Back in the summer of 2017 I attended Pomfest. This was a mix of yarn fest and talks and I think there may have also been workshops but I only attended a couple of talks and browsed the beautiful stalls.
One of the talks was by Olga Buraya-Kefelian who talked about her knitting career and her journey through creating 3D textures and shapes with a Japanese influence. I had known of some of Olga’s designs but I wasn’t sure if her designs would be for me. But her talk was THE thing I kept talking about with my knitting friends.
2 knitting friends from the local community also saw her talk and were as fascinated as me by her Boko Boko Cowl and decided to organise a knit along.
Like I tend to do I had some ideas but decided to try and put my own spin on this pattern and see if I can use a lovely gradient of Brooklyn Tweed Arbor that I had in my stash already. This yarn is DK and as it is not too tightly spun I added in the recommended fine laceweight yarn with some steel content to help the spikes keep their shape.
The pattern is relatively simple. The trickiest bit was holding the lace weight steel yarn and not dropping it, as it did not always like to behave like the other yarn.
Once you have the pattern memorised it is a very quick satisfying knit. Not as boring as stockinette but also not too challenging for TV. And you are creating a cool 3D texture.
I used Brooklyn Tweed Arbor for the first time and really enjoyed knitting with it. The colours were great and the yarn never split. The twist seems to help bring out the lovely texture and ridges created by the yarn overs and decreases. It feels soft but not like merino, there is a slight sturdiness to it.
The other yarn I used was the Habu textiles steel wrapped silk yarn. I decided to use a golden colour to match most of the colours throughout and I like the subtle shine it gives the finished piece. Holding it alongside the DK yarn was a bit tricky in places but otherwise it was fine to knit with.
- Less repeats of each row and hence smaller spikes due to amount of yarn I had
- Multicolour cowl – over 6-8 rows I would alternate colours to fade in the next colour
- I didn’t pay attention to how many repeats I should do of the full pattern, just knitted til my yarn ran out
- Used DK yarn
- Made a size between small and medium
When I first started to knit for myself in 2015 I was fascinated by the state street cowl by Quince and co.
At the time I had no idea where to buy yarn or really how to knit, or how needle sizes work. This knowledge gap I can now demonstrate having made the cowl again 18 months later.
This first version I made using the suggested yarn but I knit more repeats of the pattern to make it bigger because I was inspired by Karen Templer’s version. I actually bought the yarn and pattern in 2013 and then my life changed so I did not actually try to knit it until 2015.
The main mistake I made that I had not realised I had made until now, was that I did not understand knitting needle sizes. The pattern mentions to use the following:
US 13 – 9.0 mm
US 15 – 10.0 mm
What I did was use:
US 9 – 5.5 mm
US 10 – 6.0 mm
Hence my fabric is a lot denser and not as drapey as for others who used the suggested yarn. I never noticed or minded that to be fair.
My new version made this year looks so different! You can see the face details, it is soft and drapey and just lustrous.
Who knew needle sizes made such a difference! Look at the comparison below. The grey one is on top of the darker one.
This is a lesson learned. Stick to the correct needle size or better even, make a swatch! 🙂
I have just finished my second version of the Cozy cable Cowl from Purl Soho. The pattern is free and I highly recommend it if you ever wanted to try knitting cables. It uses a bulky yarn and the instructions are really easy to follow.
I remember buying this yarn online and loving the colour way and then being blown away by it when I had knitted it up. Photos of course do not do it justice.
The finished item was a lot more drapey than tI re one made with the suggested yarn from Purl Soho. But I loved it. It was a super fast make, and I could knit it while commuting and then wore it on my commute during which I eventually lost it. I even filed for lost and found but never got a reply. Sigh.
This happened before I went on a trip to New York, where I made it my mission to go to Purl Soho. Once I was in the shop I fell in love with the squishy Feltro yarn and bought enough to make myself a replacement cowl.
This again was a joy to knit with and came together super quickly. You are kind of getting into the cables and then it is all over and you are binding off. Using this yarn created a lot more squishy fabric that held its shape and sits on the neck. It is currently drying from its soak so I do not have pictures wearing it.
I highly recommend this pattern, it comes together fast and you could make it as a gift for christmas still. It is also awesome for trying out cables as the chunky yarn makes it non fiddly and you see the results really quickly.
Question: Have you made a replacement item after losing or damaging the original?
In my day job I am surrounded by tech and think about problems that people making software face and how to mitigate these.
I am no programmer, but I love what the programmers come up with and the whole idea of sequences and changing one value and repeating this over and over again to create patterns.
This is basically what sequence knitting is. I recently bought the book by Cecelia Campochiaro and love it. It is such a simple technique but beautifully illustrated in the book and easy to understand.
When the book was first released in 2015 Tom of Holland did an interview with the author which you can read here. I love that Cecelia usually is a science author and this is her first publication outside of the sciences.
The patterns from the book are on Ravelry as well. What I really like is that a simple sequence works well in a solid yarn but has a completely different effect if used with 2, 3 or 4 colours.
If you want to try sequence knitting but don’t want to do any maths just yet, then Loop of London has come to the rescue. They designed a simple cowl, called…what else…Cecelia!
I tried to make this cowl, with some mods. I am on a yarn buying ban and hence used some chunky instead of super bulky yarn. This meant that I cast on twice the number of stitches and just knitted until I like the height of the cowl.
The yarn is Malabrigo and I love it. It has some great autumnal colouring to it. It was the perfect simple knit to get me through the week.
I think it turned out alright and the yarn blocks nice and softly. The pattern was easy to remember and I love the diagonal lines it creates. Maybe next year I will make it in its suggested yarn as I love the Freia Fibres colour ways.
Question: Have you tried sequence knitting? Have you made your now sequence knitting patterns?