Part 3: Blocking your knits, a must!

Welcome to Part 3 of our 1-Skein Zigzag Cowl KAL. Part 2 is here if you're just finding the KAL. I am incredibly sorry for the delay in this post but I had my trade show last weekend and it felt like the work was coming from every angle! It was poor planning on my part and I promise I won't let that kind of thing happen again in a knit along. Anywhoooo... let me explain the mysterious world of blocking!

blocking_1.jpg

Here's my happy little cowl fresh off the needles. It's pretty but it seems a little crinkly. 

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Oh, yeah! Way too crinkly to wear! I don't want to put that over my head. This is where blocking comes in to play. I know knitters that are terrified of blocking but let me assure you that it is not that bad and it is actually a necessary part of knitting! 

We know that our finished knitted cowl should look something like this: 

1-Skein Zigzag Cowl

See how it has a gentle drape? That's from blocking! And, I didn't do anything crazy either, no pins in this house!

For Ewe So Sporty merino wool yarn and any other natural fiber yarns such as cotton, wool, alpaca and so on, you can basically wet your finished garment and let it dry. This relaxes the stitches and makes them settle in to place. 

In the case of Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted and Ewe So Sporty yarns they can actually be thrown right in the washer but I don't always do that because sometimes I just have one or two items and a bowl in the kitchen uses a lot less water than a whole wash load! 

Ok, so let's block! 

What you need:

  1. A big kitchen bowl.
  2. Soak wash or other gentle leave-in wool wash.
  3. Warm water.
  4. Two towels.
  5. A flat surface.
  6. Patience!
blocking hand knits

Place your cowl in the bowl, add a squeeze of Soak and fill the bowl up with water. Let your cowl get wet. Leave it in there for about 15-30 minutes until it's good and saturated. 

Lay out a towel and place your cowl on it. Make sure it's straight-ish so there's not any weird folds.

blocking_4.jpg

Roll the towel up on itself. Make a big log roll and SQUEEZE and PRESS as you roll the cowl up inside. We're trying to get as much water out of the cowl as we can as gently as we can. 

blocking hand knits

SQUEEZE! 

Ok, now unroll your towel. Get a the fresh, dry towel and lay it out on  a flat surface. Gently move your cowl to the new towel and smooth out any wrinkles. Lay it flat and straight.

blocking hand knits

Now comes the most important part of blocking...patience. DON'T TOUCH IT. I mean it. Do not touch the cowl. Do not fiddle with it, don't stretch it, leave it alone. Let it dry until it is bone dry inside and out. Letting the cowl dry completely allows the fibers to lock in to their new positions. They have a new, knitted memory and they will be happy in their new home if you give them enough time to adjust to their surroundings. I promise! 

After proper blocking your cowl will look lovely, graceful and relaxed just like you when you're wearing it! 

Thank you for knitting along with me. I hope you were able to pick up a trick or two or at least had fun trying a new pattern. If you used our new Ewe So Sporty yarn I really hope you enjoyed it! Please send me pictures (heather at eweewe dot com) of your cowls or post them on Ravelry

Happy knitting! 
💗 Heather

Part 2: 1-Skein Zigzag Cowl KAL

1-skein Zigzag Cowl

How did the first 14 rows go for you? Isn't this a fun pattern to knit? I think it is. I love how each row shifts one stitch -- that makes me never want to put it down! But it gets better.

Part 1 is here if you need to catch up. In this second part of the 1-Skein Zigzag Cowl we are going to move the stitches back the other way with one simple change, instead of a k2tog we are going to SSK. 

I know that doesn't sound like a big deal but it's a magical secret knitting move. Decreasing with a k2tog makes stitches lean to the right but an SSK makes stitches dance to the left. See, like this!

k2tog_ssk.png

Pretty freaking cool, no? Yes! Totally cool.** 

**Nerdy knitting moment brought to you by Heather.

Ha. Ok, so let's get this moving to the left. Our first step is a YO and since it's right by the stitch marker be sure it stays on the left side of the marker. Try not to let it slip to the other side because it will mess up your pattern.

2_yoatbeg.jpg

Next we work an SSK which is shorthand for slip, slip, knit. I like to use this slightly modified SSK that I'll show you here. I think it lays a little flatter and looks a bit more refined. 

Step 1: Slip one stitch from the left needle to the right as if to KNIT.

slip as if to knit

Step 2: Slip one stitch from the left needle to the right as if to PURL.

slip as if to purl

Step 3: Put the lefthand needle through the front of the two slipped stitches and knit the two stitches together.

Knitting SSK

Ta-da! That's an SSK! And as you can see, the stitches are already starting to dance back to the left to make those pretty zigzags.

progress stitches

That's about all there is to it! I'll post again on Tuesday, April 29 with updates and progress photos. Plus, if anyone has any questions I'll post all the follow-up answers. Keep on knitting and please keep posting pictures with the hashtag #ZigzagKAL.

Follow along by checking eweewe.comInstagramRavelryFacebook and Twitter. Pretty much anywhere! Happy knitting! 

Welcome! 1-Skein Zigzag Cowl KAL Starts Now!

Spring has sprung and it's a great time to knit a lighter weight cowl so let's do it together! The new 1-Skein Zigzag Cowl is the perfect neck warmer size cowl to throw on to keep you just warm enough. Sometimes those spring days still have a little nip in the air and this lacy cowl will be a pretty addition to your wardrobe for days like that!

1-Skein Zigzag Cowl

So pretty! Grab your needles and Ewe So Sporty yarn. Go! Or if you haven't gotten your supplies yet, you can get the 1-Skein Zigzag Cowl on Ravelry. Use code: zigzag for a discount! Plus, choose your color of Ewe So Sporty merino yarn and find a Ewe Ewe yarn store near you with our handy map.

Let's cast on!

Cast on in the way you normally would. I use the long-tail cast on as my go-to. One little tip here is to add stitch markers as you are casting on. Try placing one every 25 stitches and this helps you easily keep track of your stitch count. I find it easier because there's always something to distract me... someone asks me a question, I get sucked in to a good TV show, I get a text message and suddenly it's a half hour later and I've made plans for Friday night?? Anyway, add some extra stitch markers, they make life so much easier!

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I keep one more spare marker to use for joining the cowl in the round. Notice how it's a little different than the others? I'll add this marker in the next step and then remove the other four markers as I knit around the first row of the pattern. 

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Knitting in the round is as simple as connecting the two ends of the cast on. Stretch your cast on stitches around your circular needle and make sure they're not twisted over the needle. Take the working yarn coming from the skein and knit in to the first stitch at the other end of the needle. For me, using a long-tail cast on I am knitting in to the first loop where I made the slipknot. Bam! Your knitting is connected and you're knitting in the round!

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Our first instruction tells us to knit 6 stitches then k2tog. Knitting two stitches together is as easy as it sounds. Just put your needle through two stitches instead of one. They'll combine and decrease your stitches from two to one.

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After the k2tog decrease we need to increase one stitch and make those pretty lace holes in the cowl. That's done with a yarn over or YO. To YO you just wrap your yarn around the righthand needle, no stitch needed! 

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Here's the trickiest (but still easy) part of this pattern. After the YO we need to start purling and that means we need to get the working yarn to the front of the work. To do this you'll bring your yarn around the needle once again. It almost looks like there's a double loop on the needle but, don't worry, there's not. Now start purling and it all works out!

progress stitches

And there you have it! Knits, k2tog, YO and purls. Now just keep doing that around and around. Let's try and work through Row 14 and I'll be back on Thursday to show you some more fun stuff!

Follow along by checking eweewe.comInstagramRavelryFacebook and Twitter. Pretty much anywhere! Be sure to post photos of your cowl as you knit or when your finished. Use hashtag #ZigzagKAL.

Happy knitting! 

Sporty Spring KAL: 1-Skein Zigzag Cowl

Zigzag Cowl KAL

Let's knit a pretty spring cowl! Our new 1-skein Zigzag Cowl in our brand new Ewe So Sporty merino yarn is soft and light and perfect for spring. Ewe So Sporty is super soft and lightweight. Plus, our Zigzag Cowl has a lot of fun techniques that are good lessons for a new knitter but is also a great knit for a more seasoned knitter.

As the name suggests, you'll only need one ball of Ewe So Sporty yarn to complete the Zigzag Cowl! We have lots of pretty spring colors that will look great with any outfit.

Ewe So Sporty yarn in Cotton Candy

Ewe So Sporty yarn in Cotton Candy

Ewe So Sporty yarn in Lavender

Ewe So Sporty yarn in Lavender

What will I learn?

The Zigzag Cowl KAL is not as formal as some of the previous knit alongs we've done. I'll be showing you the basic steps of this cowl, things like the yarn over, K2tog and a fun trick for the SSK. And, the importance of blocking a finished knitted garment!

What do I need?

The Zigzag Cowl knitting pattern 25% off on Ravelry. Use code: zigzag 

1 skein of Ewe So Sporty yarn in your favorite color! Find Ewe Ewe yarn shops >

US 6 16" circular knitting needles or the size needed to obtain gauge

1 stitch marker

How do I join?

Leave a comment here or in our Ravelry group and that's all there is to it! We start on Tuesday, April 22 and finish up on May 1. You can follow along by checking eweewe.com, Instagram, Ravelry, Facebook and Twitter. Pretty much anywhere! 

Be sure to post photos of your cowl as you knit or when your finished. Use hashtag #ZigzagKAL.

I hope you'll join us and give our new yarn a try! :)