Project Ideas

The Kindness of Cashmere


I’ve been having one of those summers where everything is going wrong… between the pets and the house I’ve been doing damage control since June 10.  I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to take the time to address it all and until today it’s been pretty manageable.  But add in that feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck (thank you, very much, PMS-for-the-almost-40-year-old), and today is the day that I feel like it’s all caught up with me.  I’ve been busy taking care of all the other things lately.  Isn’t it time for me to take care of myself? 

As always, I turn to my trusty pastime.  However, I need to turn it up a notch.  When I stopped by W&G today for a little catch up the opportunity looked me straight in the eye: CASHMERE.  Namely, Anzula’s lovely, hand-dyed, fingering weight cashmere called Serenity.  Each skein is a totally manageable 185 yards, so I can put together a few skeins for a colorful little project that will be perfect for my unpredictable, on-the-go, summer flow.  What are you supposed to do with these delightful bundles of joy?  Let me give you some ideas.  

There is a woman out there who refers to herself on Ravelry as Cashmere Junkie, and that alone is reason for appreciation.  She also happens to design some wonderful knitting projects, and she has a few that highlight this indulgent and magical yarn.

the Basemoore Cowl by Taiga Hilliard Designs

The Basemoore Cowl is a three-color cowl that combines simple color work (stripes and the easiest stranded color-work a knitter could ask for) with a hint of lace.  The result is a gorgeous cowl that will give you that Goldilocks Feeling of “just right” whenever you happen to wear it.  I love how she picks two neutrals and a punch of color to make something that will be come ultimately wearable and the ultimate piece to wear. 

Meanwhile, her Larkin Willow Hat and Cowl are a practically-perfect pair using this sumptuous hand-dyed cashmere.  The Hat uses one skein of Serenity while the cowl uses two.  Making one or the other is a fun little project sure to delight whomever gets to keep it, but knitting up the duo is a well beyond a special treat for the person who receives it.

the Cloudburst Mitts from Arienne Grey

The Cloudburst Mitts from Arienne Grey are sweet as can be.  These fingerless mitts have a simple, feminine lace pattern and this pattern calls for one skein of Serenity.  This one-skein project is a satisfying little one.  It’s easy to take on the go and it doesn’t require a huge commitment of your time.  Plus, it’s a free pattern?  Thank you Ms. Grey!

Tinos by Hillary Smith Callis

Hillary Smith Callis created a cute, pointed cowl project called Tinos using two colors (and just two skeins) of Serenity.  This piece is a little like Andrea Mowry’s The Shift in that it’s worked flat and seamed up at the end.  It can be worn like a handkerchief to adorn the neck, or to be a functionally warm layer.  It’s a simple combination of textured stripes and a great project for all levels of knitters.  

Pax by Jen Lucas

Jen Lucas’s Pax pattern makes you feel like you’re getting a lot of shawl out of 550 yards of cashmere.  The simplicity and openness of this lace gives a lot of legs to this piece in terms of size.  It also makes it incredibly versatile to wear: as a layer on a cool summer evening, as a scarf as fall turns cold.  

Do you have a favorite yet?  I certainly don’t, but I think the Cloudburst Mitts seem like the perfect distraction from all of my distractions.  A project like this is like my knitting needles saying to me “Gurl, you’ve got more than you need!” and just the right thing to remind me that even on my worst day, I’m more fortunate than most people in the world.  

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