Marvelous Folly Worsted by Jeanne Long

Marvelous Folly Worsted

February 2018
Worsted (9 wpi) ?
19 stitches and 29 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette in the round
US 8 - 5.0 mm
436 yards (399 m)
38 inches around by 11 inches deep (97 by 28 cm)
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A folly, from the French for favored abode, is a structure created purely to accent the landscape rather than serve a practical purpose. It might be exotic or rustic, subtle or ostentatious. A folly often involves an element of architectural trompe l’oeil; for example, some were built in the 1800s to look like ancient Roman ruins. Many also have symbolic meaning. A rustic mill or cottage could nod to the virtues of country living, an unfinished tower could epitomize the endless pursuit of knowledge, or a crumbling bridge might hint at the corruption of modern life.

Our Marvelous Folly Worsted is a deep cowl with a striking bit of ornamentation and a hint of deception. It is designed to be a simple knit that highlights a gradient yarn or the leftovers of your various worsted-weight projects. The cowl is knit in the round with just a few rows of seed-stitch trim at each end. Along the way, a section of stitches is periodically bound off and then cast back on to make loops of fabric, which are later worked like a row of dropped stitches to create the eponymous folly: a tower of giant knit stitches. This grand structure adds another layer to the colorwork, one that both stands out from and harmonizes with its background, creating a unique cowl that livens up any landscape.

Versions: The pattern is written for worsted weight yarn. (A separate pattern, Marvelous Folly, is written for fingering-weight yarn).

Yarn and Yardage: Marvelous Folly Worsted requires approximately 440 yards of worsted-weight yarn. The pictured cowl was worked in Why Knot Fibers’ Steady (100% Merino), in 25 grams each (about 55 yards) of eight colors: Crocus, Blue Jean Baby, Peacock, Shire, Wasabi, Winter Wheat, Sweet Potato, Inara.

Suggested Modifications: This pattern is easy to modify in several dimensions, and it can accommodate more or less yardage and more or fewer colors. The cowl’s depth is built on a repeated section; by omitting or adding a repeat, or by working more or fewer rounds of stockinette in each repeat, the design easily accommodates different yardage. The cowl’s circumference also could be lengthened (or shortened) easily in increments of two stitches. Any of these suggested modifications may require additional yardage to complete.

Instructions: The pattern includes fully written instructions. Some techniques, including making button closures and working the giant column of knit stitches, are further illustrated with photos and schematics.

Techniques: Basic decreases, knitting in the round, casting on mid-row. The pattern includes step-by-step instructions for casting on mid-row.

Extras: 3 stitch markers, one of which is unique, and a tapestry needle.

Optional Notions: The column of giant knit stitches must be secured at the end. The pattern includes instructions for a button closure or, alternately, a sewn closure. If you opt for the button closure, you additionally will need 4 buttons (1/2” each, or size to fit your button holes), a sewing needle, and thread. The primary advantage of the button closure is that it can be unbuttoned for easier washing, or for a different look.

Special Thanks: To RFL, a gentleman, scholar, and our newest premier knitwear model.