It’s only June, but perhaps you’ve been wondering whether you’re going to make any handknit holiday gifts this year. For me, the answer to this question is always no—and then The Pattern comes along, and I’m off to the races.
This year, The Pattern showed itself in our first planning meeting for MDK Field Guide No. 18: Beginnings, when Karida Collins described the project that would become the Everyday Cowlette (Ravelry link).
I love making multiples. For a design to be a good candidate for making a whole stack of it, the pattern has to be memorizable, and it has to have a definite beginning, middle, and end. It has to be portable; and it has to go quickly—no more than a few days worth of knitting-during-meetings. Most important of all: I have to love the yarn.
The Everyday Cowlette ticks all these boxes, and one more: it’s a short masterclass in some of the most elemental techniques in knitting. Knitting an Everyday Cowlette shows a new knitter what happens when you change needle sizes, when you go from knitting flat to knitting in the round, and when you work knits and purls in a flat rib pattern. (I wish I’d learned that a flat rib was even possible when I was a new knitter!) And if you’re not a new knitter, it renews the sense of wonder at the elegant way that knitting works.
The result: an accessory that anyone would love to wear—textured, distinctive, and versatile.
The MDK common law decrees that Ann and I don’t knit projects from Field Guides until they are published. It’s hard—Nell Ziroli and other First Knitters keep up a tantalizing stream of photos of their samples-in-progress, and Cristina Shiffman starts working her trademark modification magic. But we hold back! We are strong!
I cast on my first Everyday Cowlette last Thursday—a few hours early, but it was Official Launch Day Eve, so I allowed it. I knit on it through our launch-day zoom party with Karida (she was making one too, what a coincidence!) and on Saturday I bound off and gave it a soak in some Soak. And here she is, in all her spritely green glory, ready to be the foundation layer of a stockpile of cowlettes by December.
The Everyday Cowlette, first of her stack. The yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Company Organic Studio Chunky, in Belair.
Blending into the woods.
The split in the bottom half of the cowl is so stinkin’ clever. I am going to wear the heck out of this when cool temperatures return.
If you think you might be on my list this year, look away—or look forward!
A Knitalong? Heckyeah!
We’ll give you a little time to ponder the array of options here and get your yarn game set. (Our advice: make one of each, and multiples of the accessories!) The official needles-up start date will be Thursday, June 17, and the knitalong will run through the end of August. Watch for details. (Early starting is encouraged—don’t postpone joy!)