Stained glass windows have always been a source of fascination to me. While of course they stop people in their tracks with their sheer beauty, I get caught up in thinking about the people who built the churches they are often found in. Hundreds of years ago, entire villages helped raise up a church, the land had to be cleared, the architects called in for their expertise, stone masons laid groundwork, and stained glass windows were crafted carefully by hand to tell stories to the congregation which at the time was largely illiterate. All of those people are long gone, yet their work remains for us to admire and appreciate.
I first found myself in Sainte-Chapelle in Paris in 1998. To this day it remains one of my favorite churches due to both its ceiling and glorious stained glass windows. Built around 1240 in an astonishingly quick 7 years, Sainte-Chapelle is considered among the highest achievements of the Rayonnant period of Gothic architecture and was commissioned by King Louis IX of France to house his collection of Passion relics. Although damaged during the French Revolution, and restored in the 19th century, it has one of the most extensive 13th-century stained glass collection anywhere in the world. It is these amazing windows that inspired my latest design, the unisex Sainte-Chapelle Hat & Cowl.
Knitting up on US 6 needles in the squishy, washable, and lovely Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in Charcoal and their brand new speckled-dyed Zoe, I loved how I never knew which color was coming up next as the yarn flew across my needles. With accents of corrugated ribbing, the Fair Isle pattern is easy to follow and would look equally lovely in 2 solids or a solid and variegated. This was a project I couldn't wait to cast on for and I am delighted at the results!
Both the hat and cowl take 1 hank of each color (2 of each for the entire set). The colors of Zoe change and catch the light just like those splendid Parisian windows, an homage to the craftsman whose work remains so admired today. The hat pattern debuted at this past weekend's TNNA Sample It and is now available to all. Happy knitting!
Download the Sainte-Chapelle Hat & Cowl here.