March KALFH #3: Arika Cowl

I can't tell you how many of these gorgeous cowls I saw when I was at Stitches West last month. There were such an array of sizes, colors, fringe length, etc., but every single one of them was beautiful. Made me a bit jealous that my sample was on display at my LYS rather than around my neck at the show! 

Arika Cowl by Jane Richmond

As you knit this cowl, I DARE you not to be all "it's too small, it's never going to look right, oh mannnnnn". 'Cuz I sure did! And then I blocked, and seamed, and fringe'd it and it just blossomed! 

Um... you're kinda on your own?!

Not much of a tutorial, eh?! I'm kidding... kind of! The beauty of this cowl, beyond the objective beauty of how it lays and it's coziness factor, is that it's actually quite easy to knit. It's the final construction that can trip folks up! 

There's not much to tell as far as the flat construction of the cowl. The shaping is quite unique but the schematics included in the pattern pretty much tell the tale. Knit the cowl flat, as per the pattern, and wet block it to the dimensions shown in the schematic.

One minor clarification!

The only clarification I can make has to do with the Abbreviations section. The instructions for sk2p should likely include that you should slip the stitch knitwise. So, for sk2p, read it as: sl 1 knit-wise, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over. 

Aaaaaaand... fast forward a few hours!

I'm going assume you've now finishing knitting your cowl and have blocked it and allowed it to dry?! Yes? Good! 

The seaming is the true magic of this project. I used a collection of removable markers and about 36-inches of project yarn to graft the flat project into the cowl shape.

With the RS facing, use a removable marker to clip the bottom stitch in each COLUMN of knit stitches (omit the purl columns) to one slipped edge stitch each. What you'll end up with is 18 removable markers clipped to 18 slipped edge stitches. This is the best way (in my opinion, of course) to ensure that you're seaming the correct number of stitches, and at a ratio that makes sense for the project. Obviously, you can remove the markers as you seam the project, otherwise they kind of get in the way.

Seam knitting in 2 different directions

Here are two resources for seaming a vertical knit edge to a horizontal knit edge (i.e.: your stitches were worked in different directions).

Annie's has a great pictorial that shows a static picture of your working yarn in and around the fixed edge: this creates an incredible, invisible seam between the two edges (click the image to be directed to the actual page with written instructions).

And, if you're like me and you prefer a video tutorial, here is the inestimable KnitPurlHunter with another gem of a video! In this video she references set in sleeves but is using two flat pieces - which is perfect since you've got two flat edges of the cowl to seam. Your ratio of picking up will be one knit stitch to one slipped edge stitch. Because we're omitting the purl stitches in the vertical columns, the stitch ratio works out. 

Here's the video:

Adding the Fringe

Fringe is pretty straight forward, right? Cut some lengths, and attach?! Yep, pretty much. For this project, I actually used a few more lengths than Jane's recommended, but that's just a function of having a difference row gauge. I cut my fringe to length per the pattern, and ended up using close to 100 yds to do it.

I attached a fringe (a fringe?! Is 'fringe' plural... if so, what's the singular of 'fringe'?) every 2nd slipped edge stitch. My very fringe was the botton point of the shawl (the triangular point) and then every other slipped edge stitch for the entire circumference of the shawl. I have seen some folks wear it with fringe JUST along the wide edge, or just to the shoulders (and none behind the neck/back) - it's truly up to you how much you want to fringe. 

Here's a great video from Very Pink Knits to show how to attach fringe (and cut it to length, if you're new to it. Jump ahead to 1:50 in the video to see the actual method of attaching the fringe. Tutorial:

Is that all there is?

Yep yep! Isn't it a fun one?! I'm pretty sure that by the end of the year I'll have more than one. It was a luxuriously quick knit, save the fringe-making. That took some time. But all in all, a relatively simple knit with stunning results. 

Keep in touch!

Thanks for knitting along with on this cowl! If you're on social media, feel free to tag #unapologeticknitter (or use @notsorryknitter on IG) so I can see your amazing creations!