Tuesday, January 30, 2018

fo: #rightbrainmutany project

I may be weird, but I actually like doing the year end inventory at the shop.  Well, the counting bit at least.  Gives me a chance to spend some quality time with the yarn, when I barely have a chance to glance at it most days during the holiday season.

This year, I was chatting with one of my volunteers and glanced down at the Briggs & Little Heritage shelf, and saw three skeins of yarn sitting side-by-side.  And then I felt like I got smacked in the face with them.

Sometimes a yarn will misbehave and appear to disagree with anything you try to use it in, and us Knitter's and Crocheter's will have to resign ourselves to leaving that yarn alone until it tells you what it wants to be.

These three skeins SHOUTED what they wanted, and no matter how much I fought it, I couldn't ignore their demand.  They wanted to be this:

fo: #rightbrainmutany project: gradient cowl
The image I got in my head was narrow but deep gradient cowl in some sort of textured stitch, where the three colours transitioned from one to another.

Natural White, Ragg, Sheep's Grey

To get this, I held two strands together throughout the whole project.  First, I held two strands of the natural white together, then one strand of natural white and one strand of ragg (itself a marled yarn), followed by two strands of ragg.  To transition to sheep's grey, I repeated the process, holding one strand of ragg and one sheep's grey, followed by two strands of the grey.

fo: #rightbrainmutany project: gradient cowl fo: #rightbrainmutany project: gradient cowl
I found the transition from the natural white into ragg was sharper than the image slammed in my head,and the transition from ragg to sheep's grey nearly invisible.  But I can't bring myself to care because the end result was stunning!

fo: #rightbrainmutany project: gradient cowl
The textured stitch was just a simple Irish moss (k1, p1 around for two rows, then p1, k1 for two more).  I cast the sucker on at our last Fibre's Guild meeting with 6.5 mm needles, but after knitting a few inches, realized the fabric was too tight. 

wip: #rightbrainmutany project
So I ripped it out and started fresh with 8 mm needles.  Much better!

I'd originally planned this cowl to be something like 30" long, but then I realized that was a ridiculous length, and also I would need more yarn - probably just an extra ball of the ragg, but I wanted to keep this within the three balls.  It's actually a perfect size (about 18" long and 30" around).  Easy to toss on and artfully fold in whatever way I need, whether as a fashionable cowl or obscuring most of my head and face when we hit -30C temps.  And the textured stitch locks in heat, so I'm always nice and cozy in this sucker.

Why do I call it the #rightbrainmutany project, you ask?  Folks, I'm not a monogamous knitter.  I just realized the other day that while I own approximately 30 cords for my interchangeable needles, I only have 2 in my knitting case.  I have a lot of wips.  But this project?  It DEMANDED my attention.  I tried to work on other projects, but this one wouldn't allow it.  My right brain took complete control and didn't let me go until this thing was off the needles.

I had this project done in 3 days, so I guess there's something to be said for monogaknitting.  And let me tell you, it was a battle between brain sides when I had to be Not Knitting at the shop.

(Right brain often won.)

fo: #rightbrainmutany project: gradient cowl
Have you ever had a project take over your brain?  Or had a part of your brain mutany and take over you?  And I've only just noticed that I've been spelling "mutany" wrong all this time.  Oh well, I've been hashtagging it wrong as well, and I'm not going back to change any of it! 


  1. Love the cowl and love your process! Yes I fully get what you mean about just wanting to do the thing and not all that other stuff. I feel taken over when that happens too. This reminds me of the awesome weaving you did last year in natural stone colours, too. I loved that.
    Cute photos and I love the scenery backdrop!

  2. Oh my gosh, that came out so good! I love it!! It's always a little unnerving when I have a project I literally CAN'T PUT DOWN, but I can't deny it leads to quick results. Also your face is adorable and you look super cozy :)

  3. The natural gradient is just gorgeous! You look toasty warm on what must have been a bitterly cold day. Since I tend to be a monogamous knitter with a modest stash, I don't often have things push to the front of the queue, but I recently picked up a sweater that had been stalled for months and in two evenings finished the seaming. I still have approximately 47,000 ends to weave in and a neckband to knit, but I'm feeling this sudden determination out of nowhere to get it finished so that it stops taking up mental space. Then I'll be able to start something new, guilt-free.

  4. I love this! It is so affirming when creative inspiration just takes over. When one's business is creativity it is easy to get quite jaded about it. Then this happens!

  5. Wow, stunning. Love the cowl and the colour gradients are great.

    God bless.

  6. It’s gorgeous and I love the colour transition! And yes, I know that feeling—I’ve always called it my fingers itching. 😁