Love of Lupins cowl
The Love of Lupins cowl is the second design in my book Fair Isle Knitting and Design. I designed this cowl to be suitable for knitters who wish to practise the techniques of stranding and weaving-in yarn. One large motif is repeated both horizontally and vertically giving knitters time to memorise the pattern. Only the pattern colour changes, so a knitter with a little stranded colourwork experience can enjoy working with different colours.
The colours used for the Love of Lupins cowl were inspired by seeing many colourful lupin flowers on a sunny summer day. A large Norwegian star, based on a heart motif, forms an allover pattern. This is worked in several bright colours, which really make the pattern sing, whereas the background is worked in a calming undyed white.
You knit Love of Lupins in the round, starting with a crochet cast-on followed by a single colour 3×3 rib. Using a crochet cast-on ensures that both the cast-on and cast-off edges look alike. Then you work the stranded colourwork section using two colours at a time and stranding or weaving-in the colour not in use. Finally, you finish the cowl with a matching 3×3 rib.
The pattern for Love of Lupins cowl is only available in my book. The book also includes step-by-step photo tutorials for stranding yarn and weaving-in yarn, as well as a written tutorial for the crochet cast-on method. If you need more detail or you prefer a more visual approach, you can look at my photo tutorials for this cast-on method:
- How to knit tutorial: The crochet cast-on method (for knitting right-handed)
- How to knit tutorial: The crochet cast-on method (for knitting left-handed).
My yarn choice
My favourite yarn for Fair Isle knitting is Shetland Spindrift from Jamieson’s of Shetland (4-ply weight; 100% Shetland wool; 105m | 115 yds per 25 grams). Spindrift comes in over 200 beautiful colours, including both naturals, undyed and mill-dyed colours. This yarn is light and ‘sticky’ because it is woollen-spun. Both of these properties are great for stranded colourwork. A stranded knitted fabric is thicker than usual for the yarn weight, because of the layer of floats on the wrong side of the fabric. Using a lightweight yarn helps to keep the fabric light enough for garments and accessories. The ‘stickiness’ occurs because the tiny fibres on the outside of the yarn cling to each other. These fibres help the floats to stay in place which helps keep the knitted stitches even.
You can buy a yarn pack containing Shetland Spindrift in the original colours from the Being Knitterly webshop.
The Love of Lupins cowl comes in one size:
- Finished circumference: 60 cm | 23 ½ inches.
- Finished depth: 27.5 cm | 11 inches.
My sample knitter used a 2.75 mm | UK 12 | US 2 and 3.25 mm | UK 10 | US 3 circular needles. You will also need a stitch marker, for marking the start of the round, and a blunt-ended yarn or tapestry needle, for weaving in the yarn ends.
If you would like to use a different yarn, for your Love of Lupins cowl, look for one with a similar meterage (yardage). As explained above, woollen spun yarn will work best, particularly if this is your first time knitting a Fair Isle design.
2-ply Jumper weight, Jamieson & Smith (4-ply weight; 100% Shetland wool; 125 m | 115 yds per 25 grams). Undyed or mill-dyed.
Pip Colourwork, Baa Ram Ewe (4-ply weight; 100% British wool; 126 m | 116 yds per 25 grams). Mill-dyed.
Choosing different colour palettes
The Love of Lupins cowl is a good project for a knitter who wants to try developing a colour scheme for the first time. In common with the Colours of Autumn scarf, this design has one background colour and a set of pattern colours. In the last chapter of my book, I show you how I developed this colour palette by working from an inspirational image. You can use a similar approach to develop your own colour palettes for this project and similar projects.
Love of Lupins cowl pattern options
The pattern for the Love of Lupins cowl is only available in my book, Fair Isle Knitting and Design, which you can purchase from the Being Knitterly webshop. The pattern is only available as the standard version for right-handed knitters, although left-handed knitters should find it easy to follow. The Love of Lupins yarn pack, containing Shetland Spindrift in the original colours, and balls of Shetland Spindrift are also available from the Being Knitterly webshop.