Howdy, friends! I’m currently out at the river. The fish aren’t biting right now, so I decided to take a few minutes and update the blog. Hope you’re doing well. Last time, I promised to to tell you about my latest cast-on, where I’d be polishing off some skills I rarely use.
The Mirror of Erised Cabled Cowl
As it turns out, not only did I cast it on, I completely knitted it and it’s a finished object already! What am I talking about? It’s the Mirror of Erised Cabled Cowl by Tanis Gray. You can check out my project page on Ravelry for details.
This was a delightful project. It is one of the projects in Harry Potter: Knitting Magic: The Official Harry Potter Knitting Pattern Book and when I got my copy of the book, it was the project I knew would be the first one I knitted. I found a couple of hanks of Quince and Co Owl in the Cranberry colorway that I thought would look great for this. (Spoiler alert: it does!)
Dusting Off A Technique
The cowl is knit flat and joined together once the entire cowl is complete. In order to make a tidy join, it requires using a provisional cast-on so the live stitches from the beginning can be joined to the live stitches at the end. I’ve only done that a few times in the past, so I knew that I would have to re-learn how to do it.
I had to search a little bit, but I did find my crochet hooks. I also found a handful of tutorials on YouTube for how to do a provisional crochet cast on. It really helped to watch several different tutorials, because each presenter did it a little differently, and seeing several options helped me understand what was really going out with the cast on. In the end, it didn’t give me any trouble and I was ready to start knitting.
Once I started knitting, the project practically flew off my needles. The pattern was easy to follow and when I established the cables, it was intuitive to know where they were going next. The cabling involved few enough stitches that I didn’t need to use a cable needle, I just cabled them in place. Before I knew it, I was ready to bind off.
Learning A New Technique
The pattern called a three-needle bind off to join the ends together. I don’t think I had ever done a three-needle bind off. I know that I could have Kitchenered the ends together, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to add another skill to my toolbox. Once again, I searched YouTube for tutorials and found several. I watched a few of them and binding off before I knew it.
I like how it came out! There were a few things I learned about the three-needle bind off. The first is that it does create a visible seam. This seam is on the inside of the cowl, so I’m not at all concerned about it. I can see how the seam could be intentionally incorporated into a design element.
I also note that it’s possible to process the stitches in a three-needled bind off either knitwise or purlwise. I did all of mine knitwise, and it’s fine. However, I think the seam would have been even less obtrusive if I had alternated knits and purls depending on whether or not I was processing a stitch in the cable or a stitch in the background. Using the Kitchener grafting technique would have probably also avoided this.
In the end, I’m quite pleased with how the project turned out and it was great to learn (or re-learn) some techniques to make it happen. How about you? What techniques are you learning (or re-learning) lately? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments.
What’s next? I’ve cast on a shawl, and I’m using beads for it. I absolutely love how it’s turning out. I’ll tell you all about it in my next blog entry. You can follow my Instagram feed if you want a sneak peak.
Until next time, keep on knitting for the ones you love!