Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A honey of a knit

The longer version, worn doubled.

Because knitting is so full of possibilities, a knitter should never say never.

Case in point, the Honey Cowl.  I had seen this pattern show up several times on Kay Gardiner's social media posts and with her track record for knitting great patterns, I gave it a second look.   I did not immediately cast on,  however.  I mean, a cowl???  I've knit cowls, designed cowls, taught cowls, but never successfully worn a cowl, much less loved one.

The Honey Cowl was a total game changer.  The pattern accommodates multiple sizes and lengths, so I thought, what if?  What if the longer version is as sumptuous and stylish on me as it is the models?  What if this a cowl I actually like?  What if this is a cowl I actually wear?

The answer to "what if" is simple: this cowl is amazing.  I loved knitting it, I love wearing it--the drape of it, the length of it, the versatility of it.  When I wore it to church Sunday, I got 3 compliments, and this from a rather cautious bunch who've been forced to appreciate my knitting for years.  I am sorely tempted to leave behind the knitting of regular oblong scarves as a vestige of my early knitting ignorance.  Scarves need constant maintenance and retying, but this cowl always looks good.
The longer version, slightly over-lit.

Unable to procure the Madeline Tosh yarn that the pattern was written for, I opted for a yummy merino blend by Plymouth Yarn Co., Happy Feet DK.  Having worn my finished cowl all weekend, it is now taking all my willpower to not go back to my LYS and buy all of the Happy Feet DK they have on the shelf.  And knit more Honey Cowls.

I also made a shorter one with a very nice acrylic, but the longer cowl is something I will most likely wear everyday this week.  (My teen is already hanging her head and plotting a fashion intervention. "Variety, Mom. Variety!")
The shorter cowl--short and sweet :)
I will be teaching this cowl as a class at the Village Knittery on Thursday, March 7 from 10am till noon.  If you've never made a cowl that you loved, but suspected that you were missing something---THIS is what you've been missing! 

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Knit Inn 2013

Teaching at the Knit Inn--Awesome students!!

    Today I find myself still recovering from my wonderful weekend at the SC Knitting Guild's Knit Inn.  So much fun, food, friends, knitting, and more knitting, packed into 3 days!  I was delighted to get to teach the Vintage Winter Shawl to a great group of knitters.  I joked that next year I want to see all their finished shawls and we can take a Class Reunion photo.  Frankly I would LOVE that!

Among the things I learned this year were Russian grafting (so cool!), ways to improve my Magic Loop (AHA!!), how to knit a sweater from the top down, and that so far I don't much like knitting with silk.  There were also some great recommendations for great knitting books, favorite yarns, entertaining BBC programming, and a knock-your-socks-off Show and Tell time that makes me wish I had more time to knit!

If you get the chance to attend a knitting conference of some sort, I recommend that you do.  There is always something new to learn, in or out of class, and new friends to make as well as old ones to catch up with.  

I'll be spending the next year looking forward to the next Knit Inn and hopefully adding other workshops/events as well (SAFF, Stitches, etc).  I may not be an "old dog" but I do love learning "new tricks!"

Coming up in May here in South Carolina, Knitting instructor and author,  Margaret Radcliffe will be in Lexington for two days of classes, sponsored by the Palmetto Purlers Knitting Guild.  More info at their website.

What I taught--Vintage Winter Shawl