Last week I finished Julia Farwell-Clay's Icelandic Star Cowl from Knitscene
I feel incredibly proud of myself because I have not
had great success with finishing projects since I started my job here in
May. There are so many things to make, I get excited about the next
thing, without finishing the thing I was excited about yesterday. I'm
working on that, but it's quite hard when you're surrounded by so many
patterns and so much yarn!
My timing for completing this knitted cowl was fortuitously impeccable
though, as we were having some of our first cold Colorado days. The
bulky yarn and generous size of this this cowl make it an amazing buffer
against wintry weather; basically wearing it is like getting a big hug.
As I mentioned in my first post about this project,
this was my first foray into intarsia, and I was immediately hooked. I
really like stranded colorwork, but this was completely new.
I tried to get away with working with yarn strands pulled from both the inside and outside of the wound skeins, and while this worked for a while, it eventually led to an unsolvable puzzle of a mess. There was no way to untangle all of the strands without cutting them, so that's what I did, and wound the ends on bobbins instead. From my very limited experience with intarsia, bobbins make the whole undertaking possible. With all strands of yarn separate from one another, it's possible to move them over, under, and around one another how ever you need to in order to make your pattern work.
This manipulation is super important to make sure that there are no holes in your fabric. When moving from one swath of color to the next, the old yarn needs to go over the new yarn so that the two are entwined. Otherwise there are gaps in your work, and no one wants that to happen. Tanis Gray has an excellent description of how to do this in her new book, Cozy Knits, where you can also find lovely patterns, including an intarsia scarf ideal for a beginner.
With this project I was reminded of how much there is to learn with knitting. If you want to try new things, there is always a new technique to tackle. And the best thing about knitting is that your efforts create something tangible, in this case, cozy knitwear perfect to wear with winter rolling in.