January 12, 2015

Adventures in Cowls

So my sister in law loves to knit, but doesn't crochet much...she knows how, but her knit patterns take a long time, so she is always working on one or more. I crochet, but don't knit. It is pretty cool that way, because we both can make each other things and commiserate about the amount of work that goes into handmade items.

With Christmas rapidly approaching, we figured it would be a good present for me to make something her. She looked through her stash to see what she had that I could use, and to find a pattern that might work.

She came up with a pattern for a Textured Hooded Cowl by Jenny Collins and asked if I thought I could make it. After reading the description on Ravelry*, I figured it would be no problem.
*The pattern is only on Ravelry, as it is no longer in her Etsy store, but a Ravelry account is free. The pattern is not.
Unfortunately after working it up a bit, we did not like how it came out and I don't have any pictures to show. So we decided to tear it out and try something else.

We decided to find a better pattern for the DK yarn, as that first one called for worsted weight. We were unable to find more yarn in a purple Iris color, that she had on hand, so instead she picked a deep green called Forestry to match the gold Gilded color that she liked.
First few rows in new colors.
The new pattern is free and also from Ravelry. It is called the Sheffield Infinity Scarf by Kristina Olsen. This new pattern is super quick and uses a half double crochet where you work into the space not the top loops. The only difference I did with the pattern itself was to work it in the round so that I did not have to cut the yarn at the end of every row to switch colors. I found that with such a long piece I actually needed to use stitch counters to make sure that I did not drop or add any stitches at the seam area. I had done this twice and had to rip it out down to the first row before I got smart about it.
Close-up of the colors and pattern!!
Once again I feel like perhaps I am doing something wrong... I used the right size hook and yarn, and yet, once my piece was complete it was 5 inches tall by 56 inches long. That makes it smaller in both directions and I still had a ton of yarn left. It does stretch quite a bit and that allows it to stretch up to the finished size it says it ought to be, but I didn't think that would be the case. Either way I did not bind it off in case I needed to start over. Perhaps I just work too tightly...

I brought it by to try it out on her and see what she thought. We decided the length was ok a little short and that we could block it to make it be a little longer. I would also finish off the single skeins I had used to get closer to the target width of 6.5 inches.
Once the cowl was done I still had two full skeins of the gold and green, and she asked that I work up a few bands in the same pattern. (4.25mm hook) Two of which would be the basis of a pair of gloves at, 31 hdc long and 13 rows wide. The third band would be the edging of a hat and was 76 hdc long and 9 rows tall. These "blanks" she can now work knit patterns directly on to the open ends. The she would have a full matching set of accessories! Cool!!
Cuffs and Hat Band

Difficulty: Easy
Time to complete cowl: 15 hours
Cuffs: 3 hours for the pair
Hat Band: 2 hours