Cymru cowl

Woman wearing hand-knit purple and pink cowl with a grid pattern
© The Knitter Magazine 2015

Cymru cowl by Nicki Merrall

New pattern published by The Knitter magazine

Just for subscribers!

If you subscribe to The Knitter you should have received Issue 81. The main cover image shows a lovely cabled jumper designed by one of my friends, Emma Vining. She has used darning in a clever way to add the colour; Emma has written a tutorial about this technique, as well as the pattern.

Cover of The Knitter, Issue 81
© The Knitter Magazine 2015

Hidden on pages 30 and 31 is the pattern for my latest design, Cymru Cowl. It is a “knit-along” for subscribers only. Sorry to disappoint anyone who buys this issue from a shop; the pattern will not be there. However, pattern rights revert to me six months after publication, so I shall be self-publishing this design later.

Woman wearing hand-knit purple and pink cowl with a grid pattern
© The Knitter Magazine 2015

Carthenni from Cymru

Welsh bedcovers or Carthenni were my inspiration for this design. So, I chose the name “Cymru” because it is the Welsh name for “Wales”. Using a double-weave technique creates a fabric that is reversible. Effectively, these fabrics have two right sides, with the colours inverted on each side. The most distinctive designs, known as ‘tapestry’ quilts, featured patterns based on checks. You can take a look at some examples on my Carthenni Pinterest board.

Knitting an inverse-colour reversible fabric

You work Cymru cowl using the double-knit technique; this also produces an inverse-colour reversible fabric. The geometric pattern is simple enough for your first attempt at this technique. You knit this cowl sideways, in rows, starting from waste yarn. Then, you convert it into a Möbius strip, by removing the waste yarn, twisting one end by 180 degrees, then grafting together the free stitches at both ends. You can see it pinned out for blocking in the photo below.

A piece of knitting with a grid design pinned to blocking boards

Yarn details

I used Kid Silk Haze, from Rowan Yarns for my Cymru cowl. This yarn creates a light and wonderfully warm fabric. It is a laceweight yarn comprising 70% mohair, 30% silk. You will need about one ball of the main shade, Blackcurrant (614) and about a third of a ball of the contrast shades, Splendour (579), Candy Girl (606) and Dewberry (600). You knit Cymru in rows on 3.50 mm needles. Depending on your preference, You can use double-pointed, straight or circular needles.

The double-knit technique produces a double-layered fabric. I cannot describe how gorgeous this feels in Kid Silk Haze; if you could feel it you would want to make something using this technique and this type of yarn!

Also in issue 81

There is an article about knitting holidays starting on page 77. One of my friends has been on a few knitting holidays, so I carefully inspected the photos in case she was there. I don’t think she is, but she has been in previous issues of The Knitter. However, I did notice the caption for the first two photos was “Explore Shetland with Arena Travel and Nicki Merrall”! Now I’d love this to be a big announcement, but sadly as Arena Travel has not been in contact with me, I think it is a typo. Such a shame! Fair Isle knitting techniques are some of my favourites to teach and I should love to visit Shetland. One day, maybe!

List of designers featuring in next month's The Knitter magazine

This, however, is not a mistake! The Knitter is publishing another one of my designs next month. It does feel pretty special to be mentioned in the same space as these other designers!

You may have noticed that at the end of last year I wrote few blog posts. I was working back to a back on commissions, both knitting the actual items and writing the patterns. Designers have to keep commissions secret until publication. So now, you are starting to see what kept me so busy!

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