A week late, the Denbigh Cowl is released into the wild

It didn't take very long for my resolution about releasing a pattern every month to fall by the wayside, did it? Without further delay, please meet (again) the Denbigh Cowl.

This pattern was originally published in Issue 23 of Knit Now as one of the Designer Challenge projects. The challenge being: you have one ball of Blacker Swan Island DK and one ball of Blacker Breeds Pure Teeswater DK - what do you do?

In this instance, I knit them up into a fun cowl with a dramatic geometric pattern created with slipped stitches and two dramatically contrasting colors. The cowl begins with an i-cord cast on (kind of a pain in the bum, but well worth the effort), and is worked to a depth of about 8.5 in/22 cm before finishing off with a matching i-cord bind off.

The version of the pattern now available also includes a long version, that is approximately 57.5 in/146 cm in circumference, so easily long enough to wear hanging down or wrapped a couple of times for extra warmth.

A note about these two yarns: although both are designated DK weight, they are very very different. If you're going to substitute different yarns, beware! The Swan Island DK is a plush, round, fantastically squishy yarn that is perfect for cuddling up next to your skin. The Pure Teeswater is a much thinner yarn with dramatically less elasticity, owing to the properties of the breed. As a spinner, I was fascinated by how different these yarns worked up together, and I tried to emphasize the characteristics of each. If you are going to substitute, I would recommend maybe using a heavy fingering weight yarn for the CC in place of the Teeswater to get a similar effect. A standard DK should be fine to substitute for the Swan Island DK.

Knitting, purling, knitting in the round, i-cord cast on and bind off, slipped stitch pattern.
Small (large), approximately 20.5 (57.5) in/52 (146) cm in circumference, and 8.5 in/22 cm high.
MC: Blacker Swan Island DK, 120 yds/110 m per 50 gram ball, 1 (2) balls. 
CC: Blacker Breeds Pure Teeswater DK, 120 yds/110 m per 50 gr ball, 1 (2) balls.
This is a great project if you've never worked with two colors before but you want to try - only one color is every used in any one row, and there are only 4 rounds in the entire 12 round repeat that are anything other then straight knitting. 
Denbigh Cowl, $5.00 - click the button below to buy now from Ravelry. The pattern will be delivered to you as a pdf, and you do not have to be a Ravelry member to purchase. Thanks, and enjoy!

Finished Objects

A number of things were finished over the last week or so. The biggest and best of those was Yarn in the City: The Great London Yarn Crawl (V1.0). It was a fantastic day, with ample stash enhancement of all sorts and loads of yarny goodness displayed at the pub afterwards. Our amazing volunteers shepherded their teams around London, despite the vagaries of London transport (I'm looking at you Central Line...), and kept everyone together and happy throughout what was a very long day. And Alli and I are pretty sure that we will be doing this craziness again next year, so if you didn't manage to come this time around, keep an eye out for V2.0 next autumn!

In the final run-up to the Crawl, I spent what precious little free time I had frantically finishing up my Christmassy-cowl, out of Romney Ridge Farm yarn I purchased on my Downeast Yarn Crawl over the summer.
Christmassy cowl
I tend to find entrelac too fiddley for my taste/patience level, but it was just the right thing for me to knit last week - mindless but requiring a bit of focus. I kept going until I was almost out of yarn, and then did a 3-needle bind off using the last scraps and then a bit of leftover yarn from a different project when I ran out.

After the crawl, I spent most of Sunday morning spinning, but then turned to my wee baby cardigan - I finished the knitting on this more then a week ago, but (as always happens) I stalled out putting on the buttons. Not because I didn't have buttons, but just because I couldn't be arsed to pull them out and sit down and sew them on.
Now the buttons are all sewn on, and it's ready to go. Sadly, there won't be FO photos on the blog for quite a while because it's a Christmas present*. Here are the pertinent details:

Pattern: Right as Rainbow Baby Cardigan by Stephanie Lotven
Yarn: Spud & Chloe Sweater, very small amounts for the stripes and edging (Firecracker, Grass, Aqua, Lake and Grape Jelly), Brown Sheep Cotton Top (discontinued) in Natural for body and Brown for last stripe.
Needles: US 6/4.0 mm
Start/finish: 4 September - 14 September for the knitting, 22 September for actual sewing on of buttons.
Comments: This was a lovely, straightforward pattern, with the only complicated bit coming in the decreases in the yoke to make the nine points. Otherwise the perfect TV-watching, stressed-out event organizer knitting. I may or may not have piles of worsted/aran weight yarns decorating my office, waiting for me to cast on the next one.

Some things are just made for each other

Perfect pairing
Like this lovely Romney Ridge Farm yarn in "Cranberry Bog" and entrelac. I've got deadline knitting to do (laceweight, cables, a big boo boo to go back and fix - ugh), but I can't put this down. My other entrelac projects have been terribly fiddley, but worsted weight yarn is so much faster and more satisfying! The plan is to keep going until I run out of yarn, and then do a three-needle bind off to turn this long strip into a cowl. And these colors are going to be the perfect Christmas present for someone.

In other news: I am completely swamped by GLYC organisational stuff/another impending trip/the start of school/general life. So things are going to be a bit sparse on the virtual ground around here for a bit. I'll be Tweeting and updating Ravelry fairly regularly though, so you can always find me there. Ta!

It's a big week for patterns: Denbigh Cowl in Knit Now Issue 23!

This week, the latest issue of Knit Now hit the stands, containing my Denbigh Cowl pattern.
Photo credit: Dan Walmsley

This pattern grew out of a designer challenge, where the editor of the magazine sends around a call for patterns that utilize a specific yarn (usually with only enough yardage for an accessory). I came up with the idea for this cowl after seeing Kate's Pinterest board for the challenge, which featured lots and lots of graphic designs with strong contrasting lines.

The yarn is from Blacker Yarns - their Swan DK and Pure Teeswater DK. This was my first time working with yarns from this company, and they were absolutely gorgeous.

Something I didn't realize beforehand, but that ended up working out perfectly for the design: the Swan DK is on the heavier end of the DK range, while the Teeswater DK is practically a sport/fingering weight! This meant that the yarns fit perfectly into my plan to use the Swan DK (made from Falkland merino) as the background color, thereby putting the softer yarn against the skin, and put the more drapey Teeswater yarn into play as the accent color.

There's my swatch, edged with i-cord that's worked as the cast on and cast off for the cowl. It's a bit easier to see the stitch pattern here - it's a very easy pattern to work, with only two rows where anything happens that you need to pay attention to. And it is totally addictive!

While the pattern is currently only available through the magazine, I will be releasing it in the fall with an additional, larger infinity cowl size. And once I decide which colors I'm going to use, I'll be getting some more of that gorgeous yarn!

Leaf Peeper Cowl

Some of you may know this already (ha-bloody-ha!), but I really, really like knitting with handspun yarn. I mean really, really like it. If given my druthers, I'd probably never knit with commercial yarn again. So it seems only reasonable that I might start designing some patterns for handspun yarn, right?

Leaf Peeper Cowl

Meet the Leaf Peeper Cowl (attractive posed amongst the dead ferns in Richmond Park). Knit from side to side out of just under 100 yds/92 m of bulky weight handspun yarn for a cowl that is about 18 inches in circumference unstretched. If you want a longer cowl, simply keep going until it's the desired size. When it's long enough, graft the ends together and voila! Instant neck cuddles.
Leaf Peeper Cowl
The sample was knit out of 3-ply BFL from my shop, in the Leaf Peepers colorway. The fiber was split into three equal lengths before spinning, and then two of the pieces were split further lengthwise. Final yarn was 95 yds/3.5 oz, or approximately 450 ypp.
Leaf Peepers 3-ply
This is the perfect quick cowl for holiday presents - I think mine took me a couple of nights to whip up, and the stitch pattern, while it may look complicated, is pretty easy to follow once you get going.

Pattern can be found on Ravelry in my store, or you can get it here for $5.00.
Leaf Peeper Cowl