Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Big herringbone cowl from Purl Soho

It started like this, on Tim's gorgeous houseboat in Seattle.. 
Then there were some rainy evenings while I was volunteering in Cozumel.. 
 After which we went to gorgeous Tulum!
 And I finally got to wear it (unblocked) in Italy :)
 And now it's blocked and I'm home in gloomy Rotterdam..
Sorry for the dark pic, there is no sunlight whatsoever here this week..
I've been wanting to knit the Big Herringbone Cowl from Purl Soho for a really long time now. Two years ago we travelled to Patagonia, Chili and stayed in an old sheep slaughterhouse (it had been renovated into a gorgeous hotel, so don't worry!). There I bought wool to make this cowl, but since I was just getting into knitting again, I had no idea about wool weights and stuff.. After some research I figured out that if I held the yarn double it would be about the same weight as the worsted suggested yarn. Let me tell you that knitting with yarn held double is not a good idea for a herringbone stitch. I just couldn't figure it out! 

So 2 years later when I spotted the Shibui Knits merino alpaca at Knit Purl in Portland I knew I had found my perfect yarn!

I love that this yarn is really squishy and soft, but still firm enough to keep its texture. It also really shows off the stitches. I cast on the same nr of stitches as suggested, I knit it on size 15/10 mm needles, so a bit smaller then suggested. Therefore my cowl is about 3-4 inches shorter then the one from Purl Soho, but for me that's long enough! It is 10 inches wide and I used about 3.5 skeins for it. 
Just for an idea of the length
I changed one thing from the pattern, following the suggestions on Ravelry (don't know where I found it excactly..) which is if you want to keep the seam straight (yes please) that you have to place the stitch marker after the last stitch on every knit through back loop row and before the last stitch on every knit row. 
Nice and straight
I was able to correct small mistakes (quite difficult with the stitch pattern) but one evening I made a large mistake after drinking some red wine/watching lotr/just not paying attention. 
I tried to fix it, but ended up ripping back about 6 rows after putting in a lifeline. I think it has something to do with all the stitches being knit twice, that you can't get a smooth transition (with the old stitches) once you've re-knitted them. 
Fixing it didn't work
This cowl really benefits from a blocking, before blocking it was really curly and almost completely bunched up. After blocking it feels softer and it doesn't really have the curling tendency anymore, yay!
Milo felt like he should help with the blocking, so one morning I came downstairs to find this.. 
Thanks Milo!
Luckily it wasn't super bad so I could gently ease them back in their normal place..

Our trip was amazing, Burning Man was really special, Mexico was awesome and I especially liked all the cool yarn shops in Portland! I bought myself some presents for in my new sewing room from Fringe Association and they're being framed right now :)

There was also lots of shopping in The Fabric Store in Los Angeles, but I'll save that for another post..
I loved reading all of the new blogposts during our trip, although commenting was quite difficult without a laptop.  So I'm sorry for the silence, but I have been posting on Instagram quite often! And I'm hoping to comment more now that everything is back to normal.. 

Are you knitting/sewing a lot for the christmas deadline? I know I am, just started a silk kimono for my granddad yesterday, wish me luck!


  1. This herringbone stitch pattern is amazing - love it! I "need" to make one! Does the world tour come with the pattern ? ... cause I want that too ;)

  2. I love this! Must add it to my never ending queue!

  3. Looks lovely! The Fabric Store is great, isn't it! I went to the one in Sydney and Melbourne while on holiday a couple of weeks ago, lots of beautiful silks and merinos!

  4. Ahhh, this is so pretty! And wow, it's traveled way more than I have! :D

  5. Its an awesome stitch indeed Sasha! How awesome would it be if a pattern came with a holiday :)

  6. Haha thanks! I know the feeling, my to do list is super long too..

  7. Thanks Anne-Rose! Did you get a lot of gorgeous fabrics? I found it soo hard to choose!

  8. Just started this and am petrified I will make a mistake. Did a lifeline work and how hard was it to put in with this stitch? Your cowl looks beautiful!

  9. Hi Lisa! The lifeline worked very good and was very easy to put in, you see it a little bit, but the part where you join it together is a little bit messy anyways! How is it working out for you?

  10. Thank for the reply! I haven't done the lifeline yet and am about halfway done. I've made two small mistakes that I think/hope are not noticeable, I was able to sort of figure out the unknitting. Love this pattern despite how confusing it is to unknit.

  11. Wow you're a fast knitter then!