I’ve been hacking away at my old but new Pinterest hack project and it’s coming along nicely! It has no name yet, so maybe you can help me with that? All I have come up with is…. Pinterest hack project. Yeah, that’s not the nicest name, is it?
The inspiration, as I mentioned in my previous post, was something I saw on Pinterest. Have a look:
The grey and yellow braided t-shirt cowl in the middle jumped out at me. I really liked the idea of using two different braided fabrics to create a nice cowl… but honestly, I wear t-shirts to death. I don’t have any that are 1) old enough that I’d cut them up or 2) unstained, unfaded or in good enough shape that I’d wear them around my neck. Who has all these ‘old’ t-shirts hanging around that are still in good enough shape that you’d want to make a cowl out of them, but old enough that you’re ready to cut them up?
I’m sorry, no, if my t-shirt is still good enough to be remade into something, it’s still good enough to wear. That’s just not going to work for me, so my only and best option was to knit it.
I figured that the best way to make this was to start with ‘strips’ of knitted fabric, which looked like crap. Stockinette was the best look, in my opinion, but it likes to roll up and it would have looked so untidy when put into the braid, so I went back to the drawing board and decided to work with tubes instead.
I tried a few different methods for how to do the braid and how I wanted the rest of the cowl to come together. Originally I wanted to have four separate ‘strands’, as in the original t-shirt version, but it was a bit bulky. In the end I decided to connect them into one piece for the rest of the un-braided cowl that gets wound. This will require me to change the cast on to a provisional cast on, but that’s no biggie.
The above photo was from my first version, which turned out to be too wide in the end. I wanted to try to keep the amount of yarn needed as low as possible and the wider ‘main’ tube became too short and thick when both were wound, so I cut the width down by about a third in hopes of also gaining more length. I have no photos of that but it’s the same, just narrower.
Once I had two decent sized sections, I had to play with it to see how the actual braid would look. I mean, that was the main feature of the whole thing! Being me, I got caught up in the whole ‘how many braid wraps’ thing. Do I want it loads of wraps, just the original amount shown in the t-shirt project or what?
I often find that things are easier to judge when looking at photos, is that just me? When I do a swatch for something I will often take a photo of it and I find it easier to get a true idea of the thing from that, even more than looking at the actual item right in front of me. I wonder why that is… do you have that as well?
Anyway, after looking at the photos I decided less is more. If you wrap it too much it becomes tight, bunchy and busy. It also didn’t feel very nice when I held it up to my neck, it was too hard.
Of course, I will tidy it up for the finished product and I’m pretty sure I will want to tack the folds into place to stop it from pulling in. It tends to want to shrink the folds into a tight tiny little braid, which isn’t a good look. It also looks nicer when the unbraided cowl bit isn’t as wide.
It’s almost finished now, just a few more rows and assembly left. I think with the stitch counts and size, I’ve managed to keep it to two balls of each colour, which works out perfectly. I will be back soon with photos of the finished cowl.
In the meantime, what on earth should I call it!? Help! A pattern needs a name that doesn’t involve the word ‘hack’!
UK and International customers can find River Washed at Woolwarehouse and Black Sheep Wools.
North American and International customers can get their hands on it via Knotty House.
In the Netherlands, Caro’s Atilier is stocked up and ready to go!
You can also ask your preferred Scheepjes retailer or find a shop near you!
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** I have tried to find a photo credit source for the original braided t-shirt tutorial but it has lead me down an internet rabbit hole. So, if you see this and it was originally your idea, sorry for not giving credit, please reach out and I will be sure to do so!