Monday, 28 April 2014

Arriving in Canada and my Lovely Purl Soho Cowl

After a crazy last few months living in Leeds, and a brilliant three months travelling around the world the long way, we've arrived in Canada! We've been living in Vancouver for almost a month now and we're feeling quite settled. I've even managed to bag myself a cool job. 

The view from our apartment looking over the harbour and mountains of Vancouver.

I've set myself a new resolution to go along with my new life in a new country: I'm going to try and blog a LOT more than I have so that I can share my makes and general thoughts with friends and family. So here goes...

I've been meaning to blog again my favourite cowl for ages, ever since I knitted it in October in fact. On our amazing trip to New York in November 2012, I made a beeline for Purl Soho, having read about it online. It was one of the best shops that I've ever been to in my life, ever. Their range of fabric and wool is stunning. The colours are so bright and pretty, there is nothing dull about the shop at all. I think we went into the shop three times in six days, and Andy was very patient, and even bought me their 4 Seasons of Embroidery kit as an early Christmas present (I'll talk about that another time!). I immediately fell in love with their first range of wool, the Super Soft Merino, mainly because of the lovely bright colours. I decided to buy fabric instead of wool during our visit, as I couldn't decide whether I thought this wool was expensive or not, and I had some ideas for a patchwork quilt that I wanted to make. 

About six months after we got back from New York, my sister was going through my handbag (nosy parker!) and found $70 that I'd put in my front pocket for safe keeping! My brother was off to New York in the June so I asked him to get me some wool, and some beer from the Brooklyn Brewery for Andy of course! 

I knew I definitely wanted the Super Pink colour, and perhaps the Heirloom White as I already had the cowl project in mind when I was placing my order after seeing the post about the Garter Gaiter. However, they had run out of the white when Rob was there so he bought the Oyster Grey instead. To be honest, I don't think there is much difference between them and I think that it works quite well! 

Wool & directions!
It only took me a few hours to knit up and I love the effect of the stitch - just knit one row, pearl the next. It was a little tricky at the cross over at the end of each row but I managed to make it look almost seamless. 

Close up of the Garter Gaiter stitch.

I also cast off a bit tightly so that it would go in at the top. 

The finished article, tighter at the top than bottom.
The instructions are easy peasy and I would recommend this to anyone who wants to make something similar with any kind of wool, but I especially recommend the Super Soft Merino as it's so so silkily soft (as in the name!). I used most of each skein of yarn, so it's not a really cheap knit, but not bad value because it is such good quality yarn. 

This cowl (or a snood as I keep calling it - not sure which is the correct name!) is so toasty and warm because of the merino and it's also a great fit. It's not too tight so not too sweaty, and if it's really cold I can put another thinner scarf underneath for extra warmth. It was perfect for the freezing cold climes of Japan and South Korea in January. 

Trying out my cowl at Christmas time with my best gal pals.