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Ready to cast on for Bring Your A Game?

by Sharyn Anhalt March 04, 2015

Before you cast on, let's talk a bit about gauge. I know, it's just a cowl and shouldn't matter, but you do want the fabric of this cowl to drape a bit, and you want the length to be right for wrapping around your neck twice. The suggested gauge is 16 stitches per 4 inches (knit in pattern) and the suggested needle size is 9. If you tend to be a loose knitter you may want to use a size 8; if your tendency is to knit tightly try a size 10. Your decision, and besides - it's just a cowl!

Cast on with Yarn A; if using the yarns from the kit, this will be your ball of Amitola. But don't join before knitting the first round. Two reasons for this:

1. It's much easier to join without a twist after you've knit a row.

2. Your cast on edge will better match your bind off - more on this later.

Here's what my work looked like after knitting one row and placing my marker. The next step is to knit the stitches from the left needle onto the right, and because the working yarn is on the right, it will naturally join the two ends together. But before you knit that first stitch, check that your stitches are not twisted around the needle!

There will be a slight gap at the join, but you can use your tail end of yarn from the cast on to neatly close the gap and weave in that end. 

Round 2 is where you first introduce Yarn B (Azalea yarn in your kit). Whenever a pattern says to slip a stitch, ALWAYS slip it as if to purl unless it says otherwise. Slipping as if to purl keeps your stitch oriented exactly as it was on the left needle. If you slip as if to knit you'll add a twist to the stitch, and it will be much harder to knit later on.

The easiest way to attach Yarn B in Round 2 is to slip the first two stitches (as the pattern says, but ignore the whole "yarn in back" thing - you don't have a working yarn yet) and then begin purling 3 stitches with Yarn B. The tail end will hang on the right side of your work, but you'll pull this through to the back and weave it in later. Here's what your work should look like after three repeats of slip 2 with yarn in back, purl 3 with Yarn B:

You are now ready to Bring Yarn B to the back, slip two stitches with Yarn B in back, bring B back to front to purl 3 - and so on. The slipped stitches will lengthen and stretch to meet the next round, creating a vertical column of stitches in your knitting. See how the working end of Yarn A is still attached, just to the right of the marker? Just leave it there while you're not using it - no need to cut it each time. The distance between rows where it's used is small, so you can simply carry it along on the wrong side of the cowl.

Keep Yarns A and B attached throughout the entire cowl, but you'll want to attach and cut Yarn C each time it's used. The distance between the sections of Yarn C is larger, and carrying the yarn along the wrong side might look a bit sloppy - or worse, it will catch on something!

You're ready to just knit along now! Follow each round as indicated in the pattern, and let us know if you need any help or have other questions.

Sharyn Anhalt
Sharyn Anhalt


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