Why Did the Chicken Cross the Mobius Strip?

I took a cowl design and knitting class on Craftsy and learned how to make a Mobius cowl. The cast-on instructions were very different than any I had previously done so I grabbed some needles and yarn leftover from a hat I had just finished and practiced the cast-on technique. As I knitted a few rounds, I got the idea to turn this practice into a finished product. The nice thing about a Mobius cowl is that it is knitted from the center out with the top and bottom edges mirror images. So I figured I would knit until my yarn ran out and I’d be done.

Well, then I got the idea that I’d use the same lace pattern stitch I used for the hat. That pattern called for a 13 stitch repeat. So I counted the many, many stitches on the needles and had EXACTLY enough stitches for a 13 stitch repeat. This was kismet. Meant to be.

Exactly the right number of stitches!
Exactly the right number of stitches!

I knit happily along for many days, and as my knitted fabric grew, I noticed that above the cast on line was the knit side and below the cast on line was the purl side. Since I was using as self-striping yarn, I didn’t like the way the purl side was coming out. Plus, you couldn’t see the lace pattern at all on the purl side.

I decided to keep going, all the while hoping that it would look better when it was blocked. I got within the last two rows of the pattern and looked at the remaining yarn. I had precious few yards left. Now I was faced with playing a game of yarn chicken. Can I make it to the end before the yarn runs out?

Time for a game of yarn chicken.
Time for a game of yarn chicken.

I got to the last two rows I planned to purl and suddenly remembered I had to bind off…and that takes more yarn than a normal row. The yarn won. I ripped out the last two rows of the pattern stitches and purled two rows. Now for the bind off. I knitted and knitted and watched the remaining yarn get gobbled up at an increasing pace. I got to the last three stitches and only had two inches of yarn left! Luckily I had some scrap pieces from another skein and had to add yarn.

Uh oh!
Uh oh!

I pulled out the finished cowl and looked at it. And looked at it. And looked at it. And I didn’t like it. So I put it aside, thinking it would look better later. And later, it still looked as sad as before. I think the thing that bothered me was purl side facing out. No matter how I straightened it, that side just kept picking at my psyche.

This does not make me happy.
This does not make me happy.

So…I unraveled it. All the way to the first stitch. And I started over. I thought about how to alleviate the front/back issue and decided a basket weave pattern would work. It’s half knit and half purl so both sides would look the same. I knitted a little test swatch to get my gauge. Then I went to the template I got in my Craftsy class and plugged in all the numbers. I cast on again and took off knitting. This time, the basket weave pattern worked just as I planned. The top and bottom are mirror images and the front and back both look good.

Second verse...different from the first.
Second verse…different from the first.
And after many days of knitting, I think the finished product looks pretty good.
And after many days of knitting, I think the finished product looks pretty good.
Close up of basket weave pattern.
Close up of basket weave pattern.

And as for the chicken…who knows why chickens do anything?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s