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23 Comments
  • I have *never* knit a Honey Cowl. I know. I must be the only knitter in the universe to not have knit one (or to have knit Colour Affection, but I digress).
    I usually try the “very careful” method with lots of success, but I’m thinking that with 260 sts on the needles that joining after a couple round is a master stroke. Thanks for the tip.

  • I do love that two-tailed method of casting on a lot of stitches. It is genius! I learned it several years ago from the book When Bad Things Happen to Good Knitters: An Emergency Survival Guide by Marion Edmonds and Ahza Moore. After trying it, I was so excited! I have shown it to many knitter friends and students. I still love it. It makes knitters happy!

  • These are fantastic tips! Thanks so much.

  • Good stuff.

  • I especially love that last picture 🙂 and let me be the first to ask: what is that pullover?
    The Very Careful approach is my usual method, but for this pattern I’d do that straight back and forth and let the curly edge be extra-helpful.
    A while ago I tried a cast-on that uses the live yarn. I leave just enough to thread a needle and weave in. I tried the CO once, and since then, have used it for almost every project. Can I put a YT link here? Let’s see:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTIBTm0QL6A

  • I love these hints. I have been using the knit straight for a few rounds and sew up later since one of my cowls became a möbius cowl because of the twisting. I will put the long tail hint into my memory box. Your website is a life saver.

  • Just finished Honey Cowl #7. And yep…ran out out of yarn at the bind off. Now I know how to avoid that. Thanks.

  • Tip #1 – I’m not much of a gambler so I use a cable cast-on and never have to worry about running out of yarn before I get all my stitches on the needle. It makes a lovely smooth edge.

    Tip #2 – After knitting one row and then arranging the stitches on a flat surface I attach little clothespin type clips all along the cable to keep those bad boys from twisting when I pick up my work to start knitting. Works like a charm.

    • Good idea!

  • Brilliant! I love the long tail cast-on tip especially. I usually wind my yarn around the needle 10 times, measure that length and then, using that length as a measure, fold the yarn counting 10-20-30 etc. until I reach my stitch number and then add a safety length for insurance. It works but with huge numbers I think your way sounds fail safe.

  • Apparently you have succeeded in persuading just about everyone to make a Honey Cowl; there are 22,480 projects on Ravelry as of today. And of course I just downloaded the pattern and began looking through my stash…

  • Did comments get lost in the transfer from ye olde website-e? I’m pretty sure I gave my two cents when this was first posted (whenever the heck that was), but there are (of course) more estimation techniques knitters can use for guessing the length of yarn needed for a long tail cast-on.

    One is to wrap the yarn around your 2 needles held together. Count 1 wrap per 1 stitch needed in the cast on. (Though it may not be super fun to count 200 wraps.)

    Another is to estimate that you’ll need about 3x the length of yarn for the long tail relative to the expected length of the completed cast-on edge. So if you expect the honey cowl to be 40″ around, then you’d need about 120″ of tail.

    PLUS Annie Modesitt’s separate-length-of-yarn-for-long-tail suggestion can be a back-up option. If your estimation skills have you running short on yarn, THEN add an extra length for the tail and cast on from there. Bam! That way you have the 2 additional ends to weave only if you estimated wrong.

  • great tips… I’m going to try a Honey Cowl
    Your daughter is just beautiful

  • I also love the technique mentioned for long tail cast on but I would add one more thing to it. When I first tried it I didn’t work in the extra 2 ends from the slip knit as soon as possible, and then got very confused as to which side of my knitting was which! I don’t remember what the pattern was (probably involved stripes or short rows, or something visually somewhat complicated) So if you are used to seeing just one yarn end hanging down to mark the beginning of a round or a row, certain patterns will be confusing if both edges have ends. Clearly I should have realized this right away and worked in the extra ends, but instead I gave up on using this technique. So I appreciate the reminder and now will be using it a lot more.

  • I use the ” be vewwy vewwy careful” method, lol. I will have to put a honey cowl on my vewwy vewwy long “things-to-knit” list. 🙂

  • Ahh, the Honey Cowl. My knitting pattern love. Right after socks.

  • Honey cowl is the only perfect cowl.

  • And that is a PERFECT honey cowl. Is that a size 5 needle with sport weight? Such drape!

  • Knitting a honey cowl now, however, I wasn’t vewwy, vewwy careful and it twisted. 🙁 I chose to leave it in and knit a moebius honey cowl. Did I break some kind of rule?

  • Great tips! I do have a question for Kay. When I knit my Honey Cowl I ended up with what looks like a seam at the beginning of the round as I go from the plain row to the patterned row.
    Is there any way to avoid that?

  • Some questions:

    1) Kay, do you have a favorite, favorite yarn for your Koney Cowls?

    2) Do you block them after knitting?

  • These are great tips! But-my honey cowl stalled two years ago when I realized I had made a mistake two or three rows back. I does anyone have tips for getting back to the problem to fix it? I couldn’t face tinking hundreds of stitches. I’d love to finish it.

  • Wonderful! Thanks so much.

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