Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bust the Stash: Thoughts on the Mirri Cowl

Hideous experience notwithstanding, I like this cowl:

Mirri Cowl (modified size)
I made a modified large (there's a choice between small, which is like a short tube, or the large which loops around the neck twice). Because I knew I wouldn't have enough yarn to make the large (I had 366 yards), I determined a smaller number of stitches to cast on, divisible by both 5 (the rib pattern repeat) and 8 (the eyelet body repeat). The number that sounded good to me was 280 stitches. The pattern instructs 320 for the large. Then, though the pattern instructs to knit the 16 row eyelet repeat 3.5 times in total, I repeated 2.5 times only. Alas, vis a vis my last post, I was still short 3 yards of yarn.

As you can see in the photo below, it's not a bulky cowl - not with these dimensions in fingering-weight yarn - but I prefer a subtler silhouette. The second Mirri Cowl, which I'm making now, has the same circumference stitch count, but I will work the recommended number of eyelet repeats which should secure me another 1.5 inches in width.

A Bit of Info About the Pattern:

This is a terrific pattern for a new knitter looking to work in the round while enjoying a tiny bit of skill development / interest with lacework. It doesn't take much yarn in the scheme of things. The large size is calculated to require up to 650 yards of yarn (I think that's quite generous), while the small clocks in at a proposed 400 yards. As I noted above, I was able to make a modified large with less than 400 yards of yarn so I don't think you need to be slavish to the approximations. With my mods (presuming that your stitches approximate gauge), a modified large cowl can be made with 375-400 yards of yarn. (Update: My second version took 413 yards, so let's say you'll need 425...)Yeah, that's more fingering than you might have lying around after finishing a sweater, but I appear to have it 2 times over in my own stash - and my stash isn't that voluminous. Even if you opt to buy yarn for this project - and I think it's cute enough to warrant that - it wouldn't be a particularly pricey venture.

It's also a great pattern for someone looking to make a quick(ish) luxe gift.

A cowl is nothing but practical, even if you live in warmer climes. We all contend with climate control...

The pattern itself is one page in length. It's concise but well-written and error-free.  The fabric it makes is geometric and elegant.

Made in springy wool (like Quince Finch), it sits loftily. Made in a merino/silk blend (like Shibui Staccato), it drapes lightly.

I'm really happy to have found this pleasant-to-knit, lovely pattern though I realize I'd have been unlikely to notice it, had I not embarked on stash-busting exercise.

That's my take on the first of the Bust the Stash projects. Thoughts?


  1. That is a lovely cowl. When shown flat it doesn't look like it will drape as well as it does.

  2. Thanks Sox! I do think I'll prefer the drape with the merino/silk. That's what silk does best, right? But this one works entirely nicely. I'd make it using this yarn again.