Knitted Cowl

canopy-cowlLet me introduce you to the Coffee Kitchen Cowl. Named after one of my favourite coffee stops in Cockermouth. This is a simple make, comfortable, practical and sure to be essential on those days when you need something you can tuck inside a coat or jacket without adding bulk. The yarn is called Canopy and is produced by the The Fibre Company, I’ll admit I was seduced by the colour and bought it with no project in mind. It is the softest yarn to wear and the colours just gleam.

For a long time it was simply called the “draught excluder”, but now I have finally got around to publishing the pattern I felt it needed a better name. So why the Coffee Kitchen? Well, firstly that’s where most of this sample was knitted earlier this year. Secondly it shares a lot of the same qualities. It’s comfortable, reliable and will always make you you feel warm and cosy – just like the cafe itself. If you ever find yourself in Cockermouth, look it up and peruse their extensive coffee and tea lists, then take yourself round the corner to the bakery and treat yourself to a loaf of real bread.

canopy-cowl-pic

This is a cowl that suits all ages – as you can see from the photos it’s equally at home in the city or in the wild outdoors. You can even make a narrower version and wear it as a head band. The cast on and cast off edges will roll naturally to give a gently curled edge. This pattern is now available as a pdf from Love Crafts or Payhip.

The Cheat Sheet:

I always tell my pupils that in yarn crafts there are no “rules”, do what you love and do what you want – and don’t let the knitting police tell you otherwise.

  • It’s fine to substitute the yarn, I won’t get cross (but do check out the Fibre Co, the quality is amazing and the colours are stunning).
  • You can substitute any 4 ply or fingering yarn. Shilasdair luxury 4 ply works well and the now discontinued Rowan Cashsoft 4 ply was perfect. Fyberspates Vivacious would be great.You’ll need about 200m for the size as written. Choose something special as it’s going to be close to your skin. Yarns with a “halo” like Mohair and Baby Alpaca aren’t so great as the stitch definition can be lost – but try them if that’s want you want to use. Look for a soft, smooth yarn with a high natural fibre content. Silk or viscose blends will have a sheen that reflects the stitches well.
  • If you prefer to knit on double pointed needles or magic loop, then go right ahead – it’s your knitting.
  • Cast off your way. You might preferĀ  a stretchy cast off or to use a size larger needle. Either way, the choice is yours. No-one but you will ever know…
  • Want it longer, wider? Just increase the cast on stitches in multiples of 4 – but you’ll need more yarn. Work more rounds as you wish until the cowl is your perfect size.
  • Make these for friends and family as a quick festive make – if you have horse riders, climbers or cyclists in the family I’m told these are great as they don’t “dangle” and keep out the wind!

Buy this pattern via payhip

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New Pattern: Pumpkin Spice

pumpkin spice cowlI’ve just added a new knitting pattern to my online stores on Ravelry and Love Knitting. This simple knitted cowl is an updated version of the previous cowl knitted in Kidsilk Haze, this time I’ve used an aran weight yarn. I am rather pleased with how this one turned out, especially as I hand painted the yarn myself earlier this summer. The autumnal shades weren’t deliberate, I was bit like a kid in a sweetshop and the only reason it’s not just “muddy brown” was the result of great personal restraint with the paintbrush!

I’ve suggested a few suitable yarns in the project notes, and I would encourage you to raid your stash and find something you like (you could always use two strands held together if you can only find a dk yarn). Often a variegated yarn looks fabulous on the skein, but can be a disappointment once you start to knit – in such circumstances I always go back to garter stitch or reverse stocking stitch – these are friend of most variegated or self striping yarns.

I hand painted my yarn on a one day “special” organised by Jeni from Fyberspates, she recently moved to Chester and kindly ran a workshop for our knit and natter group. I’m told she’s also willing to run workshops for other groups and Guilds and I would definitely recommend it. I came away with some gorgeousĀ  painted yarns, loads of advice and a rather full on obsession with hand dyed yarn (I think I ordered every book stocked in our local library!).

I think you’ll agree the cowl turned out rather nicely and photographed on a rather autumnal day, the name seemed appropriate! The pattern would be ideal for a new knitter, and if you’re looking for a festive gift for a new knitter, a skein of yarn, a pair of needles and this pattern would be perfect.

 

 

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