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Knit by Bit Knit by Bit: Grellow Faux Plaid Cowl on the LoveKnitting blog

Published on February 22nd, 2016 | by Merion

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Knit by Bit: Grellow Faux Plaid Cowl

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What is grellow? Knitting shorthand for grey and yellow – a favourite combination the yarn world over!  Have fun making this sweet faux plaid cowl – you won’t believe how easy it is!

Knit by Bit: Grellow Faux Plaid Cowl on the LoveKnitting blog

I thought for this week’s Knit by Bit I would test out something I’ve been wanting to try for ages – faux plaid!  It’s a fabulous way to create an effect that would otherwise be highly annoying to knit with floats dangling at the back of your knitting!

MillaMia Naturally Soft Aran

I know the MillaMia yarns well, but I wanted to knit something with the fantastic new shade, Lemon Twist.  Grellow (grey+yellow) is the darling of the knitting world, so I paired it with Slate, to let the lemon pop – but any combo of grey and yellow works!  I cannot describe to you how delicious it is to knit with!  It’s a super soft handle, and it’s lofty and squishy – so warm and cosy to wear and soft enough to wear next to the skin.  If you can’t hear my evangelical tones, just imagine angels singing – and that’s how much I’m enjoying knitting with it!  Each 50g ball of Naturally Soft Aran has 80m of super soft yarn, and it comes in 18 rich shades.

Knit by Bit: Grellow Faux Plaid Cowl on the LoveKnitting blog

The Cowl

Faux plaid (tartan) is extremely easy to knit!  It’s basically a section of big rib, and in between the ribs, you add a row of vertical stitches pulling yarn through with a crochet hook.

I created a wide rib with 10 stitches – knit 9, p1, repeat, but you could make it an uneven rib, to create more of a tartan feel, so k5,p1, k8, p1, k10,p1, k2,p1 and so on – to make your vertical stitches fall unevenly (in the p1 “ditch”) or, knit one large section, with rib ditches just at one side.  This is more a recipe you can make your own, rather than a pattern – try building in three colours, or four!

You will need:

Cast on 101 stitches in your preferred method with your MC (main colour).

Rows 1-4:  Knit.

Row 5:  Set up row for rib – K9, p1, and repeat to end – you will have one stitch remaining, knit it.

Row 6: Match the rib on the purl side, stitch for stitch to create the rib.  Purl the purls and knit the knits – for my 10 stitch repeat (plus one), it is P1, K1, P9, K1, P9, K1, P9, K1, P9, K1, P9, K1, P9, K1, P9, K1, P9, K1, P9, K1, P9.

Row 7 – 22:  Work the body of the cowl by alternating stripes of your main and contrast colours, staying in the rib pattern as you go.  I have used thicker and thinner stripes to give the appearance of tartan.

Row 23-26: Knit.

Cast off.

Adding the vertical stripes

To add the vertical contrast colour stripes, use a crochet hook to create stitches in each purl “ditch” – you can see my “ditches” here, on the right side of the work, every tenth stitch:

Knit by Bit: faux plaid cowl on the LoveKnitting blog

This is best illustrated in a video – take a look this brilliant tutorial from The Knitting Vortext to see how it’s done:

Right side facing, add vertical stripes with your hook to each purl ditch along the cowl.

Knit by Bit: faux plaid cowl on the LoveKnitting blog

Sew in your vertical stitch ends down the back of the work like this:

Knit by Bit: faux plaid cowl on the LoveKnitting blog

Right sides together, stitch the two ends of the cowl together, sew in ends and turn the right side out.

Have fun with this simple knit, and change the colours!  I’m going to make one in Raisin (400) and Pink Glaze (223) next:

MillaMia Naturally Soft Aran in Raisin and Pink Glaze on the LoveKnitting blog

and my daughter has chosen Cherry Red (242) and Cobalt (230) for hers!

MillaMia Naturally Soft Aran in Cherry Red and Cobalt on the LoveKnitting blog

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About the Author

Merion admits that her stash is wildly out of control, but has many projects in dream-form! She loves knitting, crochet, Shire horses, cake and garden swing-seats.


Last updated: February 22nd, 2016.

3 Responses to Knit by Bit: Grellow Faux Plaid Cowl

  1. Myriam says:

    Great technique! Thanks for another cool Knit by Bit, Merion.

    • Merion says:

      Thank you Myriam! I loved doing it! (and am now making more versions in different colours!) I hope you try it!
      Kindest,
      Merion and the LoveKnitting team x

  2. The_L says:

    The yellow is so light, and the gray so dark, that I felt for a moment that I was looking at last year’s infamous Dress again…

    Great pattern!

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