Stained Glass Cowl KAL – 9-1-16

20160502_6Remember this KAL starts 0n 9/1/16 if you want to join Judy and I in making this cowl.

I’ve gotten several emails asking about what kind of yarn to use, long color change versus short color change, where to buy it, etc.  I can tell you what yarn I’m using and why, and why a couple of the yarns I was considering in my stash I put aside because I didn’t think they would work well, but I can only comment on yarns that I’ve had personal experience making.  I hate making specific suggestions to anyone else for what they should use because my yarn choices are based on my specific likes — which might not be the same as anyone else’s.

Now that being said, the first thing I do when trying to decide on yarn for a project is read what the pattern designer says on the Rav pattern page and in the pattern.  In this the pattern calls for two colors of a  smooth fingering weight yarn that contrasts well with each other.  Smooth — well that’s pretty self explanatory — if  were a yarn with mohair or other fuzzy texture to it, or a yarn that’s thick and thin, it would distort the colorwork. The designer used Wollmeise.   Then I check the project pages on Rav and see what others have used.  In this case all the projects listed have used/are using Wollmeise.

20160811_5These are what I plan to use.  Good contrast between multicolored and background.  I’ve knit with Wollmeise before – it’s definitely a nice smooth yarn.  It also has longer yardage put ups so two hanks of each color gets me my required yardage.


As I was looking at my Wollmeise, I took this photo below.  While the colors look pretty together, there would be places where I would loose the look of the color work because the multicolor stitches would blend right into the background if I chose any of the solid color yarns shown.


As I was looking through the stash, I was checking out the other color change type yarns I have because I decided I wanted to use a color change yarn to give me a similar effect as on the pattern photo (although there is a very stunning two solid color version on Ravelry that  had me thinking about solids also).


The red ball middle left, the blue/green behind it and the rainbow to the right of the blue green — those I decided I wouldn’t used (they are  Zauberball Sock or made similar to that) and this is only my person opinion but I don’t like that yarn for socks (it seems too thin to me) and I also thought it was too thin for this project.  The “Lang” labeled one is also similar to Zauberball and a bit thinner strand than I want for this project.

Rounder/plumper/smoother yarn will make the color work fill in and look more even I think.  The other yarns had possibilities but I’m either using them in other projects or didn’t have enough.  I will say in general that Mini Mochi (the one where you can see the “mochi label and the rainbow one to its right) is one of my favorite color change yarns  that I’ve used in several projects.  The Poem Socks – ball at right with black band – is a longer color change yarn that I can get locally but again, it’s thinner so I would probably not use it for this project.

Of course it doesn’t have to be a long color change yarn – I was looking through my Rav stash to see what else I thought might work — these are possibilities – I really have no idea how they would end up looking in the cowl but I think  (1) the top row – those are are really short color changes so my gut instinct is that it might make the design look too busy but then again – I wouldn’t really know unless I swatched them.  Maybe it would make it look blendy but if the background is a good contrast that could look nice.    I think the bottom row would play along nicely in this design but again – that’s only a guess.

Then there are also gradient yarns  – I think those would look nice in this pattern with the color slowly changing it’s shading.   As to where to buy – that’s up to you.  I generally buy on line because although there are yarn stores in the City or nearby outside the City – they are most definitely not on my bus route so I shop on line.  The yarn photos from my stash are probably all from The Loopy Ewe (and they are the only source for Wollmeise in the US) and where most of my yarn comes from.  I also order from Eat.Sleep.Knit and the Mini Mochi I normally get from Simply Socks Yarn Company.  Fiber Wild, Webs and Jimmy Bean Wool are other shops that I have good luck finding what I want.

All this is a very long way of saying – find something you love to make it in, you may need to swatch or just jump in and take the chance that it will look the way you want – I have no magic way of telling you what will work and what won’t, but in my past experience, if its a project that doesn’t turn out exactly as I envisioned, there’s always someone in the family who falls in love with it and wants it, so it’s a winner in the end.


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