We wanted to create a series of patterns that would help knitters develop their stranded colourwork skills. We wanted to use Fair Isle patterns that were geometric, repetitive and relaxing. Each pattern is stand-alone, so you can pick the one that appeals to you but they all have the same patterning options so you can use them together to create coordinated accessories.
We started with A Colourwork Cowl, to practice Fair Isle patterning and to carry the floats (the stranded colour in the back) without having to “catching them up”. This makes the colourwork pattern stand out without the “peek through” of the alternate colour. To prevent your floats from being too tight, you will need to knit relaxed, and it helps to stretch out the stitches on your right hand needle when you span them in the back with the alternate colour. There are no increases or decreases in a cowl and gauge isn't as critical (as long as it fits over your head!). Pick up a short circular needle and work around and around.
Then we added the Hugs & Kisses Hat. The hat uses the same Fair Isle patterning as the cowl, so you can have a matching set. The hat uses a little less yarn and will require transitioning to a different set of needles and decreasing when you work the crown. Gauge is more important when working the hat pattern, so you'll need to pay attention to that (or work up the cowl first!)
Coming soon! A set of mittens with options for duplicate stitching (embroidery on knitting).
A Colourwork Cowl Details: the cowl is written for one size but adjustments for smaller or larger sizes are included in the instructions. Designed with approximately 5cm/2in of positive ease, our sampler cowl measures 61cm/24 in in circumference and has a depth of 22.5cm/9 in.
Needles and Notions for the Cowl: 4.0mm (US 5), 40cm/16 in circular knitting needle (for ribbing); and 4.5mm (US 6), 40cm/16 in circular knitting needle (for colourwork) or size(s) required to achieve gauge. You'll also need one stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round and a tapestry needle to weave in ends.
Hugs & Kisses Hat Details: the pattern includes sizing for head circumferences 18”, 20”, 22”, 23.5” / 46cm, 51cm, 56cm, 60cm. Instructions are provided in the pattern for making a hat with a smaller circumference. This hat is designed to fit with 0.5 - 1in / 1.25 - 2.5 cm of negative ease.
Needles and Notions for the Hat: 4.0mm (US 5), 40cm/16 in circular knitting needle (for ribbing); and 4.5mm (US 6), 40cm/16 in circular knitting needle (for colourwork) and one set of 4.0mm (US 5) dpns, one long circ or two circs (hat crown) or size(s) required to achieve gauge. You'll also need one stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round and a tapestry needle to weave in ends.
Yarn requirements for both the Cowl and the Hat: we used Handmaiden Eden (80% superwash Merino wool, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon; 120g / 195m) in four colours. 1 skein of Main Colour (MC), approx 15g each of three Contrast Colours (CC1, CC2, CC3). If you'd like to substitute, you'll need approximately 150 m/165 yards for the main colour and 18m/20yds each for the three contrast colours of an equivalent worsted weight yarn.