I’ve always loved fairy tales. Growing up I had a very well-loved copy of all the classics. I adored them all – The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Pea, Rumpelstiltskin, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel were my favorites. It’s interesting how such simple tales became such a big part of my childhood.
I remember snuggling up to my mother as she read them aloud again, how’d she’d let me turn the pages and even though I had heard it one hundred times before, the anticipation of what would happen made me bite my nails down to the quick. The illustrations were like familiar friends, as was that old hardbound book. It remains packed up in one of the many boxes of books from my childhood, waiting for a time when my son is old enough to haul it off the shelf, tuck both himself and the book into my lap and tell me which one he wants to hear that night. I can’t wait!
Many of these tales have popped up over the course of my life thus far. I was in many fairy tale-inspired ballets as a kid when I danced very seriously with a company. My VHS Disney tapes practically wore out from extensive watching. I did a stop-motion animated version of Rumpelstiltskin for my junior year animation thesis at RISD. The puppets were crafted painstakingly by hand and I even knit little outfits for them. The miller’s daughter’s hair was actual hair from my head (how we suffer for our art!) and I enjoyed every minute of making that short film. Very modern versions of The Princess and the Pea, Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood posters adorn my wall and I have to admit, I do love “Once Upon A Time,” a current TV show.
Fairy tales let us escape into a world where witches appear out of thin air, straw can be spun into gold, princesses dance until dawn, glass slippers fit the right person, a kiss can break a spell and the guy gets the girl. Admittedly, too many of them are damsel-in-distress stories and the real versions written by the Brothers Grimm are fairly horrifying, but grasping the moral of the story, diving into a world of pretend and believing that anything is possible while you read them is a right of passage for any child.
In honor of my love for fairy tales, I offer up the Rapunzel Cowl. Knit in Cascade’s Lana Grande yarn, this 100% Peruvian highland wool will keep you warm, whether you’re visiting Far Far Away or Neverland. What surprised me most about the finished project is how light it is. A plied wool, this yarn is so light and lofty that it has what every princess wants, a serious cozy factor. A 16-stitch cable is reminiscent of Rapunzel’s long braid and a kitchener join makes for a seamless finish. With almost 45 colors to chose from, this cowl knit up almost as quickly as I could say “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair” on US 15s.
I designed this project for a quick gift knit as the season is upon us. Maybe you’ll take a break between cable repeats and reread those tales we all enjoyed from so long ago…
And they lived (and knit) happily ever after. Download the free Rapunzel Cowl pattern here.