Remember waaaaay back on Friday when I mentioned that another of my designs had been released through Knit Picks? Meet the Nor’Easter Cowl!

Nor'Easter Cowl

I originally came up with the idea for this one back over the Thanksgiving holiday last year. Caught in the throes of my “I really want to only knit things with massive amounts of stitch texture” phase (and it’s not really a phase – it’s more of a mantra – but I digress…), I was itching to create something oversized at a bigger gauge that would be reversible and unisex and neutral in color. Not that I had anything specific in mind, right? Haha. Well, once I had my idea worked out, Knit Picks accepted it and we were off and running!

Nor'Easter Cowl

It actually didn’t take me too long to find and modify this reversible slanting stitch pattern to make it larger and slantier. Especially for pieces that hang loosely at the neck, it really is a silly pet peeve of mine if the back side of the fabric isn’t as attractive as the front side; happily, in this instance, it’s not a worry at all. The sample is knit with Knit Picks’ Swish Worsted, a 100% merino yarn that creates fantastic, crisp stitch definition. Since this design is all about the textured fabric, a smooth animal fiber was the way to go. I can’t recommend this yarn highly enough, and it comes in dozens of great saturated colors!

The cowl, which comes in two lengths to suit your needs (and is shown in the longer length in these photos graciously captured by Andrew on yet another freezing NYC morning), is worked flat and then I grafted it together because I wanted the stitch pattern to run in the direction shown, to slice across the width of the fabric, if you will. This is a great project for mastering the grafting (Kitchener Stitch) technique, and the result is that you get a nearly perfect reversible cowl with a professional finish. (This is also a great project if you haven’t jumped to knitting in the round yet!)

Nor'Easter Cowl

Nor'Easter Cowl

Nor'Easter Cowl

Nor'Easter Cowl

While I prefer to hang the cowl (or pile it up) around my neck, depending on how much wind whipping up Queens Boulevard is smacking me in the face at any given moment, you can see that the longer version easily transitions to use as a quick cape. The color shown is “Marine Heather” and it’s a real stunner. As I said, I had originally envisioned this as a very pale project, maybe even knit in winter white or a silvery heather. When I suggested possible colors to Knit Picks for the project, I added the Marine Heather color as a wild card because the depth of the colorway would really be a match for the rich texture. And that’s the one they chose! It’s hard to do justice to this colorway in words; a cerulean tone is heathered/blended with the slightest amount of emerald green to make it really pop. But if deep Caribbean blue is not your thing, don’t worry – they have a bounty of solid and heathered colors alike that run the gamut from neutral to bright bright bright.

As usual, this latest design is conveniently available both here at Makewise Designs and over here on Ravelry! And I’m sure that I sound like a broken record, but the folks at Knit Picks (especially Stacey Winklepleck) are a treat to work with. This company pours so much of its time, energy, resources, and advertising into supporting independent designers and their creations that it’s always an honor to get to represent them with one of my designs.

I know that the calendar says that Spring is only a few days away, but the Nor’Easter cowl will still be the perfect grab-it-and-run piece to transition you from Winter’s chilly blasts to Spring’s milder days. Enjoy!

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