Designing, for me, almost always starts with the materials. When faced with designing something practical and appropriate for one skein of a luscious aran-weight cashmere tweed, my thoughts immediately went to neckwear. A simple neckwarmer in a nice, versatile color is sure to have a high level of wearability. I like to wear mine under scarves on really cold daysI walk around all day full of mirth as a result of my little cashmere secret.
Brioche stitch is wonderfully squishya great combination of body and drape that I think suits a cashmere yarn like Stormy. Two gauges are provided in the pattern for slightly different styles and looks, depending on the wearer's preference. I knitted the shallower rust version on size 8 needles at a gauge of 14 stitches to 4 inches; the piece is just firm enough to stand on its own and act as a faux turtleneck, peeking out from a blazer or overcoat. The purple version is worked for two more inches on needles two sizes larger, making for a drapey, more voluminous look, and to maximize your full skein of Stormy.
Simple and quick, I think this project is a wonderful little luxury to have around and treat yourself with on any day of the week. I hope you enjoy it.
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Stormy 100% cashmere
Stormy is a 3-ply tweed yarn. The descriptive words “tweed” and “heather” are frequently used interchangeably to describe a yarn that isn’t a single saturated color. But tweeds differ from heathers. A true tweed yarn is usually woolen spun, a spinning technique that makes a lofty, more rustic yarn. During the process little bits of colored fleece are thrown into the fiber mix in such a way that they don’t completely blend with the base color of the yarn. Instead, they show up in the final strand as tiny flecks of contrasting color.
In contrast, a heathered yarn is made by combining dyed top (fleece) with undyed fleece in natural sheep (or alpaca) colors such as white, gray, or brown. The dyed and natural fibers are blended and combed together to dilute the intensity of the colored fiber. When spun, the resulting strand is a soft misty color, rather than a strong, clear hue.
Here is the free downloadable Morningside Neckwarmer pattern.
While the shape of Jared's neckwarmer is simple, the stitches and techniques he uses make it interesting to knit. The main stitch is fun-to-knit brioche stitch, a stitch that incorporates a yarnover/slipped stitch maneuver. For an excellent explanation of basic and not-so-basic brioche stitch, check out Nancy Marchant's website.
For a loose bind off that stretches easily over the head, Jared used the sewn bind off. Here's how.