This is my latest work-in-progress (WIP). It’s a cozy cowl to keep my neck warm now that my hair is short. The yarn is my absolute favorite brand, Malabrigo, in their Rios line. It’s also my favorite colorway: Archangel. Archangel is a magical color blend that changes in different lights. Once it’s done I’ll show you.
I’m knitting a pattern called Ant Egg Cowl I found on Ravelry. It’s a new pattern for me so I don’t know if I like it yet. We’ll see. Two things about this project that I know I love: the yarn and the circular needle I’m using.
Malabrigo Rios is my favorite go-to yarn. Rios is a super-soft 100% superwash merino wool in an astounding range of colors. I’ve also knit quite a few projects with Malabrigo Rasta which is a super bulky yarn but the Rios is a light worsted-weight yarn. Rios has a really nice hand (the way it feels in the hand), not scratchy or too slippery. This is definitely a yarn to be worn next to the skin.
For those without a true lanolin allergy, wool is a wonderful natural fiber with amazing properties. It doesn’t lose its shape like cotton does. Not only is it an excellent insulator in cold weather because of its moisture-wicking ability, the very same property makes it a comfortable fiber in warmer weather as well. Soft wool makes a very comforting fabric and merino wool is just about as soft as you can find. In fact, medical studies have shown that low birthweight babies thrive better when placed on lambs wool to sleep. Wool is almost miraculous.
The color range of the Rios line is, as I’ve said, astounding. Every color, from muted to vibrant to dark to multi-, is represented in Rios. And since it’s a superwash merino it would make a perfect baby blanket in the bright, vibrant hues that infants can focus on first.
If I ever make you something with this delightful yarn, the care instructions are absurdly easy. Machine wash COLD, delicate or hand wash cycle, lay flat to dry. Sometimes I cheat and hang to dry, but be careful here because wool stretches. Lots! Don’t hang-to-dry something where size is very important! If you are worried about colorfastness just choose a very short cycle and wash the item by itself. Most items that I hand-knit wouldn’t require frequent washing anyway. It’s not like I’m knitting underpants over here. And I cannot think of a reason why you would ever need to iron this wool.
The circular needle that I’m using is also a favorite: Addi Turbo U.S. size 9, 32″ long. They are made of nickel-plated brass and the join, where the metal meets the flexible cable, is very smooth and I never have any problems with snagging. And they mean turbo, knitting goes very quickly with these needles.
While I prefer straight needles in bamboo, I don’t care for bamboo circulars, they’re too grip-y. I knit most projects with circular needles now, not just things knit in-the-round but also larger flat projects as well. Circular needles also don’t poke out into other people’s personal space the way straight needles can. Also, I have had to fish around under the car seats and crawl under my desk to retrieve straights needles or DPNs (more on those later) too many times. With a circular needle both ends stay put.
The pattern itself is fairly simple but has enough variation in the four-row repeat to make it interesting. Most knitters put their own personal stamp on any pattern they use and I am no different. Any cowl pattern can be made shorter or longer just reducing or increasing the number of stitches you cast on. Just pay attention to the number of stitches in the the pattern repeats. For example a K2 P2 ribbing doesn’t have a two stitch repeat, it has a four stitch repeat.
Keep checking back, cowls don’t take very long to knit up!