Comforting Windschief

windchief

This is a stand-by knit for me. Mindless. Always comes out just the way it’s supposed to. I often knit this close-fitting cowl in Berroco Comfort worsted weight. Those who say “no way” to wool cowls can be convinced to try this on and it will pass the itch test.

It’s Stephen West’s Windschief, one of his older patterns before he got into theatrical presentations of super-creative stuff. I rather like the old West. And this is a great little pattern.

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My young neighbor chose the purple Windschief as one of his pick-your-gifts this year. He promptly pulled it up over his nose and struck a ninja pose.

I knit this next one during a long car ride over the weekend. And, yep, I was passengering. Another Comfort cowl. Comfort comes in a great range of colors. But, for this one I decided a dark dignified gray would work.

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This gray one was my 7th Windschief. Here’s a few I’ve knit that show off the Comfort Colors to good effect.

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This cowl pattern has a nifty extra. West provides instructions to work a crown decrease rather than that top ribbing. The resulting hat is super-cute.

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Knitting Cowls when it’s too hot to wear them

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This is Allison Goldthorpe’s Ziyal, a free cowl pattern available on Ravelry. I knit mine in one of my all-time least favorite yarns to work with, Berroco Lustra. I had enough left over from my Walkover Wrap to complete this cowl. Giving Lustra the bit of credit it deserves, if you get through your knitting and soak it in a wool wash afterward, the garment ends up with a great comfy feel and good drape.

Ziyal uses what Goldthorpe calls a smocking stitch. The stitch is very easy to work and Goldthorpe’s blog has an excellent photo tutorial to help guide knitters. I know it as bowtie stitch. The pattern staggers the smocking by moving the end-of-round marker 4 stitches after each set of rounds that make up the pattern repeat. Clever.

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If you have any difficulty with the smocking stitch, I prepared this video “how to” that should help.

Ziyal is the Black Sheep Knitting Guild‘s selection for our July Knit-a-long. It’s a quick, fun knit. Just the thing, if you’re me, for knitting when the weather gets hot and muggy. Just knitting something for next winter cools me off.

This next cowl is Stephen West’s great Windschief pattern, knit as a cowl instead of a hat. I am a big fan of close-fitting cowls.

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Here’s a better look at the spiffy construction.

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That swath of twisted rib puts just enough zip into an otherwise very simple pattern. This Windschief is knit in Berroco Worsted Weight Ultra Alpaca, a wonderful yarn in zillions of solid and heathered colorways.

This will be just the ticket for chilly mornings paddling to Ghost Bay come fall.

Knitting hats when it’s too hot to wear them

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I knit warm hats year round. It’s never too warm to try one on. And it’s not like the knitting needs to rest on your lap.

This is Shilling, Chris Terramane’s contribution to the free pattern library. Shilling is available on Ravelry and on Terramane’s Simply Savvy blog. The pattern alternates garter stitch and stockinette squares and columns of what the designer aptly calls “purl-sandwiched” cables.

The directions include a variety of sizes, both child and adult. Directions are given for knitting flat (but don’t do that–why deal with the seam) and in the round.  The chart is super-sized and very easy to read. Wonderful!

My Schilling is knit in Plymouth Yarn Galway Worsted. Here’s a view of the top decreases.

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This next hat is yet another version of Melinda VerMeer’s great pattern, Bayfront. It’s knit here in  Saki, by Prism, a wonderfully springy 75% merino 25% nylon fingering weight.

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I modify the pattern to lengthen the hat and create a folded brim. Whether you knit the original version or add the folded section to warm up the ears in your vicinity, this is one great pattern. I’ve knit Bayfront six times now. The star of this knit is the top decreases.

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Bayfront is available in VerMeer’s Ravelry store.

Another fav is Stephen West’s Windschief. This is also a multiple knit for me. This time I knit it in Cascade Yarns Alpaca Lana D’Oro, a 50% alpaca 50% wool worsted weight. It’s a tad hairy for my taste, but it’s still very soft and not a bit scratchy.

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My glass head doesn’t wear this hat very well because, time for a confession, I ran out of yarn and ended up abbreviating the length. So this Windschief is child-sized. I’ve knit Windchief as a hat before. But it’s also a seriously great close-fitting cowl. You just stop before the crown decreases and bind-off “early.”

It’s been much warmer lately in Michigan. So, for this twisted knitter, it’s time to knit hats.

Coler Fingerless Mitts

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Stephen West’s “Coler” fingerless mitts look a bit odd laying on a table, what with that eight-legged spider wrapped around the wrist. But on the wrist, these mitts are wonderful. Stylish without being over-the-top. And maybe I’m the only one who sees a spider instead of just some classy cable work.

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The 2 by 2 ribbing is wonderfully stretchy and will accommodate DK or worsted weight yarns and still fit most sized hands. This is Stonehedge Fibers Shepard’s Wool in the milk chocolate colorway.

A change of yarn and the mitts become quite feminine. Shown next in a discontinued Berroco 100% worsted wool version of “Vintage.”

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The mitts have a very nice thumb gusset, which help to situate them properly on the hands. For smaller hands, you can either shorten the mitts, or wear them cuffed.

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Three Windschief Cowls

This is Stephen West’s nifty quick pattern: Windschief. I’ve knit four of them so I’d say I’ve gotten my $6 worth out of the pattern already! The pattern includes a hat, which continues the cowl’s twisted rib swath through the crown section. I’ve knit that as well and it worked out very nicely.

These are knit in Berroco Comfort, a wonderful skin-friendly worsted spun in 50% acrylic, 50% nylon. It has a nice bounce-back effect and great stitch definition. If you can’t find the color you want, maybe it doesn’t exist. Comfort comes in 66 solids, 13 heathers and 14 prints. On top is Olive (9781), Sprig (9721) is on the left, and Dried Plum is on the right (9780). Comfort is a 16-ply yarn that is presented as being split-resistent. I didn’t find it so, but think a bit of splittiness is a small price to pay for this much comfortable.

Here’s a few closer looks at the cowls: