The dimensions I'm basing my designs on came from the new Interweave Knits holiday supplement. As I was browsing through, the idea of neck warmers appealed to me but neither of the designs in the book did. I wanted lace! Elegant, flowing lace... I swatched the lace for the grey neck warmer & then calculated it for the larger, bottom end, which worked well for the lace I'd chosen, and for the method of decrease I'd worked out for getting it from the larger diameter to the smaller... The neck warmer patterns I'd looked at had used a consistent decrease throughout, so the prototype looks like a blunt-topped triangle. And although I like it very much & wear it all the time, I came up with some better ideas that I have incorporated in the designs for the others.
For one thing, although starting at the bottom does take advantage of the stretchy cast-on (I use the basic cast-on loops because they are the stretchiest, in my experience), but where you really need the stretch is the neck edge, so all the subsequent neck-warmers have been from the top-down. Another design feature I've added is, rather than consistently increase as I go up, I knit around in the cast-on number of stitches for ~4 inches, then I start increasing drastically (8-11 stitches, every 4-6 rounds) so there's less fabric pooling around the neck. I like the elegant look of this design, plus you can see the lace better. For the bottom edges I've been either crocheting-off in loops or using a knitted picot bind-off (found in Meg Swansen's "A Gathering of Lace" also a wonderful source for charted lace patterns). The pink one is the picot. I tried using garter stitch at the bottom edge (as in the prototype), but it just curled up & didn't look pretty at all. I have been blocking them all, too, which makes the bottom edge behave very nicely.
|White neck warmer on the needle...|
|...and on me!|
|This one is for me! :)|
The most interesting part of this design is getting from smaller circumference (neck) to larger (bottom). I've shown some close-ups of the lace so you can track where the increases have allowed me to add more repeats of lace. I've also had to come up with different ways of adding increases, sometimes double increases less often (as in the pink one) and sometimes single increases more often (blue, white, & black). With single increases I actually switch the method of increase depending on whether I've got an even or odd number of stitches within which to increase. I like using yarn-overs as increases when I can, since it adds to the lacy look.