In celebration of Crochet Summer (can you believe summer is almost over?), we enlisted the help of friend and fellow Crochet promoter Cal Patch to create a skill building crochet pattern that is both interesting to work, but creates a lovely end result. Her Urchin Stripe Cowl is a great project for experienced crocheters looking for a fun weekend project, or those who are looking to add some additional skills to their crochet repertoire. Check out her pattern notes and a link to the free download below. Thanks, Cal! - KGO
One aspect of crochet that can be very confusing in the early stages of learning is where to put the first and last stitch of the row in different stitches, and the related factor of whether or not the turning chain counts as a stitch. In reality, one needn’t worry too much about these issues, as any well-written crochet pattern will clearly explain where to put the first stitch in the row, and whether the turning chain is counted as a stitch. Still, it’s good to have a sense of how it all generally works, in case your pattern leaves you wondering, or you are creating a project without a pattern.
In single and half double crochet, the turning chains do not count as a stitch, and therefore, the first stitch of the row is worked in the very first stitch, right at the base of the turning chain. In double and triple crochet, the turning chain does count as a stitch, and therefore the first double or triple crochet stitch of the row is worked into the 2nd stitch, or the next one after the chain. This also means that, when working double or triple crochet, in all subsequent rows after the first, the final stitch worked in every row is the turning chain of the row below. In single and half double crochet, the turning chain is not worked into.
I designed this cowl as a little exercise in practicing where to work your first + last stitches in the 4 basic stitches: single, half double, double and triple crochet. The varying heights of the stitches make for different stripe widths, and working in the back loops only (abbreviated in patterns as “blo”) creates a textured mock-rib stitch that reminds me of the subtle spiny ribs on a sea urchin’s shell. Worked in fingering-weight yarn with a larger hook, the loose fabric drapes gently around your neck, perfect when the nights become just a bit chilly but you’re not ready to pull out the Winter woolens!
• Yarn: The Fibre Co. Canopy Fingering (total 32 g)
Color A: Laguna (approx 5 g)
Color B: Tanager (approx 9 g)
Color C: Manatee (approx 7g)
Color D: Camu Camu (approx 11g)
• Hook: J or 6mm
• Gauge: 15 dc = 4" (Note: Cowl is worked with a large hook for a loose gauge and drapey fabric. Precise gauge is not critical, as the pattern is easily adjusted.)
• Finished cowl measures flat: 11" wide (or 22" total circumference) by 7" height
The Urchin Stripe Cowl is worked sideways in back loops only, forming vertical "ribs". Stripes are created by working two rows of a color, then changing colors. Each color is worked in a different stitch, and so the stripes have varying widths.
The foundation single crochet (fsc) is an alternative to starting with a chain, and gives a stretchier foundation row. Here’s how you do it: Chain 2, insert hook into 2 loops of the 1st chain and pull up a loop, chain 1, yo and pull through 2 loops, 1st fsc made. *[Insert hook into the ch 1 just made, and pull up a loop, ch 1, yo and pull through 2 loops.] Repeat from * until required number of stitches are made.
Download the FREE pattern here. Enjoy!