I like looking back over my current design year and remembering yarns I enjoyed working with, projects that had that magical balance from concept to weaving in ends, color combinations that popped and if it turned into a class, was a great project to teach and the students did wonderfully. One of my favorite designs this current design year was the Simon Says Cowl, and I knew I wanted to use that yarn again for another color work cowl.
I’d like to introduce the Bad Kitty cowl, a Fair Isle knit cowl with Latvian braids and a Delft pottery-vibe. According to Holland.com, “Delft Blue is the world-famous earthenware that has been produced in the city of Delft since the 17th century. Between 1600 and 1800, this earthenware was popular among rich families who would show off their Delft Blue collections to one another. Although the Delftware potters preferred to call their earthenware “porcelain”, it was only a cheaper version of the real Chinese porcelain. Delft Blue was not made from the typical porcelain clay, but from clay that was coated with a tin glaze after it was fired. In spite of this, Delft Blue achieved unrivalled popularity, and at its peak, there were 33 factories in Delft. Of all of these factories, the only one remaining today is Royal Delft.”
I was hanging out with a friend recently, binge-watching Outlander with her as she was cat-sitting for her parents. It’s been a while since my cat Igby passed away, and I haven’t had to fight the (always losing) battle between woman, cat and yarn for years. After leaving her house and spending the next few days picking cat hair out of my yarn, the idea for the Bad Kitty cowl was hatched.
Knit in the round in the lovely Mrs. Crosby’s Carpet Bag yarn on US 6 needles, this cowl uses 1 hank of each color. I also really love the idea of switching colors in each striped section and having a rainbow of bad kitties circling around, plotting their revenge on your yarn! Carpet Bag has great drape when knitted up and the sheen (from the 20% silk) and slight halo (from the 80% superwash merino) make it super soft and cozy. A lot of knitters are sensitive to yarn around their neck or on their forehead and this yarn hit an ideal balance for me.
Pairing Fair Isle and Latvian Braids running in opposite directions creates a dynamic combination between texture and design. Throw in some corrugated ribbing for balance and weight and you have everything I love about cowls in one project. The added length ensures enough knit fabric to tuck under your coat and keep out the chill, but you can make it even longer or shorter if you wish.