This year was no different - but it inspired a series of five knitting patterns that I'll hopefully be releasing between now and Christmas. The first is a cowl inspired by the colours of the Scottish hillsides:
This cowl is named for Abriachan - a tiny village up in the hills beside Loch Ness. It's always busy by the side of the loch, as it's such an iconic part of Scotland. But once you're up in the hills by its banks, there's a much more remote feel. Abriachan is also home to some lovely (if challenging!) mountain biking trails. I'm fairly sure they aren't well used, the forest and moor seem to be reclaiming them, which adds to the remote feel. There are lots overgrown patches and fallen trees to manoeuvre over, but the scenery is delightful. The colours of the open country are spectacular, with gorgeous patches of delicate red grass - the pictures really don't do it justice. And then there's the deep greens of the forest, really quite dark in places, with red and white mushrooms almost glowing - as well as soft heathery pinks and purples everywhere you look on the hillside. And the teals in the pattern do remind me a little of the shade of my beloved mountain bike...
The cowl pattern uses an absolutely gorgeous yarn – Malabrigo Rastita. The delicate “watercolour” variegated colourway totally reflects the natural beauty of the north of Scotland with jewel tone greens, subtle greys and heathery purples and pinks.
When designing this, I was aware that variegated yarns look lovely in the skein, but don't always look great knitted up. This cowl has slipped stitches, and gathered strands of yarn running across it to really showcase the different colours. A perfect knitting pattern for colourful, variegated yarns!
Available now on
20% discount on Ravelry with coupon code SUMMERTRAVELS1 until end of December 2017
Here's the details:
Yarn: Malabrigo Rastita
Colourway “Lotus” (100% Merino Wool, 283m (309yds) per 100g)
One 100g skein = 283m/309yds
Dimensions: 20cm/8” deep, 92cm/36” around.
Needles: 4.5mm/US 7 circular needle either 40”/100cm for magic loop or 30”/80cm or shorter circular needle if you do not wish to use magic loop.
Gauge: 20 sts x 32 rows = 4" in 2x1 twisted slip stitch rib (repeat rounds 1 & 2 of pattern) after blocking.
Extras: Tapestry needle for weaving in loose ends, stitch marker for end of round.