I’ve been working on another cowl, this time in herringbone stitch. I tried herringbone stitch a long time ago, in 2008 or 2009, and had a lot of difficulty knitting it. I think I was using right-sized needles for the yarn which was too tight; this time I used much larger needles than what’s called for (US size 15 for bulky yarn vs. 9-11 recommended by the Craft Yarn Council) and it’s much much easier to knit.
I posted a progress picture of the first cowl last Wednesday, finished the cowl on Friday, wrote the pattern up & sent it to my tech editor friend on Sunday. My project pictures & notes are on Ravelry, of course. Anyway – to make a long story short: the pattern is ready, but I’m not. The cowl is knit like a regular scarf, from end to end (rather than long side to long side), so to finish it and make it a loop, it has to be grafted. I just used regular kitchener stitch to graft the first cowl and if you know where to look, you can see what looks like two rows of stockinette breaking up the herringbone pattern. I want to see if I can graft it in pattern somehow, which I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around. I should probably be practicing on a swatches and working it out on paper instead of starting a whole new scarf.
But I couldn’t help myself – I needed to try this yarn. It’s Cherry Tree Hill Bunji, a chained tape yarn that’s so elastic it’s like knitting with soft, silky rubber bands. I got it in a stash sale on Ravelry along with the Noro Akogare I’ve been using; both are bulky weight and both are discontinued, which probably isn’t the best yarn to design patterns around but I enjoy the challenge of using the yarn in a way that highlights its best qualities. And buying yarn from a stash sale makes me feel like I’m helping the seller and I know I’m getting a good deal on the yarn.
Bunji is bulky yarn but so thin & stretchy that I swatched it on size 10 needles, which was too tight. I upped my needle size to 13, which was better but still not right. I ended up with size 15, which is what the pattern calls for and will make a better example of the finished cowl, and I’m knitting unnaturally loosely for me so I don’t stretch the yarn too much. I’m still not getting gauge, but it’s close. And it’s only a cowl – gauge isn’t quite so important for sizing and fit of a scarf or cowl.
The finished fabric is super stretchy but loose and still dense enough when it’s slack to not too look lacy. It’s very soft, much softer than I expected considering the texture of the yarn. I posted a macro of it last night to Instagram; I like that it shows the chain ply & color transitions in detail. One of my friends said it looks like something from the sea, which I hadn’t thought of before. The colorway, according to the seller on Rav, is rose reds – that doesn’t really suggest the sea to me. But it does look like coral or an exotic underwater plant. What do you think?