Pattern Debut: Chispas

Here it is, the latest from MediaPeruana Designs: the Chispas cowl.

You may be wondering, "Why is Kristen designing a stranded colorwork cowl when she actually isn't very good at and doesn't very much enjoy color knitting?'

This is an excellent question.

And I don't really have an answer.

The design just popped into my head, and had to be done.

I dutifully sent a sketch off to a yarn company, and was thrilled when it was accepted into the Malabrigo Quickies program.

That's right, this snugly cowl is knit up in Mmmmmmmmmalabrigo.

Specifically, in Malabrigo Arroyo, a newer sport weight yarn from Malabrigo, which is 100% merino wool, and as cozy, soft and snuggly as you would expect. Each skein boasts a hefty 335 yards, and of course, it's available in Malabrigo's many gorgeous colorways.

I adored working with it, which is probably why I actually got a colorwork project done for a change.

I was more than a bit worried about combining a white with a dark color--I knew I would need to give the cowl a good soak so I could even out all the stitches, and after my previous disaster combining light and dark colors, I feared bleed.

But a creamy, warm winter white seemed so essential for the coming season.

Fortunately, things worked out much better this time around. No bleeding!

To complete this project, you'll need about 150 yards of your main color, and 100 yards of a contrast color. I recommend using a variegated yarn for the contrast color, which gives the design more depth (and makes it look like you worked a lot harder than you actually did).

I used a size 5 16" circular needle for my project, which resulted in a cowl about 8.5" square. Of course, it doesn't matter too much how long the cowl is, but it's important that it be wide enough to fit over your head, particularly since stranding doesn't provide much flexibility.

The name of the design, Chispas, is actually the name of pinky-red colorway as well. It means "sparks," which seemed the perfect way to describe the varied geometric shapes that spiral around the cowl. The top and bottom edges feature just a hint of twisted rib, which helps to hold the cowl close to your neck. And all that stranding creates a snug, double-thick fabric that should get you through fall and into winter.

Many, many thanks to Malabrigo for their support. I was lucky enough to coordinate this project with the lovely Alex Tinsley, who blogs over at Dull Roar and designs awesome, awesome hats, among other things!

You can buy Chispas now on Ravelry for just $3.99!

Also available on Craftsy!