There’s nothing very tricky about the Bindweed Cowl, but it does use a combination of techniques that I put together to create special effects.
Provisional Cast On
I used a provisional cast on for this so we can add a border to the bottom later. Here’s my favorite provisional cast-on technique:
OOPS, I put a different chart in the tutorial below than what I used in the actual pattern! I’m leaving the instructions below but this in the red text is what I have in the pattern.
There is NOT MUCH DIFFERENCE in the final results between these two charts. I actually made left crossing cables on my cowl (cable needle held in front) even though the instructions said to hold the cable needle in back. Most knitters like right-crossing cables better because you don’t get that weird loose stitch at the side edge of the cable. The twist at the base of the leaf goes in the other direction but that is all.
Also, on this chart, the sides surrounding the leaf are garter stitch while on the chart I put in the tutorial, they are reverse stockinette stitch (all purl). Either works ok and gives a bumpy texture on the sides of the smooth stockinette leaf shapes. The garter stitch version (this chart) is a little easier to work because all of the even rows are plain knit.
So sorry for any confusion.
The Bindweed pattern includes some simple lace, plus a cable crossing. The cable crossing is 9 stitches and I’ve highlighted it in green here. Sometimes I don’t use a cable needle but with this many stitches, I always do. You have a set of 3 cable needles in your package, so choose the size that’s most comfortable for you with this yarn.
All of the cables in this cowl are the same, so you don’t have to worry about what direction the cable crosses or if you hold the needle in front or back. It’s always held in FRONT for this pattern. Because this is an unusual cable, there’s no standard chart symbol for it. So I just used a giant X.
Here’s how it’s worked:
1) Slip the next 4 sts purlwise onto the cable needle and hold it in front of your work.
2) Purl the next 5 sts.
3) Then knit the 4 sts from the cable needle.
This may seem weird or unnecessary but it comes out looking good in the knitted fabric.
I-cord Bind Off
After the main piece of the knitting is complete, I use an i-cord bind off to make the colors move in a different way. This is also used on the bottom of the piece.
For the final edge of the piece, on both the top and bottom, I used short rows in garter stitch to make the i-cord into a wavy line that looks like a bindweed stem to me, and to make the edge flat.
To be honest, I did not pick up the extra wraps on my way back. They don’t bother me in garter stitch. So you can skip that step too, if you aren’t a perfectionist knitter.
There are several different ways to do short rows. I used the wrap-and-turn (w&t) technique this time. My other favorite is the German short rows, sometimes called the double-stitch short row. But it really doesn’t matter what technique you use. So if you already have a favorite, it’ll work here.
Here’s a really cool video by Roxanne Richardson, aka Rox Knits about different options. She’s working on stockinette stitch, so it’ll look a little different than our garter stitch border.