I just finished this little neck-a-ma-thing, and it turned out really well! The pattern is Annabella’s Cowl, and the yarn is Fleece Artist Back Country, a super soft, machine washable merino wool made right here on Canada’s East coast. The yarn wasn’t exactly like the ones they called for in the pattern, so I used a larger needle and cast on fewer stitches (you can find all of our modifications in our project notes on Ravelry).
The project only took one skein of Fleece Artist Back Country, and I’m happy with the size – not too big, not too tight. The pattern was extremely easy, it’s definitely beginner friendly (probably a good project for a novice once they’ve learned knit and purl. It’s a great knit in front of the TV kind of project, especially if you need to whip up a gift in a rush.
More Yarn Options
The pattern was originally designed with a yarn like Handmaiden Maiden Hair, which would knit up beautifully on 5mm/US8-16″ circular needles (only 1 skein required). It would also be yummy made with Drops Brushed Alpaca Silk (use a single strand and 5mm/US8 needles (two skeins) for a light, airy version, or two strands held together and 6mm/US10 needles (4 skeins) for a thicker, cozier neckwarmer). If you want a yarn option that’s a little less precious try Berroco Vintage Chunky (1 skein) with 6mm/US10 needles.
I love the pixelated, woven look of linen stitch, and I also love that working it in the round makes it super easy – it’s just the same two stitches for every round. The yarn, Manos del Uruguay Alegria, is one of our favourite staples, a beautifully dyed merino blend that’s super soft, but also has some resilience which makes it great for all kinds of garments, including socks! And as icing on the cake the company, Manos Del Uruguay, is a non-profit organization that was created to give economic, social and personal development opportunities to the women in Uruguay’s countryside (they’ve been a member of the World Trade Organization since 2009).
Manos del Uruguay Alegria: 2 skeins (1 skein each of 2 colours; contrast colour is a semi-solid, the main colour is variegated/multicolour) ON SALE TO SEPT 6
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I just finished a Stripe It Cowl, it just needed to be photographed properly. I used 4mm/US6 needles for the ribbing and 4.5mm/US7 needles for the body of the cowl. I’m super happy with it, and I think all of the colourways will look glorious!
Mini Knit Hack
One secret to a happy project: use the darker end of the colourway for the bottom of the project and the brighter colour for the top, darker colours look more balanced on lower parts. In my project, the pin & green is darker than the orange & blue, so it went on the bottom.
As you may already know, I’m already thinking about my own holiday gifts (I know. it’s sweltering out there, but I’m determined to get ahead of the curve this year). I really love this yarn, Urth Uneek Worsted, and I found this extremely simple cowl designed with it. It’s so easy a beginner can do it, and it only takes 1 skein and 1 pair of needles to make it – I’m thinking perfect last minute cottage project.
I encourage you to take a look at the finished projects to see how different colours knit up – I guarantee you’ll fall in love with at least one of the colourways. To get an idea about how the different colourways knit up you can take a look at the fingering weight version of the same yarn.
I just finished making this cowl myself (I’ll photograph that pronto, promise) and it fits casual and loose. If you want something more fitted you should omit some stitches.
Superwash yarn tends to loosen up after being washed. If you like your cowls on the drapy side, stick with the prescribed 4.5mm/US7 needles. If you like the fabric a bit more firm, go down to a 4mm/US6.
I find really interesting things when I browse through the patterns on Ravelry …. one of the things I found this week was a micro-collection of the same cowl made over and over again in different colourways of Urth Uneek Fingering (ON SALE UNTIL THE END OF JULY). I thought it was awesome that this knitter, Deb-Knits, enjoyed her project and the yarn so much that she wanted to continue exploring and experiencing it. I also get it, the project is GORGEOUS, and it illustrates that all the colourways of Urth Uneek Fingering work up beautifully. And hey, is it ever too early to start holiday knitting?
Our Bulky Mobius Cowl is a great little last minute gift. It works up fast on 10mm/US15 needles and the mobius technique makes it entertaining. The yarn, Malabrigo Rasta, is stunning: it’s buttery soft and I’ve never seen a skein that didn’t knit up like a Monet painting. Plus, it’s a one-skein project!
Malabrigo Merino Worsted is simply divine, squishy, knitting pleasure. It’s a single ply, super soft merino wool with tons of loft (it fluffs up). Use it for anything worn next to the skin – it’s so soft and airy you’ll want to cuddle up in bed with it. Note: this yarn must be hand washed (it felts like a beast), but it’s so soft it not only feels like a baby’s bottom, you can also wrap a little tush in it too! It can also be knit very densely, which makes it great for knitting stuffed toys.