Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Meanderings and the Endless Circle Cowl

One of the many things I love about my involvement with fibre arts is that the work will never be done.  No matter how much I study or how long I live, I will never reach an end point, a time when there is nothing more for me to learn.  I wander along this path and there is that which comes to me.  If I choose that road there, I will find a different perspective with many happy accidents along the way.  Sometimes I'll just wander around in circles.

It's a common saying that the journey is part of the process.  For me, the journey is the process.  I am suspicious of anyone who claims to be on the one true path, whether that path leads to the perfect way to knit, the best yoga practice or the one true path to glory.  The point at which you become convinced that you've found THE TRUTH is the point where you stop learning.  Keep an open mind and you grow.

Growth doesn't have to occur in leaps and bounds.  Tiny steps are just as effective in helping you to learn.  In the past few weeks, I've learned a couple of things; neither is earth-shaking, but both have added to my knitting pleasure.  One of the people in spinning class showed me a new way to wind a centre-pull ball of yarn.  Lindsay's "thumb as nostepinne" is a simple way to wind yarn without any extraneous tools.  It's a handy (yes, bad pun intended) thing to know when you're without noste or ballwinder.

Then there is Cat Bordhi's Moebius Cast On:

 This technique has been around for a very long time but I never had the urge to learn it.  It seemed complicated.  It is not.  Like most useful things, it is simple and straightforward.  Understanding this cast on will allow you to knit this cowl in a jiffy:

I designed the "Endless Circle" cowl as a pattern for Malabrigo Rasta yarns.  It's a gorgeous yarn, very bulky and fairly expensive.  Golden Willow Natural Fibers needed something to show what could be made from one skein of the yarn besides a scarf.  The cowl knits up in an hour or so and makes a great gift.  (It's much prettier when worn; unfortunately, Morris, Mick and Mr. DD were reluctant to model the piece.  Well, Morris was willing, but I'm not sure it would have been a good thing.)  You can substitute any yarn, but be sure you add more stitches to your cast on.

Endless Circle Cowl

When using the Moebius cast on method, remember that one cast on stitch equals two knitting stitches in the cowl.  You need one circular needle, at least 40 inches/100 cm long.
Gauge:  2—2.5 stitches per inch on 9 to 12.75 mm/US 13 to 17 needles.
Using a long circular needle and the Moebius cast on, loosely cast on 30 stitches.  Be sure there is only one cross in your circular needle.  Place marker and begin to work in K1 P1 ribbing pattern around your Moebius.  On the first round, you will knit or purl into the open ``V`` of each stitch so that subsequent stitches will be aligned properly. 
One full round will equal 60 stitches.  Your marker will appear on the left hand needle at the end of each round. Work each stitch as presented, i.e. knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches. 
When your cowl body is approximately 12 to 13 cm/5 inches in depth, begin the
Picot Bind Off:
Using cable or knitted cast on, cast on 2 stitches on to your left needle.  *Bind off 1 stitch.  There is one cast on stitch remaining on the right hand needle.  K2 tog, and bind off one of the cast on stitches on the right hand needle by pulling the single stitch over the k2tog stitch.  Place the remaining stitch on the left needle and use this stitch to cast on 2 stitches on to the left needle.* Repeat from * until you have one stitch remaining on your needle.  Fasten off this stitch.
Weave in all ends.  Block lightly, if desired.  

Deborah Behm
©February 2011

"I'd be a gorgeous model, Mom, and I'm so helpful when you're spinning!"


  1. Learning about fiber arts has been a life-saver for me for the reason you mentioned. Although my body doesn't co-operate much of the time, my mind is still very active and needs to be challenged. I love that there is always something new to learn about fiber arts. It keeps me sane. Now I need to see the thumb nostepinne trick to learn that too.

  2. I'm forever impressed by your active mind, Susan! The thumb noste trick is great--Lindsay said she found it on YouTube.

  3. HMMM....That is very neat and magical! LOL I might have to try it....

  4. Very pretty :) I've not tried making any kind of cowl yet...