It’s official, I’m suddenly becoming addicted to knitting.
I recently found that Lion Brand Yarn has a website with tons of free patterns (you have to create a free login to access them) and they happen to have their own version of the Katniss cowl called the District 12 Cowl Wrap.
They created a crochet and a knitted pattern. I like the knitted one so I’m giving it a try.
They recommend 5 skeins of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick yarn but I am not a fan of wool so I used their Hometown USA yarn (100% acrylic) in the color Aspen Tweed. I got the size 13 needles at my local craft store but I couldn’t find size 35 circular needles in stores so I bought them online. Hometown USA yarn comes in smaller skeins so I bought a whole bunch of them with plans to return whatever I didn’t use.
Lovely pile of yarn!
What I have learned in knitting is ALWAYS make a gauge sample even if I just want to rush into the project. I started with the wrap portion first (since my big needles for the cowl hadn’t arrived yet in the mail) and made my gauge sample. According to their pattern 9 stitches = 4 inches. My 9 stitches came out at 5 inches so I had to adjust my pattern accordingly – cast on fewer stitches. After some math and deciding I want my wrap a little shorter than what they recommend, I went with 61 stitches.
After starting 5 rows on my bamboo 13′s:
The big yarn with big needles made this project go by really fast. A couple days later just knitting casually in the evening – the wrap part was almost done! This pattern is making me want to knit a blanket. I was afraid before that it would be way too time consuming but this pattern is showing how easy it can be to make a larger item.
A little while later, the wrap was complete! Then it was on to the cowl with those big size 35 needles by Lion Brand. I was really looking forward to this part – key word WAS. Once I started I got really annoyed at the large needles because they were really hard on my hands. They take a lot more effort to move and get the yarn wrapped around etc. Also the cord part would just NOT relax like it has on my other needle sets. I had even tried soaking it in very hot water and trying to lay it flat before beginning the project. It was still constantly looping around and getting in the way. Never again! Anyway here’s a photo on the big needles, knitting 2 yarn strands at the same time. Almost done with the cowl…
After that it was just a matter of trying on the cowl and marking where I wanted the wrap. Then I seamed them together and it was all done!
Final thoughts on this pattern… it does come out very heavy/bulky. As I was knitting I actually did some minor adjustments because they have you do too many rows on the cowl. They have you purl 6 rows, knit 6, purl 6, knit 6, purl 6. However after doing one round of 6 purl rows and part way into 6, I realized this quantity was unnecessary to achieve the same final look. In interest of saving a bit of yarn and making this thing slightly less bulky, I ended up doing the knit portions in 4 rows and two of the purl sections in 5 rows. I am glad I did because it just barely saved me from having to break open another skein of yarn In total I used 5.5 skeins with my adjustments.
I also realized before I was attaching the wrap to the cowl, that if you wrap it around your body horizontally and attach the cowl, this could make for a really cute cap-sleeve style sweater-vest (if properly measured and planned from the beginning). Also I was wearing just the cowl around the house a bunch before I attached the wrap portion – and that was really cute too! You could probably also wear the cowl alone in “snood” style (scarf / hoodie).
If I were to do it again I might make the cowl a little smaller (cast on fewer stitches) because it is a bit big when it stretches out under its own weight. That being said, I am loving wearing this thing! It’s nice and soft and fluffy and fun!