Long-ways Garter Cowl

Garter stitch is probably the first invention in knitting, and is also one of it’s timeless best. The hypnotic rhythm of working it, the delicious fabric it makes, the cool fact it comes out square (stitches x rows) the timeless garments: witness Sally Melville’s “Einstein Coat”, anything Elizabeth Zimmerman, Jared Flood’s homages.

This is one of my favorite things to make. It’s an overly long scarf knit lengthwise, which can be worn as is, or it can be seamed at the ends or twisted before seaming for an infinity cowl. The fun is in choosing the yarns. I start with a variegated then pick out other small amounts of different yarns that blend. I adore Mohair and love it in this as an add in.  You can use yarns of any weight really, just balance them out: if they’re thin, hold two or more strands together, if worsted, use alone or together with a finer weight.

This cowl started with Noro “Blossom” and has Bergere de France “Alpaga”, Reynolds “Cricket”, Feza “Kid Mohair” and Plymouth
“Galway”.

US#15 circular needle  Approximately 800-1,000 yards. yarn. The point of this garment is to be open, loose & drapey. Casting-on & binding-off have to be loose and stretchy. Tip: Cast-on to a US 17 needle, commence working with the Us15, then use the US 17 when you bind-off.

Loosely cast on 130-ish stitches. For a scarf, leave 8-10″ long tails each time you tie in new yarn(s), for fringe. For the cowl, I carried the yarns up the side, twisting loosely, so as not to have ends to weave in.

Knit every stitch, every row. Change yarns as you wish. Use one combination for 4 rows, another combo for 6 rows, yet another combo for 2 rows, then a new combo for 8 rows. Change the number of rows you work as you see fit. Work to approximately 9″, or desired width. To finish, I twisted the scarf, abutted the edges up against one another, and loosely wove back and forth between them to sew together, rather than having a seam one gets with, say, mattress stitch.

A version of this was a very popular project in a LYS where I worked.  My friend Jo Ann’s advice was to put all the yarns in a bag, then just reach in and pull out two (or more) and start knitting with them!

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2 thoughts on “Long-ways Garter Cowl

  1. I would love to make this cowl. Do you have instruction? I am new at knitting. Just started .

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