Knit the Ramona Phoenix Cowl & Treat Yourself
I love winter. Really, I do. In November, a chill in the air reminds me that sweater season has finally arrived. The first snow has me glued to the window like a little kid hoping school will get canceled. Festive lights, holiday traditions, and the winter solstice make December sparkly and fun. But by January, some of winter’s sparkle has worn off. New Year’s Day comes so early in the month—right on top of December holidays—that it barely registers. The only other January holiday, commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr., invokes a sense of humbled awe rather than celebration. Even January knitting seems kind of dull, after the rush of making holiday gifts. It’s the perfect time to make something wonderful and unabashedly selfish. For all these reasons, January should be a month when knitters treat themselves. And in fact, all of these reasons inspired Interweave to develop an extra-special kit for January 2017: the Ramona Phoenix Cowl kit.
The Ramona Phoenix Cowl is the reborn version of Melissa Lemmons’s Ramona Cowl from knitscene Winter 2011. Her original design had all the things I love to knit in a cowl: stranded colorwork knit in a tube and then grafted into a circle; jewel tones contrasting with a solid background; a classic paisley design.
However, for January knitting, faster is better—when I want something pretty, I want it NOW. So I substituted worsted-weight yarns for the original fingering-weight ones, pulled out my size 7 needles, and reinvented the pattern with substantially fewer stitches and larger paisleys. The original pattern featured colored paisley motifs on a gray background; I chose a black yarn to make the self-striping yarn pop. Then I decided to play with the colors a little more, working up one cowl in each of the pattern’s sizes.
The first version that came off my needles (shown right) is the larger size, folded lengthwise. It reverses the original’s colors, placing black paisleys on a jewel-tone background. For my second cowl (shown left), I made the smaller size, with colored paisleys against a solid background. Some of my coworkers prefer the solid paisleys; others like the colored paisleys. Yet everybody agrees that both cowls look lovely and feel great. Plymouth Yarn Company’s Gina and Galway Worsted create soft, snuggly layers of warmth—two to four layers of stranded colorwork will do that!
Treat yourself to a Ramona Phoenix Cowl and remind yourself that, just as the phoenix rises up from its own ashes, the seasons change and winter turns into spring.
Knit a Gorgeous Cowl