New Canaan Tips

On this page you’ll find tips and techniques for making my New Canaan cowl!

Choosing a yarn/yarn-weight

I offer instructions for 5 different yarn-weights for New Canaan: fingering, sport, dk, worsted & bulky. If you’re not sure what yarn-weight your chosen yarn is classified as, check the label or look it up on Ravelry. I also give a suggested needle size to use based on the yarn-weight, but keep in mind that is suggested and you may want to go up or down depending on your exact yarn.

I wouldn’t worry too too much about getting the exact gauge (so long as you’re relatively close). The great thing about cowls is that if it comes out a little larger or smaller, it can still work!

Yarn fiber/color tips

Any type of yarn fiber will work welll for New Canaan! As you can see below, I knit my original sample (in light green) in a merino/cashmere/silk blend (The Fibre Company’s Road to China Light) which has really nice stitch definition. But I also knit it in a Mohair blend (in blue), in cowgirlblues Fluffy Mohair, which has less defined stitches but the pattern still comes through and looks really cool! Fluffy Mohair is also available at many US yarn shops – click here for Mother of Purl’s selection.

The Fibre Company Road to China Light, sport-weight
Cowgirlblues Fluffy Mohair, bulky-weight

In terms of colorways, you can either go with a solid or semi-solid or variegated can still work! Variegated yarns may not show the stitch pattern quite as defined as solids will. But depending on how variegated and the colors, it can still look really great. I recommend looking at some of the finished projects on Ravelry because there is quite a variety of yarns and colors used and there’s nothing like seeing actual examples!

How to make it smaller

Interested in making your New Canaan more of a neckwarmer type of style vs the long infinity style? It’s a super simple revision! You’ll just want to cast-on less stitches. Below is what I suggest for each of the yarn-weights, based on the gauges in the pattern. This will give you a cowl that has a circumference around 24″ and so you’ll want to make sure to use a 24″ circular instead of a 32″.

  • Fingering: 180 sts
  • Sport: 156 sts
  • DK: 132 sts
  • Worsted: 108 sts
  • Bulky: 84 sts

Long tail cast-on

In the pattern I suggest using the long tail cast-on method to cast-on. That is my preferred method and I think it provides a new edging. If you would like to see a video lesson on how to work this cast-on, click here. And if you would like to see a video lesson on how I join to work in the round when working on a long circular, click here.

Binding-off in pattern

At the end of New Canaan, I suggest binding-off in k1, p1 pattern. On the previous round (because I had said to end the body of the cowl after working a rnd 2), you had worked in k1, p1 all the way around. So when you bind-off, you just want to work each stitch as it presents itself. For example, you’ll knit the first stitch, then purl the second stitch, then work your first bind-off. Then the next stitch to work will be a knit stitch so you will knit it, then work your second bind-off, etc. If you have never done this before, click here to watch my video where I bind-off in pattern on a sweater. I’m working k2, p2 in the video (instead of k1, p1 like in New Canaan), but the concept is similar and should help if you are new to this concept.