Last year, my great Christmas give-away was a pile of H20 Hats but this year it will be a stack of cowls. The pattern for this one was a freebie, given to me at Shelburne's Wool & Silk LYS where I purchased the yarn. It is a very clever design of spiralling ribs.
Spiralling ribs I have done before but never as easily as in this cowl. In the past, when I knit spiralling rib socks, the beginning of the round had to be marked and noted so that the rib pattern could be offset by one stitch each time a new round was started. That required - at least for me - an excercise of stop & think at the start of each round. The clever folks at Estelle, the designers of this knit-in-the-round, spiral ribbed cowl, used a bit of simple math to make the spiral happen automatically.
The ribbing is a multiple of six stitches - K3, P3. The cast on was 'one stitch short of a full repeat' as knitters like to say. A multiple of six plus five stitches. In this case 143 stitches. Being one stitch short of a full pattern repeat means that, automatically, the ribbing moves one stitch over and therefore it spirals. Easy peasy. Thanks, Estelle.
The 143 stitches, knit on a 6 .5 mm needle - a bit bigger than normal for this yarn - gave me a cowl than when held against my five foot frame reaches from neck to thigh. Large enough to wind twice comfortably around the neck.