teal ptarmigan

Can you think of anything less appropriate for summer than an angora cowl? Me neither, which is probably why I finished knitting this in just a few days, then set it aside for several weeks before finally hiding the ends and blocking it today.

Isn't it lovely? Especially among my not-yet-hit-with-the-tragic-blight basil plants?

I loved knitting this pattern, as I have loved knitting the other Jared Flood designs I've made (Koolhaas and Habitat, though I have many more in my mental queue). They are somewhat challenging, extremely well-written, well-charted, and he never, ever does anything too many times in a row, so I don't get bored. Ptarmigan was no exception.

I never thought I was a person to make or wear cowls, but I think I've changed my mind. They are quicker and more interesting in construction than scarves. Also, scarves tend to come unwound and trail behind me, which a cowl obviously can not do, since it's just a tube you pull on over your head. I'm sold.

Also, I love this yarn, Louisa Harding Kimono Angora Pure in bright (and I mean bright) teal. It is so very soft and warm and absolutely light as air. I bought it on sale at Lakeside Fibers long ago. In fact, I remember the day quite clearly. I had just found out I was pregnant with Anya, to my very great surprise (and to the great surprise of my doctors as well - failed IUD, if you must know) and I spent the whole day in a fog, wondering how the hell I was going to take care of Daniel and prepare for Songfest '07 and finish my doctorate that year. I remember that I was feeling overwhelmed and panicky and needed to get out of the house, so I took Daniel to Lakeside (he was just a toddler, so hard to imagine now) with the intention only of looking at yarn and maybe treating us to something in the café, and I came home with a small bag of this angora yarn and no idea what to do with it.

Well, three years later I can happily say that my experience at Songfest was a great success (in fact, scroll down to the very bottom of that link and you can hear a piece I premiered there!), I finished my degree in the nick of time (literally hours before Anya was born), my kids are lovely little creatures (most of the time, you know), and I finally figured out what to do with the angora yarn.

Pattern: Ptarmigan, by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed
Yarn: Louisa Harding Kimono Angora Pure, just over 1 skein, in the color teal. I thought the high angora content would make for lots of shedding, but I didn't have a big problem with that. I was also afraid the fuzz factor would interfere with the definition of the stitch pattern, but I'm pleased with how well it shows up.
Needles: size 7 16" circular, and I assume I knit approximately to gauge. I like how the cowl fits, so I'm not even bothering to check!
New skills acquired: sewn bind-off. I'd never tried it before, but the pattern suggests it for finishing, and I found it to be easy and look very nice.


Jess said…
Wow. That is an amazing color. I'm sure it will be fun to pull this out when the weather finally turns cold.
Mrs. Allroro said…
So pretty. I guess you could wear it with either a coat or sweater, just like you would a scarf, huh? I think it would look nice with navy.
Caffeine Girl said…
What a lovely story! I hope you are going to keep the cowl as a memory!

I think I might have seen you at Half Price a couple weeks ago. It was in the front of the store by the vintage childrens books. I would have been sweaty and disheveled from biking there. Sound familiar?
Suze said…
Caffeine Girl, I don't remember seeing you, but I was at Half Price a couple weeks ago, just browsing. It was a Sunday evening, I remember that much. One of these times we'll meet for real!

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