Friday, November 23, 2012

It's a cowl-iday!

What's this?   Early last month, Carrie came home for the weekend.  We celebrated the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday, but not with traditional foods.  We had a lovely pork loin, with parsnips, and rutabaga, and squash.  Doug and I have been experimenting with different vegetables and we decided to include Carrie in the festivities.  She actually quite liked the rutabaga and squash.  We still need to find a nicer way to prepare parsnips.  If anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears. 

Since the weather was so nice, we decided to go for a walk in the woods, which is one of Carrie's favourite things to do when home for the weekend.  The weather may have been nice, but I still needed these:

 Double-knit mittens!  Of course, some of you may recognize the yarn from March of 2011; that particular project has been frogged.  I still love the design, still love the double knit vest idea.  The multi-colour yarn just wasn't working.  I had hoped it would give a nice fair-isle look, but it was too busy.  I have a selection of single skeins of super-wash wool, so ultimately the vest will be knit.  Just not right now. 

So if I've given up on the vest, what HAVE I been knitting?

We had a class on mobius cowls at the store for November.  Complete with the Lucy Neatby mobious cast-on.  Let me tell you, THAT cast on is a brain-twister.  My first mobius ended up being twisted twice, which just didn't work.  So I had to frog that.  Undeterred, I started again. 
 Success!  The cowl is actually long enough that it can wrap around my neck twice, which means that I'll have a lovely warm neck when the winter winds blow.  The yarn is our own -- Never Enough Wool sock yarn, dyed by Barb, Sue and myself.  I called the colour "Chocolate-covered Orange."   The design is from Knitscene Accessories, and is called "Roam Cowl."  I quite like both the design and the wool. 

Since I had managed to mess up my first mobious attempt, I HAD to try again.  This is a Lucy Neatby design that I found on Ravelry.  I used two skeins of Patons Shetland Chunky and a 6.0mm needle.  Of course, I looked at the instructions and thought that the cowl would be too small and added 10 extra stitches.  Once finished, I find that the smaller number of stitches would have been better.  The cowl isn't long enough to wrap twice, and too long to wrap once.
 Also, the peculiar construction of a mobious means that the right side is also the wrong side, and this specific design has a definite right and wrong side.  And again, due to the peculiarity of the mobious, both sides can and do show.  I won't be doing this one again, that's for certain.

And then, much to my horror and disgrace, I discovered that I had assisted one of our students to create a double twist in HER mobious.  In penance, I decided that I should knot yet another mobious just to be sure that I could visually assure the cast on and first row were done correctly.
 This cowl was also found on Ravelry.  It's very simple, actually.  A section of knit-side facing, an eyelet row, more knit-side facing.  Then some purl-side facing, an eyelet row, more purl side facing.  And a cast off.  The picture doesn't really show how wide this cowl is.  One could wear this as a shawl, or shoulder-warmer if desired, or even wrap around the neck one more time.  Plenty of room.

Interestingly, I cast on 160 stitches for my first mobious, and 170 for this green one.   If you tip your head, you can see that there is a huge difference in length between the two scarves.  Far more than 20 stitches.  Why is that, I wondered. 
And then I remembered.  The orange cowl has a regular cast off, done as loosely as I could.  I didn't have enough yarn to actually finish the seventh row of the pattern, so had to go back to row 6 and then cast off.  Didn't have enough to work the stretchy cast-off.  The green cowl had plenty of yarn.  So I was able to work the requisite stretch cast-off -- knit two stitches, then knit through the front of them, leaving one stitch on the right-hand needle; lather, rinse, repeat.   Big difference between the regular and the stretchy cast-off.  Lesson learned!

1 comment:

Christy J said...

I have the Roam cowl queued to knit with the last skein of String Theory yarn from my cruise last year. Glad to hear that you liked the pattern.
Now here's my Mom's "French Parsnip" recipe. If you're already using butter and sugar with your squash and rutabaga, this may not be what you want, but it sure makes the parsnips tasty.

Place the following ingredients in a saucepan:
2 cups sliced parsnips
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tbsp salt (scant 1 tsp?)
Cover saucepan and cook over fast heat until water evaporates, allow parsnips to brown in butter, serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.