Knitting the Endless Rose Cowl
The Endless Rose Cowl by Jeffrey Wall is one of the most popular patterns in Interweave Knits Spring 2015. It’s a fitted cowl that’s worked in the round as a tube and grafted end to end. What makes this project truly stunning is the stranded colorwork pattern; the rose motifs interspersed with crisscross arrow motifs and the foreground colors effortless turn from light to dark and back again, set off beautifully against the white background.
Knitscene Assistant Editor Louisa Demmit and Knits Senior Project Editor Joni Coniglio each have an Endless Rose in progress, and they’re knitting it in different colorways, which is always fun to see. Here’s what Louisa is up to with her Endless Rose:
I started knitting Jeffrey Wall’s Endless Rose Cowl on a Saturday morning. By Sunday morning I was more than halfway done with it! This colorwork in the round pattern is addictive, fun, and comes together really quickly. Rauma Tumi is a lush 50/50 blend of wool and alpaca, super soft and delightfully warm. This pattern marks my first foray into grafting with a colorwork project, and it cleverly uses duplicate stitch after grafting to ensure the rose pattern is uninterrupted. I really love how the designer used two colors in the same color family to, as Knits Editor Lisa Shroyer put it, “give traditional motifs a contemporary look.”
As long as you remember to keep your tension easy, this pattern blocks out beautifully. That’s always one of the tricks with Fair Isle work; you get puckering and uneven stitches if you pull your floats too tightly!
But with a gentle tension and a good cup of tea, this pattern knits in the blink of an eye, and the end result is a stunner of a cowl.
When the cowl is finished, the directions tell you to graft the ends together using the main color only, and then you use duplicate stitch over the two main color rows to fill in the two pattern rows.
This is a great way to finish up this cowl, but there’s another way that Joni is going to use—circular grafting. Here she is to tell you about it.
Because there are no solid color rows in the chart, I would have had to cast on provisionally using two colors. It would have been difficult to pick up stitches in a crochet chain using two colors, so I knit a few rows with contrasting waste yarn and then started the chart from Row 1.
Normally, when you go to pick up the cast-on stitches and place them on the needle in preparation for grafting, the loops on the needle are the running threads between cast-on stitches. However, in this case, there aren’t going to be any loops wherever there are two colors together (the yarns simply cross each other at those points). That was another reason I chose to work a few rows with waste yarn.
When I graft, I’ll leave the waste yarn in place and work a duplicate stitch graft (following the last row of the chart) and then remove the waste yarn after the grafting is complete.
The Endless Rose Cowl was also was a chance for me to practice using both hands to work stranded colorwork. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but I really wanted the practice so I stuck with it. My tension at the beginning was a little looser than I liked, but after a while my tension tightened up, the stitches were much more even and the knitting progressed much more quickly!
This design is so beautiful, and it works in just about any color combination. I love the dark blue background that Joni’s using, and the orange and red in Louisa’s cowl works beautifully.
We’ve kitted up this wonderful pattern; it’s available in the blue colorway show in the magazine, and a pretty pink version, too.
Get your Endless Rose Kit today!
P.S. Do you have tips for knitting stranded colorwork? Share them with us below in the comments!