a pattern // simple chunky lace cowl

this is such a simple project and the 'lace' is so basic that you can pick it up and put it down again whenever you want without fearing you'll lose track of where you are. i've even included some additional help with working out where you're up to and directions on how to graft garter stitch, just check out the bottom of the post.

it's also easily adjustable... make it longer or wider or knit it as a scarf instead of a cowl. you could also change the look by increasing or decreasing the garter stitch sections between the lace or even inserting the lace at random intervals.

the pattern

i used 9mm needles and marta's yarns retro wool 12ply/aran in lemon dust.

cast on 17 stitches with waste yarn and knit a few rows.
(if you're altering the width, make sure you cast on an uneven number of stitches or the lace repeat won't work).

rows 1-8: join your project yarn and knit in garter stitch
(i like to catch the tail and knit it into the first row for three or four stitches so i don't have to weave it in later).

row 9: knit 1, [yarn over, knit 2 together] repeating the section in brackets till the end of the row.
(this gives you a 'front' facing lace row).

rows 10-19: knit in garter stitch.

row 20: k1, [yo, k2tog]
(this gives you a 'back' facing lace row).

repeat rows 10-20 until you're nearly all out of yarn
(or it's as long as you would like) and you've just completed a back facing lace row.

final row: knit to the end of the row.

to finish: unravel the waste yarn, pick up your 17 row 1 stitches, graft your two ends together and weave in your tail.

grafting help

grafting can seem a little tricky at first, but once you understand the steps and get into the rhythm it's actually easier than you think!

each finished 'knitted stitch' is produced by processing the four stitches closest to the ends of both needles in a particular order and direction. starting with the two stitches on the front needle and moving on to the two stitches on the back as numbered below. stitch 1 and 3 are slipped off the needle once they've been processed and you move along to the next group of four and repeat.
strangely enough, the grafting process actually creates the second half of a stitch first, followed by the first half of the next stitch. because of this little anomaly, you need to do a one time only step right at the beginning to create the first half of your first stitch.

don't stress if the theory is all a bit confusing, i've laid out the steps below. the once off starting steps are indicated with grey circled numbers and the repeating graft pattern steps are green.

to start off (grey circled numbers)

1 // pass your needle through stitch 1 purlwise

2 // pass your needle through stitch 3 purlwise

now into the repeating pattern (green circled numbers)

1 // pass your needle through stitch 1 knitwise and slip

2 // pass your needle through stitch 2 purlwise (don't slip)

3 // pass your needle through stitch 3 knitwise and slip

4 // pass your needle through stitch 4 purlwise (don't slip)

repeat steps 1 to 4 until you're all done.

a few final hints...

i find it easy to chant the steps in my head as i'm going... knit, slip, purl... knit, slip purl etc. etc.

because it's almost impossible to tell where you're up to as you work these steps, it helps to make sure you've completed all four steps of the pattern if you need to put your work down (to help your toddler make playdough for example!)

you'll most likely need to adjust the tension of your grafted row to match the knitted rows either side of it. i find keeping my finger between the needles gives me a nice loose row that's much easier to tighten up than trying to fiddle around loosening a too tight row.

i'm playing along with everyone at my creative space.
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