Where oh, where did the last two months go, I ask you? It’s not as if I haven’t been on line, it’s just I neglect my poor blog so much. I’m wondering (again) if I shouldn’t make one or two of my facebooks posts here on my blog, thus fulfilling two on line attendances at once. Time will tell, I guess.
Where did this design begin? I got an email from Cat Bordhi telling me about Cascade’s Greenland and this is how it began:
I was at Cascade Yarns yesterday and they showed me a yarn that totally stood out from everything else in my opinion. It’s been out only a year and is called Greenland. It’s got lots of twist, is very very round, will knit like a dream and textures will look carved…I’m going to design something in it at some point, but that may take a long time, and I thought of you. I told them about you – and they did remember your store – and explained that you are doing a lot of designing and I offered to try to get you interested in designing with this yarn. I think you’d love it. So if you are interested, just contact Shannon Dunbabin here
The yarn is 100% wool (which I love), not an itch or a scratch in the ball, AND it’s machine washable. Go ahead…I tried…it really is!
Well of course I was flabbergasted and honored and I started to THINK and THINK. I’ve had a few ideas running around in my head and some notes of things I wanted to do written in my notebook. I’ve been fascinated with Bavarian Twisted Knitting for a LONG time but have only used twisted stitches when I knitted the Bavarian Twisted Stitch Cap (WG80) by Meg Swansen. I thought about knitting something flat, a shawl for example, but the thought of figuring out how to purl and twist a stitch in the correct direction left me cowering in a corner*.
Then the light hit…a cowl…a Bavarian Twisted Cowl. Then came more inspiration. While Michael was looking around H&M, he saw a buttoned cowl and wondered, ” Why not use a zipper?” He mentioned it to me and I looked around. No one is adding zippers to Cowls. Sure, people add buttons…but there isn’t one with a zipper. Sure zippers can be cold, but people will suffer for fashion. And so the designing began. BUT, not until I realized that this would have to be steeked. I did NOT want to knit this flat (*see previous shudder inducing though process about knitting Bavarian Twisted stitches “flat”). Steeking had to be the only way. And I hoped that by doing so, I would get more people to try it.
This was the birth of the design. And the swatching began
The yarn behaved much like Cat described, making the stitches appear carved in relief rather than knitted. I was (am) thrilled with the result, modeled here by my Michael for your viewing pleasure. The pattern is for sale on Ravelry. It comes with both written instructions as well as charted ones. I hope someone knits this and experiences both the joy of Bavarian Twisted knitting, as well as the experience of knitting with this lovely yarn.
I do think that some familiarity with Bavarian Twisted knitting, knitting in the round, and/or steeking (although there is an option to simply knit this in the round, omitting the steeking section, skipping the zipper and wearing it by pulling it over your head) will make the process a bit easier. But if you’re looking for a challenge, to learn something new, in a manageable project that’s both fashionable and small enough to finish relatively quickly, I think this is it. I have filmed some steeking video to share and educate, but am working on editing that film and uploading it to my YouTube site. But in the meantime, I’ve included resources for:
— Bavarian Twisted Knitting
— Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind off (from Knitty)
— a new way (from Techknitter) of installing zippers into knitting…this one is amazing
So, that leaves us with just showing you the pictures. Enjoy. Oh and, by the way. Of course women can wear such a cowl, but with this model at hand, what could I do but use him? I remain blameless.