There are no Hallowe'en decorations up at our place yet, but there was plenty of Scary Knitting going on inside this week, let me tell you. That is, if you're scared by things like too many decisions and lots of uncertainty and the risk that you might lose many many hours of work and have to redo it all.
Because I am scared by those things, I started with a swatch for the first Gift Cowl of winter 2014. There are so. many. gift knits this year in general, and the schedule works only if I get the most important and assembly-line-ish ones done before November hits. But matching up all those handspun yarns with people who might want a cowl... and then finding a stitch pattern to stretch out the limited yardage... well.
I liked the nubbly look of the swatch (even though the lacy stitch was a bit fussy and boring to do) and the yardage was looking good - openwork is always ideal for making the most of the supply you have - so I went for it. I cast on 60 fast stitches onto an 8mm circular needle and got going. Whoo hooo!
Whoo - hmmmm? Something was clearly going on with this cowl. I mean, a cowl in progress shouldn't be making you think about door wreaths.
And yet, the stitch... the little bobbles on the wrong side resulting from all that texture...
So. Delicious. Like blackberries or something. Oh! right, that's what's wrong here. I shouldn't be seeing the wrong side of a circular knit at all. That only happens when...
The work is curling like mad. Which you do not want in a cowl.
I know this really. I know that you have to be very careful to choose a stitch that is consistent up the length of a cowl, unless you want a fold partway and sometimes you do, and also, that it must be a stitch that wants to lie flat like a board. Sort of like this checkerboardy option (which happened after I ripped out the whole lace cowl and reknit exactly as far again in the checkerboard.)
Ahhh, so much better. Still very nubbly, but so much more brainless to stitch. I didn't realize how, erm, colourful this handspun was going to get post-plying, so a simple stitch is really much better.
Check it out - here's the lace:
and here's the checkerboard:
Okay, so they're both pretty much a lump of crazy, but hopefully it will look like fabric when there's more of it in one place.
It's lying flat. And that's awfully good news.
Have a great weekend - hopefully without any big scares of your own - and I'll see you on Monday!