A combination of yarn color and a lace stitch pattern inspired me to design the Flames Cowl, and since Breast Cancer Awareness Month was coming up, I decided to dedicate this design to people fighting breast cancer and those who love them.
I started the design by looking through lace pattern stitch guides, and when I saw the Flickering Flames stitch pattern, I knew it was the one. I had used this pattern before in a scarf, and I remembered it being easy to memorize, which for me is key when knitting lace.
The stitch pattern was written for flat knitting, though, not knitting in the round, which is what I wanted to do. It can't be that hard, I thought. WRONG! I swatched it with Malabrigo Worsted in Shocking Pink, and it turned out beautifully. Yay!
So I cast on and started knitting. The first 8 rows were great, but when I got to row 9, everything fell apart. In the flat chart, there were two extra stitches, one at the beginning and one at the end, which aren't necessary when you're knitting in the round. I thought I could take these out and merrily knit along. Yeah, no. My columns of flames weren't lining up, and I was flummoxed.
I kept at it, though, because I knew where the stitches needed to fall in order to line up my flames. I finally got it to work, but I couldn't figure out how to rewrite the chart for you all.
I decided to call in the experts. I posted in a Facebook group I belong to, that's full of amazing lace knitters. Much to my delight, Andrea Jurgrau answered me and helped me make a new chart. I worked with Andrea at Interweave, and I was thrilled to do so again.
Between the two of us, we figured out that the start of row (SOR) needed to shift either one or two stitches to the left on the odd numbered rows, starting with row 9.
It sounds WAY more complicated than it is—this lace pattern is so easy to read, and I promise you'll quickly know instantly when to move your marker. To change the SOR, simply remove your marker, knit one or two stitches according to the directions, and replace the marker.
One tip, though: Make sure your SOR marker doesn't slip under the yarn overs are the ends of rows 1, 3, 5, and 7. This happened to me, and I switched from a round rubber marker to one that had a bead on it so that it hung down a bit on my knitting and didn't want to skootch under that yarn over.
Knit cowls are such great projects. They're quick, cute, and useful. I love trying out new stitch patterns on smaller projects, and cowls really fit the bill.
I hope you'll try this knit cowl pattern. It's a quick knit—just three repeats of the Flames Chart—and it that makes a perfect gift! Malabrigo Worsted is so soft, if you do knit this for someone battling breast cancer (or any battle!), it will be comforting, and the hot pink is really cheerful. Plus, this is a 1-skein pattern. What could be better?
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