Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sallah Cowl

It's been a busy couple weeks for designs recently, and I'm still catching my breath.  But I wanted to talk a little bit about my design in last week's Knitty, the Sallah Cowl!

(all photos are copyright Bristol Ivy and star the lovely Dana, who was kind enough to do an early morning photoshoot with me on my birthday in August!)

Sallah was designed with a couple key features in mind: I wanted it to be a one skein project, and I wanted it to use variegated yarn.  I knew (from personal experience!) that single skeins of hand-dyed variegated sock yarn are incredibly tempting in yarn stores, but (also from personal experience) they can sit around for a while, waiting for the perfect project that will utilize their gorgeous colors without creating a muddy mess.  Combine those needs with an amazing stitch pattern that a German visitor to my local LYS showed me, and I knew I had a good combination! My super wonderful mom knit the original sample for me, and did an absolutely marvelous job.  Thanks, mom!

(we shot these behind the big barn at Gilsland Farms, one of the local Audobon locations, and one of my favorite places for a shoot.  It's also where I shot Telemetry and my own photos for Winnowing!)

Sallah is knit on the bias, which also helps move the variegation around even further and aids in preventing pooling.  However, this has led to a few questions from knitters, so I thought I'd go over a couple points here.

The first concerns the measurement point after completing the increases and starting the body.  The pattern indicates to measure along the left edge, but with a fabric made of ribbing and an odd shape, where exactly is that? Here's a quick diagram to help illustrate.

The bottom point is your cast on, and the top point is your bind off.  You're aiming for a parallelogram! (Thanks, mom and 6th grade geometry!) Keep in mind, too, that you'll measure that left edge unstretched--this comes into play with the question below.  Another note is that row gauge is pretty critical to this project (as all measurements are based on it), so make sure you're keeping careful note.

This second question concerns the cowl length before seaming; the final measurements are 22" in circumference, but you will start the decreases at 17" in length along the left edge (what we were talking about above!), creating a finished product 17" in circumference.  So where do those extra five inches come from?

Well, ribbing is stretchy.  And Sallah is knit on the bias.  When you combine those two things, you will add both length and height during the blocking process, when you'll stretch the whole project out to match the pattern dimensions.  Just give it a try--trust me!

Lastly, Sallah is almost completely customizable to whatever length you'd like! There are a couple bits of math to keep in mind, and it's necessary to have a scale for this part.
Step 1: weigh your ball of yarn before starting.
Step 2: weigh your ball of yarn after performing the increases.  Note this amount--you will need the same for your decreases.
Step 3: calculate an amount for your I-cord edging.  We reserved about 20g for the I-cord on the original cowl, for a 22" circumference, so proceed accordingly.
Step 4: Add the amount of yarn used for your increases together with the amount needed for your I-cord.  You can now knit on the body of the cowl until this amount of yarn remains! It may involved some complicated algebra to make sure that the changing circumference and the changing I-cord amounts meet up (algebra was 8th grade for me), but it shouldn't be too bad.

I hope this helps with your Sallah experience; it's been so much fun for me to see all the projects popping up on Ravelry so far.  I can't wait to see more!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bits and Pieces

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the Bristol edition of Reader's Digest?
  • Did you see that the Kit Camisole is now available for sale on Ravelry? It is!
  • Did you see that the Tideline Cowl from Cecily's wonderful book, Landing, is now available for sale individually on Ravelry? Well, it is, too!
  • Did you see I'm teaching my wet felted vessels class at the Portland Fiber Gallery next weekend? I am!
  • Have I yet talked about KnitEast 2013, where I'll be teaching my shawl design class, my picots, pleats and welts class, and my Bristol's Cowl, among such unbelievable company as Ann Budd, Mary Jane Mucklestone, and the Yarn Harlot? I can't wait for September!
  • Did I mention that I finished the first lingering deadline project last week, and officially ran out of yarn on my second deadline project last night, so I can knit whatever I want until more yarn arrives? I did!
  • Did I mention my big brother is moving cross country on Monday? He is*! 
What exciting things are happening in your life these days?

*(Knitters of the world, he has with him a black and blue marled beanie that I knit for him a few Christmases ago.  If you see that hat on that guy as he makes his way across the country, be nice to him and steer him to whatever awesome donut or beer place is nearby.  I'll appreciate it more than I can say.)