Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Work in progress: crochet cowl/wrap

In the Hunger Games: Catching Fire film Katniss wears a very cool grey cowl/wrap. You can read an interview with the designer Maria Dora {here}. She describes it as involving a combination of knitting and crochet.

There are lots of Katniss cowl designs to be found on Ravelry, Etsy and Pinterest. Lots and lots. Like the Outlander knits, it's made friends and influenced lots of knitters and crocheters.

I'm playing with a crochet cowl/wrap version inspired by this, from The Friendly Red Fox, from Kali Dahle. It's one long loop, worn doubled. {Ravelry link, in case you'd like to favourite it there}


It's been interesting because I've had to learn a couple of new crochet stitches, and am practising these and another recently learned technique, the chainless foundation.

I started it with a chainless foundation (the pattern says chain then work stitches, but I wanted to play).

YouTube tutorial on chainless dc foundation (US dc, UK treble). Getting better at these. Keeping ease in the 'chain' loop so it all sits flat. You can do these with UK treble or UK double crochet, depending on how you want to start your piece.

The texture on the Friendly Red Fox cowl involves working around the 'post' of the stitches in the previous row, from front to front or back to back, instead of using the loop gap between stitches along the top of the previous row. This is a really cool technique.

YouTube tutorial on FPDC (front post double crochet) (US dc, UK treble)

YouTube tutorial on BPDC (back post double crochet) (US dc, UK treble)

And when you get cleverer still, you can put them together to create a basket weave stitch.

Craftsy tutorial on crochet basket weave stitch using FPDC and BPDC (US doc, UK treble). This is just pictures; I'd suggest looking at the two videos first.

What I'm noticing with these post stitches is that because it's just a double or treble being worked, it feels familiar to the hand, and I can get into a comfortable rhythm. Not having to count, just work familiar stitches. So it doesn't demand intense attention.

The wool I'm using is a rather luscious Aran merino which I acquired from another knitter who was destashing. Baruffa Merinos Otto {Ravelry link}. I'm using a 6mm Addi Swing hook. The original pattern uses bulkier yarn and a larger hook; but FRF also provides measurements, so if necessary I'll add a few more rows.

This very beautiful scrap yarn blanket from Keeping It Stepford uses the crochet basketweave stitch, and the Noro knitting magazine no 5, Fall/winter 2014 has a cowl and some other crochet items using PDC stitches. For now, I'm chugging around my cowl with lovely orange merino, but I see more PDC in my future...






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