the pine bough cowl, a sweater for your neck

I was thrilled when my friend Cirilia Rose, creative director at Skacel Fiber Studio, asked me if I’d be interested in designing a pattern for Skacel’s newest yarn, Kenzie, a tweedy DK-weight wool-nylon-alpaca-angora-silk blend from New Zealand. I couldn’t help saying yes after she brought over a few sample balls in different colors, and I fell head over heels in love with this blue and green together (#1009 Oceania and #1007 Kiwifruit, respectively). I started swatching some of the stranded colorwork ideas I had bouncing around in my head, and landed on this diagonal pine bough motif. Trapped bar stripes break up the zig-zagging pine boughs that run the length of this oversized cowl. It’s large enough to wrap around your head twice to keep your neck nice and cozy, but it drapes nicely and really shows off the stitch pattern when simply worn down (in the January chill of Seattle, I have to admit my favorite way to wear it is doubled up – it’s so warm!). Pine Bough Cowl took seven 50g balls of Kenzie (four blue, three green), so it truly is a sweater for your neck.

Cirilia also designed two patterns for Kenzie, and we shot the mini-collection this past weekend in Ballard, my favorite neighborhood in Seattle. I modeled the Pine Bough Cowl, Cirilia is modeling her gorgeous Cedar Leaf Scarf (how good is that orange?!) and our friend Kathleen modeled Cirilia’s Tayberry Hat. We’re thrilled with how the collection turned out and I hope you like Kenzie as much as I do. The patterns are all free and are linked to their ravelry pages below.

Pine Bough Cowl

Tayberry Hat

Cedar Leaf Scarf

All photos copyright 2013 Skacel & Kathy Cadigan, except first two, which are mine.


I’ve been keeping the pattern-writing momentum going and I’ve got another new one to roll out today! May I present Rhubarbidoo:

I picked up three little balls of Shetland Spindrift on a trip to Edinburgh in June, with the intent to use them together for a project. I thought I’d knit up an earwarmer for cooler weather – I wear my hair up in a bun fairly often, but it’s hard to wear a hat when my hair is pulled up. So here’s my solution! Even though this pattern uses three colors, you’ll never use more than two colors per row, so don’t be intimidated by the use of multiple colors!

The pattern is worked in the round. I’ve suggested a 16″ circular needle, but it can be done on DPNs if they’re long enough and one is careful. I knit mine on DPNs, in fact, because I didn’t have the right size circs handy. But I think a ciruclar needle would be easiest!

Rhubarbidoo is named after a song by one of my favorite bands, Múm. You can find the pattern page here on Ravelry.

a monday freebie: putney

In an effort to lighten my yarn stash, I’ve started pulling out all the single skeins of stuff I bought years ago and never used. They’re great for small, quick projects, and this one was inspired by the fiery bright autumn leaves outside my window (almost all of which have now fallen to the ground and been swept away…hello, winter!). I named it Putney. It’s a simple cowl, with a textured pattern formed using contrasting purl stitches, and as a simple tube, it’s a great project for beginners and advanced knitters alike.

1 skein worsted weight yarn (yarn pictured is Cascade 220 Heathers in tangerine heather)
US Size 7 (4.5 mm) circular needle, 16″ length

5 stitches per inch

Finished dimensions
approx. 9.5″ with a 21″ circumference.

CO 96 stitches. Join to make round, being careful not to twist the stitches.

Border stitches
Row 1: [K1, P1] to end of round.
Row 2: [P1, K1] to end of round.
Row 3: [K1, P1] to end of round.
Row 4: [P1, K1] to end of round.
Row 5: [K1, P1] to end of round.

Row 6: [P1, K7] to end of round.
Row 7: [K1, P1, K5, P1] to end of round.
Row 8: [K2, P1, K3, P1, K1] to end of round.
Row 9: [K3, P1, K1, P1, K2] to end of round.
Row 10: [K4, P1, K3] to end of round.
Row 11: [K3, P1, K1, P1, K2] to end of round.
Row 12: [K2, P1, K3, P1, K1] to end of round.
Row 13: [K1, P1, K5, P1] to end of round.

Repeat rows 6-13 six more times, for a total of seven repeats.

Repeat rows 1-5 (border stitches), and bind off all stitches.
Weave in ends and block if desired.

Find Putney on Ravelry here.

acorn teeth

I’m super happy to announce the release of my new knitting pattern, Acorn Teeth. I worked up the first pair (the brown and grey pair shown below) a year ago in Hungary, and I’ve finally had time to sit down and write up the pattern. Right now, the pattern is available for purchase on ravelry, and you can find the pattern page here.

This pattern is a great way to learn some new skills, though the fine gauge might make it easier for colorwork veterans. If you’re familiar with stranded colorwork, the vikkel braids across the top of the mitts might be a new skill. Whether you’re learning new skills or practicing old ones, the final product is highly customizeable with yarn and color choices.

My two sample pairs are both worked up in Hungarian yarns from Barka, but as I don’t expect most folks to be able to track those down (or order from the Hungarian-only website), I’ve recommended a light sport weight or fingering weight yarn for these mitts. My aim with the two pairs was to show off how different a product you can get based on color choice. The brown pair and the blue pair both share two yarns and differ only on one (brown or blue), but I switched the color assignment on the blue pair for a really different feeling.

I’m very proud to finally be sending this one out into the world, and I’ll be releasing more patterns in the coming months. Happy knitting!

(Special thanks to my friend Kathleen Tarrant for helping out with the photoshoot for this pattern, both modeling and shooting.)