I know it's almost summer here in the northern hemisphere, but it's sort of still scarf weather in Iceland and winter is around the corner for our friends on the opposite side of the globe. With that in mind, I figured why wait to start putting my backlog of decidedly autumn-y patterns out in the world?
The first is a quick little cowl I made a loooonng time ago as a clean-up-my-stash project (you might have seen it here). I call it the Pixel Cowl because the jagged double crochet stripes somehow remind me of a zoomed-in, pixelated image (maybe it's just me, but the name stuck). Using small amounts of Álafoss Lopi and a big hook, it took under an hour to crochet and remains near the top of my list of handmade gift ideas.
Like some of my other how-tos, this is more of a basic "recipe" than a by-the-numbers pattern. The size and placement of your stripes will depend on the amount of yarn you use for each colour, and the cowl is easy to size up or down simply by adjusting the length of the starting chain and/or number of rows. I happened to have a combination of larger vs smaller amounts of yarn on hand, and I really like the look of different-sized blocks of colour. The main idea is to just join the next colour wherever the last one ends without worrying about matching things up, for a jagged, "pixelated" effect.
The cowl is worked in the round, and the first round is worked into the "bumps" on the underside of the foundation chain - this keeps the edge nice and neat and adds a tiny bit more stretch to the chain. The only tricky bit is joining the foundation chain into a ring without twisting it (you could also start with a foundation dc, but I didn't think of that at the time).
- Small amounts of Álafoss Lopi or similar bulky weight yarn in at least 3 colours
- I used a total of about 80 g/80 m (3 oz/ 87 yds) and 3 colours.
- 10 mm hook
- 7 st and 4.5 rows = 10 cm (4")
- Gauge is not crucial for this project and will depend on the yarn/hook size you're using.
- 60 cm (24") x 23 cm (9")
- Adjust the size by adding or subtracting foundation chain stitches and/or adding or subtracting rows.
- Ch - chain
- Dc - double crochet
- Ss - slip stitch
- Note that this pattern uses US crochet terms.
Ch 42, without twisting chain, ss into 1st ch to join into ring
Round 1 - Ch 3 (counts as 1st dc throughout), sk 1st ch, dc into the "bump" on the underside of each ch around, ss in top of beg ch 3 to join (42) (see notes below pattern).
Round 2 - Ch 3, dc around, ss into top of beg ch 3 to join (42)
Rounds 3 - 10 - Repeat round 2, joining each new colour wherever the last one ends (42)
Fasten off and weave in ends.
I like to wet-block pretty much everything I make in Icelandic wool - it's a rugged fibre and gentle hand washing in lukewarm water with mild soap softens it quite a bit. Roll the washed piece in a towel to squeeze out excess water (but don't wring or twist). Lay flat, reshape to measurements, and let air dry. Turning the piece every once in a while helps to avoid creases, but you can also steam out any creases with an iron once your cowl is dry - just be careful not to place the iron directly on the wool.
Notes on working into the "bump" of the foundation chain
To work into the bump , turn the chain slightly so that the underside is facing up. Insert your hook into the loop or "bump" in the centre and make your stitch. Crochet Me has a great post about different ways of working into the foundation chain here.
Hope you enjoy your Pixel Cowl!