Chunky’s Not Bad If It’s Malabrigo


I have had two skeins of Malabrigo Chunky yarn on hold here on the knitting runway, waiting for me to choose a project. The yarn was from a Malabrigo Yarn Club shipment and came with a suggested pattern but, true to form, I decided to buck the trend and pick a different pattern. First let me say that this yarn is typical Malabrigo in that it is delightfully soft. It is NOT typically Malabrigo in that it is not a single-ply. It is 3-plied merino wool. Gauge is 3-3.5 stitches per inch and the recommended needle size is U.S. #10-11. Items knit with Malabrigo Chunky should be hand washed and dried flat.


I choose the “Tide Pool” cowl pattern by Bethe Galantino, which is available on Ravelry . It is a simple six-row repeat pattern designed for a chunky yarn and it looked perfect for what I wanted. Once I got started, I found that the special stitch on Round 6 which gives this pattern its name (I’m guessing) and interest was a tad fussy for me but that wouldn’t have stopped me. What DID stop me was the fact that it was really hurting my arthritic hands to do that particular stitch with the chunky yarn. I’m sure that those of you with younger, more supple hands would have no problem with it. Hmmm, what to do? I had persevered through three pattern repeats and didn’t want to rip it all out. So I decided to do some modification to the rest of the cowl.


Basically, I forged on with Rounds 1 and 2 of Bethe’s pattern, reducing the number of stitches by 1 in each round so after those two rounds I had two less stitches. Then I switched over to the Diagonal Structure stitch on page 36 of The Knitting Stitch Bible by Maria Parry-Jones. This gave me a nice spiral stitch pattern which was easy to follow and easy on the hands. After I had about seven inches of cowl knit, I worked another two rows of Round 1 and 2 from the “Tidal Pool” pattern, reducing the number of stitches by another 4 stitches. Then I continued my “Diagonal Structure” stitch for about another three inches before switching yet again to a Welted Rib stitch, found on page 71 of Parry-Jones’ book.


The ribbing draws the cowl in really just a hint but enough to give it a touch of elasticity when pulling over your head plus I like how it looks. There were still plenty of stitches on it to keep the cowl plenty big so if I want to have it snug up against my throat, I can use a shawl pin to secure it.


Final product is a “modified” Tidal Pool cowl done in Malabrigo Chunky yarn in the Brisa colorway on size U.S. 10.5 circular needles. Once again, I’m loving that Malabrigo!


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