Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Moss Rib Stitch Cowls



Oh my goodness! I love this rib stitch! It makes the most wonderful squishy ribbing, perfect for a cowl or a deep scarf. I found the pattern on Ravelry and followed it to Cashmere Blend. This knitter got the pattern from his LYS salesperson. 

When I began I cast on 10 stitches because I only had purchased one skein. If you want to make a wider version, say for a wider, longer scarf or deeper cowl, he says to cast on 32 stitches and get 2 or more skeins of yarn. To cast on I used the long tail cast on for a stretchy edge. I used size 8 needles. 

Note that he lets you know to slip your stitches knitwise in the comments section, but he does state that in the pattern as this: sl 1 k.  I haven't seen that particular way of saying slip knitwise, but it works. Usually it's more like this: sl 1 kw. Sometimes it's not stated at all because the typical way to slip stitches is purlwise unless stated in the pattern. Make sure to do that with the yarn at the back of your work. When working with a pattern posted on a blog, it's a good idea to read the pattern through and check the comments section for answered questions. It's likely another person has the same questions as you do.

The cast off method is good. It does help the cast off edge look like the cast on edge. It doesn't really matter if you're making the cowl. Just sew the two ends together and weave in ends. When ppso (pass previous stitch over) is stated, it is done the same way as psso (pass the slipped stitch over). He's just being more specific because you are not always passing a slipped stitch over. Sometimes it's a knitted or purled stitch.

The pattern does call for 2 skeins of yarn like he says, but it is very generous when knitted with one. For the cream cowl I used Paton's pure wool yarn bought at my local JoAnn's Fabric. It's a nice yarn for the $6.00 price and it's a nice sized skein. I knit it until it was gone. As I have worn the cream cowl it has stretched out and I can wrap it around my neck 3 times. That's why it's not sitting up as wonderfully as the blue. =) It's great for those blustery, nippy days when I want a turtleneck without having to wear a turtleneck.


The blue was knit in a pure merino yarn I purchased on a trip to Salt Lake City. The store I purchased from had a great selection of fabrics, felts, and embroidery supplies, but a very small section of yarns. This lonely blue yarn in the clearance bin caught my eye. Initially, I was drawn to it because of the sheen on the yarn. It just glows from within. Then when I picked it up I felt its softness and springiness. I was sold. I didn't keep the tag so now I have no idea who produced it. (sigh) I'm sure my LYS will have something like it. I knit it until it was gone.

After knitting with a 5 ply pure merino I've found I needed to treat it differently than the pure wool from Paton's. It's much more finicky about needles being stuck into the ball - it breaks the smaller plys of yarn causing unraveling. I would have to break off the yarn just before the unravel and restart after cutting out the weak section. Pain in the butt! I won't be doing that again. Any higher ply yarn - no needles stuck in that ball! Also, it doesn't weave in well because it's very smooth, almost slippery. All those tails now stick out like fuzzy ends. But, despite its little hiccups it's a wonderful yarn to knit with. Flys off the needles and feels like silk. Knit with one ball, it wraps around my neck the typical two times and cinches up close to my neck.

The blue has more structure to the stitches as well. I think that is probably due to the difference between the pure natural wool and the finer spun merino. I like the differences. The cream wears well in everyday comings and goings to school and store. The blue is more for a pop of color on a delicate day. I'm always concerned about the plys being caught on something and breaking. Not my idea of hardy! But, it is beautiful!


It's always nice to have a new pattern that turns out to be one of many go-to patterns. 
This is one I will happily knit for gifts, family, and myself time and time again! 
Enjoy!

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