Knit Play Colour: Heart Deco

I thought it was time I designed a new lace cowl, especially for Knit Play Colour.

Introducing a cowl with Art Deco hearts that catch the light: Heart Deco.

knit_play_colour_raw8742_3I love this lace not only for the simplicity of the hearts, but also due to the play of light on yarn. (And I confess I love the pun of the name too.)

The shifting stitch directions become quite abstracted, especially when the cowl is twisted up double. I think it makes the design a quieter statement.

Worked in the round, this is an intermediate lace project. I don’t think it’s a first lace project, but would be a good follow-up to, say…Song of the Sea!

Twisted up double, it's more about the lace stitch directions and Art Deco feel.

Twisted up double, it’s more about the lace stitch directions and Art Deco feel.

At the end of every pattern in Knit Play Colour, you will find ideas on how to “play” with the design. You can play with the colour and weight of yarn. A table lists the number of stitches to cast on for gauges ranging from 18 to 28 sts per 10cm. This means you can use this pattern for yarns ranging from laceweight to aran/worsted. All the help you need is in the Play section at the end of the pattern.

Now, I’m not generally one for cuteness in my knitting, though I do go in that direction occasionally. I do love this in rich red, and I know some knitters will delight in this design in every pink and red available, plus the classic cream of a white rose. Shown in sport weight, when I think of understated luxury, I think of undyed Metalico from Blue Sky Alpacas (50% baby alpaca, 50% raw silk, 135m/147yds per 50g skein). This uses 3 skeins of Opal, on 3.75mm/US 5 needles. Go all-in for the romance and it’s an accessory to wear to an autumnal wedding.

Quiet luxury in Blue Sky Alpacas Metalico, 3 skeins of Opal.

Romantic luxury in Blue Sky Alpacas Metalico, 3 skeins of Opal.

Sometimes I want something less obvious. I deliberately chose to show the design in burnt orange. I want to make it clear that this is also about expressing love for knitting and a passion for colour. This is Eden Cottage Yarns Askham 4ply (70% baby alpaca, 30% silk, 200m/218yds per 50g ball), using just 2 balls of Crocosmia. It’s knit up slightly finer than the red Farouche at 24 sts per 10cm using 3.5mm/US 4 needles, so it’s a shade narrower at 8″ deep.

Victoria produces some beautiful yarns that are perfect for this pattern. Eden Cottage Yarns has subtle hand-dyed colours that would be romantic without being obvious, but if pink is your thing then I’d look to her yarns. (I am dreaming of this pattern in her Bedale 4ply or Titus 4ply, and you can be sure I’ll be petting those yarns along with everyone else at Yarndale in a few weeks. I am slightly obsessing about Bedale because the Trailblazer sample in this yarn is so pettable. I have even got the stand number into my head now- I’ll be their guest on stand 11. Can’t wait!)

Eden Cottage Yarns Askham 4ply in Crocosmia (but make sure you check out their hand-dyed beauties too)

Eden Cottage Yarns Askham 4ply in Crocosmia (and make sure you check out their hand-dyed beauties too – find your own favourite shade)

What I’m saying is: choose a colour that makes your heart sing. Choose a colour that is personal to the recipient. I’ve nearly finished my second cowl in a deep purply blue, which is personal to me and my love of purples. Yes, this is a more-ish cowl! This time it’s Triskelion Yarn and Fibre Amaethon DK (75% superwash Merino, 25% silk, 225m/246yds per 100g skein), and needs two skeins of shade Cepheus. Because it’s DK, it’s a little wider than the original at a cosy 10″, made on 4.5mm/US 7 needles to give it a soft drape. Here’s my swatch, which I finished just in time to include in the book – it’s as dark and semi-solid as I’d dare to go, but I love the subtlety of it:

Triskelion Amaethon DK, in 2 skeins of Cepheus

Triskelion Amaethon DK, in 2 skeins of Cepheus

But what about making a flat project, based on this lace? Before I designed Siren Song, the shawl version of Song of the Sea, I was asked literally every other week about adapting Song of the Sea cowl into a shawl or scarf. Siren Song was born out of those enquiries for help. This time I’ve pre-empted the questions because I’m hopeful that knitters would love this lace on a larger project too.

I’ve designed a cosy blanket, which I’ll share later this week. Blanket? That’s still not a scarf or shawl! This blanket wants to be all those things. It’s flexible. Start by checking out the blanket pattern because it is worked flat, and the “play” section will help you make the project you wish. I’ll share more about that when I release the blanket pattern page on Ravelry. Having made a lot of swatches to refine the lace, then a 4ply cowl, a DK cowl, a worsted blanket, I’m still desperate to make this in a scarf too! It’ll probably be silvery grey, keeping it cool and very Art Deco.

So, what would be your knitterly treat in a yarn you adore? Or who would love to receive Heart Deco as a knitterly gift? What colour will you choose?

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