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Adult designs, Independent Designs -

Kitto, the swatch yarn that grew itself into a cowl OR the final fate of an epic yarn

Several years ago, before we were even pregnant with our third child who was born in 2014, there was a call for submissions that inspired me, something along the lines of geometric, modern, splashes of color. I headed over to my amazing Local Yarn Shop Paradise Fibers and took a look around, for something… special, colorful and unique. Cestari stood out like a beacon in the night, amazing loft, unique colors, a dry hand similar to silk despite it being 100% wool, and a quick knit Aran weight. It was one of the first yarns to come out in the bright neon yellow that was to become so popular and I just had to have it!

Long story short my proposal was not successful, I had other opportunities brewing and the remaining yarn was stuffed into the ever overflowing “swatch stash” to await a future fate.

My long forgotten Cestari was pulled out again when I was searching for a yarn to knit my sister in law a scarf. I am blessed with incredibly talented women in my family, my mom is a quilter, my sister is studying at Cambridge, and my sister in law is a fantastic photographer. She even took pity on me when I whined about all the samples I needed to photograph and did a shoot for me, including the modeled shots of this cowl (modeled by my brother, thanks again Kev!) So in exchange for the photos a scarf was ordered and amidst all the stash diving the Cestari jumped out of the bin, it turned out not to be her cup of tea but I didn’t have the heart to dismiss it to the bowels of the bin again. It stayed out on my studio table silently guilting me for having such awesome yarn and never doing anything with it.

Finally a week before our trip to Edmonton and my scheduled photo shoot I thought… what the heck.. I could knit something with that in a week. It might not get published but at least I would be warm up north right? Away I knit, the design morphing out of what I had to work with, after I used up the remainders of my yellow and coral skeins I thought, maybe this needs another color? 3 days before our scheduled departure I was off to the yarn shop again.

The Cestari was nowhere to be found. !!!. But now I had to have more, there was a design brewing, I had thought about a third color and that needed to be investigated without delay. What if I only used 2 colors and wondered for the rest of my life if it would have been better with 3? I asked. My lovely LYS owner said “Oh! Yes we have loads of that”, I must have looked dubious because she quickly followed with “we moved it downstairs because we didn’t have a pattern to feature and it wasn’t selling”… excellent.

I came home with another skein of yellow and an additional skein of grey, perfect, I was finished the day before we left.

Kitto ended up being the warmest loftiest cowl ever and we even used it at the Palomino Sunset photoshoot to keep one of our terrific models from freezing to death between pictures on the windy prairie. Here we are, warm in our woolies!

Worked in the round from the bottom up it uses 90% of each color and has very simple patterning. Stacked decreases create points on the cast on edge and staggered eyelets are worked for a slightly lacey allover pattern. The finished product is about 55” around which is perfect to wear in a single layer infinity scarf or doubled up as a massive cowl. Basic skills for this pattern are working in the round, yarnover increases, sk2p decreases, knit and purl stitches. The lace pattern for the bottom border is charted but simple, and the lace pattern for the grey insert is written. This cowl also makes use of k2tog bind off that creates a stretchy edge so you can wrap it twice without a tight edge to deal with.


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