Project Ideas

One Skein Wonders: Fingering Weight Shawls and Cowls

I have to credit Carrie with planting the seed for this week’s blog in the last several weeks.  First of all, Carrie has been working a ton over the summer and watching beautiful yarns sprinkle into the store throughout August.  We have some gorgeous new fingering-weight yarns in the store (Cascade’s Merino Dream, Malabrigo Sock) as well as our favorites that have returned in new gorgeous hues (Tosh Merino Light, La Jolla).  When we welcome these new yarns to the shop, we always find ourselves wondering how we can play with them.  When it comes to these skeins of fingering-weight yarn roughly 400 yards to each, our wheels turn and we wonder how we can put them to beautiful use, one beautiful skein at a time.  So, Carrie and I have been brainstorming and we’ve come up with some gorgeous shawls and cowls that use just one skein of these gorgeous fingering weight yarns.

 

Looking back at some of Stephen West’s early patterns is a great place to start.  Three patterns caught my eye: Herbivore, Blue Whale and Westlake.  All three are “architecturally” interesting in that they are shaped in a way seems to naturally wrap around your neck and shoulders.  They have interesting lines to them with angles and a softness all at once.  I’m really loving the scale of these smaller shawls, as they remind me of a neckerchief that covers just enough on a late summer morning or acts like a piece of jewelry in an air-conditioned office.

Storm Shawl
Storm Shawl by Joji Locatelli

Carrie brought Joji Locatelli’s Storm Shawl to my attention back in August.  She liked that it had a generous size despite only using about 400 yards of fingering weight yarn.  It’s got lots of eyelets and dropped stitches, which create a more open fabric – and that open fabric makes for a bigger piece.

Joji’s Paris in Berlin

Since Joji has published about a ba-jillion patterns, its worth looking through her oeuvre for more inspiration.  I particularly like Paris in Berlin, with a hint of texture to it.  It’s a pointed cowl, which gives it that same neckerchief aesthetic that I’m really digging right now.

Joji’s Bobble Cowl

One more of Joji’s one skein wonders is the Bobble Cowl.  This is like a dainty version of the Hipster Cowl I made earlier this summer. Triangular hunks of garter stitch (shaped with easy short rows) are punctuated by little eyelets, and bobbles run along the edges.  Just. Plain. Cute.

Change of Heart
Change of Heart by Justyna Lorkowska

Justyna Lorkowska’s Change of Heart is another appealing project for so many reasons.  I love garter stitch edged with detail – in this case it’s a lovely lace detail.  This makes for mostly relaxing knitting with a taste of attention required.  I like that this cowl has a simple i-cord edge (knitted into the edge as you go – and very easy) is a nice touch that makes this cowl look more polished.  Plus, this is a free pattern, featured on Knitty years ago!  It’s an oldie but a very-goodie.

Willow
Veera Valimaki’s Willow

Veera Valimaki’s Willow is appealing for a number of reasons.  To begin, it’s shown in a gorgeous yellow hue, and yellow is my current color obsession.  It’s simplicity is also incredibly appealing.  Big chunks of stockinette are separated by rows of simple eyelets.  I think this pattern would be really great for some of the variegated, hand-dyed or speckled choices out there.  Namely, I am thinking this would be a gorgeous choice for Cascade’s super soft Merino Dream or some of those totally unique skeins of Tosh Merino Light.

Book People
Sylvia McFadden’s Book People

Sylvia McFadden’s Book People has totally got me.  It’s got tons of eyelets that look like polka dots and small stripes of garter stitch for a bit more texture.  It’s not too tricky, but it is interesting enough to keep you engaged.

As I wrap up writing this, I’m itching to cast-on a few of these projects.  They really are a knitter’s dream: you can knit up something beautiful with just one skein of lovely yarn.  I love knitting these projects, and I often do so with no destination in mind for the finished product.  I’ll often set the finished piece aside and save it for a teacher gift or a friend who’s having a tough day.

We have tons of gorgeous fingering-weight yarn that’s worth a good look at Wool & Grace.  Some of the yarns I’m thinking of with this blog in mind include

While we have lots of other lovely fingering-weight yarns, be sure to check yardage for these projects, as they have less than the approx-400 yards mentioned for these projects!

2 thoughts on “One Skein Wonders: Fingering Weight Shawls and Cowls”

    1. Julie – out of these, Veera Valimaki’s Willow is probably the easiest. It’s knit up on a US6 and there isn’t that much going on. So – not too much to think about (in the pattern) is forgiving for a highly distractible lifestyle 😉 I have lots of other ideas for gals like you, so email if you want more.

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