Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ta Da! Another FO!

Well the knitting is done, and the ends have been woven in, but it hasn't been properly blocked. But...

This pleases me! I rarely use other people’s patterns—and frequently I don’t really make and use patterns for myself. This method has varying degrees of success.

Like the cook who searches through the cupboards, and finds what’s available and turns out a good (Great, PERFECT) meal with what’s on hand—I often knit with just a vague idea of what I want, (and how I will achieve it)—I wing it.

Some times I have successes—some times near success –a near success is a FO that every one loves--and I am “eh’ about. It is a FO that works (as what ever it is) but didn’t work out as I hoped. This cowl is a success. (The straight tube part of the neck ring is pleated to sort of lie flat--it looks a bit strange.. but it made it easier to photograph!

When I knit free hand like this, there is no pattern—just a vague idea—and some basic formulas for achieving the desired result.

This Neck Ring/Cowl is a pretty simple formula.
Cast on X (about 20 inches worth of stitches) work some ribbing (I should have done more... about 1 inch would be enough)—but you could use garter or some other stitch.

Then work in a spiral stripe pattern, straight for 4 inches or so.

Then continuing in the spiral stripe, increase about 10 times every other round –making sure the increases are staggered (they shouldn’t line up!) –or you could have them line up—a totally different design feature!

The increases should be almost invisible –I used a stitch lifted from bar between two stitches –a classic M1—but any smooth (vs. Kfb which leaves a small purl like bump on front of work) would do.

Work about 3 inches (in the increase mode) then find an edging you like, and use edging, (knit crosswise) to bind of main body of stitches.

Edging can be a single color, or it can be striped. My stripe is worked intarsia style, but you could combine to edgings –and first work one edging down, then a second (in the second color) crosswise.

Depending on how deep your edging is, you might want to every 8 to 10 stitches skip binding off one (sort of like a short row)

This cowl/neck ring used the better part of 2 skeins of yarn (each skein is 166 yards--) a small amount of the yarn was used for top (1 inch) and bottom (another inch) and thumb of the fingerless gloves (and I have about 4 yards of the raspberry yarn left!)
This formula would work for yarns ranging from fingering (sock yarn) to chunky –of course you’d need many more yards of sock yarn –and many fewer of chunky—how many? (Well that is not my strong point!—guess!

(About 200 gms I would guess—since frequently that WORKS --i.e. 200 gms of sock yarn is 800 yards—vs. 200 grams of worsted (350 to 400 yards) but it works out frequently, and if not perfectly, it does give you a ball park estimate.

So now, armed with an idea—and clue—go out and knit your own cowl!

You can make it snugger (if you like things snug around your neck—I don’t) or looser.
You can make it taller (knit 6 inches before flaring) with less of flair (covering less of your shoulders, chest and back) or you can make it longer (and make it more like a caplet.

You could make it smaller –and make it for a child. Just be sure to use a supper stretchy cast on... kid’s heads are 90% of adult size at the crown (but they have smaller jaws and necks)—so they seem smaller. If you want a narrow neck—just be sure to have enough stretch to go over the head!

You could substitute a lace pattern for the stripe. There are lots of small changes you could make—and make it your own! It’s not a very big project. Worse comes to worse—you can always frog it and go back to drawing board and start over!

So, in addition to finishing this, I also finished off the 7 block section on my Ravelympics shawl (From stash yarn)—and I am finally nearing the end of the skein. At this point—I am sure I am going to go for a 15 block base before separating the arms of the V from the base.

Maybe I’ll share some snippets with you soon.


JelliDonut said...

Congrats! Such pretty colors. How do you block an item with this shape, btw?

Virginia G said...

It looks lovely!

zippiknits...sometimes said...

It fits, it's pretty, and looks perfect, very nice for wearing under a coat because of it's nice, flat fit. Great job.