I am happily working along on my Leftovers Cowl.
There were some questions about this project in the comments so I will address some of them here.
Diane asked: How do you handle the “jog” at the beginning of a new color combination? Bury it in the purl stitch?
Basically, yes. The purl stitch on each side is worked in the background color and it occurs at the halfway point and at the end of the round. The jog is not an issue anyway, because the cowl will be folded along these purl ridges and steam-blocked, so the start of the round will be on one side of the cowl and the end of the rounds will be on the other side.
Ginny asked: Do you separate your sock yarn into wool blends and 100% wool?
I do not . . . and that’s a good question! While most of my sock yarn is 100% wool, I do have some sock yarns with 10% nylon content and I am using these interchangeably with the all-wool yarns. What I am not using are yarns that have other fibers, like bamboo or mohair or alpaca. Another variable is thickness — not all fingering weight sock yarns are created equal so there is going to be some slight variations in yarn thickness. I have eliminated all yarns that seem to be bordering on laceweight or sportweight to try to keep things consistent. There are slight differences in thickness in the yarns I’m using, but it’s not enough to dramatically affect gauge.
Jamie asked: Are you using a particular book for pattern inspiration, or is it all “as the yarn speaks to you”?
I charted out the whole thing before starting. Each chart yields around 13″ of length, so I will work the chart 5 or 6 times. The motifs I am using in my chart are partially traditional fair isle and partially stuff I made up.
I am leaning towards working to charts 6 times and if I do, I have between a quarter and a third of the total piece done at this point:
For each “band” in the pattern I select two different yarns from my leftover sock yarn stash. I am of course making a point of selecting two colorways that contrast, and I am also keeping an eye on the colors I’ve used so I don’t, for example, have several bands of different shades of green in a row. I’m also making a point of mixing up the background and foreground colors, that is, switching dark/light and light/dark to make it more interesting.
At this point I have not needed to repeat a yarn yet, and I still have enough leftovers for several more bands before I have to start repeating yarns used. When I repeat them, I’ll mix them up so no two bands will be identical in colors.
I will write up the pattern and make it available (and that pattern will tell you how many stitches, etc., another question asked by several of you). While it is perfect for using up your leftover sock yarn, you could do the whole cowl in two colors. Maybe Rainbow Kauni and a solid? Or you could use mini skeins that are available from a number of yarn sellers. I know that The Loopy Ewe has sets of mini “cakes” of complimentary colors — Loopy Cakes!
Loki just does not “get” my fascination with this project. I do believe he is bored.