More fun with Möbius knitting

While I was doing my level best to feed my knitting habit while not making any sweaters, I ended up knitting a series of smaller projects. This is the Harmonia’s Rings Cowl made from Malabrigo Merino Worsted (the color is Forest). I was delighted to finally have something I wanted to make that I could use a Malabrigo yarn for. I love the feel of the yarn, but I haven’t trusted it to hold up with heavy use. But surely a cowl won’t be subject to much friction.

Harmonia's Rings Cowl
Harmonia's Rings Cowl

This project has a slightly more distinguished pedigree in my personal history than most projects I tackle. The first time I ever saw it was when Cat Bordhi was wearing it at a Yarnover a few years ago. So yes, the HRC is based on the Möbius strip. Unlike my last Möbius scarf, this time I didn’t get too many twists into the cast-on (yay!). You work the HRC from the top down. It starts out as a bit of Möbius knitting while you build up the bit around the neck. You then “break” the Möbius strip and rejoin, now working in the round like usual, increasing at intervals to allow it to spill down over the shoulders.

Harmonia's Rings Cowl - picots
A close-up of the beaded picot edge.

This is the first time I’ve done any beaded knitting. The top edge of the HRC is a line of beaded picots. The pattern says to use seed beads and a size 14 crochet hook to get them on the yarn. No, I wasn’t foresighted enough to have a size 14 crochet hook on hand when I reached the picots. I did have a size 10 hook which was small enough to fit through the beads, but it was too large to pull the yarn back through. My solution was to loop a length of dental floss around the yarn. I pulled the dental floss through the bead with the size 10 hook and then pulled on the floss to bring the yarn itself through.

It’s been working pretty well as a cowl. The designer says that you can pull it up over your head, but I think my neck is too long or something since when I tried that, it felt strained and awkward. It’s quite warm and the wool is soft enough not to bother me when it touches bare skin. And I really like the design itself. It hugs the neck so that cold air doesn’t get in, and since it’s not one of those loose, drapey cowls, it doesn’t dangle in my way when I lean forward. Now if I could just suppress my urge to get it all straightened out—impossible where a Möbius is concerned!

Twisted knitting

Oh, the frustrations of doing a knitting blog in winter. I finished this scarf on New Year’s Day, but late in the day. I then had to wait until this weekend to take a picture because it’s just not light enough when I get home after work. But here we are, picture taken, and blogging merrily away.

Moebius scarf

This is a Möbius scarf. At least it’s meant to be a Möbius scarf. I think it may have twisted a bit too much, although I’m not sure how that happened. I made my first Möbius scarf back in 2002, using a pattern by Lisa R. Myers. This was just before Cat Bordhi’s Möbius scarves took off and I’m guessing Myers’ pattern got lost in the shuffle. I admit when I resurrected it to make this scarf, I used Bordhi’s cast-on. It’s faster, for one thing; since this particular scarf is 400 stitches around, that’s not inconsequential. Bordhi’s cast-on also blends into the finished scarf invisibly. Myers’ cast-on left a bit of a ridge. You can’t really see it unless you’re looking for it, and it’s not lumpy enough to be felt when wearing the scarf, so it’s not a big deal if you use it instead of Bordhi’s. But I think the extra twist in this scarf came from using Bordhi’s cast-on and I’m not sure when the extra twist crept in, so I’m not sure what to do to avoid it if I decide to make another Möbius scarf in the future.

recycling symbolWith the scarf folded this way, I keep thinking of the recycling logo. I like knitting projects like this that are just a little out of the ordinary in their construction. I need to tackle another Circumnavigated Cardigan again sometime (a sweater designed so that you don’t have to sew any seams together), or find someone who’s expecting and make one of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Baby Surprise Jackets for the child.

Oh, and the yarn for this scarf was Lorna’s Laces Shepherd’s Worsted. Its major selling point is its softness: it’s a challenge to find yarn that’s soft enough to be worn directly against the skin. But I also love the wide color selection for this yarn and would like to find something besides Möbius scarves to use it in.