While building new skills is an important, ongoing thing, sometimes, a knitter needs an easy weekend (or two). When I found a tutorial on how to knit a simple seed stitch cowl on sheepandstitch.com, I knew I had to try it. I found the cowl beautiful and the pattern well-suited for a needle-newbie like me. The cowl is knit in the round on a circular needle, and the pattern is versatile and customizable to a range of needle sizes. The tutorial also contains a useful lesson for beginners on doing gauge measurements and calculations (throwback to 9th grade algebra).
The seed stitch produces a wonderful texture that, despite its bumpiness, lays flat – great for cowls and scarves and other projects where one might want to avoid post-knitting curling in at the sides. This is also a relatively quick knit; bulky yarn knits up pretty fast. My only grievance is that the seed stitch requires the yarn to be moved from the back of the knitting to the front as it alternates between knitting and purling with … each…. individual…. stitch. Depending on how the yarn is held, this can get tedious. In response, I switched from English knitting (yarn held in the right hand) to Continental (yarn held in the left) to speed things along ever so slightly. This cowl has now turned me into a (mostly) Continental knitter, so perhaps this was a good thing (though I know that this is a controversial issue. To each his/her own, of course). Now that I am trying to learn Fair Isle knitting, or stranding, a knowledge of both methods is coming in handy (pun intended). I look forward to sharing my stranding thoughts on a future post.
I knit this cowl on a set of US 11 29″ circular needles, using a little less than 2 skeins of Loops & Threads’ Facets – a Bulky (#5) weight yarn (120 yds/skein). Using a circular needle for the first time was exciting, and took a little getting used to. At 30″ wide and 10″ high, the cowl is a little big. But, I think it will make a nice gift this holiday, especially given the imminent Chicago winter. According to Farmer’s Almanac predictions, this one is anticipated to be a long, cold, and snowy revenge-season for the higher temperatures we had last winter. The cozier the cowl, the better.
Aside: I am pretty grateful to be crafting in the era of the internets – being able to witness others’ unique and singular creative process keeps me inspired and in awe of the beautiful things that get to exist.