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recipe for a quick gift

I love to knit for friends.  I also love to knit gifts and my notion of  'knitworthy' is far more flexible than many (see Franklin Habit's succinct and noteworthy flow-chart here).  I love to knit items that don't need to fit - cowls, scarves, shawls, the occasional pair of mitts.  Hats are tricky - my gauge can be loose and head size becomes a factor.

With these things in mind, I gathered leftover fingering weight yarns using a gradient/fade idea to knit a cowl as a goodbye gift for a colleague and friend at work.  I had already knit two others and don't like to knit the same pattern twice.  Inspired by the mini-skein sets like SweetGeorgia's Party of Five I made my own mini-skein set of five and cast on.  The finished product combines 5 yarns and 6 different stitch patterns to make a single-loop cowl:

Improvised recipe:
Started with Manos del Uruguay Alegria (gray): 
cast on 144 stitches, knit 1x1 rib for 10 rows 
- broken seed stitch for 12 rows, then 4 rows of…

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