Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Knitting on the Darkside

No, I haven't suddenly gone moody on you.

It's just that I made a quick project on impulse called the Darkside Cowl, by Sarah Fama. It's a simple and straightforward free pattern, available here.

I had almost a full skein of Malabrigo worsted weight yarn in colors a friend had admired, and I'd been looking for a pattern to make her a little something nice with it. A single skein of yarn didn't give me a lot to work with, but I'd seen lots of nice cowl patterns that don't require a lot of yardage, so that seemed like a good option.

The challenge was to find something that would work well with the contrasting multi-colored yarn while not being ho-hum and plain. I've certainly found that to be a tricky balancing act many times when trying to find an interesting stitch pattern for a beautiful skein of sock yarn in a busy colorway. I spotted this cowl looking soft and cushy in a solid color on Beate's Cloudberry Knit blog and tracked it down.

The yarn has short color runs of strong greens, purples, magenta, and a more muted plum. (The colorway, which I think is discontinued, is called "239 saphire magenta.") The Darkside Cowl uses a zigzagging rib/welt pattern, identical on both sides. Squinting appraisingly at the stitch pattern, and comparing it with my yarn, I thought it just might work. I was hoping it would highlight the color changes in interesting ways without making a muddled hash of the whole thing.

I crossed my fingers and cast on. (This complicates the cast-on process unnecessarily, however, and I don't recommend it. :) And wonder of wonders, it worked! The colors mix attractively and weave and dance around each other without tripping over their feet.

And, as I've experienced before, Malabrigo is some of the most unbelievably soft yarn to knit with. It's really hard to imagine what kind of secret could make wool feel like this. It's luscious, and combined with the textured stitch pattern, it made a cowl that I just wanted to squeeze like Mr. Whipple with a roll of Charmin'.

All that fun for only a couple days' work. It almost doesn't seem fair.


Lazy Knits said...

That looks great, I love the color!

Torhild Reidardatter said...

yours look much more exciting than mine...

cathy said...

Thanks, everybody! I did enjoy those colors, and watching to see how the color changes would show up in the stitch pattern. Sometimes they just don't get along, but this one worked! :)