It’s also going to be linked from the photo; I am going to salt this link everywhere. I really like how the cowl turned out.
First off, it’s fitted. It flares at the lower hem, narrows at the neck, and flares very slightly at the top again. You can pull this up over your face if you’re very cold, and it fits great. I also like the lack of ease because I think it makes small accessories warmer; a loose cowl doesn’t seem as insulating unless it’s one of a few layers.
It’s a good showcase for scraps or that last little bit of fancy yarn (Hedgehog Fibres Sock in this case); the MC is a pretty economical choice (Cascade Heritage Sock).
I usually work up samples while I’m writing, but in this case, the final sample was knit pretty hastily after the pattern was mostly finalized. So it’s pretty satisfying to have it come out well!
Do you have tumblr? Consider participating in this exciting poll! It’s about knitting and project costs (yarn only), but it’s only running for 24 hours, which is certainly a deliberate choice on my part and not a horrible mistake I made by not paying attention when I actually meant to set it to run for a week.
Current work is actually really exciting, but it’s taking forever (larger knits! garments instead of accessories! spring layers! possible summer tops and all-season knits!), so it’s also a little angst-inducing and I don’t have a lot to immediately show.
HOWEVER, I do also have a pretty good cowl ready to see:
I thought this might be too simple in the sportweight yarn (I’ve got a laceweight version with a little more complexity for later this fall), but the shape is extremely satisfying and works very well as a cowl. It takes about 250 yards of yarn, which seems like a little bit of a high measurement (it’s been pretty rainy; the wool might be holding on to some moisture, enough to weigh a little more on the scale than it should), but it’s easily a weekend project for a seasoned knitter. It took me about four to six hours, possibly a little more—I was trying to track time closely in roughly 50-minute chunks, but often kept knitting past when I planned to take breaks.
I also want to knit another one right away, which I feel is a good endorsement—I get knitting boredom really quickly these days, and don’t often want to knit two of anything. Bodes well for the socks I have case on, doesn’t it?
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this project if it’s the type of design you like and you get a chance to work it up! It’s a nice small knit in between bigger designs, and has almost a refreshing feel.
I have not kept up on posting new designs! We’ve got a couple of new spring shawls to knit: Isometric Screenshot, above, which uses partial skeins and an interesting shifting midpoint, and Little Green, immediately below, which is designed to be a similarly interesting technical project you can knit up in a single skein (though it may not look its absolute best in a heavily variegated colorway, in retrospect).
My personal favorite is probably the more traditional shawl, though the button-up shawlette is kind of a neat approach to the limitations of working within a specific yardage.
I’m nearly done with two of May’s patterns, but the shawl and sweater(s) I had planned for late March and early April are on (temporary) hold. The biggest miniature wool vessel is currently serving as a cozy for the leaning plant of basil, and I’ll probably put all the rest through another harsh felting/fulling cycle to see if I can make them even denser.
(This is my second attempt to promote the latest shawl, which is not something I realized until I went back into my drafts folder to pull this post up. It’s even the same photo.)
I think I am going to try this all week.* I am going to work really hard at it. (Most of it might be invisible. I am trying to finish polishing a couple of March designs. But I am also going to try to be louder online, because that’s one thing I definitely do not do, and apparently the last time I was Dedicated to Hyping Myself Up was more than a month ago.)
It’s called Easy Guy Shawl. This is because as a project, it’s an easy guy—not because it is for guys who are easy or because it’s a heavily gendered guy shawl. There may have been some initial confusion about that. (Which is understandable. I think I use “guy” as an affectionate diminutive for pets, rather than associating it with people or specifically with dudes.)
This .PDF and the rest of my portfolio on Ravelry are on sale through March 26th, end of day, Mountain time! Buy any three regularly-priced patterns, and get a fourth one (equal or lesser value) free; all you have to do is add all four to your cart. It’s a great way to create your own mini-collection.
I find this strangely satisfying, even though the basic idea had me stuck for a while—I wanted to use shapes that don’t tesselate as well (and I still might for a future design! Stay tuned!) and I wanted to avoid finishing seams, but ultimately my (attempted and discarded) solutions for that felt a lot more fiddly and potentially frustrating than the technique I ended up with. The handspun yarn really lends itself well to this. I’d like to be able to use superwash commercial yarn here, but I think it might not hold up as well; it’s best to use soft wool with a little bit of natural texture.
(Nothing came up when I searched for a knit design called Blocky. So I published Blocky. When I went to add my own projects to Blocky, there was another Blocky, but it was very different to mine.)
Here is mine:
You can knit this project at least two ways: as a shawl, or as a cowl. Finishing for either one is pretty easy, and although I went with the cowl option, I felt that wet blocking took away a lot of the bouncy wool-yarn vitality of the thing, if that’s not too strange a thing to say. Garter stitch grows, but it also felt like it went kind of flat on me and I preferred the unblocked version pretty strongly.
For my second project, I’m doing the shawl (or trying to get close; I am having to kind of play fast and loose with yarn requirements and will probably end up with something a little different to what I had in mind color-wise) in a two-ply non-superwash wool, in hopes it kind of keeps more of the loft and bounce. The yarn I used in the cowl sample is one of my all-time favorites (Malabrigo Sock), but it’s just not quite as satisfying here as it is usually.
The photo above doesn’t show much—just yarn—but it’s probably the best yarn photo I’ve taken all year. There’s about five minutes of really nice light in this little alcove in the afternoon in January, apparently.
Anyway, there’s also Revenge of Pup Patch Hat and Cowl in this series. Please check them out if you’re interested or like mitered squares (these aren’t mitered squares, but they’re kind of mitered-square adjacent in some ways).