Friday, January 4, 2013

Ritalin Cowl.

My mom loves to tell the story about when I was a toddler and she begged the pediatrician for something, anything, to calm me down.  She insisted I was hyperactive.  He said no, he didn't think so, but she could try this new medicine called Ritalin.  And if I wasn't truly "hyper," she would know it, because it would make me even wilder.  Not possible, she said. 

Sure enough, a couple of hours later, she caught me trying to scale a brick wall in our living room.  Like a crazed spider trying to escape a metal bucket.  I don't know what's more disturbing, the story or the fact that our living room had a brick wall.  But hey, it was the '70s.

The truth it, everyone who knits has a little ADD I think.  That's why we all love casting on projects.  It's why we all have (shhhhh) secret stashes.  And it's why I like projects that don't get boring.  So I have a fighting chance of staying engaged until it's done.

That's why I designed this Ritalin Cowl.  It's perfect for ADD knitters.  Just when you get tired of a stitch, or a color, wheeeee here comes a new one!  I wanted to show off the amazing range of colors in this yarn from the Fiber Company called Acadia.  

Acadia is an absolutely luscious, completely original 2-ply yarn with a subtle tweed effect and the softest hand - thanks to the luxe combo of merino wool, baby alpaca and silk.   I think some people are a little afraid of it at first, with its tweedy tufts of texture.  But Acadia works up like a dream and has surprisingly awesome stitch definition.

I had such fun choosing colors.  At first, I was sure I wanted to cull from the gorgeous blues and greys:


But I just kept gravitating to this warmer palette.  The purples and copper and crazy lime were just calling to me.  HEY LOOK, LOOK AT HOW SHINY WE ARE, A-D-D GIRL.

And so my Ritalin Cowl was born.




Now, I'll bet you'd like the pattern already.

Ritalin Cowl
You will need 1 skein each of 4 colors Acadia.  I used Blackberry (A), Wild Onion (B), Amber (C) and Kelp (D). 
Using #8 32" circular needles, cast on 250 sts with Color A.  Join to work in round.  I tried not to twist, but I accidentally got one twist in there I guess...which isn't the end of the world...just do your best.

Seed stitch border:
Rounds 1:  *K1, P1* to end
Rounds 2:  *P1, K1* to end
Repeat these two rounds 2x more for a total of 6 seed-stitch rounds.

Still working with Color A, knit 10 rounds.

Still working with Color A, work eyelet ridge section:
Purl one round.
*YO, k2tog* one round.
Purl one round.

Now switch to Color B, knit 10 rounds, and work another eyelet ridge section.
Switch to Color C, knit 10 rounds, and work another eyelet ridge section.
Switch to Color D, knit 10 rounds, and work a seed stitch border.  (There is no eyelet ridge in Color D.)

Bind off very loosely.  Lightly steam block.
Be creative with your Acadia colors, embrace your knitting ADD, and enjoy!

- Shelley
loopsknitting.com











13 Comments:

Blogger Anna Marie said...

As someone who truly has ADD, this story is a HOOT! Especially the parts with the fabric calling out to you! Beautiful cowl, too!

January 4, 2013 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger Anna Marie said...

As someone who truly has ADD, this article is a HOOT! Especially the parts where the yarn is calling out to you! Beautiful cowl!

January 4, 2013 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Shelley Brander said...

Anna Marie, thanks so much for your comment! Truly, I think the doctor was wrong, and I've got ADHD as well as OCD, both of which I put to good use by channeling the energy and the obsession into Loops! Seriously though, as a mom of a child with Asperger's and another with dyslexia, I would never mean to offend anyone with a learning issue. I truly believe that by embracing our learning styles we can accomplish so much and celebrate our uniqueness! :)

January 4, 2013 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Tammy Stafford said...

Really beautiful cowl! Thanks for the pattern and I can't wait to knit one up!

January 7, 2013 at 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Lorrie Fleck said...

Gorgeous pattern - thanks! - and your story made me laugh out loud!

January 18, 2013 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger Lista said...

And now I've cast aside all my WIPs, of which there are many, and cast on this project. Ritalin, indeed! Thanks for the gorgeous pattern!

January 20, 2013 at 4:49 PM  
Anonymous Knitting Wool said...

Great collection of knitting patterns.

January 22, 2013 at 4:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic cowl, thanks so much for sharing. I love everything about it...the colors, the pattern, the yarn, awesome.

February 17, 2013 at 6:30 AM  
Blogger ann wieland said...

I have the pattern and the yarn, and I've started the cowl. It worries me that there might not be enough of the first color (blackberry) - has anyone else knit this cowl? I hate to get up to the 18th row and run out of Color A.

February 19, 2013 at 6:30 AM  
Blogger ann wieland said...

I have the pattern and the yarn, and I've started the cowl. It worries me that there might not be enough of the first color (blackberry) - has anyone else knit this cowl? I hate to get up to the 18th row and run out of Color A.

February 19, 2013 at 6:31 AM  
Blogger Shelley Brander said...

Hi Ann,

This pattern has turned out to be very popular, with many people making the cowl. I designed it to use up most of each skein. If you run out early, just record how many rounds you've done, and do the same number in the rest of the colors. You may be knitting more loosely than I did (although I tend to knit loosely as well) so it is possible you could run out early. Not a big deal, I promise!

February 19, 2013 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger ann wieland said...

How did other knitters keep the first and last sections from curling? I can't believe I spent all that money on yarn and the scarf won't turn out right. Ugh.

March 14, 2013 at 5:43 AM  
Blogger Shelley Brander said...

Hi Ann,

The seed stitch border is designed to minimize curling, but still I had a little curling until I gave it a good steam-block. If you used the same yarn, you should find it blocks very nicely due to the merino/silk content. Another factor could be your gauge - if you knit tightly, it's more likely to curl and a little tougher to block. Give it a try and see how it works for you. You can also send us a photo or bring it in for us to look at if you live nearby. Let us know how it goes!

March 14, 2013 at 10:29 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home