School has been in session for a month now and getting in crochet time gets a little more difficult. However, I never seem to miss a day, even if it’s just to grab a stitch or two.
At crochet class a couple of weeks ago, Linda arrived with her weekly “Show and Tell” sleigh, filled with yarns and finished projects to tempt the weak among us to buy. I haven’t been buying a lot lately because I do have some pretty fabulous items in my stash. Plus, I’m participating in the Neighborhood Fiber Company’s Innerloop Accessories Club, providing me with some beautiful hand-dyed yarns. However, this particular week, Linda had some Plymouth Yarn Cottonation and that was all it took!
Cottonation is a worsted weight cotton tape, a type of yarn I typically don’t gravitate toward. In this case, the colors were enticing and the feel of the resulting fabric was soft and comfortable. Instantly I knew what I wanted to do with it.
At my LYS, a certain cowl pattern has proven to be a reliable repeat when models are made for the store. However, it’s knit, not crochet. Cue the challenge….create a version that mimics the qualities of this very popular cowl, one that’s accessible to most of the students in my class, and one that might draw more attention to crochet in the store. After a couple of days of thinking, researching and experimenting, I had my crochet version. The “Touch of Fall” cowl was born!
I’m especially in love with the varying textures, alternating between openwork and denser construction, and how the colors of the yarn are highlighted by these variations. I incorporated a couple of interesting techniques to get the resulting fabric. The openwork is a row of 1 double crochet, followed by a chain-1 space.
The photo above shows the horizontal ridge of loops in the midst of the solid construction. I used a stitch called the “ribbed half double crochet”. While this cowl is worked in the round without turning for each row, to work the ribbed hdc, the half double crochet stitch must be worked on the wrong side of the fabric (see the photo below). After the initial yarnover, the hook is inserted into the loop that sits immediately under the top loop. If you’d like to see more of this wonderful stitch pattern and how to work it, visit this blog post by Little Monkeys Crochet.
As with most patterns, yarn substitutions will work. Be sure when you do, pick a yarn of similar weight and one that has a tight twist with little halo. That way you’ll still be able to see stitch and pattern definition.
This cowl crochets up quickly and takes only one ball of Cottonation. The pattern is appropriate for advanced beginners and intermediate crocheters. You can find the pattern in my Ravelry store here. Crochet it for yourself or give it as a gift at Christmas time. And, don’t forget to post pictures of your finished project on Ravelry – can’t wait to see what you do with it!