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The Easy Luxury of the Breton Cowl


My first welt was also a bit floppy. When I looked carefully, I saw that this was because the stitches in the attaching row were loose. After i knit for a while the first welt started to look just fine, and for subsequent welts I tried to tighten up while knitting the stitches in the attaching row. It’s a lot to keep in mind-- find the right stitch, find the right row, knit with the right tension. Luckily, you only need to knit this row 4 times, and the results are so worth it…


Thanks so much, Kay, for the advice. I will carry on.


Thanks so much. Very helpful!


I just shared the term “knitting reenactment” with my DH who chuckled a bit but I think he was laughing at me instead of with me, as in “you are crazy to think that is funny”…he’s not a knitter, but is knit-worthy, usually.


I was well pleased with myself when I wrote that, harrumph!


I so want to knit one of these. I’m knitting the “Rise” cowl in Drift and it is delicious yarn. However, having finally faced the near-hoarder status of my WIPs and stash (way, way beyond SABLE) I have a new rule that I have to finish 3 of one type of thing before I can purchase another of that type of thing. The Breton Cowl is a great motivator!


What a fun knit, but of course I love everything Antonia Shankland designs! This was my first welt where you pick up stitches below. I found it very helpful to use a dpn to pick up about 10 stitches at a time below, then knit them together. I may just have to knit another one!


I read this as “wet-flapping” and thought you had invented a bold new way to avoid blocking! The time between ordering reading glasses and actually having them on your face is a whacky-fun time!


I do this all the time Quinn (and I do have glasses on my face at all times), and I marvel at how the brain always tries to make sense out of these misreadings. Sometimes they’re quite brilliant, unintentional poetry.

Wet-flapping is what hens do in the rain?


My first welt was loose, too. But Welt No. 2 was when I found religion on how to pick up the welt-making stitches that happen in Row 7 of the Silk Cloud. I’m kind of stoked about this, and if I get organized, I’ll make a video.

Here’s what I did:

The problem for me with Welt No. 1 was that I was looking over at the wrong side of the work to find and pick up the correct purl bump. I had no way of being sure that the stitch I was picking up was in fact the correct stitch, six rows directly under the stitch on my needle that it would be knitted with. If you pick up the wrong stitch, you can end up with a slanted welt. OH MAH GAH THE HORROR.

My solution: stop looking at the wrong side of my cowl to pick up that stitch. Instead, I keep right side facing. I look at the stitch on the left needle, eyeball down six rows, then—without looking at the wrong side—I stick my right needle from the wrong side into that stitch six rows down. I catch the top of that stitch with my right needle, pulling it back and upward, and place it on the left needle. Then I knit the two stitches together.

With this method, I can confirm that I’ve got the correct stitch picked out before I knit anything. And it’s faster for me, too. Maybe you guys are already doing this. But I was so happy to not be looking at the wrong side anymore.


I applaud this innovation! Staying in the correct row of stitches is the hardest part of doing this for me; I had the same problem when making my Titania neckwarmer thingy.

But on the Breton Cowl, since it uses two very different yarns, my method–picking up from the “dotted line”–is also very easy to execute.


Hmm, I’m thinking of giving Ann’s pick up method a try. I will be making another one of these, since my first one came out so divinely luscious and squishy. If Ann’s method speeds up the process for me I’ll give it a whirl!

Would Squad Mitts in Silk Cloud be too extravagant? (I like my cowl and mitts to match!)


Squad Mitts in Silk Cloud would be a DREAM. I say do it, live the dream…


Cast on a Breton Cowl last night using my October YarnBox (merino, silk, nylon). It’s DK weight so I cast on 250 stitches. Not to a welt yet…


Kay, my chest is a bit puffed out with pride… I puzzled and puzzed til my puzzler was sore about how to pick up the right stitch — even once, let alone 200 times — and then I hit upon simply picking up that dotted line. A few stitches in and I could see it was going to be tidy and harmless. Only after posting my “innovation” on Ravelry did I see you’d hit upon the same conclusion! I’m all for a second edition of this pattern with the dotted line in the instructions. It’s probably the first time I’ve ever picked up exactly the right amount of stitches.

I’m utterly besotted with this pattern now that I’ve got my first welt under my belt. I have a feeling I may be wearing it by Monday.


Finished a Breton Cowl last week. Used Cascade Heritage Silk held double for the main color and Malabrigo Silkpaca for the ridges. Modified slightly because I realized about half way that I wouldn’t have enough of the main color. 10 garter ridges on the outside and 6 between the contrast ridges. Mailed to recipient on Friday.


Lovely colors! Way to modify.

I just finished one myself, a speedy little thing. I’m now kind of into
perfecting my ridge moments–it’s all about the pickup in Round 7. Feeling
pretty sassy about my aim at this point!


Oops, increasing to 250 stitches to compensate for DK yarn resulted in my not having enough mohair for a fourth welt. Decided not to order more, just going with 3 welts. I think it’ll be fine. I settled on using Ann’s from the front method for picking up welt stitches…very smooth! Thank you!


Has anyone knit the Breton Cowl back and forth, instead of in the round? I love back-and-forth garter, am thinking of giving it a go. :sunny:


That is exactly how I realized I needed to do the pick-up row as well. MUCH too confusing trying to look down from above on the wrong side! So simple looking from the right side to locate the top of the correct stitch!