Cymru cowl

The Knitter, Issue 81

Cymru Cowl by Nicki Merrall

Just for subscribers!

If you subscribe to The Knitter you should have received Issue 81. On the cover you see a lovely cabled jumper 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
Hidden on page 30 and 31 is Cymru Cowl, my latest design. It is published as 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 in the year.
Cymru Cowl by Nicki Merrall

Carthenni from Cymru

I chose the name “Cymru” which is the Welsh name for “Wales” because this design was inspired by Welsh bedcovers or Carthenni. These are made from a double-weave cloth usually woven in two-ply wool; they are completely reversible inverse-colour fabrics. The most distinctive designs, known as ‘tapestry’ quilts, featured patterns based on checks. Take a look at some examples on my Carthenni Pinterest board.

Knitting an Inverse-colour Reversible Fabric

Cymru cowl is worked using the double-knit technique that produces an inverse-colour reversible fabric. The geometric pattern is simple enough for a first attempt at this technique. The cowl is knitted sideways, in rows, starting from waste yarn. It is converted 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.
Cymru Cowl pinned out on blocking mats
Cymru is knitted in Kid Silk Haze, from Rowan Yarns, to make a light and wonderfully warm fabric. This is a laceweight yarn made from 70% mohair, 30% silk. You will need 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). The cowl is knit in rows on 3.50 mm needles. You can use double-pointed needles or straight needles or circular needles depending on your knitting preference.
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 have not been in contact with me, I think it is a typo. Such a shame! Fair Isle knitting techniques are some of my favourite to teach and I should love to visit Shetland. One day, maybe!
Next month feature from The Knitter, Issue 81
This, however, is not a mistake! The Knitter is publishing another one of my designs next month. And 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 are not allowed to discuss commissions until they are published. So now, you are starting to see what kept me so busy!

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