Friday, September 19, 2014

Paintboxes Cowl

A few days ago I received an e-mail from a local yarn store, highlighting upcoming classes and new projects. The Paintboxes Cowl caught me eye. The next day Brittany and I drove out to the yarn store in search of the cowl and other "interesting" projects. Brittany ended up buying Yak yarn-so soft-to knit Susie's Reading Mitts (free on Ravelry) and I bought Malabrigo Rastita to knit a pair of Louisa Harding fingerless gloves. While there, I bought Madeleinetosh DK in jade and Crystal Palace Moochi in English Garden to knit the Paintboxes Cowl.

The pattern is available on Ravelry for about $4.00 (US).  The pattern is straight forward and easy to follow. I wanted my cowl to have a subtle contrast so I chose the jade as my contrasting color (slightly darker than the green in the Moochi).  The pattern recommends using yarns that contrast so the pattern doesn't get lost.

This  is a great beginner project. Especially for knitters who want to try color knitting. It allows the beginning knitter to work with two yarns for color changes, but the changes of the main color and contrasting color take place at the beginning of the rows, so there are no yarn floats or carrying colors to mess with. The yarn does all the work. The main color is usually a solid color (mine is jade) and the contrasting color uses variegated yarn (the Moochi). The pattern is a little vague when it comes to needle size, number of stitches and yarn weight. The pattern uses fingering weight yarns and 60 stitches. The store sample was knit in DK weight yarn and I was on my own to figure out the rest. I cast on 60 stitches and knit with size 7 needles, as the pattern guidelines suggested. I liked the result so I kept knitting.

Here's the cowl after one evening of knitting.

This spring my husband started several sunflower plants for me. He placed them outdoors in the sun, near the garage door. I mistakenly thought that they would be safe from the rabbits since they would be afraid to come that close to our house. We went out one morning to find most of the sunflowers had been eaten. We moved the one remaining plant out of the reach of the rabbits. I planted the sunflower next to the house, in between the hydrangeas and behind the statue of the Sacre Coeur. The sunflower thrived, grew tall and had several blooms. A sudden hail storm broke the plant, leaving only a small piece of stem holding the plant together. I left it to see what would happen. To our amazement the sunflower not only bloomed but the blooms were growing behind the Sacred Heart. Even though I was doubtful that this sunflower would survive, I am reminded that all things are possible with faith.