Slip Tectonics Cowl by Vashti Braha

Slip Tectonics Cowl

October 2011
Aran (8 wpi) ?
6.5 mm (K)
175 - 400 yards (160 - 366 m)
Cowl is 25" long at longest edge and 21" long at other long edge x 6.5" wide {64 cm & 54 cm long x 17 cm wide} before seaming. For a long loop scarf, 350 yds of yarn would probably result in a 6.5"-wide scarf with at least a 60" circumference {17 cm wide,
both US and UK
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Learn to crochet short rows with different slip stitches for a self-shaping, self-striping crocheted cowl scarf—neckwarmer—long loop scarf—even a mobius-style infinity scarf. Fun, fast, and easy to crochet technique.

This 100% slip stitch crochet cowl is a handsome study in short row wedges. The subtle contrast between two kinds of slip stitches adds natural shaping. It cozies up to the neck and drapes effortlessly at the shoulders. The result is a comfortable cowl to wear. It’s stretchy, thin, and dense--just right as a sleek layer under a winter coat.

The stitch pattern looks more complicated than it really is. With a larger than usual crochet hook, it crochets up faster than you’d think. I devoted Issue #29 and #30 of my Crochet Inspirations Newsletter to this inspiring technique of using slip stitches for short rows.

Skill Level: Intermediate. The slip stitch is an elementary stitch, and I find that crocheting short rows with slip stitch ribbing is a natural fit. It adds just enough spice to the easy stitching to create that “Just one more row!” fun.

However, short rows are considered an Intermediate skill, and the stitch gauge is much looser than most crocheters are taught to use when they learn how to make their first stitches. I’m discovering that “hook-led” gauge is an important skill for some kinds of crochet, such as slip stitch fabrics and Tunisian lace.

I’ve kept pattern abbreviations to a minimum. International English equivalents for American measurements, yarn weights, and stitch terms are in brackets {}.

After using this pattern you will know (if you didn’t already):
-How to crochet a stylish and stretchy neck warmer
-How different kinds of slip stitches can add subtle texture & drape contrasts
-How to add designer touches to slip stitch short rows
-How to use a hook-led stitch gauge

Finished Dimensions
Cowl is 25” long at longest edge and 21” long at other long edge x 6.5” wide {64 cm & 54 cm long x 17 cm wide} before seaming. For a long loop scarf, 350 yds of yarn would probably result in a 6.5”-wide scarf with at least a 60” circumference {17 cm wide, 153 cm circumference]. Give it a half-twist before seaming to turn it into an ‘infinity scarf’--a moebius loop scarf.

The best yarns for this project are wool or acrylic blends because they add bouncy loft. Cotton yarns do not add this bounce. Long color changes in a self-striping yarn, or subtle tonal shades of a hand dyed yarn, work great! Choose a plump #4 medium-weight yarn that lists on its label a crochet hook size range from US H/8/5mm-J/10/6mm. These yarns may also be referred to as Heavy Worsted, Aran, Afghan, and occasionally “Light Chunky” Weight.

Recommended if you’re new to slip stitch crochet: 17 stitch markers (until you can recognize the last slip stitch of each row).