How many to cast on

I decided I was needing a change so I decided to knit a cowl, actually for myself for a change. I have decided to use Copilot by Dominique Trad. I was going to order yarn but remembered I had a skein of knitpicks hawthorne with similar colorway that I wanted. It is 367 yds. The pattern said sample was wrapped 3 times but I think I only want to wrap twice. She said she used all of 376 yds. So I am wondering if I should cast on less than the 260 the pattern states. One to make sure I have enough yarn and two so it’s not too long.

Measure the length that you would like for the cowl. Then you can figure out how many sts to cast on. The pattern gives 260sts for 180cm so you would be about 2/3’s of that or approximately 174sts. However measuring will give you a better idea of the length you need. The only other consideration is that the cast on be a multiple of 2.

I have this pattern saved to Favorites for some future knit. It’ll be good to see yours.

Actually I kind of came up with a similar plan. I measured a cowl that I like the drape(though it’s not a knit one it’s like a chiffon fabric) and came up with 60 inches. But a knit will have more give so maybe 8-10 inches shorter. Then I was going to cast on several inches and figure out how many stitches per inch and then multiply by number of inches of circumference to get number of stitches to cast on. Does that sound right? But now I am rolling into a ball. Never used yarn in a hank before. (This is tedious, if I do say so).

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Sounds like a good plan. That’s a careful way to figure this out.

Well my plan isn’t working. The yarn I’m using is 4 ply with 8 stitches per inch on size 1-3 needles. This is pretty exact to the malabrigo which was one of the recommended yarns. I cast on with size 8 and getting 6 stitches per inch. So if I wanted a 52 inch circumference that is more stitches to cast on than the designer used for her 180 cm cowl. Surely I’m not looking at this the right way. Any idea what I’m doing wrong

The pattern is using 260sts per 180cm. That’s 1.4sts/cm or 14sts/10cm (14sts/4inches). So that’s much looser than you’re getting for malabrigo sock yarn and very lacy.

How far are you in the knitting? You’ll need about 10cm or 4 inches to measure gauge which is really too much knitting over the large stitch number. For a good estimate, I’d try a small swatch of about 16-20 sts, knitting the swatch in the round.

I don’t worry about loose end sts. Measure over the middle 2-4 inches.
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Well I am using knitpicks hawthorne Woodstock. I was only comparing to malabrigo to demonstrate that I think they are “like” yarns and malabrigo was a recommended yarn. There is not a gauge listed in pattern, so I was comparing to what was on the band. I literally was measuring stitches per inch for cast on. Maybe that doesn’t work. I don’t have any yarn to waste so I guess I will start and cast on 200 and see how the circumference is after some rows in the round with garter. If it’s not enough I will just have to start over. I know I don’t want it as big as 180cm so less stitches cast on should work but hopefully not too small. This is why I don’t like making changes to pattern or different yarns.

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You can always reuse the yarn from the swatch. You don’t have to cut the ends as the end of the video shows. Just measure with the yarn loops to the back.
Anyway, you’re correct. Trying to measure the cast on won’t give you a true idea of gauge, not even close.
Fingering yarn should work well for this and 200sts is a good estimate. Let us know how it goes!