Plays Well Together

Feature: PWT


Plays Well Together: Into the mix

If you’ve been following along here at Plays Well Together, you might realize we like to mix things up. We play with the varieties of texture and drape, pattern and color that can be achieved by mixing crochet and knitting. We crochet in the round, and knit edges back and forth, or knit the ribbing, and crochet the crown of a hat. In this issue's pattern, Bias Button Cowl, we’re
mixing knitted garter stitch with clusters of lacy crochet. The combination allows for some great cozy scrunching and drama around the neck.

What is a cluster? In crochet, clusters are the inverse of “shells.” If you’ve worked granny squares, you’ve done shells. A shell is a combination of stitches all worked in one stitch or space from the row below. A cluster is a combination of stitches worked in individual stitches from the row below, and then all joined at the top of the stitch. Bias Button Cowl uses the geometric combinations of both shells and clusters to create a lovely stitch pattern mirroring the biased shaping of the cowl.

Here’s how to make the cluster used in the Bias Button Cowl.

4dc Cluster

Begin as you would with a regular double crochet (yo, insert hook into the proper stitch....

...yo, then pull through 2 loops), but hold right there!

Do the same first part of a double crochet in the other 3 sts of the cluster, you'll have 5 loops on your hook.

then yarnover and pull through all 5 loops. If you find this hard to do, you can do it in stages. Pull through some (maybe the first 2), then pull through the rest. As long as you don't yarnover between the stages, it will all be fine.


Standing SC

Usually when we start a row or a new color, we use a slip stitch to attach the yarn, then chain up to the proper height (1 chain for sc, 2 chains for hdc, 3 chains for dc, and 4 for treble crochet), but that's not strictly necessary. Instead we can use a standing stitch to start the row. In this case, we need a sc.

Start with a slip knot on your hook.

Insert your hook into the appropriate stitch

yo, and pull through 2 loops. This will leave your tail end at the top of the row.

Pattern: Bias Button Cowl


Bias Button Cowl

beauty shot


Worked on the bias, this convertible scarf/cowl alternates knit garter stitch stripes in a larger yarn with crocheted lace stripes in a finer yarn for a study in contrast of texture, weight, drape, and color. A slipped stitch edge gives it a clean selvage, and it finishes with a stripe that has buttonholes, so you can easily button it closed to form a cowl.

spacer model: Miranda Natividad

spacer photos: Miriam Felton




Width: 9.5 inches/24cm
Length: 77 inches/195.5cm


spacer [A] Dragonfly Fibers Traveller [100% Superwash Merino; 280 yards/4 oz skein]; color: Mermaid; 2 skeins
spacer [B] Malabrigo Sock [100% Superwash Merino; 440 yards/3.5 oz skein]; color: Persia; 1 skein

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below - every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer US #6/4mm straight or circular needles for flat knitting
spacer 1 G-6/4mm crochet hook

spacer coilless pin marker or scrap yarn to mark RS of fabric
spacer yarn needle
spacer 4 x 7/8 inch/2cm buttons


21 sts/32 rows = 4 inches/10cm in garter stitch


[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

When crocheting onto the knitted stripes, crochet into the top loop of the bound off edge. When picking up stitches from the crochet stripes, pick up sts through the back loop of the crochet row.

Weaving in ends on this scarf/cowl can be daunting. I recommend weaving them in as you go.

2 dc cluster: yo, pull up a new stitch, yo, pull through 2 loops. Yo, pull up a new stitch, yo, pull through 2 loops, yo, pull through remaining 3 loops.

4dc shell: Work 4 double crochets the same stitch.

4dc cluster (photo tutorial above): *(Yo, insert hook into stitch indicated, yo pull through 2 loops), repeat from * in next 3 stitches leaving final loops on hook (5 loops on hook), yarn over and pull through all loops.

Standing SC: see tutorial above

Instructions for the Cable Cast On can be found here.

Crochet Pattern
Row 1 [RS]: Standing sc, 63sc, turn.
Row 2 [WS]: Ch4, dc in 3rd sc from hook, ch2, 4dc shell in 3rd sc, ch2, (dc in 3rd sc from hook, ch2, 4dc shell in 3rd sc, ch2) 9 times, dc in last sc, ch1, dc again in last sc, turn.
Row 3 [RS]: Ch3, dc in first dc, ch2, dc in next dc, (ch2, 4dc cluster in shell, ch2, dc in next dc) 9 times, ch2, 4dc cluster in shell, ch2, 2 dc cluster into next dc and top of turning chain, turn.
Row 4 [WS]: Ch4, dc in next 4dc cluster, ch2, (4dc shell in next dc, ch2, dc in next cluster, ch2) 9 times, 4dc shell in next dc, ch2, dc in top of turning chain, ch1, dc again in top of turning chain, turn.
Row 5 [RS]: Ch5, dc, ch2, 4dc cluster in shell, (ch2, dc in next dc, ch2, 4dc cluster in shell) 9 times, ch2, 2 dc cluster into next dc and top of turning chain, turn.
Row 6 [WS]: Ch1, sc in top of dc cluster, 2sc in next ch sp, (sc in top of cluster, 2 sc in next ch sp, sc in next dc, ch2) 10 times, sc in top of turning chain, fasten off.




First (Knit) Stripe
With knitting needle and A, cast on 66 sts.
Setup Row [WS]: Knit.
Knit Row 1 [RS]: Sl1 wyif, kfb, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. Mark as RS with a coilless pin marker or scrap yarn.
Knit Row 2 [WS]: Sl1 wyif, k to end.

Repeat Knit Rows 1-2 11 more times, then work Knit Row 1 once more.

Bind off as follows: Sl1 wyif, k1, pass the slipped st over the k st to bind it off, continue to bind off the rest of the the stitches normally.

Crochet Stripe
With RS facing and B, work Row 1 of Crochet Pattern (using chart or written isntructions) 64 sts across top edge (don’t work into slipped selvedge stitch on either side).
Work Rows 2-6 of Crochet Pattern. Fasten off.

Knit Stripes
With knitting needle and A, pick up and knit 64 sts (see Pattern Notes) from crocheted edge.
Setup Row [WS]: K1, kfb, k to last 2 sts, kfb, k1. 66 sts.

Work Knit Rows 1-2 12 times, then work Row 1 once more.

Keep alternating Crochet & Knit Stripes until you have 10 Knit Stripes and 10 Crochet Stripes, ending with a Crochet Stripe.

Final Knit Stripe w/ Buttonholes
Set up for as for standard Knit Stripe, and work Knit Rows 1-2 9 times.

Buttonhole row [RS]: Sl1 wyif, kfb, k3, (BO 3 sts, k13) 3 times (leaving 14 sts between each buttonhole), BO 3 sts, k3, k2tog, k1.
Following row [WS]: Sl1 wyif, k5, (using cable method, CO 3, k14) 3 times, CO 3, k7.
Repeat Knit Rows 1-2 twice more, then work Row 1 once more.
Bind off on WS as before.


Block and weave in ends. Line up the bias edges so the cowl forms a loop, then sew the buttons on to match the buttonholes on the other end.


designernameAmy O'Neill Houck blogs at and tweets @plainsight. Miriam can be found on on the web at, and on Twitter @mimknits.

Amy and Miriam both have patterns on

Pattern & images © 2016 Amy O'Neill Houck + Miriam Felton. Contact Miriam