August 22, 2012

Step One: The Knit Stitch.

Beachy Cowl [ jenleigh ] version

Knit using Classic Elite Mountain Top Vail (Parchment) and Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in pale pink, mild green, black, yellow, Bahama blue, tomato red, and eggshell.
Knit on size US 10.5 circular needles with parchment held throughout cowl with contrasting Silky Wool colorways.
I've got to stop giving away the good stuff.  Or better yet, just plan on making two of everything!  In the spring of 2012 we had our annual Artapooloza auction at school.  The auction raises money for the Art Departments in the lower, middle, and upper schools.  I've donated different projects over the past years, and this year was knitting lessons, a gift basket full of all sorts of yummy yarns and notions tucked in a pretty Jordana Paige bag, and this beautiful cowl designed by Purl Soho. 

It's exciting for me to see how knitting interest has grown year after year!  I love getting texts and emails for groups and individuals wanting to learn how to knit.  And after completing a round of Knitting 101 I always have students knit a scarf for their first project.  There's nothing like rows and rows of knit stitches to truly learn all the ins and outs of our craft.  

I'm a stickler for one thing in knitting:  learn how to read your work.  Period.  I believe if when someone is learning how to knit they are also learning what the different stitches look like, then when a mistake comes (mistakes... what are those?) they will be able to look at their work and correct the mistake.  I have helped so many people over the years who have the knit and purl stitches down, can do yarn overs, and lacework, but when they make a simple mistake they are at a complete loss as to both what they've done wrong, and what they need to do to correct it.  I think that for a lot of beginning knitters this is why there are so many projects left unfinished and new ones started.  (Now, for the record, we all have UFO's tucked away... many of them for completely different reasons...)  But so often, as beginners, we get out ahead of ourselves, which leads to countless frustrations, the main of which being mistakes we don't know how to fix.

I have several beginning scarf patterns I go to for beginners, and this cowl by Purl Soho is a great one!  Nothing more than thousands of knit stitches knit in the round (new technique!) with occasional color changes (new technique!) and within a week or so you have a gorgeous cowl for year round.  Well, three out of four seasons anyway...

I knit mine using a combination of two yarns, Vail by Classic Elite, which is an alpaca/bamboo blend.  And Silky Wool by Elsebeth Lavold, which is a yummy wool, silk, and nylon blend.  I LOVE how this cowl turned out.  Because my yarn was a bit thicker than the yarn denoted in the pattern, it made my finished cowl a shade longer than the original, so the finished piece has lots of room for layering without adding weight.  It's surprisingly warm to be so light, and the alpaca gives the overall piece a gorgeous halo effect.

There are so many color options for this cowl, and I'm looking forward to knitting one for myself in a monochromatic theme, maybe differing shades of grey?

So if you are a beginning knitter... start here!  This is a simple scarf with only a couple of new techniques that you can easily access online.  For me, I love going back to the basics.  Sometimes it's fun to throw in a lacework shawl, or colorwork mittens, but for easy-going-TV-watching knittin' there's just nothing better than step one:  The Knit Stitch. 

I hope everyone is doing well and you're well on your way to lots (!!) of yummy Christmas knits!  

Happy Knitting!


  1. If only I could get past row 25 or so on the scarf I'm trying to knit....without a glaring mistake! But I love trying!

    Cindy N.

    1. Bring it to pick up today if you want and I'll look at it... I bet we can fix it pretty quickly! =)