Free for All Cowl
Finished Free for All Cowl - knitted by Emilly
I’ve been talking about cowls and linking you to cowl patterns for quite some time now, and I finally made one and documented the process!
Pattern: Free For All Cowl by Jen Peck of Webster Street Knittery
Yarn: 1 skein of Malabrigo Washted in Arco Iris
Needles: HiyaHiya 4.5mm bamboo interchangeable circular, cable 16”
Other: stitch markers, tape measure, tapestry needle
Difficulty: Easy / Intermediate
To start with, my yarn was in a skein, so I had to wind the yarn into a ball. As I was working from home, I didn’t have access to a swift and winder so I had to resort to using my laundry basket and wooden spoon to wind the yarn into a ball. This method does work, however it does take quite a bit longer. You could also use the legs of an upside down chair, or a pair of arms of a very cooperative person. Alternatively, you can use a swift and winder and save yourself a lot of time and arm ache.
The pattern starts with a provisional cast on. As this was a technique I had not used before, I headed to YouTube to find a tutorial. Personally, I found this video from 10 Rows a Day the most helpful and it shows you three different methods that don’t require crochet hooks; I used the second method shown in the video.
Top tip: When doing your provisional cast on, rather than using scrap yarn to hold your stitches, use a spare cable without any needles attached, when it comes to picking up those stitches later you can just pop some needles on the end and there you have it, nice and easy!
I started off using a steel 5mm tip, but quickly found that due to how smooth the yarn was that it was just too slippery and I kept dropping stitches, I decided to frog it and restart using my 4.5mm bamboo tips (I couldn’t find my 5mm ones).
The pattern itself is fairly straightforward and consists of a 10-row repeat. Thankfully for this project, gauge isn’t particularly important, so you can use smaller needles without having to worry. I calculated that to reach the desired length I needed 15 repeats in total. In fact I only made it to 13 repeats before realising I would run out of yarn, I then did the half repeat as instructed in the pattern, and then finished with the invisible join using kitchener stitch. If you would like a reminder of how to graft two pieces of knitting using kitchener stitch, here is a useful video that takes you through it step by step.
Free for All Cowl - knitted by Emilly
One of my favourite aspects of this pattern in the knit-on i-cord edging which is created by slipping 3 stitches with your yarn in front at the end of the row and then knitting them at the start of the next row, this creates a lovely folded edging which looks really neat and adds great detail to the finished garment. I don’t know about you, but the edges of my knitting can sometimes look a bit messy, so this little detail made all the difference to me.
Free for All Cowl I-Cord - knitted by Emilly
Overall, this pattern is a great introduction to a variety of techniques, including; provisional cast on, yarn overs, holding your yarn in front or behind your work to create different effects as well as slipping stitches both purl and knit wise. The pattern is really well written and very easy to follow and I would recommend this pattern to anyone wanting to try something new or someone who just really wants a nice cowl.
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Happy knitting and until next time!