WIP Wednesday: Dissent Cowl and the Icelandic Cast On

Work in Progress Wednesday and Day 191 of Shelter in Place for San Francisco.  Needless to say, people have all but forgotten about that last bit with everything else going on.   Sort of like how I’ve forgotten about my large pile of WIPs, now that I’m working on my Dissent Cowl.  

I could tell you about this cute striped hat for my nephew, I’m working from the inside and the outside of the ball at the same time…I usually hate that nonsense but it’s going well.  Totally worth it for these fun stripes. 

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I’m even working on a bit of crochet.  Not gonna talk about that dirty secret though. Then there’s Noro Rainbow Roll cowl I’m working on, a lovely bit of seed stitch with more fun stripes.  I’ve even finished a fun bit of sequence knitting in the form of a Halloween hat. I can usually talk about sequence knitting all day.  I just love it but not today.

No, today, it’s the Dissent Cowl. I haven’t gotten far but I’ve got things to say.  And not just about the hypocritical, power hungry, self-righteous asshole Mitch McConnell.  No, it’s a far tamer topic…it’s the backwards loop cast on.  It’s the worst.  Especially when you’re casting on 100+ stitches.  I noped out the instant I saw that in the pattern.  

As a compromise, I decided to knit on.  It’s a technique I use frequently.  For a decade, it was the only cast on I ever used.  Times have changed though. I’ve stepped up my game and it’s definitely not my favorite anymore.  I thought it would be a suitable replacement for the abomination that is starting a cowl with backwards loop. 

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Turns out I was wrong. That cast on edge is loopy and weird and it’s only compounded by the fact that the first row of the pattern is a purl row.  Knitting on will not do so it’s back to the drawing board.  A friend suggested I do a provisional cast on and then start and finish with i-cord.  I liked that idea enough to at least think about it.  

In reviewing the pattern, there’s no bind off suggested but it occurred to me that this is essentially garter stitch and therefore the answer is obvious, the Icelandic Bind Off.  I still really love the Icelandic bind off.  It’s perfect for garter stitch.  If you aren’t familiar, I posted about it here and there’s a video too!  

So I’ve got the bind off sorted but still what to do about the cast on?  I’ve never been one to worry if they don’t match but somehow, in this moment, it seems kind of important so I went to google and much to my delight, Patty Lyons has developed a cast on to match the Icelandic bind off during quarantine!  Not only that, she’s shared details and a video!  Check out her post on for the details!  

Or, if you’d rather just skip to the video, here it is…  

Needless to say, I am super excited about this! It’s a really neat bit of kit. You essentially cable cast on, knit the stitch, cable cast on, knit the stitch, cable cast on, knit the stitch. I don’t have spare yarn at work so I’ve gotta wait until I’m home tonight to try this out.

I have complete faith that it’s going to be awesome though. Patty Lyons is a great teacher and knitter. This could turn me into one of those people who obsesses about matching cast on and bind offs. Rest assured, I’ll report back once I’ve done it! In the meantime, check out the rest of Patty’s post, she’s got a few cast on/bind off pairs that are worth checking out!

2 Comments

    1. FogKnits

      While I like the Icelandic Cast On, I think it’s mis-named. It’s not a good make to the icelandic bind off and it ultimately, didn’t work out for my Dissent cowl. I was with a classic long tail cast on. It’s not fancy but it is neat & tidy. I’ll share pics tomorrow :)

      Liked by 1 person

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