21 February 2011

Holy Cowl

I haven't posted much about knitting this winter (the season for all things yarn and fuzzy) and the reason is this... I've been knitting gifts for months! If I post the knitting projects as I am working on them I reveal the surprise, so I have chosen to post after the recipients open up their mail, or hold out their hands when I say so. It would also help to actually take pictures of what I've been making.....

wrist warmers
cowls
slouchy beanies
nappy liners for newborns (for a friend that uses cloth diapers)
...and I'm looking forward to making more baby gifts in a hot minute. (NO, not for myself)

Ok, the REAL reason for not posting is that I'm still dealing with the frustration of a little digital camera that likes to work sometimes, and likes to sleep sometimes. It's an interesting dilemma but I'm working through it. I've asked the Great Giver to bless me with a new camera that takes great photos.

Pretty J wearing her möbius cowl
Anyhoooo, I was inspired by a video posted by Cat Bordhi, "Intro to Moebius Knitting." Unlike most patterns and instructional videos out there, this was a true möbius form, not just a double twisted strip. There is no twisting, sewing or manipulating. Follow her instructions with a circular needle and you get a half-twist by knitting continuously. It's pretty fun and amazing to see the results!

Here is a phone shot of my long distance buddy sporting her Christmas gift. I knitted half a dozen of these beauties in all different colors, and I'm not done yet! I chose to knit more shallow cowls (instead of the hoodie kind) because most of my friends live in warmer climates that have cooler, but not freezing nights. I also thought it looked like a more chic, sleek, understated winter accessory.

Thanks, J - for wearing the cowl, in public! Thanks, Sher - for taking and sending me this photo. You'll get yours soon!

Turquoise möbius on Lani!
Update: Thanks for the photo, Lani! The blue suits you. 
For anyone interested in the pattern...
I doubled up a worsted weight yarn (wool blends and alpaca blends) on a 24" US15(10mm) circular needle. Just cast on like Cat Bordhi teaches (as many as you want to fill up the loop) and proceed with your desired knitting stitch on the loop. I chose a garter stitch (k all rows) for the two cowls shown, but also made a couple of seed stitch pieces too (k1, p1). I discovered that you do have to mark your first stitch, knit one round, then watch the stitches to do HALF a row in one pattern, then switch when you see it needs it (I had to purl half a row for the garter stitch pattern). This will keep the entire piece in a consistent seed or garter stitch. You don't want to stockinette this cowl because there is no "front" or "back" – you'll get an obvious seam.