Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Braided Cowl/Infinity scarf

I finally finished the Braided Cowl that I had started back in November. The idea came from a cowl pattern my sister had seen through a friend of hers - the Challah Infinity Scarf. I liked the idea of a braid to add a level of dimension, and I liked the variety of stitches for the different braid strands. My yarn stash contains way too many orphans - among other reasons I have a habit of buying one skein from the sale bin when I happen upon a yarn store while traveling - so I decided this would be a good project to use a few up.

The three yarns were close in weight (I think DK - the labels are long gone) and hand (how they feel), so I had no problem knitting them at the same time on the same pair of needles. Each color was knit in a different stitch pattern over about 15 stitches. The blue strip is a lace pattern, and the yellow and pink are both rib patterns.

There are thousands of stitch patterns out there, I just happen to choose these three from the Field Guide to Knitting, since it was on hand when I started the project. The science nerd in me loves the style of the book, which is set up like a field guide you might use for birding or identifying trees.The book shows (color!) pictures of the stitch, describes it (visually and how to do it), gives a vague sense of how much you might need (some stitch patterns end up using a lot of yarn, others not so much), as well as gives suggestions for the product you might use it for.

When I'd reached the end of each skein, which just happened to be at about the same time for each; the blue strip had a looser pattern so I "ran out" of that yarn first; the other two skeins had enough yarn to keep knitting until those two strips were about the same length as the blue. Phew!
so long and stretchy

I braided the three strips and then sewed the two ends of each matching stripe together. The stitch patterns caused the strips to curl, creating loose "tubes" that add more dimension to the cowl. This is nice because when the cowl is "inside out" the right side of the pattern still shows.
fat & fluffy braid
one strip sewed, two to go
I even managed to maintain the braided pattern while sewing the ends
and, done.

long enough to loop twice around my neck.
so soft! so squishy!
Overall, the project was relatively easy, just a matter of keeping track of the rows I was on for each color. It was good mindless knitting for binging on hulu or netflix, and would be easy to take on if you're new to knitting and want to experiment with different stitch patterns.

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