Let knitting be thy medicineI’ve been poorly. I think I’ve been over exerting myself recently, what with 4 day parties (see Bestival post), new exercise regimes and beginning a late night physical shift at work. No surprise really I found myself reduced to a good for nothing crumpled sofa dweller existing on hot toddies alone. I felt rough, and knew I had to take it easy for the next few days. Knitting felt like a productive way to pass the downtime, and really made the last few days enjoyable. Knitting just seems right in the autumn time. Everything in my garden is slowing down, and getting ready for its winter hibernation. I felt like this, huddled in wool, relaxed and thinking about the cold months ahead. I thought about a lot things, old friends, sewing plans, and other general life stuff. It felt really therapeutic, and guess what, I knitted 4 scarfs in 3 days!
Yarn: Sirdar Big Softie Super Chunky and Sirdar Kiko Super Chunky in a variety of colorways
Cost:I bought loads of this yarn super cheap in the Black Sheep Wools January sales at the beginning of the year
Pattern: Jane Richmond Marian Cowl – a free download
Time: 3-4 hours each cowl
This was one of the first knitting projects I embarked on, back when I taught myself to knit in 2011. The pattern is called Marian by knitwear designer Jane Richmond, and it’s available free on her website or via Ravelry. Marian is a mock-mobius cowl and can be worn several different ways depending on style and the weather. It’s also very quick to knit. I made a few of them back in 2011. One for myself and some for presents. I wear my Marian all the time, and love how it’s a scarf without the dangly bits. This has completely revolutionised my winter wear. It just stays put, keeps you cosy, looks great and you don’t get the hassle of one scarf end longer than the other, what shoulder to flick your scarf end over or running the risk of it falling in an icy puddle. It’s nice to wear inside also, when you are a bit chilly but too tight to put the heating on.
The pattern calls for Super Bulky weight, and having used Sidar Big Softie before I knew it was a great yarn to work with. I stocked up on loads when it was cheap, with plans to turn them all in to winter gifts for friends, and perhaps sell a few. Sidar Big Softie is 51% wool and 49% acrylic and is sumptuously snug and cushiony. I chose some bright bold colours, some earthy tones, and some flecked varieties. The variegated yarn is Sirdar Kiko Super Chunky, which is also 51% wool and 49% acrylic but a fraction less fluffy than the softie. It more than makes up for this with it’s playful shades though, which is incredibly exciting to knit up!
Technique and required skills
If you can knit one, purl one, you can make this pattern! Knitting in this sequence is what creates the bumpy effect called moss stitch. You also need to be able to knit in the round on circular needles, which if you haven’t tried before is super easy, and makes life so much easier when knitting tubular projects. I’d recommend this pattern to any beginner. Using super chunky wool on big needles is a really excellent way of honing your knitting technique without it feeling too fiddly. Once you’ve got your rhythm down, you can move on to smaller more delicate knits with confidence.
You can choose whether or not to put a mobius twist in to this pattern. Doing so makes it look pretty stylish on, but I find that leaving it out means you can wear the cowl in more ways. It’s personal preference really, I like it both ways!
It felt really good to knit these scarves. My current main knitting wip is complicated and takes some concentration, but this pattern is the opposite. You can knit it up without thinking, which is so relaxing and meditative. Knitting these kind of projects really calms me, and it was just what was needed.
I’m feeling much better now, the knitting therapy worked, along with some help from my pal Mr. Whiskey. Being ill isn’t that bad, especially if you get some of your Christmas gifts sorted! It’s been nice to bring you a knitting post for a change, I hope you enjoyed it. Please keep in touch and let me know if your crafty plans have taken a seasonal turn?