Encompass Cowl, Finished

I finished the Encompass cowl, which has been part of my get-ready-for-autumn annual knitting jag.

Although I’ve blogged this project all along, I’ll re-cap:

When the Yarn Harlot posted photos of this pattern, I wasted no time in downloading it from Ravelry, thinking I’d make a number of these for Christmas.  I still plan to give away this one, and its not-yet-knit siblings, but I’m not sure whether they’ll be done for this Christmas or the next.  Regardless, it’s good to have handknits ready to go in the gift box for whenever they’re needed.

At my next opportunity, I stopped in at my LYS, where I picked up Cascade 220 Paints in three different colorways (this one is Emerald).  It’s not the chunky weight that’s called for in the pattern, but I liked it so much that I decided to use it.

After swatching and doing knitting math, I determined that the three skeins I’d purchased would be sufficient, if a bit close.  I cast on the 240 stitches I calculated I’d need to get a 60-inch cowl.  Of course, with 240 stitches, the admonishment, “Join, being careful not to twist,” simply made me giggle.  So, I decided to add an inch of ribbing and work that flat before joining in the round.

I like working flat when I begin a large project such as this, and I also like the finished look it provides.  What I hadn’t counted on was that the two added inches of ribbing would leave me that much too short on yarn.  With three rows to go (plus the second ribbing edge), I was about out of yarn.  I had two choices:  Rip out the ribbing on the first side, or check to see whether my LYS had a rescue skein somewhere.

I was overjoyed when I found out my LYS had one more skein of the same dye lot.  (Not that I’m getting cocky with the knitting gods.  I am, after all, working an intarsia hat right now, and I need all the divine help I can get).  I was able to finish the cowl and add that to my giftable pile.

Overall, I loved the pattern and the yarn.  The pattern is easy — perfect for taking to knit meetup or for Family Movie Night.  It looks a lot more complicated than it is, which is how I like my knitting.  The yarn is soft and cushy and knits up well, so I’ll definitely keep using it.

My only issue going forward is that I don’t have quite enough yarn to knit the other two cowls with the ribbing, like I want to.  I think what I’ll do is check out one of my stitch dictionaries and consider other reversible stitches (just for variety), and then swatch some up. If I make the “checkerboard” squares a bit smaller, I should be able to make a slightly narrower cowl, which will give me a bit of breathing room for ribbing.

For right now, though, I’m going to set aside the cowl work.  I’m very close to finishing the St. Brigid sweater, I need to finish Peter’s hat, I need to turn back to Chris’s long-neglected sweater, and also begin designing my next Aran.  But I will come back to the cowls.  They’re too much fun, and turn out too well, to not knit them.

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