Happy New Year to all! Buon Anno a tutti!
It has been a VERY busy holiday season here in coastal Connecticut, and I’ve fallen behind on my posts, but I promise many new and exciting updates in the upcoming weeks.
First, my brother is in town visiting, which is always a welcome treat! Of course one of the first things we did was a photo shoot of the two Icelandic Lopi sweaters I’ve had waiting for him. So look for a post very shortly with photos of those beauties!
Second, he brought me some delicious wool from his LYS in the UK, so I’ll have to show those hanks at some point.
Third, I have tons and tons of projects going on right now, with a new publication to be released any day! So much to catch up on.
But for this post, I want to focus on a new pattern I released just before the holidays: the Borealis Cowl. I’ve had the wool for this project sitting in a bin for months, and my stashing endeavors brought it to light and got me thinking about the project I had in mind. It was a quick design, two-color stranded knitting in a Nordic snowflake pattern. I was able to work out the design and knit the cowl in just a few days, while lying in bed with a sinus infection. Win win!
Here it is, the Borealis:
A while back, Knit Picks introduced their new yarn line, Muse, with beautiful hand painted colorways on a gorgeous single ply superwash merino. They asked me to design a free hat pattern for the yarn launch, which led me to design the Bristol Diagonal Rib hat. I immediately snatched up another colorway as well as a hank of the natural undyed wool, with just this sort of cowl design in mind. There it sat for quite a long time.
My goal with this project was to come up with a cowl that uses just two hanks of the Muse wool (it’s not cheap, after all) in a pretty and functional design. Here is my first Borealis, with the background in Bare and the star in Impulse, a gorgeous combination of reds, pinks, and aquas.
This first try favors the natural color background against the handpainted star pattern, which is beautiful, but I wasn’t completely sold on the way the colors pool. So I tried it again, this time with some random yarn from my stash – a hank of Manos del Uruguay and some Drops Nepal. The gauge on this one is slightly larger, so the cowl has larger dimensions.
I was much happier with the darker colorway as the background and the star in the natural color. So, time to purchase more of the Knit Picks Muse and try for a third time!
The third test is my favorite, in Muse Bare and Thrill colorways (of course, purple is my favorite color, so I’m a bit biased).
In the pattern, which is currently available on Ravelry, I include two versions of the chart, one with the darker background and one with the natural background, so knitters can choose either version. This cowl would work well in any Aran/chunky hand-dyed yarn paired with a natural or neutral contrast. Depending on the colors, a black contrast might be lovely as well!
I’m hoping Borealis will be available as a kit through Knit Picks in the upcoming months. I’d love for knitters to take advantage of this beautiful Muse yarn line – it’s really not to be missed!
Happy New Year, and may 2020 bring you many successful knitting projects!