I used to think that creativity meant starting with nothing and making it into something, like having a blank canvas and creating a beautiful painting or starting with nothing but a blob of clay and sculpting it into a masterpiece. I know now that artists don’t start with nothing; even if they are just starting with ideas or what they’ve seen and experienced before, that is something.
Knowing this has allowed me to learn that I am creative. I can take what I know, what I’ve seen, what I’ve experienced and combine those elements to come up with a new combination.
Here are the different elements that I’ve combined to come up with my two-strand cowl.
First, I considered the enthusiasm Ross from the Smells Like Yarn pod/video-cast has for a stitch pattern I created. He first mentions my wavy checkerboard stitch pattern here (at 4:50),and he confesses that he can’t get enough of it here (at 9:38) and is obsessed with it here (at 9:25).
All the love has inspired me to see what besides washcloths, towels, and baby blankets may work in the wavy checkerboard stitch pattern. Ross created a scarf (at 8:00) using the stitch pattern and I thought I’d try a cowl.
For my first attempt at a wavy checkerboard cowl, I used a variety of Caron Simply Soft colorways I had left over from a baby blanket. I knit one cowl in 6 different colors (from cream to tan and coral to mint), and then I knit up another in 3 different blueish colorways Both turned out super-cute.
I took the number of stitches and needle size from Wilson’s cowl pattern. I changed the number of stitches to be divisible by 3 (which is what I needed for my stitch pattern). Finally, I cast on and knit like a fiend.
The cast off of on my single strand cowl turned out a little tight even though I used larger needles, so I tried the twisted cast off. Though a great technique, the twisted cast off wasn’t working well for my cowl, so I decided to go with this stretchy pass over bind off. This worked a little better.
In short, I took some inspiration, did some trial and error, used info from a published pattern, grabbed a technique from a video, and my two stranded, somewhat bulky cowl is done.
If I write up this pattern, I’m going to need a name. I could go with Wavy Checkerboard Cowl, but I thought something snazzy would be more fun. Any ideas you’d like to share? Please put them in the comment box below.
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