you’d like to use it to knit a Double Basketweave Cowl of your own (free pattern here on the blog), or any other chunky yarn, here’s how to tweak the pattern to wind up with roughly the same finished dimensions:

– Hold one strand of chunky-weight yarn throughout (rather than 2 strands of DK held together)

– Other than that, cast on and proceed with the pattern exactly as written

– Work rounds 1-10 of the basketweave stitch 3 times

– Work rows 1-5 again (so you’re working 3.5 repeats, instead of 4)

– Work the 4 ribbing rounds and BO as written

Jo knitted this cowl with 2 skeins of the OUR Yarn chunky, with a bit left over, and it blocks out to almost exactly the same dimensions as the pattern. Your results may vary slightly with a different yarn — just make sure you’re matching the pattern gauge, as usual.

How to knit the Double Basketweave Cowl with chunky yarn

Happy weekend, everyone!

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PREVIOUSLY in Free Patterns: Log Cabin Mitts

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Jumbo Basketweave Cowl (redux)

Jumbo Basketweave Cowl (redux)

In December of 2011, when I’d known how to knit for 2 months, I published my first “pattern” here on the blog: a trio of superbulky cowls I called the Jumbo Stitch Cowls collection. “Trudging around [San Francisco],” I wrote at the time, “I like a really thick scarf or cowl that I can bury the lower half of my face in and not feel the cold wind at all, and that’s these in a nutshell.” I no longer live in SF, or suffer that brutal wind on a regular basis, but when the temperatures drop below freezing here in Nashville, and I’m headed outdoors, it’s this ol’ bombproof neckwarmer I still reach for. With having gotten a lot of comments from people over the years chastising me for not publishing them as separate patterns, this being my favorite of them, and there being some rookie dumbness in the original post (See: “Gauge isn’t terribly important here …”), I thought I’d republish this one with a few tweaks. When I went to update it, I realized not only was it unnecessarily long and wordy and lacking gauge and measurements, it’s been wrong this whole time! So here it is anew, below: the Jumbo Basketweave Cowl, on its own and fully corrected. I even took a new one-arm selfie in honor of the update! ;)

With winter storms all around us, if you find yourself in need of serious neck protection that you can also pull up over your chin or nose as needed, here’s a fun knit that can be whipped up during the course of a single movie.

(If you prefer a lighter, drapier, longer cowl for wearing loose or double-wrapping as needed, I also adapted this for the Double Basketweave Cowl a few years back, still an extremely popular pattern and also available in kit form in the shop.)

Happy basketweaving! And my sincerest apologies to anyone who might have tried to knit this from the flubbed original …

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Jumbo Basketweave Cowl pattern

This pattern requires a multiple of six stitches for the K2/P4 repeat; modify according to that and your own gauge/dimensions as desired. 

Materials:

Measurements: (after blocking)

  • Gauge: 9 sts and 15 rounds = 4″ in basketweave pattern (1 “strip” of basket = 1.25″ tall)
  • Size: 21.5″ circumference, 8.75″ tall

DIRECTIONS

CO 48 stitches
Place marker and join for knitting in the round, making sure stitches are not twisted around needle.

Round 1: Knit
Rounds 2-5: [k2, p4] to end
Round 6: Knit
Rounds 7-10: p3, k2, [p4, k2] to last st, p1
Round 11: Knit
Repeat rounds 2-11 two more times (total of 6 “strips” of basketweave)
BO loosely and weave in ends

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ABBREVIATIONS
CO = cast on
K = knit
P = purl
BO = bind off

Please favorite this pattern on Ravelry, if you’re so inclined.

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PREVIOUSLY in Free Patterns: Sloper (Basic pattern for a sleeveless sweater)

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New Favorites: Quickies! (aka last-minute gifts)

New Favorites: Quickies! (aka last-minute gifts)

My long dark nights of grey stockinette have me yearning for something small, quick and satisfying (as so often happens). Those of you less selfish than me might be yearning for last-minute knitted gift ideas! Any of these could satisfy us both—

TOP: Varm cowl from Woolfolk is superbulky and supersquishy, and the pattern also includes instructions for it at scarf or throw blanket dimensions. The cowl looks like a one-sitting project.

MIDDLE LEFT: Exeter mitts by Alicia Plummer are sweet little abbreviated fingerless gloves, perfectly unisex too — my husband might need a pair in army green. (Alicia sent me a copy of the book these come from, and it’s a doozy! Lots of great patterns in there.)

MIDDLE RIGHT: Flaps slippers by Cindy Pilon are so funky I have to have them! Bulky and felted.

BOTTOM: Chunky Walnut hat by Katrin Schubert looks like a fun and fast knit, at bulky gauge.

For more gift knitting ideas, see Holiday hat mania! So many gems.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Mildly mannish cables

New Favorites: Winter blues

New Favorites: Winter blues

The “Winter Blues” issue of Amirisu is out and it’s easily one of my favorite issues, not least because of the dark-yoked sweater in there. In fact, I’m obsessed with the idea of knitting all three of these pieces, each of which employs colorwork in an intriguing way:

TOP: Skaftafell by Beatrice Perron Dahlen is an updated lopapeysa with simplified colorwork at the yoke

BOTTOM LEFT: Tenchi by Olga Buraya-Kefelian is a cowl worked in modified two-color brioche

BOTTOM RIGHT: Jokull by Keiko Kikuno is a large wrap that combines three ideas — ombré, colorwork and houndstooth — and somehow winds up being mesmerizingly spare instead of a big mess

I also really love the art direction and styling here — all so good. Of course, I have a stack of them for you at Fringe Supply Co, but having now seen the issue in person, I think I should have ordered more!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Dark-yoked sweaters

New Favorites: from Olga’s “Capsule” collection

New Favorites: from Olga's "Capsule" collection

The week before Thanksgiving, Brooklyn Tweed released their first collection of knitting patterns by a single designer, in this case Olga Buraya-Kefelian, which was also the debut of a new series of printed books they’re calling Capsule. Olga’s Capsule 1 collection is a little bit of everything — cables, lace and colorwork; garments and accessories — and definitely shows her range. The peplum sweater, Nobu, is completely fascinating from a construction point of view (the back of it, in particular, is just stunning) but my favorite pieces in the collection are the simpler ones:

TOP: the Tatara curved/scrunchy fingerless mitts are reminiscent of those bendy straws and promise to be a fun knit

BOTTOM LEFT: the Ebb ombré dress is a 60s-meet-90s mini knitted top-down with contiguous sleeves and sweet pockets

BOTTOM RIGHT: the Jujika colorwork cowl features my favorite interlocking crosses motif, so I’m an easy target!

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Mega blankets

New Favorites: Fair-weather friends

New Favorites: Fair-weather friends

Summer has arrived in full force, after a really lovely and long Spring and pre-Summer, as I’ve been calling it. Which means the air conditioners of Nashville are all officially on full blast, my sinuses are on the fritz (TMI, I know), and all I can think about is how to keep my neck warm. These pale beauties are both calling out to me:

TOP: The Purl Bee’s Crosshatch Cowl is as spare and simple as it gets — and would make the perfect constant companion (free pattern)

BOTTOM: The Bonnie Banks Shawl has flirted with me twice in my inbox — first in a link from a Clara Parkes email about the yarn, then in an email from the designer, Beatrice Perron Dahlen, who had kindly sent me the pattern after I’d favorited it at Ravelry. I’ve sworn off shawl knitting, of course, but this one is mighty tempting.

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PREVIOUSLY in New Favorites: Crochet temptations