Roller Coaster!

It was time to come up with a new pattern, with a goal to create a texture pattern that would stand up to the crazy color changes of variegated sock yarn. And luckily enough I had received a fabulous skein of Sliced Blood Oranges from the indy dyer SoftnShiny to work with. Enter the Roller Coaster Cowl.

A hand knit long loop cowl in SoftnShiny hand dyed yarn

I am irrationally fond of this shot of the cowl.

I decided to make a cowl. Don’t know why, but it just seemed to be the thing to do. One of those really long cowls that can be worn like a scarf with no ends. My guess is that I keep seeing all of these lovely cowl patterns and I have a stumpy little neck that, when paired with a tight fitting cowl, makes me look like a psychedelic turtle.

So I found a stitch pattern that I really liked, but faced a problem. Both sides of the pattern were awesome and completely different in appearance. A swatching we will go! First I rewrote the stitch pattern to convert it from flat knitting to knitting in the round. Then I rewrote it again and basically swapped all of the knits & purls so that I would be knitting with the wrong side out. Easy peasy right?

Wrong.

This led to a couple of problems.

a) Tension is different with regards to knitting & purling, the inside out one just didn’t look the same as when I looked  at the wrong side of the knitted portion.
2) OMG ALL OF THE PURLING! Won’t someone think of my poor yarn tension-ing hand?
Hand knit texture

Can you guess which is the “right” and “wrong” side of the stitch?

Which brought me back to square one. I noodled around a bit and then decided hey, you know that thing that they always tell you not to do? That whole “make sure you are working on the correct side of the work”? What if I ignore that?
So I did. I turned the whole thing inside out and simply worked the knit version of the pattern. One did have the foresight to wrap and turn the last stitch of the previous row, because One is aware of holes and stuff. And guess what? It worked! I had a fabric where I could see the front and back of the stitch at the same time. With the added extra bonus of it being a truly reversible piece.
A hand knit long loop cowl doubled around the neck in SoftnShiny hand dyed yarn

My model is moving to Florida. It makes me very cranky.

The end result is a pattern that produces a piece that looks insanely complicated, but is a blast to knit. It is predominantly knit stitches with slip stitches coming in second in frequency. And then things get really exciting for a row before you coast back into knitting. Hence it’s name.

My awesome model has been such a dream to work with. I could not get half the gorgeous shots that I have gotten without her. It is going to be really tough to find someone when she leaves. If you think that her modeling is as awesome as I do, please consider leaving a note in the comments to tell her goodbye!

One thought on “Roller Coaster!

  1. Pingback: Blog Week in Review- 5/4 to 5/12 « collegeknitting

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