I thought this cowl would make a great one-skein gift idea, so I gave it a try and I think it worked out really beautifully! I used one of my favourite bulky weight yarns, Diamond Luxury Baby Alpaca Sport, and the end result is SUPER soft and cozy! I had to make some modifications to make this project come out to it’s fullest potential, so please read the notes below before starting (and maybe print them off and keep them with your pattern instructions).
HACKS & Modifications
I made some changes to the pattern because let’s face it, you often get what you pay for with a free pattern.
For the ribbing, I went down to a 5mm/US8 needle for the ribbing. 2×2 rib is normally a looser tension than other stitches, and you need to go down a needle size to mitigate this and prevent the ribbing from fanning out later.
For the cable section, I went up to a 6.5mm/US10.5 needle, because the yarn is very fluffy and airy. If you are using a denser yarn with more definition (see suggestions below) you can stick with the prescribed 6mm/US10 needles
Because my yarn is big and fluffy, and has a lot of aura (haze), the cable from the original pattern was not showing up or working well, and I had to switch it out for another type of cable that would show better. I went with a simple braided cable that I was already familiar with, Chart A from Lopi Braided Hat & Mitts. It is the same number of stitches as the original cable, so I just did the new cable instead of the old. If you use a yarn with more definition (see options below), you can do either cable.
I worked 6 rounds of ribbing at the top and the bottom (to conserve yarn).
I worked 4 pattern repeats from Chart A of the Lopi Braided Hat & Mitts, and changed to the ribbing after finishing row 6 of the chart.
I don’t usually bother using a cable needle. Making cables without a cable hook is not a skill for the novice, but if you are feeling intrepid and are comfortable with retrieving dropped stitches and are good at ‘reading’ your stitches (recognizing where and what they are), you should definitely it give it a try, it can save you a lot of time and effort: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6DB6WhAKvY
If you need to conserve yarn or change the size of the pattern, you can omit the first 4 sts of the pattern (the single rib at the start doesn’t really do much for the design). In *my project* (yours may be different), based on the total number of rounds, each stitch represents about 40 sts in the scheme of the entire pattern. Omitting 4 sts from the cast-on will give you about two extra rounds. Each cable represents 8 stitches, so you can increase or decrease the pattern in a multiple of 8 sts. If you want to modify this for a child you’ll definitely want to omit stitches, it fits an adult comfortably.
Because all of the yarns we’ve suggested (above) bloom beautifully, you can try pushing your needle size up to a 12mm/US17 and omit a ball of yarn.
The yarn suggested in the pattern is super-bulky, so expect your cowl to be too. If this is too much for you, consider substituting a slightly thinner, bulky weight yarn, and smaller (8mm/US11) needles. If this seems too narrow, add a second cable pattern repeat.
The pattern is knit flat and seamed in a circle, but if you want to do something more knitterly like a 3 needle bind-off or kitchener stitch, you can cast on using a provisional cast-on (casting on with scrap yarn).
This scarf is quite long and voluminous – it calls for a lot of yarn, but you don’t have to make it quite as big as they did. You can scale it back by omitting a pattern repeat (make it 2 cables wide instead of 3 by omitting 14 stitches from the pattern), and don’t make it quite so long.
Oy vey, how pretty is this cabled hat?! I think it would look amazing in a simple yarn like Cascade 220 Superwash (the heathered colours would be especially fetching), but any worsted weight solid, semi-solid, heathered or tweed yarn would look amazing! Be sure to wash your hat and lay it flat to dry to settle the cables.
It’s that time of year where we start to scramble to make holiday gifts … ideally, gifts that are fast to knit and will be well received. I think this hat fits the bill. It’ll look great on a woman or a man, it’s made with a soft, warm yarn that you’ll love to work with and they will love to wear, and it’s a Freebie too!
I really wanted to get my needles into some of our new Studio Donegal Soft Donegal, and of course it is hat season, so I decided to try a new pattern that I’ve been eyeballing for a number of years.
The pattern is Rosebud, and it worked up extremely well with the Soft Donegal! The yarn softened up and bloomed after blocking (I washed it in Eucalan and laid it flat to dry). It’s a really nice tweed, a good compromise – it has the body and most of the memory of a traditional tweed, but it’s MUCH softer.
The pattern is only written for one size, and I made the slouchy version. I found that it is a size large, it should fit a 22″ to 23″ head comfortably – the hat is much too large for my little 21″ head. If I were to do it again for my little noggin I would omit about 20 stitches from the pattern. Most of the hat is knit in a plain garter stitch, so playing with the numbers is pretty easy.
Sometimes people find working from a knitting chart a little bit hard, but there are hacks you can use to make your life easier!
Sometimes the symbols all kind of look alike in the grid. To make things a bit easier to read, I colour in my chart with coloured pencils. Each symbol gets its own colour, no two are alike (I don’t bother colouring in the plain knit or purl stitches).
I generally keep my chart & pattern in a plastic sleeve (I get them at an office supply store, they’re cheap and plentiful). This keeps it clean, and none of my papers get lost, banged up, or accidentally waterlogged.
Keeping track of two sets of instructions at the same time can get me off track, so if I have other things to do in the pattern at a certain point in the chat, I make a note on the chart reminding me before I start. For example, If I have to start a bunch of decreases at row 37, I’ll make a little note “Dec” next to that row. This is especially useful if your other pattern instructions are on another page.
To keep track of which row I am on, I use a conventional row counter, but I also use Highlighter Tape to help keep my eyes focused on the right part of the chart.
Since we’re looking towards the Labour Day Long Weekend (how did THAT happen so fast?!) I thought it might be a good theme. This sweater is super cosy and a VERY quick knit on 10mm/US15 needles with affordably priced Cascade Lana Grande.
KNIT HACK: A Note on Ease & Thick Yarns
When choosing a size in a sweater made with a very thick yarn you should always account for a good amount of positive ease (the space between you and the sweater) for it to fit properly. This extra space sounds like it will make the garment too large, but it is actually eaten up by the thickness of the fabric itself. 4″ to 6″ of positive ease is not uncommon. Another thing to consider is that garments made with thicker yarn require space for you to move comfortably in. Looking at the finished measurements of this sweater, a 41″ bust circumference for a size small is not unheard of, especially since the style is a little oversized and casual.
Circumference at bust: 102(112, 120, 128, 138, 152) cm or 41(45, 48, 51, 55, 61) inches
Labour Day Long Weekend Hours
We will be closed from Sept 2 to Sept 4 for the Labour Day holiday.
Saturday Sept 2 Closed
Sunday Sept 3 Closed
Monday Sept 4 Closed
Tuesday Sept 5 11am – 6pm
Return to Fall/Winter Hours
Starting September 18 We will return to our regular Fall-Winter store hours (open Sundays) and our SnB groups will return to their regular dates (Tuesday 12-4, Wednesday 5-8, Sunday 1-5).
Haley Takes a Holiday
I’m taking a week off before the fall rush hits, and Liane will be minding the store from Monday Aug 28 to Friday Sept 1, so please drop by and keep her company! We won’t be shipping anything from August 27th to September 4th, but you can still pick up your online orders in store. I’ll try and post during my R&R, but if I don’t please don’t feel abandoned, it only means I’m very busy relaxing.