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