Friday, November 19, 2010

Koolhaas Cowl

I knit up the Koolhaas Hat (pattern by Jared Flood, available on for my sister-in-law for Christmas, but wanted to make it a gift set. So, I set out to take the in-the-round pattern and make it flat.

I made a note on my Ravelry page that I'd be willing to write down the pattern I made up on-the-go if anyone was interested; I got several kind requests, so here it is.

I'm working on getting a few nicer pictures together in order to make up a nice PDF download, but, for the time being, this blog is my pattern's home.

I haven't test-knit the pattern as written yet--this is only the transcription of my notes from knitting up my first cowl. I plan on making another to test the directions, but have not done so yet. My apologies in advance if there are any errors--I will try to check the pattern as soon as I'm able to do so.

Koolhaas Cowl

The Koolhaas Hat is a beautiful pattern, begging for matching accessories. Here is my respectful homage to the original pattern, only taken apart and laid flat.

A garter stitch border keeps the cowl flat, with 3 buttons for decoration and flexibility in fastening. I knit my version in Lang Yarns Silk Dream, a 50/50 merino / silk blend, but any soft worsted suitable for wearing next to your sensitive neck would work.

You will need to have the Koolhaas Hat pattern in order to complete the Koolhaas Cowl.

Why do I reference the Koolhaas Hat pattern instead of printing out all the directions? Under US law, knit stitch patterns cannot be copyrighted, however other nations laws are not identical. Regardless, Mr. Flood wrote a kick-ass pattern for the Hat and it only seems fair (legality issues aside) that he see the benefit from it…it’s only $4.50, and now you actually get 3 patterns for the price…the Koolhaas Mitts, (available for free on Ravelry) and this Cowl.

I’m not a professional knitwear designer, but rather an enthusiastic amateur. Please bring any mistakes to my attention, but please be gentle. I’ve done my best to be clear and accurate, but have possibly made some mistakes.


Gauge isn’t terribly important.

Koolhaas Hat chart rows are worked right to left.

Cast On

With US 8 (5 mm) needles, CO 120


Knit 6 rows

First Pattern Repeat

Row 7: Create Buttonhole: (K3, Bind off 2, K3); work row 1 of the Koolhaas Hat chart (right to left) 13 times; K8

Row 8: K8; *P1tbl K2 P1tbl* 26 times; K3, cast on 2 using cable cast on, K3

Row 9: K8; Work row 3 of the Koolhaas Hat chart 13 times; K8

Row 10: K8; *P1tbl K2 P1tbl* 26 times; K8

Row 11: K8; Work row 5 of the Koolhaas Hat chart 13 times; K8

Row 13: K8; *P1tbl K2 P1tbl* 26 times; K8

Row 14: K7; Work row 7 of the Koolhaas Hat chart 13 times; K9 [the pattern skews 1 stitch to the right, as per the Koolhaas Hat pattern—see the chart note in the pattern]

Row 15: K9; *K2 P2tbl K2 P2tbl* 13 times; K7

Second Pattern Repeat

Identical to the First Pattern Repeat, omitting the buttonhole

Row 16: K8; work row 1 of the Koolhaas Hat chart 13 times; K8

Row 17: K8; *P1tbl K2 P1tbl* 26 times; K3, cast on 2 using cable cast on, K3

Row 18: K8; Work row 3 of the Koolhaas Hat chart 13 times; K8

Row 19: K8; *P1tbl K2 P1tbl* 26 times; K8

Row 20: K8; Work row 5 of the Koolhaas Hat chart 13 times; K8

Row 21: K8; *P1tbl K2 P1tbl* 26 times; K8

Row 22: K7; Work row 7 of the Koolhaas Hat chart 13 times; K9 [the pattern skews 1 stitch to the right, as per the Koolhaas Hat pattern—see the chart note in the pattern]

Row 23: K9; *K2 P2tbl K2 P2tbl* 13 times; K7

Third Pattern Repeats

Repeat the instructions for the First Repeat [Rows 23-30]

Fourth Pattern Repeat

Identical to the Second Pattern Repeat, adding a buttonhole to the top

Row 31: K8; work row 1 of the Koolhaas Hat chart 13 times; K8

Row 32: K8; *P1tbl K2 P1tbl* 26 times; K3, cast on 2 using cable cast on, K3

Row 33: K8; Work row 3 of the Koolhaas Hat chart 13 times; K8

Row 34: K8; *P1tbl K2 P1tbl* 26 times; K8

Row 35: K8; Work row 5 of the Koolhaas Hat chart 13 times; K8

Row 36: K8; *P1tbl K2 P1tbl* 26 times; K8

Row 37: Create Buttonhole: (K3, Bind off 2, K2); Work row 7 of the Koolhaas Hat chart 13 times; K9 [the pattern skews 1 stitch to the right, as per the Koolhaas Hat pattern—see the chart note in the pattern]

Row 38: K9; *K2 P2tbl K2 P2tbl* 13 times; K2, CO2, K3


Rows 39-44: K6 Rows

BO using Jeny’s Suprisingly Strechy Bind Off (, Fall 2009)

Weave in ends, add buttons.


(c) 2010

Use your finished objects however you want, but please don't sell, publish, or use my pattern in any commercial manner.

Koolhaas Hat (c) Jared Flood

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lang Yarns

So, I had originally planned to travel to Pfaffenhofen, Germany today to visit the Wollmeise shop, however logistical issues kept me from going. So, to console myself, I traveled to the home of Lang Yarns in Reiden, Switzerland, just a quick train ride from where I'm staying.

The shop part of the building is decently-sized and has a plethora of discounted Lang Yarns, some as low as 1CHF per ball (though I wasn't brave enough to pick up any of these--they weren't labeled with content and I wasn't feeling adventurous today, I guess.)

Most of the yarns were around 60-75% off retail price (though quite a few are discontinued varieies, so it's possible that one could find similar discounts from the 'bargain bin' at a retailer, though perhaps not in such large quantities)...

Interestingly enough, they had quite a few garments for sale as well. My German isn't the best, but I think the sign said they were samples and photo shoot pieces.

I picked up a bunch of Silkdream, a 50/50 silk / merino blend, including enough of a nice beige to make a sweater for myself. I also got some Merino Color, a 100% superwash merino, and Gobi, a merino / camel blend.

Looks like a good base for my Christmas knitting:)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I traveled to the little town of Huttwil yesterday to visit Spycher-Handwerk.

It was about an hour and a half by train from my parents-in-law's house where I'm staying, followed by a walk of around 15 minutes from the train station. It wasn't difficult to get to or to find--however, I suggest you write out directions if you plan on visiting as it's a few turns away from the train station in what looks to be a residential area and is not a place one would just stumble across.

The day was gray and rainy, so it wasn't the best of days to visit the countryside, but all the yarn and wool was able to brighten things up for me.

They have a great selection of lovely yarns--both house brand and some internationally known ones-- but I think this place would be heaven to a spinner. There were batts and roving and raw wool from floor to ceiling in a rainbow of colors. Wool, silk blends, angora, mohair and lots more.

My German is passable, and the employees knew only a bit of English, but they were friendly and willing to work with my fumbling grasp of the language (although, in retrospect, I'm pretty sure I answered at least one question that I wasn't asked...I have a tendency to do that, apparently:).

If you're not conversant in German (or French--one of the women said she spoke French as well), I might write down translations of fibers ahead of time so you know what you're looking at....unless you are adventurous and don't mind coming home with some pretty Mystery Yarn:)

The farm also maintain rare breeds of sheep, pigs, and other animals on the property. It was raining when I left, so I only paused long enough to grab a couple quick snaps of the animals...I would have liked to have lingered and watched them more.

It's a bit off the beaten path, but was a lovely place to visit.

I came home with some deliciously soft merino / silk yarn. I suspect most of it will become accessories / Christmas gifts to those in my life who are knitworthy. The yarn itself is single-ply and looks to be one that will felt readily and pill easily, so whomever gets a finished object will also need to be able to care for a delicate object as well.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I arrived in Switzerland yesterday for a 7 week visit to Europe.

I'm jetlagged, but got up anyway and went in to Zurich to wander around a bit. I didn't get much done, but enjoyed just seeing the city go by.

Here are a couple photos of some adorable knit dogs making up a window display (of a non-knitting store).

They caught my eye as I was walking past. They look like wiener dogs to me, and if there's one thing I like better than knitting, it's dachshunds.

Later, it was back to Brugg, my base of operations, and my first yarn shop of this trip. Wollbotique is right on Hauptstrasse, in between home and the train stationl

It was a really lovely place. Lots of Lana Grossa. Gefrieda, and Knit Picks/ Knit Pro needles.

The owner was extremely nice and worked with me and my broken German. We even managed a small conversation about how great KP needles are.

I bought a ball of Lana Grossa Colorado, an 80/20 wool/polyamide sock yarn and a Filati pamphlet that was apparently 1/2 off and ended up only being 4 CHF (just about exactly $4). And since this shop is so close to my home-away-from-home, I can stop in whenever if I need a yarn fix or break a needle.

Stop by my (previously seldom used) non-knitting blog, Torocracy if you'd like to see non-knitting photos and/or stories from my trip.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Knitting Bender

Wow. Seems like I've been on a knitting bender--I just keep getting projects done. Not that that's a bad just makes me feel a little as if I ought to find something to fill more of my time.

Then again, I leave Sunday on a trip to Europe for seven weeks. Following that, Mr. Toro and I will be moving from San Diego to Los Angeles. Then it's the holidays. And then I start working at my new job in January. So, I'm pretty sure I'll look back shortly and wonder to where all my knitting time vanished:)

My first set of projects includes a baby hat, booties, and mitts. This set is a gift for a friend who just had a baby girl. I was able to knit all three from one ball of Knit Picks Felici Sport in their Picnic colorway. Felici is a self-striping merino and I really love knitting with it. I think it's one of KP's best yarns--super soft, and with lots of great color combinations.

While Felici is self-striping, I had to 'help' it along a bit in order to get the color breaks where I wanted them on the booties. I cut the yarn at between the green and pink color change so I would know where to start the second bootie to make it match the first. I knitted up until the point in the pattern where the author indicated to change colors. I cut the yarn, then cut it again at the point where the pink joined the green stripes (the cut off bit of pink got saved and became the cuff for a mitten). After finishing the bootie, I cut off the remaining green (which I saved to make the rest of the mitten), then started bootie number two at the same point in the color change.

My second project is a pair of sport-weight socks--also in Felici Sport (with heels and toes in KP's Stroll Sport). This colorway is called Chimney, but I named my project Buckeye Toes, after the mascot of my alma mater--our school colors are Scarlet and Gray, so what a perfect colorway for school spirit.

This was a super easy project--basically a plain-ole' top-down stockinette sock. The only difficulty in the project was the fact that one ball of yarn was wound in the opposite direction from the other. So I was really confused for while when I was trying to match up the color changes. Once I figured out the backwards-ness of one of the balls, it was smooth sailing, though I would rather not have knit from the outside of the ball.

Next up is my version of the Verdaia shawl, knit in Numma Numma Doppio in Plum Chocolate.

I love this shawl. Doppio is a lush Merino/Cashmere/Nylon blend that's cuddly and warm.

I almost shed tears over this one, though. I was knitting along swimmingly...when I realized I wouldn't have enough yarn to finish. Add in the fact that Numma Numma is an artist-produced yarn and is notoriously hard to get (even more difficult since the dyer is taking a year-long hiatus) and I didn't think I would ever finish this shawl (I just don't have the heart to frog a project back far enough to shorten it). But, luckily, my Desperately In Search Of posting for another skein worked! A wonderfully kind Raveler contacted me and sold me the skein I needed. I only needed it for the last six rows, but I'm happy now. And, with nearly a full skein of Plum Chocolate left, I can make a nice matching accessory--haven't decided yet on a hat or some fingerless gloves.

Last, but not least, are my Clown Barf Slippers. These are knit in SeraphimFine Merino/Nylon. The colorway is Tropical Sunset.

I love the yarn--it's really loud, really bright, and just a lot of fun. Sure, it wouldn't work terribly well for a shawl, but I love knitting loud socks.

I knit the first sock flat as called for in the pattern, but didn't care for the seam down the top center of the foot. So, for the second one, I joined in the round after the last set of increases. This left only 2 short seams at the back of the heel, and keep the colors flowing across the top of the foot.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

FO Happy

Finished off the projects from my last post.

First is my Ishbellini shawlette. I love the peach! It's a little small to wear as an actual shawl, but it will make a nice scarf or accent piece.

I wound up with quite a bit of left over yarn following the pattern. Perhaps there is enough for a headband or a baby gift.

Next, I finally finished my Gypsy Tempest. The knitting went really quickly, but the pieces languished in a project bag for a long time since I despise seaming. But I finally buckled down, and it's now my favorite sweater.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Just Keep Knitting

I hate seaming. Seaming is just...boring. I think that's why I don't make as many sweaters as I would otherwise. My Liquid Lady sweater was mostly seamless, but my Gypsy Tempest has been sitting, neglected, in pieces for a while because I always put off the seaming.

I finally got the thing put together today. It's such a nice sweater...and in luscious Wollmeise. I'm excited to get the button bands knit on and get this ready to wear.

I think it'll be a nice sweater for the rest of the summer. While there are record high temperatures outside, the air conditioning inside always has me freezing. This nice fingering weight wool sweater will be easy to carry along and keep the chill off while inside.

Also getting needle time today was my Ishbellini shawl. Knit in a bright peach 'Last Call' (i.e. one of a kind test color) from Yarntini, this Ishbel shawl looks like a Bellini cocktail, so Ishbellini it is. This pattern is a quick and easy knit, nice and non-strenuous. I've done part of it watching tv, part as a passenger in a car, and part while exercising on a stationary bicycle. It's a really nice go-anywhere knit.

The color is much brighter in person. When it's done, I'll get a nice daylight photo to post.