Project – Marian Cowls

Pattern: Marian
Designer: Jane Richmond

Yarn:
Rowan Big Wool
Rowan Big Wool Colour

Shades:
Black 008Zing 037Jamboree 104
Ravelry:
Marian Cowl – Black
Marian Cowl – Green
Marian Cowl – Colour

A few years ago I was in a yarn clearance sale (I know, as if that ever happens!) and there was a single ball of Big Wool in black that I was sure I would be able to find a use for, so I grabbed it along with my other purchases. It then sat in my stash for ages as I had big plans for garments and other things, but no inspiration for this one cuddly ball of yarn. Eventually I decided it needed a fate, so I turned to the trusty Ravelry pattern search, and found Marian. The yarn it was intended for is even chunkier than Big Wool but I figured it would still work, and I was right.

The pattern is just very simple moss stitch in the round, but with a twist – literally! Before you join your cast on stitches to begin knitting, you do what you are always told not to do when knitting in the round – you take the first stitch on your left needled and twist it 360 around the needle. This creates a Möbius strip effect which gives the cowl its distinctive shape.

Having knitted the cowl, I had no real idea what to do with it. I hadn’t made it for me specifically and I thought maybe it could be a good gift, but I didn’t really decide and it sat around unused for a while. One day I think I was a bit chilly at home so I tried it on and realised that I absolutely loved it! In fact, between the Check That Cowl that I designed for Rowan’s launch of Kidsilk Amore around the same time, cowls became my new favourite thing in the whole world.

Marian Cowl - Black

Later that year I found another lone ball of Big Wool in green which I knew my brother’s fiancée would love, so I made her one in the same pattern as a birthday present. Unfortunately I never got a photo of it, but it looked brilliant in that bright shade of green.

Finally, when Rowan launched Big Wool Colour they sent me a ball for review. I knew just the thing for it by then, so that is now my second Marian cowl! I think it looks even better in Colour, the stitch and the curve really show off all the gorgeous flecks of colour in the yarn. Plus I can wear it with all sorts of outfits, because there’s a bit of almost every colour in there.

I really can’t recommend this pattern enough, just one ball of Big Wool or Big Wool Colour and an evening or two can make you a really versatile accessory. It’s brilliant for a gift in rush, too! You will need big needles though (I used 15mm) but I think they were worth the investment.

Marian Cowl - Jamboree

Marian Cowl - Jamboree close-up

Knitting For A New Home

My boyfriend and I are in the process of buying a house. We’ve both been serial renters all our lives so we’re unbelievably excited to finally be in a position where we can buy something of our own and shape it to be the kind of home we can really love and feel completely comfortable in.

The house is a brand new build which is still under construction at the moment and on Saturday afternoon we went to the sales office and showhome to choose the interior options that we get to customise. We are able to choose: worktops, cupboard doors and vinyl flooring for the kitchen (the other flooring costs extra and we’re probably getting it done independently); wardrobe doors and handles for the master bedroom; tiles for the family bathroom, en-suite bathroom and sink splashback in the downstairs WC.

We spent literally hours (somewhere between 2 and 3, I’m not sure exactly!) going over all the options as there we so many to choose from. Here are just a few photos I snapped on my mobile phone as we pored over the options and went back and forth between the showhome and the sales office a few times!

 

  

  

 

Cover

It just happens that Sarah Hatton has released a lovely new book of homeware patterns for autumn/winter which had already got me thinking about things that I could knit for our new home. Now we’ve actually chosen some of the colour scheme for the house, I can’t wait to get started on something to go with it! Here are a few of my favourites from 10 Simple Projects For Cosy Homes.

Cabled Throw

We should hopefully be moving in November which is the perfect time of year to have a snuggly throw at the ready! Cables are a big favourite of mine, so this is very tempting.

Made with Pure Wool Worsted and Creative Focus Worsted knit together, it will be warm and also soft with the lovely alpaca running through it. The Pure Wool Worsted palette has over 50 shades so there’s bound to be something to suit every home, and the Creative Focus Worsted palette has a good range of shades that are warm or cool, dark or light, so there should be something to work nicely with most Pure Wool Worsted shades.

Garter Stitch BasketsThese garter stitch baskets are just adorable! I have no idea what I’d use them for off the top of my head, but I’m positive I could put them to good use. They’re made with Rowan Big Wool so they will knit up in no time and should be quite hard-wearing.

The pattern has small, medium and large sizes and, even better, you can get a small basket out of one ball of yarn and according to the pattern tips you can get a small and a medium out of two balls.

Garter Stitch Cushion

Cushions are a really easy way to add a splash of colour and identity to a room. Also made in Big Wool, the garter stitch texture on these really stands out and they look perfectly squishable! With more than 20 shades in the range, they could easily be made to match any lounge or bedroom.

I’ll definitely be knitting some cushions for my new lounge, once we’ve picked carpet, curtains and sofas too. So many choices!

Slippers

I never go anywhere without my slippers and I’ve wanted to knit some for ages now. Maybe these ones would be a good first attempt at my own handmade foot cozies.

There’s definitely a theme in my favourite designs, as these are yet again made from Big Wool! If I was to make these, I actually think that I might try the new Big Wool Colour which also launched last month.

With the same tension and meterage as Big Wool, its new counterpart is brilliant for combining with the solid shades to make a project more colourful and eye-catching. I particularly like Jamboree as it’s got that hint of autumn which suits my colouring so well.

106 Carousel 101 Fete 102 Fairground 103 Carnival 104 Jamboree 105 Waltzer

What have you knitted for your home that you really love? I’m going to be looking for all the inspiration I can get…

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