Gotham Cowl KAL

We had a great bunch of knitters in the String Ravelry Group who participated in the Fair Isle Nordic Slouch Hat KAL! Learning in a group (and there's something really fun about a virtual group who meets up from all different locations) is a fantastic way to make new global knitting friends, meet up when it's convenient to your schedule and be able to go back and read everything as many times as it takes for the lightbulb to go on. I'd like to introduce the Gotham Cowl, my next project for String Yarns and our next String Yarns Ravelry Group KAL. Inspired by my years of living in and around New York City, this cowl may look like it's cabled, but in fact it's all lace!


I'll never forget sitting on the edge of my bed on my last night in Boston before leaving for Brooklyn. I had just graduated from RISD, my childhood room was filled with boxes ready to put on the moving truck in the morning, I was nervous, scared and unsure if this was the right path for me. I had a picture of the person I would be next time I sat on that bed. New York was close enough to catch a train or bus home and I wondered if I would have mastered the subway by my next visit back, would I have made any friends, would I hate it and want to come back, would I meet any other knitters, would I survive on my own? Looking back, I'm sure everyone who leaves home has these exact same thoughts and feelings. I was terrified.

I spent a lot of time walking in New York once I got there - I think that was my favorite thing about that city. Every turn around the corner could be a different world, a different neighborhood, a different experience. One day a friend and I walked Manhattan tip to tip (about 13 miles), starting at the north end of the island at 6am and finally reaching Battery Park late that evening. My feet were tired, my throat was dry, if I had to wait at another red light I may have screamed, but my goodness, did we have an adventure! I look back on that day and want to take the person I was then, sit her next to the scared person on the bed I was the night before I left home, and let her know everything was going to be okay. I wanted her to know that New York would become part of who she is, that it's ok to be scared, knitting would help me through and to embrace it.


I lived in New York for 7 years, but never once thought of myself as a New Yorker. I met my husband there, I had a lot of amazingly creative freelance jobs, I worked in film, television, at Vogue Knitting, Martha Stewart, made lifelong friends, learned about new cultures and learned how to widen my view of the world and everyone in it. Living there made me who I am today and I look back at my time there fondly, but always knew it was temporary. When I dream of New York, I find myself walking the streets, feeling the city vibrating below my feet, smelling the city smell and hearing the city noise. I picture the skyscrapers towering far above my head and feel like a rat in a maze trying to get where I need to be - that's what I picture when I see New York in my head - tall buildings stretching to the sky and me looking up from far below, clouds and sky blocked by steel and glass.

Inspired by the elegant and unparalleled skyline that is New York City, I'd like to invite you to join String Yarns and I in our next KAL, starting Tuesday, March 8th in the Ravelry Group. The Gotham Cowl is an ode to the city grid, with lines converging and fanning out like the streets seen from above. The architectural structure of the vertical columns is softened by the contrast of the feminine lace, bringing to mind New York City itself. I remember thinking, "If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere" and while the city can be tough, New Yorkers are some of the nicest people you'll ever meet.


Commencing with a provisional (or temporary) cast on, we'll learn how and why to do that, to read a lace chart that's knit back and forth, master basic lace knitting, read our knitting, find our place in a chart if we get lost, execute kitchener stitch and block lace to reach its full potential when finished. This is the kind of cowl I wore daily in springtime in New York - there's still a nip in the air but you don't need a big, bulky scarf to keep your neck warm. Designed to be worn long and open or doubled up and wrapped snug against your neck, this is a stunning cashmere cowl that you'll find yourself wearing every day. Knitting up on US 7's in String's luxurious String Classica, a worsted 100% cashmere, this cowl requires 3 balls and an appreciation for elegance.

Join us by becoming part of our Ravelry Group here. We start March 8th and I'll check in weekly with step-by-step photo tutorials, tips, tricks, advice and clear instructions on how to knit lace with ease. String Yarns is offering a 15% off discount with the code MarKAL16 when you purchase the kit directly from them here. Chose from over 25 colors of their yummy cashmere and join me!

And that girl, scared to death sitting on the edge of her bed? She turned out just fine.