Knitting Cowls when it’s too hot to wear them


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.


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.


Here’s a better look at the spiffy construction.


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.

Winter’s Rhythm capelet


It’s been awhile since I’ve done any mosaic knitting. This was a fun reintroduction to the technique. The slipped stitches are through the center section of the capelet and the knits and purls in the bottom section echo the mosaic section. It’s Kelly Jensen’s Winter’s Rhythm, available on her website or on Ravelry.

My tame denim blue and natural brown version is worked up in worsted weight Berroco Ultra Alpaca. The yarn is a soft blend of 50% Peruvian Highland wool and 50% alpaca. Seventy-two colorways are available, in solids, natural heathers and dyed heathers. I only lightly steamed mine, but may still wet-block it to wrestle a few unruly sections into place.

Check out Jensen’s pattern, in bright turquoise and fire engine red, for a more bold use of color. I’m very pleased with mine. Lately I’ve enjoyed knitting and wearing different styles of “sort of” shawls–ones that don’t need pinning or precise shoulder placement. So, keyhole shawls, tied shawls, and now my first capelet.

Here’s a closer look at some of the details: