As a designer I always have too many ideas and not enough time to knit them. This also applies to all the patterns that are already written – I want to knit them all, but I have limited time and yarn money. About a month ago as I was scrolling through Instagram I saw the most beautiful cowl. Annie Lupton of Boho Chic Fiber Co. was looking for test knitters for her new pattern, the Vintage Damask cowl. I immediately emailed her and felt so lucky to be chosen as a test knitter.
My original colour combination didn’t work as well as I hoped it would. Medium grey and burgundy just looked like a sad rainy day, and this pattern deserved better than that (Pro tip: swatching is not just to check your gauge – it’s also a chance to make sure your colours/yarns work well together). I rummaged around in the stash a little more and unearthed this beautiful skein of hand-dyed yarn that looks like the sea. Perfection.
I happily began knitting, making sure I left my floats loose so the cowl wouldn’t be too bunchy (this is only my 2nd time knitting colourwork). Halfway through the pattern I realized my gauge was off. Instead of going up a needle size from my swatch I had gone down. The cowl fit over my head, but it was not the intended 24″ that the pattern stated. I frantically emailed the designer to see if it was ok for my cowl to be a bit smaller (when you are test knitting a design it’s important to follow the directions to a T and not make alterations). Annie was so nice and said that as long as I was happy with the fit, there was no need to change it. Whew! I happily finished the cowl and was so glad that when I blocked it the cowl grew a little.
All in all, the Vintage Damask cowl was a lovely knit. I can’t wait until it’s cold enough to wear it!
I just told you about what I crocheted on vacation, but I knitted while I was on vacation, too.
I’ve been eyeing the Fingering Brioche Bandana Cowl by Lavanya Patricella ever since it came out last year. Early last month I finally took the plunge and bought the pattern. I wanted clear but moody colours, so I used Hedgehog Fibers Sock in Nutmeg and Knit Picks Stroll in Midnight Heather. The beginning of the cowl was a challenge as I re-learned how to work brioche and how to fix mistakes. Once I figured it out, though, I brioched night and day!
The pattern directs you to knit the top of the cowl 5″ long, but I wanted mine extra warm and snuggly, so I knit mine 8″ long before starting to decrease for the bandana. I’ve never worked decreases in brioche before, so that was a learning experience. All in all, I very much enjoyed this knit and I want to knit more brioche. All the Brioche!! It’s so squishy and snuggly!
And brioche is reversible! I prefer the Hedgehog side because it is more colourful, but the navy blue side is quite pretty as well. You see it a little in the bottom of the second picture.
There are so many pretty brioche patterns out there. Do you have a favourite? What do you think of brioche knitting?
Will you just look at my finished cowl! It’s gorgeous! I used True Brit from Cathy Carron’s book Cowlgirls as a template, but really this cowl is nothing like the original pattern. Do you ever do that thing where you look at a pattern and you like it except for this, that, and the other thing, and by the time you’ve finished knitting it, it is a completely different object than the designer intended? I like my version much better. Unfortunately I can’t keep it. It is a gift for a friend.
The collar is just big enough to be worn flipped up or down for more or less warmth.
I realized right after I bound off that I picked up stitches for the cowl on the wrong side of the blue section, so my beautiful seaming that I was so proud of is stuck inside the cowl. Oh well. Maybe next time I will remember to look first!
It’s still beautiful, though, and I love it. And no one but me (and you) will know it was a mistake. You will keep my secret, right?
My Baby Flax was chugging along until I stopped reading the directions and missed the sleeve decreases 2″ back. So now it’s in the naughty pile until I make time to rip back and re-knit it correctly.
My True Brit is coming along nicely. Since I took this picture I have finished binding off the first piece and seamed up the edge. I need to block it before I can swatch for the gaiter that will be attached to it.
And as always I am making gnomes.
If you are as overwhelmed by the gnome cuteness as I am you can follow my progress at The Gnome Gallery. I try to take pictures of all my gnomes as I make them.
I try to stick to the knitting queue that I have established. I (mostly) keep my WIPs to a minimum. I start a project, and then I work on it. Sometimes, though, I just need to break out of the box and start a project on a whim.
I’ve had this book for a while, and this cowl has been on my list to make for a few years. The yarn is some of my oldest stash (and I plan to use some handspun as well). Over all, I think this is a pretty responsible whim.
What do you do when “the plan” is no longer working for you?
This has been a big week for me.
I finished my first Watermelon Sock (and started the second).
I published my second pattern, the Raindrops and Wildflowers Cowl (on sale for 20% off with the coupon code BEATRIX until July 5) (Yes, this is shameless self-promotion).
I bought a new (to me) car! It’s a 2013 Honda Civic, for those of you who will ask. Isn’t it pretty?
How was your week?
So, I meant to wait until Saturday to release my cowl pattern, but I couldn’t wait. You can find the Raindrops and Wildflowers Cowl pattern here! The pattern has been tech edited and test knit. It’s a little bit unreal (in a very good way) to see other people knitting up the pattern I wrote and loving it!
My husband was kind enough to be my photographer for this pattern. As you can see, we had a lot of fun at the photo shoot.
If you would like to buy the pattern, enter the coupon code BEATRIX at checkout for 20% off your purchase until July 5. Happy Knitting!