My Sea Breeze Cowl-Poncho* is fresh off the needles, and I’m excited to share it.
Ta-da! Pattern: Sea Breeze Cowl-Poncho by Julia Farwell-Clay, from MDK Field Guide No. 7: Ease.
Excited, and a bit sheepish. At the beginning, I put up some mental resistance to the criss-cross doodly-do stitch pattern. Out of every eight rounds, six are sweet, sweet stockinette, the lazy gal’s pal, one round is a pleasantly rhythmic set-up round, and one round is The Criss-Cross Doodly-Do Round, in which you unfurl ten triple-wrapped knit stitches and pull five of these elongated stitches through the other five elongated stitches, while keeping both sets of five loose stitches in correct order.
Because The Criss-Cross Doodly-Do Round (CCDDR) is only one out every eight rounds, and because I was running around a lot and trying to knit this project on the go, it took me a while to get into the swing of it. And so I started to tremble at the approach of the CCDDR. The CCDDR was not my pal; it was a frenemy that came around every eighth round, crashing my blissed-out summer stockinette party.
It’s like cabling, but instead of twisting stitches and knitting them in the new order, you pull stitches through stitches and knit them in the new order.
About four CCDDRs into the Cowl-Poncho* I started to get the hang. And by the second half of CCDDRs, I actually relished working them. Go figure.
Onlookers, even non-knitters, just love this stitch pattern. It looks like magic. It’s tactile, it’s dimensional, it’s jaunty, and it’s mysterious. How does it work? Nobody knows, so they reach out and touch it, and ask you, and look at you in awe that you are making this thing.
My Modification, or the Reason for that Asterisk
My Cowl-Poncho is merely an ordinary Cowl. I think I will wear it more that way. I like that there is no upside-down with a plain cowl.
To achieve maximum cowlishness, I followed the pattern for the largest size, until I reached the first of the decrease rounds that shape the top of the Cowl-Poncho. At that point, instead of working Round 1 (the set-up round), I simply started ribbing, and then bound off. Super-easy mod!
Yesterday morning, doing my ribbing, I happened upon a fantastic gold chair.
Toward the end, I started wavering on my plan, and almost went ahead and made it a Cowl-Poncho. But I realized that since I’d made the biggest size, it would be wider than my shoulders, and wouldn’t ponch properly on me. So I stuck to Plan A, and now I have a luscious cowl in Spud & Chloë’s buttery blend of organic cotton and superwash wool, Sweater. (Also: naming a yarn Sweater makes people want to knit a sweater in it. Have you seen Cristina Shiffman’s Savage Heart Cardigan in Sweater?)
To Block or Not to Block?
As may be obvious, I haven’t wet-blocked my Sea Breeze. I love the undulations, and am afeared of flattening them.
The texture that everybody wants to touch.
For now, I’m going to apply steam to the ribbed edges so that they behave, and leave it at that. I’m a strong believer in wet-blocking, if for no other reason than that I like to wash things after dragging them all over creation for several weeks, in the sand and the dog hair and whatnot. When I do wash it, I’ll take care not to stretch it and flatten the waves.
Bonus neck upgrade!
The WS is no slouch at undulating, either.