Good Sunday Afternoon to you all!
The leaves are almost gone! Bare limbs flirt with the cold air and I am left feeling the anticipation for long nights feeding the hissing fire, a mountain of old paperbacks to be devoured and knitting projects upon projects. Let’s see how many of my old designs I can officially set free into the world?!
This particular project that I’m sharing with you today (in addition to the fingerless mittens) were originally designed for the book – a dream that is now on the back-burner ( I hope). The original idea behind the book was simple Fairisle patterns for the beginner. So, all of the designs were created for the beginner who is delving into the world of 2 colours for the first time. It’s strange, I’ve been knitting for well over 10 years and I still feel like I’m in that realm. Someone who loves to just work simple projects. One of my side knitting projects is to knit little blocks with the odd leftover ball of yarn to eventually create a massive patchwork blanket. I have a great love for re-purposing and not buying new things (I guess you could say I’m frugal – I like to think economical and practical) – so using all of my stash is honestly, one of the most satisfying things! Anyway, I digress!
Where do I even start with discussing this project!? Sometimes, projects begin by seeing a type of wool and deciding that not only do I want to use that wool but there are 2 colours I really want to see come together. This was one of those – the wool in question is Briggs and Little Regal. It’s a softer Worsted weight and has some pretty nice colour choices. Briggs & Little is an East Coast (from New Brunswick) woolen Mill which produces really good quality 100 % wool at an affordable price. It also is essentially the same weight as our PEI woolen mill – MacAuslands, so the projects that I choose for one can always be interchanged (giving me a much more exciting and wide range of colours)! So, the purple and brown cowl you see is Briggs & Little and the Black and Orange is MacAuslands 😀 ( Also – Briggs & Little is sold at Dollar Stores and Grocery stores – sooo… it’s pretty awesome!).
So, with the skeins beginning to pile up on my shelf – I chose to make a cowl using a floral fairisle design. I feel like I normally make patterns with Evergreen tree designs (which I still really love!) but felt like, I really love the designs that resemble flowers. They are so cheerful : ) Floral things always make me feel connected to the earth and blissful. So, I worked around a flower pattern and here we are! The cowl is not reversible. I suppose if you wanted to make it – you could simply knit the whole pattern twice, doubling the length and then folding the second design inward and sewing it to the bottom. It would be extra warm too!
It feels really good to let the knits from the defunct book out into the world. It feels like releasing these sad, caged creatures to a happy, happy home. I can now move forward with other creative projects eventually moving onto entirely new projects. I have been thinking of coming back to my mandolin, wood carving and *something I’ve never mentioned before* book binding. But for now, please do enjoy the photographs of my latest knits and the free pattern! It is very simple and I enjoyed watching the pattern emerge from 2 sticks and wool. I hope you will too <3
** In other facets of life, Halloween! Samhain! The Celtic New Year. November is just around the corner! I lament the old days of stalking the streets on Halloween. Now, I am thinking of lighting some candles and remembering my grandparents. Thinking about my ancestors, those I knew, those I didn’t. Isn’t it strange that if you went back 200, 400 years and switched out one single ancestor, you wouldn’t be the same? We have so much to be grateful for and I do think we need to rekindle that connection to our ancestors. Mine were Weavers and Ship captains, Cable layers, Basque explorers & farmers, Irish Landless labourers. All of whom, for one reason or another (mostly from misfortune) found themselves in a strange, cold land and carved out a life here. A life, that I owe my very existence too and wouldn’t be the same without vast forests, rivers and endless lakes.
Blessed Celtic New Year to you <3 Happy Samhain, Halloween, Ancestor Festival <3 Light a light during the halfway point to the winter solstice <3
F L O R A L F A I R C O W L P A T T E R N
A simple fairisle pattern using aran weight wool and knit in the round. A fun way to explore colour combinations :).
1 size fits all – Width: 25 cm/ 9.8”
Circumference: 50 cm/ 19.7”
Height: 28 cm / 11”
Briggs & Little Regal – 272 yds (248m)/skein / 4 oz. (113g) skeins ((Or any aran weight yarn))
A – Forest Brown (1)
B – Fundy Fog (1)
3.50 mm 60 cm circular needles
4.00 mm 60 cm circular needles
Stitch marker or a 4” piece of waste yarn (to mark the beginning of the round)
NOTES** the black and orange cowl was knit up using MacAusland’s 2 ply black and a burnt orange. The orange was a seasonal colour that I purchased last spring so it may not be available anymore. The Black & Orange also is a variant of the pattern here – as you can see the ribbing was done in the same colours as the background of the fairisle. The fun thing about knitting is that you can explore on your own and make your own variants and colour combinations! Just remember to credit the original creator :).
9 Sts / 13 rounds 2 ” x 2 ” using 4.00 mm needles
CAST ON & RIBBING
- Using A, cast on 136 sts using 3.5 mm circular needles.
2. Join in a circle, making sure it is not twisted. Place your Stitch Marker or Waste Yarn at the beginning of the round to mark the change in the round and K2, P2 until the end.
3. The ribbing is in a double moss stitch, which means that the pattern is formed by alternating the basic ribbing as follows:
Round 1: K2, P2
Round 2: K2, P2
Round 3: P2, K2
Round 4: P2, K2
Repeat this pattern 3 Full times, for 12 rounds total.
FAIR ISLE MOTIF
4. Change to 4.00 mm needles and follow Floral Fair Cowl PDF, (CLICK THE LINK FOR THE PDF 🙂 Also can be found as a Jpg image below!) beginning in the bottom right hand side and working your way from right to left and up the chart. Increase your stitch count to 140 st. in the first round of the pattern – evenly distributing the new 4 stitches ( roughly every 34 stitch, M1). You now have 140 Stitches on your circular needles for the design.
5. On the last round of the chart, decrease the pattern by 4 stitches evenly throughout the pattern (roughly every 34 stitches). So knit 34, K2tog, etc. In order to return your stitch count to 136 Sts for the ribbing.
RIBBING & CAST OFF
6. Once you have completed the chart, switch back to 3.50 mm needles and repeat step 3 again.
7. Cast off in the pattern on the last round.
8. Weave in all the extra strands of wool and block!
Happy Knitting!! If you choose to knit one of these up, please do tag me on instagram or send me an e-mail so that I can see your creative play with colour!
Some of my favourite fall time music for you <3