As anyone who knows me knows, when it comes to yarn, I have one of the world's smallest stashes. So it is perhaps surprising that this pattern came from the need to knit a yarn that sat in my stash for exactly two years.
Back before I did any spinning myself, I picked up a skein of handpsun from the booth for Enchanted Knoll Farms at the 2008 Common Ground Fair, weeks after I moved back to Maine.
I was in love with this yarn and called it my Rumpelstiltskin yarn, since it looked like straw spun into gold. (It's true name is Gold Dust Woman). I admired the yarn and petted the yarn and could come up with nothing worthy of this yarn.
Fast forward to September 2010. Faced with the need for a simple knit and feeling as if I had neglected this prize yarn for too long. I picked up my needles and tried to find a good stitch pattern for a scarf. My first attempt resulted in something that looked overwhelming 1980s in style, so I frogged, did a garter stitch sample, thought that was too boring and went back to the books.
I flipped through my stitch dictionaries and came across a squishy-looking rib stitch, which I promptly memorized incorrectly, and thus, came up with my own stitch pattern. I'm sure that this was not the first time something like that had happened.
As I neared the end of my then-scarf, I decided that the short length (about four feet long) would work better as a cowl, so I seamed it up, blocked it out, and there you have it.
I think this worked out as a perfect way to display a limited amount of a lovely handspun yarn. I used pretty much every inch of the 200 yards in my skein, but the cowl stretched a lot both ways when blocking, so it could take less if need be.
In case anyone else finds themselves in my predicament (lovely handspun, limited amount, no clue what to do.) I whipped up the pattern last night. You can grab it as a free download, using the link below.