This year I picked up knitting with a zeal I’ve not experienced before; it’s normal for me to consider the odd knitting project around September and maybe make a baby sweater or cowl by March. But this past July, I went on a Maker+Stitch hiking and knitting retreat in Colorado that jump-started my annual knitting early. I continued knitting through the summer into fall and am still going strong. At this rate I may manage to make not one but possibly four things with yarn this year. WHO IS THIS PERSON? I don’t know but SHE CAN DO A LONG TAIL CAST ON WITHOUT LOOKING IT UP. Shocking.
Andrea Rangel was the instructor on the knitting retreat, and the topic was colorwork, which for those of you unfamiliar with knitting really just means knitting with more than one color. In this case we used her soon-to-be-published Tolt River Cowl as a practice piece, and I’m quite thrilled with the boost my knitting skills have seen thanks to her patient instruction as well as how my cowl (above) turned out. Here are the other cowls that were made at the retreat, most still in progress:
I’d love to tell you more about the retreat…I have so many thoughts about what I learned and why it was such a good choice for me this year, but for now I’m going to just share the reaction of the cowl’s intended recipient with you, for laughs.
Let’s just zoom in on this a sec.
I love that he’ll give me the pointed looks for the camera so I can capture it for posterity. To be fair, he said the wool was “too scratchy” and as a kid who herself spent a portion of her winters breaking out in hives from scratchy hand-knit items, I completely sympathize and was happy to pass it on to a more willing wearer:
I’m now currently into my second cowl; I decided to get Andrea’s book, Alterknits, from the library and attempt another pattern (sheep!) on this next one. I love that you can take any number of her patterns in that book and as long as your project has the correct number of stitches, insert her patterns into them as you like. Highly recommend the book (and it’s on my to-buy list, thank you library but I now need a copy of my own). Here’s some of the lovely samples Andrea brought along on the retreat from the book:
My next knitting goal now that Level: Colorwork has been unlocked is to try brioche. My friend Megan promises to show me how, and I’ve been eyeing a number of fun projects online and stalking Andrea Mowry on Instagram ever since setting my sites on brioche. Who are your favorite knitters to follow online?
I know many of you are knitters as well as sewists! Are you working on anything fun? Any new (or not-so-new) skills you’ve picked up that I should know about?