One of the big color trends for Fall 2013 has been burgundy. Burgundy is in the deep red color family and is a rich, stylish color for both day and night. It pairs nicely with with neutrals like beige, gray and brown - even with animal prints like leopard and cheetah. Make a nice chunky cowl or statement piece with one of the yarns in the selections below, and enjoy the regal color of burgundy.
Technical editor and yarncrafting expert Kj Hay joins us for a series on understanding the different elements of patterns. Click here to read her earlier blog posts.
Gauge is very important in all but the simplest designs. The gauge at which you work determines the finished size of the piece and the firmness of the fabric. If your gauge is off your afghan may barely cover a doll, or your slippers may fit the Jolly Green Giant quite comfortably. On the other hand, if your gauge is accurate but the yarn inappropriate for the gauge your sweater may be so firm you can’t lower your arms or so “holey” you could only wear it at home with the curtains drawn.
Gauge is the measure of the number of stitches and rows worked to yield a piece of fabric of a specific size. Gauge is usually given in terms of the numbers of stitches and rows worked to yield a piece of fabric that is 4 x 4 in. (10 x 10 cm) square.
If the size or drape of a finished project is important (and most of the time size and drape are important) take the time to check your gauge. To check your gauge, begin by using the size hook or needles listed. If more than one size of hook or needles is listed, the gauge statement should indicate which of the sizes is intended. Work a piece of fabric (known as a swatch) in the indicated pattern stitch that is at least 4 x 4 in. (10 x 10 cm) square or at least the size specified in the gauge statement, whichever is larger. Lay the piece flat without stretching or bunching it, place a ruler on the piece and count the number of stitches and number of rows over 4 in. (10 cm). Compare these numbers with the numbers in the gauge statement. If the number of stitches in 4 in. (10 cm) of your swatch is less than the number of stitches indicated by the gauge statement, you need to make another swatch using a smaller hook or needles. If the number of stitches in 4 in. (10 cm) of your swatch is more than the number of stitches indicated by the gauge statement, you need to try again using a larger hook or needles. Continue to make swatches using a larger or smaller hook or needles as needed until you achieve the gauge.
Our Design Department shares their thoughts on a favorite accessory of theirs.
We have been watching the cowl take off on the runways as this season’s favorite accessory. This face-framing neck warmer is versatile, practical and fashionable. Here are two variations on the theme that show how different a cowl can look, depending on your choice of yarns.
The Dobbs Ferry Cowl in Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, knit by holding three strands of this extra-bulky, easy-care yarn together, features the popular look of large stitches. It not only keeps you warm, but also creates a flattering high collar. The Wildfire Cowl uses only one bright painterly shade of Homespun to make a simple stitch look like a complex mix of different colors of yarn. You’ll love the compliments you’ll get when you wear this eye-popping cowl with your dark winter coat. Wear the cowl long (as pictured) to stay warm indoors, or loop it over again for a cozy accessory that keeps you warm while staying in place.
For a selection of over 60 cowl patterns, click here.
A version of this article first ran in The Weekly Stitch newsletter. Click here to sign up for the newsletter and get articles, free patterns, and exclusive offers in your inbox each week.