Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Buachaille Cowl

This week's Seven Skeins pattern releases were much more the sort of things I'd like to knit. Kokkeluri looks like they would be really interesting to knit and great to wear--a firm yet soft fabric that would make wonderful warm mittens. Trouble is, I rarely wear mittens, as most of my venturing outdoors in winter involves driving, for which gloves with grippy palms are better suited. Reluctantly, I will have to pass on these until I find an important use (or user) for mittens.

Cochal, though, is something I certainly would wear. I find scarves and cowls really essential to keeping warm, and the soft touch of Buachaille is just right for something that will snuggle the neck and face. But which of the colors to choose for it? They're all so lovely and all of them go together with all the others so well! They're beautiful together just as they are:

See what I mean? It's almost a shame to break up the bouquet! But I finally decided to use two of the natural shades because they are just slightly softer than the dyed ones. Squall and Haar it is, then, saving the white Ptarmigan (!!) as a contrast for whatever I make with the dyed shades. An added plus is that these neutral shades will go well with any coat or jacket.

And then I noticed in one of the pattern photos a bright Highland Coo "cell" in the grey and green version. I loved that little accent and read the pattern eagerly to find out how it was worked in. Turns out it's not just a single cell, but a row of cells only one of which shows in the photo. Hmm. so much for trying to figure out how to achieve that little spot in the overall circular knitting.

Then lightening struck. Well, OK, a minor inspiration hit me. I could have ALL the colors! I could make this cowl a celebration of all the Buchaille colors at minimal yarn expense if I used Squall for the main color (the framework), Haar for the contrast color (the cells), and duplicate stitch a little of each of the other colors in random spots. Eureka!

On I cast and away I went.  It's a fast pattern and the yarn feels lovely moving through the hands:

Here's the finished item, with its little colored cells looking like jewels in settings! And take a look at how well the yarn usage was calculated. I made it exactly to pattern and the little coils are all that was left over from the main colors. Very impressive.

Having said that, when worn the cowl feels a little too tall for its diameter. If I made it again, I think I would knock off about 3 rows of cells. And being less scrunched, the "jewels" would show off better!

And now, back to our previously scheduled projects. I've just amassed this pile of Handmaiden Great Big Sea with the intention of making a shawl. What kind of shawl does it want to be, I wonder?

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