Knitting MuseMarch 1, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Posted in 2010, Finished, Knitting, Original Designs, Project Yarnway | 3 Comments
Have you ever stumbled across a stitch pattern that is both so pleasing to look at and so fun to knit that you find excuses to create several variations of the same item just so that you can knit it again, and again….and again? I’ve found myself in just that place. The Brioche stitch: It’s like a bad habit I can’t shake : )
As I mentioned in previous posts, I resorted to frogging my original raspberry red hooded cowl and earmarked the yarn for something bigger and better. Typically I’m diligent with pattern mishaps and will work hard to see a pattern through, but this one was just better left unrealized at the moment. Instead, I sketched out two smaller cowls inspired by the original. Based off the same stitch pattern, the nuances of each make for two cowls that are both very similar, but uniquely their own.
Finished Size after blocking | 22″ (56cm) width x 10″ (25.5cm) longs
Materials | Approx 200 yds (183m) of worsted weight yarn. Shown in Manos del Uruguay Silk Blends, 1.5 hanks, color 3016. Size 5 (3.75mm) needles, 24” (60cm) or size to obtain gauge.
Gauge | 5 stitches = 4” (10cm) in flat brioche stitch
Adamaris was the first pattern to spring out from the wake of the frogged cowl, and was based more heavily on the original design, sans the hood. It’s knit in the round on circular needles with a very simple 1×1 ribbing to add structure and tidiness to the edges. It’s knit wrong-side facing, and then turned inside out so that the loopy, spongy stitches are facing outward. I don’t know about you, but I think the wrong side has oodles more character. I chose to knit the wrong side facing in order to avoided excessive purling in the round, something I imagine most knitters would agree with. Lastly, I added snappy little buttons in a vertical 3-array to add visual interest.
It used approx. 1.5 hanks of Manos del Uruguay Silk Blends, and I adored every buttery inch of it. It was the most lush and silky yarn I have ever had the pleasure of knitting with, and I’m rather picky about yarn texture. I feared the silk would be too glossy for my taste, as I much prefer matte yarns, but I was very pleased with the finish as well.
While knitting Adamaris, I didn’t preoccupy myself with structure or embellishment. For my own sake, I just needed to work this stitch out into something wearable, and quick! (FYI: this pattern can easily be knit in a day). After it was complete, my mind was already reeling on another cowl, this time knit flat in order to allow for more stitch play and button panels.
Finished Size after blocking | 22” (56cm) width x 10” (25.5cm) long
Materials | Approx 220 yds (200m) of worsted weight yarn. Shown in Berocco Ultra Alpaca, 1.25 hanks, color 6253 (Gold). Size 5 (3.75mm) needles, 24” (60cm) or size to obtain gauge.
Gauge | 4.5 stitches = 4” (10cm) in flat brioche stitch
Aurelia, also knit in flat brioche, has the added interest of twisted stitch ribbing and garter stitch panels flanking the sides, and 3-row vertical button holes. It never ceases to amaze me just how numerous the combination of knits and purls there are that can be arranged on the same needles to create such different garments. And these are only cowls. In whole genre of knitting, the possibilities are virtually endless and the inspiration is mounting!
Anyway, while I loved the Manos, I chose a simple yet vibrant worsted-spun for the second variation in order to maximize my stitch definition. Adamaris was content to be knit in a variegated yarn which carried most of the visual interest, but I felt that the structure of Aurelia spoke for itself. Perhaps I’ll knit another with Manos to test my theory. I have a feeling I’d love it none-the-less ; )
Note: Aurelia has been entered as my February submission for Project Yarnway. Voting is open until March 15, 2010. Head on over and take a look!
Both of these patterns are available for $3 USD through Ravelry using PayPal, no accounts required. They are immediately delivered as a 2-page full-color PDF download with photos.