I just completed a sweater that had a pretty and easy cable pattern included up the front. It was fun to knit and looked so pretty that I decided to use it in another project of my own creation. Luckily, I had two+ skeins of Aireado Yarn and an idea for a quick knit cowl that would incorporate the cable design. Aireado is a bulky, super-soft yarn with a natural hand-dyed look that really works well with a large cable stitch.
Since I was creating the pattern myself, there were a few things to consider.
- The gauge of the yarn
- The color and texture of the yarn
- The cable design
The gauge of the Aireado yarn (3.5 sts = 1" on US 9 needles) and the number of stitches in the design helped me map out my pattern. My cable repeat was 26 stitches (which included four purls stitches between each cable). I wanted a cowl that was 48 – 58 inches around so that it could be wrapped around the neck twice on cold days. Keep in mind that the cables with the garter stitches between will pull the stitches together making the cowl shorter. Based on the gauge of 3.5 stitches per inch, I looked for multiples of 26 and ended up with a 52-inch cowl. I calculated that I would cast on 182 stitches for a 52-inch cowl.
3.5 stitches per inch X 52 inches = 182 cast-on stitches.
This gave me seven repeats of the pattern around the cowl.
The next step was to determine how deep to knit the cowl. Since I had just finished a sweater with the same cable, I measured the height of that cable to determine how many vertical cables I wanted to knit. I decided to knit two full cables with ten rows before the first cable, and ten rows after the second cable. This was an easy decision because the cable design on my sweater project was the same, and I liked the way it looked.
This is a home-grown pattern, so I was prepared to change my mind to make it shorter or longer along the way. As you can see from the picture (left), I have completed 10 rows plus one cable and 14 rows. Once I completed 10 rows plus one cable and 10 more rows, the depth of the cowl was approximately 5 inches. Since I wanted more depth, I decided to knit one more cable plus 10 rows (two cables total). This would make my finished cowl 10 to 11 inches deep. The depth was just about right because the yarn is lightweight and will easily squish down to fit between the chin and shoulders comfortably.
As you can see from the picture, there is a rolled edge on the bottom of the cowl. You could create a flat edge by making a rib or garter stitch edge of three or four rows. Right now, I like the look of the slight roll along the edge. It may lie flat after blocking.
I will knit this pattern again. It has been fun and fast. The perfect project for a quick and luxurious gift.