Nakia Cowl

When my second child, Astrid, was born in March, I hardly picked up knitting needles for the first couple of months - I was too busy getting my baby snuggle on. As she started getting a smidge bigger and my healing was well under way from my second c-section, the yarn and needles came back in full force.

Fall is definitely in the air and for many folks who tuck their project bags and knitting away during the summer months, whether due to lack of time, not wanting wool in their laps (weirdos), or other crafts taking center stage, we get almost a power surge to the system to get the needles going again once school begins. We just came back from our annual trek to New Hampshire and on our daily hikes through the White Mountains, I noticed many trees already showing off their fall colors of orange and red. Here in northern Virginia we have a ways to go until we get there, but with school starting next week, final playdates being squeezed in, last evenings spent lazing by the community pool, and shouts across the neighborhood of "I'll see you in class!," there's definitely that feeling of summer coming to a swift close.

I'm delighted to begin to roll out a dozen patterns I've designed and knit since Astrid's birth. Mostly cowls - because cowls are versatile, squishy, one-size-fits-all, wonderful stash busters, and an always welcomed gift, I feel that crisp sneaking into the air at night and I am anxiously awaiting the time that my morning checklist is, "keys, phone, wallet, cowl, diaper bag."

First up is the Nakia Cowl, an easy Fair Isle cowl worked seamlessly in the round from the bottom up. Flanked by corrugated ribbing, this colorful beauty is what I like to refer to as "Faux Isle." By using a gradient yarn as the background color and a solid for the foreground, it looks like you used a lot more colors and did a lot more work than you actually do! I love working with Freia Fibers for so many reasons, but I love, love, love a single ply gradient and Tina Whitmore dyes one up like no other. A single ply offers a thickness that allows the cowl to stand up rather than flop down, showing off all your hard work.

This aran weight cowl knits up on US 8 circulars and is a quick knit once you power through the ribbing. I'll also be teaching this cowl at my LYS, Fibre Space, towards the end of October as a beginning Fair Isle project where we cover Fair Isle techniques for English, Continental, and Combination knitters, chart reading, corrugated ribbing, and finishing over 2 classes spanning 2 weeks.

While I'll miss the last lazy nights of summer where we stay up too late, walk around barefoot, and gorge ourselves on  strawberries and cherries, I welcome autumn in with open arms, (almost always Fair Isle) knitting in hand.

Download the Nakia Cowl here, and stay tuned for a lot of new patterns coming your way this season from TanisKnits!