It’s pattern release day!
If you’re new here, you may or may not know one of my biggest 2020 goals. For the year of 2020, I decided to challenge myself to release one pattern every single week. Let me tell you...this is a lofty goal. But so far I have stuck to it, and I am so proud of myself! Throughout this journey, I have completely fallen in love with designing knit and crochet patterns. It is absolutely amazing to be able to dream up a pattern, make it, write it, and then PUBLISH it as your own. The feeling is one I will always remember. And thankfully, one that I continue to live!
This week’s pattern is very special, but I will talk about that more in just a minute. The Vanilla Twist Cowl is a marled, beginner friendly, knit-in-the-round pattern that is so simple and mindless.
The yarn used for this cowl is KnitPicks Stroll, which is a fingering weight 75/25 superwash merino and nylon blend yarn, specifically designed for knitting socks. I held one strand of stroll with Felici, which is another yarn, on the same base (75/25), from KnitPicks. Now, both of these yarn are specifically designed for knitting socks, but are so good for SO many other things, such as hats, cowls, scarves, sweaters, cardigans...etc! For this cowl, you will need two skeins of your stroll color, and two skeins of your chosen Felici color. You won’t need all of the second two skeins, and the cowl is easily customizable, so keep that in mind if you chose to pilfer through your stash! However, if you do decide to use the same yarn I did and have some leftover after you finish your cowl...knit a hat! Or scrappy socks! Leftover yarn is only bad if you convince yourself that it is. Personally, I love being able to use the same yarn for multiple projects, especially if it yarn I enjoy using like this ;)
If you're curious, for my sample I used Stroll in the color "Sprinkle Heather", and Felici in the color "Cupcake Karaoke".
Gauge and Needles:
The pattern does call for a specific gauge and a specific size needle. However, they aren’t important. What makes this pattern so unique is that you can use ANY needles and ANY yarn to achieve a gorgeous cowl! Marl yarn like I did, use bulky, use fingering, use worsted...anything! Just choose a needle size that compliments your yarn.
Here’s a helpful tip though: when choosing needle size for this project, I recommend going up two or three sizes from what you usually would. For example: when I knit with worsted weight yarn, I use a size 8 needle most often. Of course this does change depending on what I am knitting, but you get the idea. Since fingering held double is very close to a worsted, I used a size 10 needle, which is two sizes bigger than an 8.
If you just aren’t sure, trying knitting a swatch, or look at the ball band, see what needle it calls for, and go up approximately two sizes.
Don’t overthink it! This cowl is just so customizable, do what works best for you ;)
The thought behind this pattern:
My goal when designing this pattern was to create a simple pattern that highlights KnitPicks Felici. Felici is classified as a sock yarn, and knitters LOVE it for socks. But...what if you don’t knit socks? You still want to use Felici, right?! So, I designed the Vanilla Twist Cowl. Named after the oh-so-lovely and classic vanilla sock method (a simple sock with no texture), the vanilla twist cowl features just the knit stitch, and a fun twist that we will form at the end. I hope you love this cowl as much as I do!
The cast on and seaming:
For my cowl, I wanted to find a way to create a perfectly seamless join, and form a twist for an added element. I decided to start with a crochet provisional cast on, then twist the cowl half way after knitting, and then finish off with a kitchener stitch.
Now, if you don’t enjoy doing the provisional cast on or kitchener stitch, don’t fret! I have included a super easy modification in the pattern. Simply cast on normally, twist at the end, then seam using the whip stitch.
While I do encourage you to one day learn the provisional cast one and kitchener stitch, I encourage you MORE to do what is comfortable for you as a knitter. If doing techniques like stress you out, please don’t! Just choose the alternative method ;)
The twist is so simple, and it isn’t created until the end. That way, if you would prefer not to do the twist, you don’t have to! Totally optional ;)
What makes the pattern release a bit more special:
This is my first pattern in collaboration with KnitPicks! Because of this, it will be on the KnitPicks site *very* soon, but until then, you can download it in my shops! See below ;)
Download the pattern!
Are you excited to knit this cowl? I sure hope so! I personally seriously can’t wait to make another. I think they would make amazing Christmas gifts too…*wink, wink*
And did I tell you that you can download the pattern for FREE?! Use the code “vanilla” at checkout on Ravelry only to get this pattern for free for a limited time only. Run, don’t walk!