When we decided to bring Juniper Moon’s Fourteen into Wool & Grace, my wheels immediately started turning about this yarn. First of all, Fourteen is sublimely soft. It’s named for its fourteen micron count – a metric in measuring fiber diameter and softness in wool. “Fourteen” means this yarn is incredibly soft. Fourteen reminds us a lot of Stratus, a predecessor from Juniper Moon Farms in its chainette construction and weight. Like Stratus, Fourteen is lofty and voluminous. There’s a lot of room for all of us to play with gauge, and it can be worked comfortably as anything from a worsted weight yarn to a bulky yarn.
Having said all of that, this yarn is irresistible to all knitters, especially those newbies who put a premium on softness. As my wheels turned, I started to envision a project that all levels of knitters could tackle. Basically, I want knitters ranging from beginners to experienced to be able to wrap themselves up in the supple goodness of this yarn. I’m no aspiring knitwear designer, but I felt compelled to write and knit up a project just for this yarn – so I put together a pattern for a garter stitch poncho with a ribbed funnel neck. I left the sides open in the pattern and pinned it with a couple of kilt pins. It would be easy enough to add a couple of button holes or to tack the sides if you always like the sides a bit closed, but I liked the versatility of being able to wear it open or closed. The result is a soft and cozy garment, with the squish of garter stitch in this amazingly soft yarn feeling so good against our skin. The sample is at the shop – so we hope you’ll stop by and love on this cozy garment a little. We call it the Easy Does It Poncho, and we hope you find it as easy and delightful as we do!
That said, I want to give you few more ideas about what to do with this fantastic yarn.
Also, given that this yarn is so freakin’ soft, I think everyone should feel comfortable putting it nice and close to their skin. Knit ANYTHING in this yarn, but especially knit hats, scarves, sweaters and such.
Getting Warmer is an awesome conical cowl from the ladies at Espace Tricot. This cozy cowl is worked in garter stitch with a hint of ribbing at its base. It’s also a free pattern, and two skeins of Fourteen will do the trick for this quick project. Getting Warmer was a big hit when it was released in the winter, and is a great idea for gift knitting or to make something for almost-instant gratification in your knitting.
Another beautiful accessory is Cinder by Jared Flood. This is one of Flood’s oldest patterns and it’s a classic. Soft undulating cables span this scarf. I made Cinder years and years ago, it was one of my first knitting projects and a lovely project for anyone ready to take on cable work. Four skeins of Fourteen will knit up this generously sized and squishy scarf.
Lace lovers should look at Ainu from Isabell Kraemer. This triangular shawl is nice and big, but knits up fast. Garter stitch combines with a soft lace pattern for this pretty-quick project. Like Cinder, it calls for about 500 yards of yarn – not a lot for a big and warm wrap like this. I love projects like Ainu, that combine some technique with some easy knitting. Like Cinder, Ainu just needs four skeins of Fourteen to knit it up!
Fourteen is so soft that we should not falter in making something for all members of the family with it! I love projects like the Antler Hat and Mitts from Tin Can Knits – a duo that is sized for everyone from babies to adults. Another favorite is Troll, a little pixie beanie by Garbriela Widmer-Hanke that accentuates the cuteness of any little person that wears it.
Sweater knitters, this is a fantastic yarn for Kate Davies’ Carbeth pattern (any version of it – the pullover, cardigan or tunic)! I’ll be writing more about Carbeth and Kate Davies soon enough as I’m in the middle of a hot and heavy romance with my own Carbeth sweater project. Mine is knit up in Quarry for a sturdy, rustic version. Making this in Fourteen with make a more weightless, soft and feminine version of this sweater. Fourteen gets a hint of drape after being blocked, which makes it hang beautifully on the body.
Maine by Regina Moessmer is another project perfect for this lovely yarn. Maine is a simple cardigan with a single button placed at the neck – one of those pieces that you can throw on over anything. Whether you make this piece with our without the color blocks, it’s a straightforward sweater that will be a weekend go-to.
One last piece that’s been on my queue for a long time is Zopf by Midori Hirose. This pullover is somewhere between a poncho and sweater, with deep dolman sleeves and a braid of cables running down each sleeve. It oozes cozy comfort and I’ve spent the last year wondering which yarn would be the best fit for this. The pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn worked on a big needle at a gauge of 14 stitches/4”, to make it soft and light in texture with a bit of drape. Really truly, I can’t imagine a yarn more perfect than Fourteen for this project! One of these days, I’m going to get around to making this one for myself!
Please stop by Wool & Grace to see this wonderful yarn in action for yourselves! We love its versatility (you can knit anything with it) and its indulgence (you feel just plain good when you knit with it). The Easy Does It Poncho pattern is free and below. You can also download the pattern for free from our website here, and purchase all the things you need to complete the project online also!
Easy Does It Poncho
This squishy garter stitch poncho is knit in one size and meant to fit lots of different sizes of people in lots of different ways, but it’s a cinch to modify to make it just right for you. Fasten sides with pins, tack them down, or add a simple button-hole on the right side of your work if you prefer the sides tacked!
Your fabric will bloom and you’ll have the ability to manipulate the finished measurements during blocking. Feel free to “block it out” and pin it to your desired measurements. Without stretching its finished length is 22” laying flat, but the fabric will stretch and drape a bit on the body.
Gauge: 16 stitches/34 rows = 4”
Finished Measurements: 30” across, 22” length
10 balls of Juniper Moon Fourteen
US8 inch needle, 24-inch circular or length that is comfortable for you
US7 16” circular needle
1 extra knitting needle for 3-needle bind off
RS: Right Side
WS: Wrong Side
BO: bind off
3-Needle Bind-off: We love Staci Perry of Very Pink Knits’ knitting tutorials! Check out her video tutorial on the 3-needle bind-off if you are unfamiliar with this technique: https://verypink.com/2010/09/28/3-needle-bind-off/
Using US8 needle (or size needed to obtain gauge), cast on 120 stitches. Work in garter stitch, knitting every row until piece measures approximately 22 inches. You may choose to place a removable stitch marker to mark the front of your work.
On next RS, k45, BO center 30 stitches, k to end. Leave right shoulder stitches on needle or place on waste yarn. You will continue working the left shoulder first.
Next row (WS): Knit to last 2 sts, k2tog.
Row 2 (RS): k2tog, knit to end
Put remaining stitches on stitch holder or waste yarn (43 stitches).
Rejoin yarn ready to work WS row (at the neck edge).
Next row (WS): K2tog, knit to end
Next row (RS): Knit to last two sts, k2tog
Put remaining stitches on stitch holder or waste yarn. (43 stitches).
Using US8 needle (or size needed to obtain gauge), cast on 120 stitches. Work in garter stitch, knitting every row until piece measures approximately 20 inches, or approximately 2 stitches shorter than where you started your back neck shaping. You may choose to place a removable stitch marker to mark the front of your work. End with a WS.
Mark center 26 stitches. Knit to first marker, BO center 26 stitches, k to end. Leave left shoulder stitches on needle or place on waste yarn. You will continue working right shoulder first.
Row 1 (WS): k across
Row 2 (RS): k2tog, k to end of row.
Repeat rows 1 & 2 three more times (working each row 4 times total). Work 3 more rows. Put remaining stitches on stitch holder or waste yarn (43 stitches). Leave a tail long enough to work a 3-needle bind off, or approximately 4 times the length of the shoulder.
Rejoin yarn at neck edge, ready to work WS row.
Row 1 (WS): k2tog, k to end
Row 2 (RS): knit across
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 three more times, until 43 stitches remain. Work 3 more rows. Put remaining stitches on stitch holder or waste yarn (43 stitches). Leave a tail long enough to work a 3-needle bind off, or approximately 4 times the length of the shoulder.
With Right Sides facing each other, Wrong Sides facing out, place back and front on top of each other. Place stitches for right shoulder back on 2 needles, making sure tips of needles are at the end with the tail that you reserved for the 3-needle bind-off. Bind off all right shoulder stitches using 3-needle bind-off (see techniques). Repeat for Left Shoulder.
With US7 16” circular needle, pick up 80 stitches. (If your stitch count is off, it’s not a big deal, just make sure your stitch count is a multiple of four and if necessary work some k2tog within a knit stitch of the following row to get you to an appropriate number.). Join in the round and work in K2P2 ribbing for 5” (or desired length). Bind off loosely. Weave in ends and block.