Adventures in Gauge

January 19, 2016

In an old post, I discussed gauge — that is, how what size yarn you use and on what size needles effects the size and shape of whatever you are knitting. I was working up a design for a turtleneck cowl and decided to vary the sizing to see what I got. And what I got was this:

cowl 013

Three cowls and a pair of wristwarmers!

We have Papa Cowl:

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Mama Cowl:

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And Baby Cowl:

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These are all made on the same number of stitches; only the yarn and needles change.

For the largest cowl, I used 2 skeins of Bernat’s Roving in a color called “Rice Paper,” and this is a lovely winter white. The suggested needle size is 10.5: I used size 13 for the body and 9 for the neck. This gave me some drapiness to the cowl part and a tighter neck, as I find otherwise the neck tends to stretch out too easily with wear. I pack the stitches a little tighter to get it to hold up a bit better. The cowl is 22″ in diameter.

For the medium size cowl, I again used 2 skeins of another Bernat Roving, this one in “Coral.” I used the suggested 10.5 needle for the body and 9s for the turtle neck. For whatever reason, this color had more body to it than the Rice Paper and the neck really stands up. Which I love because I can burrow into it when the winter winds blow!  The cowl on this size is 17″ in diameter.

The smallest cowl was a gift for my neighbor up the street. I used 2 skeins of KnitPick’s Gloss DK in “Aegean,” which is suggested for a 5 – 6 needle. I used an 8 to get a little more drape. Even after knitting a goodly sized turtleneck, I had a bit left over so used that to make matching wristers. The diameter on this cowl is 14″.

Now, how does that translate into garment size and look? Well, I’m not the best model but through the magic of Photoshop, I can give a visual on the fit:

cowl compare white

cowl compare coral

cowl compare aegean

I like all the sizes equally well. I love the big sweep on the winter white one, the cozy turtleneck and warm color of the coral, and the lightweight wearability of the aegean blue one, as it is easy to wear inside to warm off drafts.

I am going to be writing up the pattern for this cabled design and for a ribbed cowl I did last year. Test knitters are welcome to message me!

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January 10, 2016

Happy 2016. May it be better than 2015, which saw the departure of far too many 2- and 4-legged friends. In looking for a good side, I realize that the enforced time at home monitoring illness gave us time to finally establish a large vegetable garden and to spend time in our backyard screen house, something we had not been able to do. But at the cost of many friends, old and new. We will see what 2016 brings.

The first project of the year was a scarf for an older gentleman. I wasn’t sure about allergies and it needed to be washable, so I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease in a denim-y color called Blue Heather. The knot design came from Elsebeth Lavold’s Viking Knits and Ancient Ornaments.

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I added a rib column alongside the knot and used a seed stitch edging. The knot was actually pretty simple and the chart easy to follow.

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I wasn’t sure on spacing because I was just making this up in my head. I wound up knitting two sides from the bottom up, then seaming them across the center. This way I used the entire two skeins of yarn. The knot patterns is spaced apart by its own length between the first two repeats, then knit the rest of the section to the end. Knit the other side and seam it together. Easy, and a good way to practice the knot pattern.

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