Conversation with Smaug by Teri B.

Conversation with Smaug

by Teri B.
Knitting
December 2016
Aran (8 wpi) ?
14 stitches and 40 rows = 4 inches
in hazy scales brioche
US 10 - 6.0 mm
US 8 - 5.0 mm
US 6 - 4.0 mm
5.0 mm (H)
760 - 800 yards (695 - 732 m)
One size fits all
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Conversation with Smaug (CwS for short) is an oversized cowl knit in the round. It is inspired by the Hobbit and more precisely an illustration J.R.R. Tolkien made for the book. It is made using modified brioche stitches that create a scale-like pattern (without having to do stranded colorwork – only stripes). The pattern is also reversible: the ‘wrong side’ looks like a woven, almost polka dot fabric.
CwS can be worn thrown on your shoulders like a shawl – with or without a shawl pin for two different looks – or wrapped twice around your neck – the fit will be snug enough that it’ll keep the cold & wind out.
From both of these points you can pull a fold of fabric from CwS and turn it into a sizable hood.

Color choice:
If you want to stay faithful to the spirit of the Hobbit, where Tolkien describes Smaug as “a vast red-golden dragon”, then pick a combination of red and yellow. The cowl in the pictures was made using Malabrigo Worsted in 096 Sunset and 41 Burgundy.
If red and yellow are not your colors, you could also show your love for another franchise and make your own Drogon/Rhaegal/Viserion themed cowl.
Or, well, serpents have scales too so… How about some green and silver for the cunning ones?

For more information, color ideas and pictures, feel free to check: http://theknittingraven.blogspot.com/2016/12/CwS.html

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Gauge:
-15dc per 10cm in dc (recommended crochet hook size: 5mm)
-14sts/40 rounds per 10cm in ‘hazy’ scales brioche (=1 repetition of rounds 1 through 8 = 2cm) (recommended needle size: 6mm)

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Supplies:
-2 skeins (420 yards) of Malabrigo Merino Worsted (or equivalent yarn) in color 1 (shown in 096 Sunset).
-2 skeins (420 yards) of Malabrigo Merino Worsted (or equivalent yarn) in color 2 (shown in 41 Burgundy).
-6mm, 5mm and 4mm circular knitting needles (or size to match the gauge and 2 smaller needles - 6mm will be used for the scale-y brioche, 4mm for the regular brioche on the top and bottom edges and 5mm for the transition row between the two).
-5mm (H) crochet hook (or size to match the gauge).
-a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round.
-a darning needle to weave in the ends

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Construction:
Conversation with Smaug is worked in the round, from the middle-out.
For the first half of the cowl you’ll use color 1 as MC (main color) and color 2 as CC (contrasting color).You’ll start with a crocheted chain and a round of dc in CC then you will knit your way up toward the ‘top’ edge of the cowl. This will use about one skein of each color.
Then you’ll go back to the starting crocheted chain (i.e. the middle of the cowl) and work in the exact same way toward the ‘bottom’ edge of the cowl, only this time you’ll use C2 as your MC and C1 as your CC. This will use the other two skeins (one of each color).

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Difficulty & Techniques/Stiches used:
Knitting: Intermediate to Advanced: you’ll probably find the pattern easier if you already have some experience in brioche knitting. This pattern uses modified brioche stitches that’ll be slipped multiple times and then brioche knitted with multiple yarn overs. These special stitches are explained in details (and pictures) in the pattern.
Other than the two modified brioche techniques just mentioned, you’ll have to use: k, p, sl1yo, brk, brp, sl1pwyf (=slip 1 st purlwise with the yarn in front), sl1pwyb (=slip 1 st purlwise with the yarn in the back).

Crochet: Easy. You’ll have to make a long chain, close it with a slst to work in the round and work a round of dc, basically. Nothing too daunting ;) (This pattern uses American crochet terms)

The instructions are written using the abbreviations above. The most unusual abbreviations and techniques are explained in detail in the pattern.
Pictures are included to show you what each special stitch/sticth pattern should look like.
Diagrams are included to show the construction of the cowl and the finished dimensions (no blocking required).