Alpaca Direct Blog

Stretch Your Patterns: Make matching accessories!

Recently, Kelley did a Facebook Live broadcast where she presented ideas for stretching your patterns and turning them from scarves to cowls, cowls to mitts, and so forth, just by using the stitch patterns in the original patterns.

She used Christy Kamm's ZickZack Scarf pattern as an example, using the stitch pattern to make a matching cowl.

Isn't ZickZack a gorgeous pattern? It's knit with Mille Colori Baby (or Mille Colori Baby Luxe if you want a little sparkle!). We love this yarn—it comes in lots of beautiful colorways and it's perfect for striped projects like ZickZack.

To turn ZickZack into a cowl, Kelley simply took a close look at the stitch pattern used for the scarf. The scarf is knit flat with 12-stitch repeat, K5, k2tog, k4, kfb. This is repeated across the front and the back, so the scarf is a knit by repeating the same row over and over, resulting in a garter-stitch zigzag pattern. To make her matching cowl, Kelley needed to take a gauge measurement to see how many repeats she needed to get the size cowl she wanted.

Kelley's gauge was 8 stitches per inch, and she wanted an 18-inch circumference cowl. To get the number of stitches to cast on, she multiplied the gauge by the circumference (8 x 18) and got 144 stitches—perfect for the 12-stitch repeat of the ZickZack pattern!

Kelley also wanted to knit her cowl in the round, so that required a little more fiddling, but nothing too complicated! When you're knitting in the round, you're always knitting the right side of the project, so Kelley had to add another row to the pattern to account for the wrong side row when knitting the scarf back and forth.

The way to make this stitch pattern work in the round is to knit the opposite stitches every other row, so for this stitch pattern, you need to knit on round 1 and purl on round 2. This gives you the garter-stitch pattern that matches the scarf.

Here's Kelley's cowl pattern:

ZickZack Cowl

Yarn: Mille Colori Baby or Mille Colori Baby Luxe, 1 ball of #50 (color A) and 1 ball of #53 (color B)

Needles: 36-inch US size 6, 7, 8, and 9

Pattern Notes: Start on size US 6 needles, and change to one size larger needles every 4 inches. This makes a capelet that will cover your shoulders.

Cast on 144 stitches.

Round 1: *K5, k2tog, k4, kfb* repeat from * to * around.

Round 2: *P5, p2tog, p4, pfb* repeat from * to * around.

Knit Rounds 1 and 2 with color A, drop A and knit Rounds 1 and 2 with color B.

Repeat until you have enough yarn left to bind-off.

Bind off loosely.

Kelley's ZickZack Scarf and Cowl and the colors of
Mille Colori Baby she used (#50 and #53)

One of the side effects of knitting the ZickZack stitch pattern in the round is that it skews to the left, as you can see in the photo above. Can that be fixed in blocking? We'll see. But even if it can't, the pattern is still beautiful, and the cowl will be, too.

Kelley is working on a matching set of mitts, too. She's doing the cuff in the ZickZack pattern, casting on 48 stitches. She'll finish off the mitts in stockinette stitch, adding a thumb opening and garter- or seed-stitch edging. So easy and cute. And you'll love how Mille Colori Baby looks in stockinette!

We really hope you'll try expanding your patterns to make matching accessories. As you can see, all it takes is a close look at the stitch pattern, a gauge measurement, and some simple math. You can do it!

Cheers,

P.S. Have you stretched a pattern to make a coordinating project? Leave a comment and tell us about it!

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