Are you familiar with the knitwear designer who calls herself ‘Jumper Cables’? I happen to love that name, and I really like a lot of her designs. They’re mostly shawls of the non-lace variety – some interesting stitch patterns and quite geometric in nature. Despite the long term admiration, this will actually be the first pattern of hers that I will knit, and I have chosen a cowl called ‘Puddle’. The name should give it away, as this is a long, close fitting cowl that puddles around your neck to keep you warm. I’ve been wearing my version of Joji’s 3 colour cowl a lot recently – under other scarves – so am keep to get something in the same style, but in a different colour palette.
I am planning on knitting a Puddle in advance of the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, as part of #BlackerPodKAL hosted by the fabulous Knit British. The aim is to cast on something using Blacker yarns on 19 January and cast off by 4 March, in time for EYF. I picked up St Kilda lace weight yarn last year (the batch that was hand dyed by the Knitting Goddess) and will do the cowl in the 2 skeins of navy I have, with some ‘dimensional intarsia’ using the mini skeins - that is, add colourful polka dots while holding the contrast colour along with the main colour. So I have been doing some research on intarsia in the round.
The first option would be to just knit the cowl flat, and then sew it up, but that’s a lot of purling in lace weight yarn, so am looking for something a little faster. I read about a great method on a blog called ‘Moth Heaven’ where you knit across then back (with some slipping of stitches) on the intarsia portion and then ‘catch up’ with the main colour. This won’t work here because I am planning on holding the contrast colour and the main colour to knit the polka dots.
Then there are a whole host of variations on the method that involve a lot of purling and long loops of yarn – probably the best explained by the blog ‘Explaiknit’ in the paragraph starting ‘The other method makes the joins…’ but it still doesn’t get me any closer to knitting intarsia in the round in the way I intend (that is, holding the contrast and main colour at the same time) so I may be back to purling.