It’s super hot up here this holiday week. We are all gently stewing, and eating only cold foods. Perfect time to knit up a woolly cowl-poncho, am I right?
Having had previous experience with a similar criss-cross doodly-doo stitch pattern, I was excited to take Julia Farwell-Clay’s Sea Breeze Cowl-Poncho out for a spin, even though I do not yet have the recommended yarn, a divinely wearable wool/cotton blend called Sweater, by Spud & Chloë.
Here was the mise-en-place for my experiments:
Yes, those are Euroflax Mini Skeins on the left. What? I know that linen can be fiddly, and that the criss-cross doodly-doo maneuver used in the Sea Breeze Cowl-Poncho is a little fiddly, but Sara Remington’s lush, beachy photographs make me long to try making my own summery Sea Breeze using my favorite summer fiber, Euroflax linen. I’ll tell you how that comes out. I’m thinking: big needle, lots of holes. More Sea Breeze, less Cowl-Poncho.
Meanwhile, I cast on a terrier-sized Cowl-Poncho, 96 stitches, in Elemental Affects Cormo Worsted, and gave the criss-cross doodly-doo a whirl.
It’s so fun! The criss-cross takes place in two steps: Round 1, you triple-wrap groups of 10 stitches. Round 2, you unfurl those triple wraps, creating super-baggy, elongated stitches, which you then criss-cross, as if they were cables (but without the need for a cable needle).
Easy—but mechanical. Round 2 is not very rhythmic; it’s more like construction. But after that one round, you get a nice long session of plain stockinette in the round.
So, notwithstanding the criss-cross doodly-doo, I’m certifying the Sea Breeze Cowl-Poncho as a convenient travel-knitting project.
Heads Up, Here Is a Tip
One thing I learned: it’s important, when crissing the cross, to keep the elongated stitches in the correct order as you move them. Otherwise, you get this:
Unauthorized criss-crosses within the regulation criss-cross.
I did this only once, right out of the gate, and then quickly got the hang. This is what you want:
A well-behaved, butter-wouldn’t-melt criss-cross. The idea here: Parallel stitches.
I did not consider it necessary to go back and do-over my doodly-doo. (This is a practice Cowl-Poncho. Also: it’s for a terrier.)
I’d be interested to know if people think I’m mad to try knitting this pattern in linen. I’m thinking about the drape and the swing, and the nice feel of linen in summer. Maybe the heat has gotten to me.
I can attest, with 100 percent certainty, that the Sea Breeze Cowl-Poncho works up a treat in Elemental Affects’s lush, bouncy worsted-weight Cormo.