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Schist Cowl

Knitting
November 2012
DK / 8 ply (11 wpi) ?
18 stitches and 23 rows = 4 inches in Pattern stitch
US 9 - 5.5 mm
230 yards (210 m)
19 1/2" circ (easily modified), 6 1/4" high
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Worked with yarn held double; a chunky weight yarn may also be used (swatch first to check gauge!).

The sculptural layers of this cowl were inspired by the rocky coastline of MacMahan Island, Maine (cowl also available as part of a three-cowl pattern booklet, the MacMahan Collection, for $7). To create a knit fabric that appeared layered and three-dimensional, I experimented with different stitch combinations, finally hitting upon a pattern of wide, shallow knit/purl triangles that creates natural folds.

The cowl is worked sideways and flat, and then seamed, meaning that the circumference of the cowl can easily be changed—just add or subtract additional repeats of the stitch pattern. Instructions are given for working the seam using a three-needle bind-off (in this case, a provisional cast on is used), AND for grafting the seam using the duplicate stitch method of grafting; in this case, two colors of waste yarn are used to cast on, to create a clear path for the grafting yarn to follow. (A conventional cast on and bind off could also be used, followed by simply sewing the center back seam.)

Materials: Yarn Madelinetosh Tosh DK, 100% superwash merino wool, 225 yds (206 m)/100 g skein, color Whiskers, 2 skeins. Contrasting waste yarn in similar gauge for provisional cast on. Needles: US size 9/5.5 mm: straight, plus additional needle for three-needle bind off. Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge. Notions: Tapestry needle.