Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Katniss Cowl

My friend Holly found this pattern on Pinterest and saved it to our Crochet Clothes board because she knew I would love it!  I found it moments later and tried to pin it myself and was told it was already saved!  She knows me so well. :)

I went straight to the blog post to check out the pattern.  Then of course I needed to find it on Ravelry!  I was so excited to start this project!!!  But I couldn't, because I need to be better about finishing projects before I start new ones.  So I decided I had to complete the Spring Comfort Throw first!  This didn't stop me from purchasing the materials!  I had to be ready to start as soon as the throw was complete.  Then I changed my mind... You know, because I just couldn't wait to have my AWESOME COWL!!!

So, the original was made with Bernat Collegiate Chunky yarn.  Of course, it's discontinued.  This was a little worrisome because when I've tried to substitute yarns in other projects I don't get the same quality, or the same look as the original.  But I've been learning!  I found which was very informative about how different aspects of a yarn make it similar to others.  Of course, they didn't have the Collegiate Chunky in their search engine.  So I went back to Ravelry because that's my goto site for everything!  I found the page for the Bernat yarn and looked at the weight and the gauge.  This was my first time using the gauge to find a substitute, so I still wasn't sure if it was going to be perfect.

I found so many yarns by searching Ravelry for a Super Bulky yarn with a 10-12 stitch per 4 inch gauge.  I made my list and headed off to Michaels since it's the closest to my route home from work.  They did carry a few of the yarns on my list, but the color selection for size 6 was lacking.  I ended up at A.C. Moore, which was a little farther away, but they have quadruple the selection.  I didn't really look for the yarns on the list I had, but I found the Stitch Studio by Nicole Belle yarn that was size 6.  I pulled up Ravelry on my phone and it turns out they have the same gauge!  11 stitches in 4 inches!  I was so excited!  AND, the yarn comes in skeins of 263 yards!  Since I need 600 yards just for the cowl I bought 3 figuring that I could just make some awesome leg warmers or other accessories to match.

As I've mentioned before, I really love variegated yarns, but this pattern uses some really cool stitches that I didn't want hidden by a busy yarn.  So I picked Steel Grey because I thought the original looked nice done in grey. (I don't think the picture truly shows the color correctly. Wrong lighting.)

I stressed a little bit about getting the size just right.  The pattern doesn't give an exact chain length to start with, just to make it about 65 inches then slip-stitch to the beginning.  She said this would be a good length for most people, but she looks little in the picture, and I have wide shoulders.  I made my starting chain 65 inches, but when I wrapped it around myself I was concerned about the length, so I think I made mine closer to 70 inches.  She even says that after you do the first row of front and back post double crochet stitches the original chain shrinks in length.  This is true.  I recommend making your chain, the first row of double crochet and the first row of post stitches then trying it on to make sure it's going to be the right length.  I didn't count it at first, but I went back and counted my original chain to give you an idea of where to start.  I was also concerned about the even or odd count since the post stitches are alternating and I really like when things are even and symmetrical.  My original chain was 150.

I absolutely LOVE how these stitches work together!

In the end, I realize that I made my cowl longer than the original, so I kept trying it on throughout to make sure it was looking good.  There were times I was concerned about the length and I thought I should have listened to her and made mine smaller.

I read some other blogs about this same project to see what others did.  Humming for Promise posted about her Katniss Cowl as did This and That.  Reading their posts along with the original helped to make decisions about length and height.  I didn't do the second repeat of rows 2-10 which create the columns and stripes.  I felt like my creation was plenty tall enough for me and any extra rows would just be too much.  I actually went out and bought a 4th skein on yarn because I thought I was going to run out, especially since mine is longer, but I didn't need it.

Here are some pictures of my first attempt.  Please excuse my wet hair :)

Wrapped around twice.

Worn like a hood.

Worn like Katniss.  Not my favorite look.
I probably won't wear it like this often.

I will be making myself another that follows the directions exactly.  Hopefully it has the fit I prefer.  I'll post new photos when it's done.

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