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Consistency in pattern when working in the round

by Cindy O'Malley

This week, I’m knitting with Universal Yarn Penna which is a feathery light blend of baby suri alpaca, fine merino wool, and nylon that exudes a lovely halo.

Today, I’m knitting a cowl that was designed for this yarn. This is a great beginner project for those who are new to knitting with lace, or new to knitting in general. It’s worked in the round using 3 different colors of Penna. I’ve selected Rose Kiss, Raspberry Tart, and Mulberry as my color choices. It’s knit using a simple seed stitch. If you recall from yesterday, knitting seed stitch on large needles creates a lovely textured fabric. The pattern is called Plume, which is so appropriately named given one of the translations for Penna. Here’s where you can download the free pattern for the Plume cowl.

So aptly named, Plume is synonymous with Penna.

Plume is a free pattern designed for Penna.

Plume calls for using 3 balls of Penna, in the colors of your choice. It’s worked in the round on US 8 [5mm] needles, in seed stitch (K1, P1), however, I did make a couple of adjustments along the way.

 My color choices of Penna to make Plume are Rose Kiss, Raspberry Tart, and Mulberry.

: Rose Kiss, Raspberry Tart, and Mulberry are my color choices for Plume.

The pattern instructs to use an even number of stitches. I’ve learned from experience that you can see the jog from the beginning and ending of the round when working in pattern. It doesn’t show up so much when working in stocking stitch but can be seen in seed stitch. As such, I used an odd number of stitches for my cast on; 125 instead of 124. I must admit, that you’d be hard-pressed to see the jog with this yarn. The muted stitch detail masks it, so consider this a tip for future pattern projects when working in the round.

The pattern is very simple:

Rnd 1: *K1, p1; rep from * to end; when using an odd number of stitches, you need one more k1.

Rnd 2: *P1, k1; rep from * to end; when using an odd number of stitches, you need one more p1.

If you make it with an odd number of stitches, then you consistently k1, p1 until the color change. It’s that simple.

Speaking of color change, I decided to have a little fun with it. Instead of “Break color A, change to color B”, I joined color B (without breaking color A) and proceeded as follows:

B: K1, slip 1 with yarn in front.

A: Slip 1, p1 with yarn in back.

I repeated these two rows 3 more times before dropping color A and continuing with color B. When it was time to change to color C, I did the same process with B and C. It created a very interesting color transition.

The completed Plume cowl in Universal Yarn Penna Rose Kiss, Raspberry Tart, and Mulberry with the slipped stitch color transitions.

My completed Plume cowl with slip stitch color transition

The end result is very pretty and makes for a light and airy accessory. It’s also quite stretchy, which allows you to double wrap it around your neck. I was showing it off to some of my knitting pals during a Zoom call, and double wrapped it. It looked great, but after only a few moments, I had to take it off because it was too warm for indoors. That’s really good to know that it can be doubled up for outside to keep you warm and unwound to wear as a soft and lovely accessory when inside.

The completed Plume cowl in Penna Rose Kiss, Raspberry Tart, and Mulberry double wrapped around the neck for added warmth when outdoors.

Double wrap Plume around your neck for added warmth.

I was very surprised by how much yarn was still on each ball. I weighed them and discovered that there was 17g leftover, even with the extra rows that I put in for the color change. Each color only used about 8g out of a 25g ball. This means you can easily make 3 cowls out of the 3 balls, make it larger, or double up the strands to make a chunkier version. If a solid color is your preference, you could make this cowl from 1 ball. I’d like to make another one using double strands and a larger needle size; possibly a US 10 [6mm] to keep it open and airy.

As mentioned previously, this is a great beginner project for knitting with lace weight yarn, or if you’re new to knitting. It knits up very quickly and looks lovely, so perhaps you can get one more gift done before Christmas.

Tomorrow, I’m using Penna, combined with Wool Pop to make a hat, but not just any hat – a Raspberry Beret, that will look great with my Plume cowl. I hope you join me as I experiment with one of the endless possibilities by combining two different yarns.

This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: Knitting swatches in keeping with an open and airy look

Go to part 4: Combining Penna with another yarn makes for endless possibilities


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