Inspiration, practicality and repurposing…

…have been mingling inside my head and on my needles this past couple of years. When I started creating my own handknit wardrobe, back in the late ’80s, “the era of dinosaurs” as my son calls it, knitting was mostly a way of making beautiful things to wear inspired by the feedback of that time: trips, photos, magazines and that was it. Needless to say I was improvising without taking notes, because, I thought, who would want to knit the very same sweater with me?

Now here we are, some 30+ years later and p.R. (post Ravelry), still knitting and getting excited with beautiful yarn, writing down everything to turn it into a pattern and surrounded by inspiration: the internet, life, friends and family and then back to the internet: so many images, so much color, so much info at the click of a button! Still, I cannot help but feel a bit guilty for all the yarn accumulated during these past few years. Having to spend a long amount of time indoors (along with the rest of the planet) gave me the opportunity to stop and take a look at my knitting from another perspective: what happened to practicality? Knits are supposed to keep you warm and cozy and yarn is supposed to be used (even re-used, if necessary).

Eventually I realised it was time for my de-stash operation: yarn that I no longer needed to use was just given to friends and that was the easiest thing to do. Leftovers from beloved projects, my little treasures, were put into big transparent containers and separated according to weight and color. These are going to offer me lots of “mindless knitting” time and they’ll result in original knits that I’m going to wear or gift. My goal for this year is to knit as much as possible, so that I free up the space in my yarn closets and enjoy working from other designers’ patterns (yes, 1033 patterns are waiting for me on my Ravelry Library).

Joining the Heartwarming KAL 2022 will have me knit hats, mitts, scarves and cowls using leftovers that can (preferably) be machine washed. I plan to write a separate post on this KAL, but, until I do, you can go and find all about it here.

Well, here is the challenge: knit (or crochet) as much as possible using the yarn from my stash and combining leftovers to create a “scrappy knitting wardrobe”. As I am writing this, there is a “scrappy” sweater project beside me; a minimalist design works just great for that kind of knits, and so I am knitting “Aldous” by Isabell Kraemer, holding two strands of yarn together: 1 laceweight + 1 fingering =sportweight. Great pattern, fun to knit (because of all the color combo suspense) and surely fun to wear, once it is finished.

Finally, last Monday I released a new, very basic pattern for a very practical item. In fact, this one came up as I was knitting a cowl for my son (he is my model in the pictures). This is one of the few times he asked me to knit something for him, so I jumped out of joy and grabbed my needles to please him. He needed a minimalist, dark-coloured cowl to wear as a “faux turtleneck collar” (he couldn’t be more specific) to keep his neck warm and cozy in a classroom with open windows. The yarn by TreLiz is really a perfect choice for this one, since it may look quite rustic, yet it feels as soft as you can dream of!
The wider version came as an option later on, when I wanted to test my idea and knit another cowl with a more generous look; this one is a gift to my son’s godfather, so they can wear similar cowls and joke about how different they actually look!
Scollar is worked in one-colour Syncopated Brioche Stitch, starting from the top. It features a Brioche Short Rows section that creates a nice, wavy finishing to help it stay in place and keep the neck warm and cozy. I have provided links to Video Tutorials for the CO, BO and Brioche Short Rows and included photos that will guide you to the latter (although it sounds more difficult than it actually is), so go ahead and enjoy knitting a Scollar!

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