Friday, February 5, 2016

Fresh New Pattern: Hearts Alive Cowl!

Hearts Alive is a super quick and cozy cowl pattern that features a simple Heart Cable pattern. It’s knit using 4 strands of a light fingering weight yarn which makes it extra dense and perfect to combat those February winds. The project begins with an I-Cord Cast-on, the cable pattern is then worked in-the-round for a few repeats and then an I-Cord Bind-Off is used to give it a clean edge. Instructions are included for both the I-Cord Cast-On and Bind-Off, so don’t worry if you haven’t tried these techniques yet.
You will need:
  • 500-880 yards of a light fingering weight yarn
  • size 10 (6mm) Circular Knitting Needles in 16”(20”; 24”, 29”) length
  • Cable Needle
  • Yarn Needle

There are 4 size options and all sizes do require 2 skeins of yarn.
Originally when I started designing this cowl, I was planning on using a bulky/heavy worsted weight yarn, but I was continually drawn to the beautiful Linaza from Plymouth Yarn Company. It's listed as a sport weight yarn, but it feels more like a light fingering weight so I decided to hold the yarn quadruple and knit it up on larger needles. This means that the small size is a perfect weekend project and the larger sizes can be easily completed in 1-2 weeks. The blend of Alpaca/Linen/Tencel knits up into a beautiful, squishy fabric that is perfect to combat the intense February winds.

The guage swatch that I made was 20 sts x 30 rows for a 5” square.
(That way you can do an entire repeat of the Heart Cable Pattern.)
My birthday is on February 13, so this is my favorite month and I have always felt like Valentine's Day is my holiday. Because of that I knew that I had to include a heart motif on this cowl and I've really been feeling the cables lately so this was the perfect melding of the two. The cables get an extra pop because they are made by doing a K1, P1, K1 on each set of cable stitches. Surprisingly, this doesn't create a ribbing effect, it just serves to plump up the cables more than they would be naturally. I also really enjoy the slight complexity that the seed stitch at the center of the hearts provides because it makes you pay more attention to what you are doing. You don't get bored, but it also isn't so complex that you get frustrated. 

Cowl snow prints post photoshoot.
I'm a sucker for a clean, finished edge so the I-cord cast-on and bind-off were my best options (plus, they match beautifully with the cables). My first attempt was with a provisional cast-on, but the cables made for a terrible pick-up attempt when it came time to finish the cowl. So, at the suggestion of my test knitter, Katie, I learned how to do the I-cord cast-on and incorporated that into the design. If you need a video tutorial for the cast-on, has a great one.

Become a love bandit with your own Hearts Alive cowl!
I'm offering a 50% discount on this pattern to my e-mail subscribers through the end of February, so be sure to sign up at the top of the page to get your coupon code. Also, tag your knits with #YumiYarns and #HeartsAlive when you post on social media for a chance to be featured in an upcoming e-mail blast and to be entered for a chance to win an adorable knitting pouch duo.

Win this adorable knitting pouch duo by using the tags #YumiYarns and #HeartsAlive

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