As a knitter it is very important to take care of your equipment. And what piece of equipment could be more important than your hands? As someone who has a history of hand and wrist problems, including repetitive stress injuries, I am always trying to be cognizant of maintaining good practices for hand health. I think that it is better for your hands to be alternating between different kinds of knitting, and in particular between different weights of yarn and needles. In that vein, I decided to cast on something using a thick yarn.
I tend to prefer knitting with lighter weights, but I had bought this yarn last fall with the intention of making a quick Christmas gift, and then never got around to it. It is incredibly soft and is in a very vibrant and saturated purple. I love how the chunky yarn in a heavily cabled fabric makes such great texture – it results in beautiful hills and valleys bursting with light and shadow.
The yarn is Whitfell Chunky by Eden Cottage Yarns, a 100% baby alpaca in the colourway Damson. The pattern is the Umbra cowl designed by Louise Zass-Bangham. I tried this cowl on at a wool fair last year, made with this yarn, and it was wonderfully cozy; I bought some on the spot.
Do you know the other advantage of knitting with chunky yarn? It takes no time to finish something!
This cowl took a few short evenings of knitting. The pattern is intuitive and doesn’t require much attention. It is good TV knitting, or carrying-on-a-conversation knitting. The only difficult part was grafting it together. Here I will let you in on a secret: I suck at Kitchener stitch! Really, this is on my list of knitting techniques that need major work. I inevitably end up with more stitches on one needle that the other. (Many more than the one stitch you would expect.) If I stop concentrating for even a second, something goes wrong. Here you can see how lousy I am at Kitchener; look at this terrible join:
Oh my! Quelle horreur! Am I going to let my knitting perfectionism take control and force me to rip it out and re-graft, and then re-rip it out and re-re-graft, and then re-re-re-rip it out, etc. etc? No, I’m not. It’s staying this way! A New Kelly is evolving!
Having had a week in the thick of it (knitting-wise and otherwise in fact), I will return to my colourwork fingering-weight jacket with happier hands. I hope you are safe and dry this weekend.