There’s a great cowl in the newest Noro magazine, which I’ve just knitted. The technique is so clever!.
The newest Noro magazine is issue 7 – you can see a preview of the designs on the NoroMagazine website, right here. The pattern is #16 and is called Braided Scarf. It’s supposed to be knit in Noro Silk Garden, but I’ve used Noro Kureopatora – since my yarn is a little lighter, I’ve also dropped the needle size. Mine came out a bit narrower than the one in the magazine – it’s 6 inches wide – but that’s okay by me.
The scarf is knitted with a picot edge on either side and crosswise slits – every so many rows, you cast off the middle stitches, then cast them on again in the next row. Like this, it reminds me of spinach pastries a local bakery made in our old neighbourhood – they slit the top of the pastry like this so it vented. 🙂
But then, here’s the cool bit. You pull the piece together a bit, turning those strips into loops, and link them together to make a braid down the middle of the cowl. Here it is after it’s braided:
Isn’t that brilliant? I keep braiding it and unbraiding it, just to see the magic happen.
I did a provisional cast on, and grafted the cowl into a loop when it was completed to avoid having a seam. I also wanted the braid to be continuous. The instructions say to braid the middle of the finished cowl, then tack down the last loop. I wanted it to hook around the first loop. The only way to do that (which I could see) was to break the loop, like this:
This is the cowl grafted together – you can see that the colours didn’t match up. (Boo. I had a knot in the ball, otherwise it might have come out perfectly.) I ended with the bright turquoise and had started with the ultramarine blue. The line where they meet is the line of the graft. The first loop, then, is turquoise on the bottom half and ultramarine on the top half. The loop before that, though, is broken. I did this by casting on the stitches in Row 5 of the pattern, then turning, leaving the last 15 stitches of that row on the other needle, unworked. I worked on the front part of the row through Row 11, then left it on the right needle after the cast-on stitches. I worked the intervening rows on those left stitches that had been waiting on me, then finished Row 11. At the end of that repeat (Row 12) I grafted the two edges together.
So, I had a broken loop. When I braided it all up, I tucked that loop around the first loop, then sewed it down from the back, as if it had been joined up all along. The finished braid looks like this:
No one can ever unbraid it again. 🙂
I’m very happy with this one. What do you think?