Rhapsodic Ripples by Fiona Oliver

Rhapsodic Ripples

January 2019
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
20 stitches and 16 rows = 4 inches
in Double crochet worked in the round
3.0 mm
978 yards (894 m)
One size fits all. Finished dimensions are approximately 21.5 cm/8.5 ins in width and 150 cm/59 ins in circumference.
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About this design
In music, a rhapsody is a “one-movement work that is episodic yet integrated, free-flowing in structure, and featuring a range of highly contrasted moods, colour, and tonality. An air of spontaneous inspiration and a sense of improvisation make it freer in form than a set of variations.”

This definition from Wikipedia is a good description of the experience I went through in designing this cowl and the joy of improvisation that I felt as I experimented with different ways of using colour in the design. This design feels like a rhapsody to me because:

  • The lovely ripples give a sense of flow and rhythm to the piece, whether they are a single colour throughout the cowl, or changing colour randomly or to a plan
  • The background colour for the stripes and ripples helps to integrate the whole, and can also give an extra tempo to the colour way, and
  • Choices around colour, fibre and yarn characteristics can help shape the mood of the finished cowl.

To maintain this spirit of free improvisation, rather than giving specific yarn amounts for each of the colour ways that I have made, I am providing a formula for calculating your yarn requirements so that you can improvise with colour and yarn and compose your own beautiful Rhapsodic Ripples Cowl. I’ve also included an empty template that you can colour in to take your colour choices for a test drive before you reach for your yarn and hook.

Whether you dive in to your stash and find a way to incorporate some of your incomplete skeins and balls into your design, or you compose your own colour scheme and purchase your yarn to match, I hope making this lovely this cowl will fill you with beautiful music.

20 st x 16 rows over 10 cm/4 inches in double crochet, crocheted in the round using 3.0 mm (US size C2, UK size 11) crochet hook. A good match for tension is important for this pattern in order to ensure that your finished dimensions are correct. Please move up or down a hook size and swatch one more time if your gauge does not match. If you choose to make the cowl at a tension different to the one specified then you may require more or less yarn.

The total length of yarn required for the cowl is approximately 894 metres/978 yards (this figure includes a 10% “just in case” margin). This total is made up of 240 metres/263 yards for the six ripples and 654 metres/715 yards for the six background stripes.

This design has a lot of potential as a stash buster/scrappy project as you can use your remnant yarns for ripples and/or background stripes to compose a truly unique and colourful cowl. It is also a great project to use up any mini skeins that you may have lying around.

I have provided a blank template at the end of the pattern that you can colour in while you are trying out different colour combinations. Enjoy!

3.0 mm (US size C2, UK size 11) crochet hook.

Tapestry/darning needle.
Stitch markers.
Coloured pencils/crayons/textas/sharpies (optional)

Written and charted instructions are provided for this design. Links are also provided to useful video tutorials (produced by other people).

Please send all queries to capitalknits@icloud.com.