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Old Shale is a lovely stitch which should not be mistaken for Feather and Fan (see here for a great insight into that argument!) This simple cowl is a good first lace project, instructions are given both for ‘in the round’ knitting (on circular needles) and ‘flat’ (straight needles).
You will need;
4.5mm needles (either fairly long straight needles or 60cm circular needles)
50g sock yarn (I used Zauberball which has a lovely colour range)
Stitch marker or length of contrasting thread.
A pen and paper may also be handy. If you mark off the end of each row you’ll be able to keep track of where you are in the pattern if you put your work down for a minute. Knitting this much lace can seem daunting to a beginner. If you try to do as little as two repeats a day your cowl will be completed in ten days. You can also use a lifeline in case of total disaster!
To knit the cowl ‘in the round';
Using circular needles cast on 144 stitches. Taking care not to twist them, join to knit in the round. This is a four row pattern as follows.
Row 1, knit to end of round, place marker
Row 2, purl to marker
Row 3, slip marker, (knit 2 together) three times, *(yarn over,knit 1) six times, (knit 2 together) six times, repeat from * to last six stitches, (knit 2 together) three times
Row 4, slip marker, knit to marker
That’s it, that’s all you do. Just keep repeating rows 1 through to 4 until you have completed about 20 repeats then cast off loosely and sew in your ends. Then was according to the ball band instructions and block your work.
Hopefully you’ve got the hang of moving the marker each round, here are the four rows written in ‘knitting speak’ it may be easier to memorise them.
Row 1; k to end
Row 2; p to end
Row 3; [k2tog] x3, *[yo,k1] x6, [k2tog] x6, rep from * to last six sts, [k2tog] x 3
Row 4; k to end
When you do things this way there is a slight ‘jog’ where the end of the purl row doesn’t quite meet up with the beginning. It’s barely visible but if you want to get rid of it here are various techniques you can try. Here’s a list of Google links that will help.
There is just a slight change to the pattern if you are knitting it on straight needles (please see the description for the knitted in the round cowl for the extended version of the instructions).
Cast on 144 stitches
Row 1; k to end
Row 2; k to end
Row 3; [k2tog] x3, *[yo,k1] x6, [k2tog] x6, rep from * to last six sts, [k2tog] x3
Row 4; p to end
Repeat rows 1 to 4 until you have completed 20 repeats total. Cast off loosely and sew sides together. Wash and block according to the ball band instructions.