I do love to collaborate with others in my work, whether that is with yarnies, bloggers, stores, other designers or other wonderful knitterly people. To start this year in style, I have been working with the lovely team at Unravel to cook up something special for this, my favourite, yarn show.
I’m thrilled to give you this early sneak peek of a special knitalong, commissioned by Unravel. It starts next Thursday, 28th January, and runs until the show closes on Sunday 21st February. The pattern will be free to download while the knitalong runs – keep your eyes peeled on the 28th!
Today, we’re releasing information about the pattern, so you can get yourself organised to join in and have your yarn and needles at the ready for next week. Join in the chat on the KAL thread on Ravelry, with the chance to win prizes, including show tickets!
Unravel KAL Project Details
The project is a springtime cowl knit using either 4ply/fingering or light DK/sport weight yarn. I wanted to design something that would be perfect to wear to a show; something gorgeous that would behave when worn! A cowl is great at keeping out chilly air, yet it stays out of the way when we’re busy petting yarn or negotiating a crowd – and once we’re warm it can easily be folded up into a pocket or bag. No fuss.
This cowl is rich in an all-over texture based on vintage rib stitch pattern. It starts easily and gradually becomes a little trickier as the cowl progresses. The idea is that you can gently develop your skills as you work through the pattern, but there are options for keeping it simple if you prefer. You can stick to the simplest stitch, move one step up in difficulty, or go all the way on to the richest texture.
Small: 44cm/17″ round top, 69cm/27″ round base, 21cm/8″ tall
Large: 52cm/20″ round top, 90cm/36″ round base, 28cm/11″ tall
Small: 300m/330yds 4ply/fingering weight yarn
3.0mm/US 2.5 & 3.25mm/US 3 needles (EITHER dpns OR circular needles with a min 80cm/32″ for magic loop)
Large: 330m/360yds DK/sport weight yarn
3.5mm/US4 & 3.75mm/US 5 needles (EITHER dpns OR circular needles with 60cm/24″ cable)
Both sizes: stitch marker
Small 4ply/fingering: 26 sts to 10cm/4″ over Stocking Stitch/Stockinette with larger needles, or size needed to get gauge.
Large DK/sport: 24 sts to 10cm/4″ over Stocking Stitch/Stockinette with larger needles, or size needed to get gauge.
Small: Kettle Yarn Co. Beyul (60% superwash Merino, 20% yak down, 20% silk, 366m/400yds per 100g skein) 1 x Steppe (green-gold)
Small: The Little Grey Sheep Stein Fine Wool 4ply (100% Stein Fine Wool, 430m/470yds per 100g skein) 1 x Her Other Life (pastels)
Large: Baa Ram Ewe Dovestone DK (50% Bluefaced Leicester, 25% Wensleydale Longwool, 25% dark brown masham) 2 x Rhubarb (fuchsia)
A note about yarn choice
I wanted to use local yarns for this pattern because of the emphasis Unravel places on supporting local businesses. I’m hoping to encourage knitters to use their local yarns too!
The Little Grey Sheep is truly local to the show – shearing, spinning and dyeing their own yarns, and based just a few miles down the road from the show. For me, they are the epitome of what Unravel is all about. Their newest Stein Fine Wool 4ply is next-to-skin soft but still locally British. Emma dyes gorgeous soft tones of variegated colours, which still allow the bold texture to show, and add an extra dimension of interest to the cowl.l in However, like all artisan products, quantities are limited so the pattern is written to work well with most 4ply/fingering yarns.
Beyul from Kettle Yarn Co. is a luxury base but hand-dyed in Sussex. When I visit Unravel I’m always on the lookout for special yarns and Beyul is truly wonderful to knit and wear. Linda has a gorgeous selection of spring colours in 4ply/fingering, including the Steppe I chose and other fresh greens.
Finally, even though Baa Ram Ewe are slightly farther afield in Yorkshire their yarn is deeply British. I love the blend of fibres of the new Dovestone DK and am excited to be using this brand new colour. Rhubarb, a bold fuchsia pink, is available to pre-order on their website now, for shipping in time to arrive on 28th Jan when the pattern is released. New spring colour and a new spring pattern: how exciting is that?!
With these yarns I wanted to show that local or lower impact doesn’t mean boring; it means brilliant. I hope that knitters farther afield than the UK will look to their own locally produced yarns too.
I have a final note for more experienced knitters: the pattern is flexible, like the patterns in Knit Play Colour. More experienced knitters can follow the “play” section at the end of the pattern and use any weight from 4ply to worsted, to make either size. While we’ll be KAL-ing the basic pattern, you’d be welcome to join in with a play version in a different gauge or yarn weight.
Getting ready for the KAL and a giveaway!
Join the Knitalong in the Unravel group on Ravelry and show off your yarn choice! Don’t forget to tag your project with #unravelKAL on Ravelry and on social media when you’re showing off your progress.
Would you like a chance to win tickets to Unravel? Help us spread the word about the KAL by following both Unravel and Inspiration Knits on Instagram and regramming our Unravel KAL image (up above) and tagging us with #unravelKAL. You’ll be automatically entered to win a pair of tickets to the show. The contest will run January 25-29th, 2016 so keep your eyes peeled for it!