Knit Marvelous Modern Colorwork Cowls!
It’s safe to say I am a fan of Kyle Kunnecke, King of Kolor Colorwork Knitting. His work is crazy-cool, often intricate, and always beautiful. Check out his most recent cowl pattern in our fall issue of Interweave Knits if you don’t believe me. But while it’s one thing to knit a colorwork cowl, however awesome and beautiful and brag-worthy it is, it’s another thing entirely to design your own including new and amazing motifs that you made up yourself. And that is exactly what Mr. Kunnecke teaches you how to do in his new course Modern Colorwork Cowls.
Kyle covers all the basics to ensure your success. Haven’t done stranded colorwork in a while (or ever)? Not to worry; he’ll review it with you along with a section on color theory that helps you understand why some color pairings have punch, others are subtler, and still others are just kind of blah. What sets this apart from other classes on colorwork, though, is that he doesn’t stop at showing you to knit motifs; Kyle shows you how to create your own and use them to design a spiffy custom cowl pattern.
Is your mind blown? Think about it this way: anything can be a motif. A leaf, a circle, the silhouette of a building or bridge, a chicken, the letter x. Just reduce the motif to its simplest form, then stack and repeat until you find a pleasing arrangement. (Even chickens can form a pleasing arrangement. Trust me.) Kyle shows you how to arrange motifs using a letter, say the letter L. Mess around with that L, stacking, wrapping, arranging, flipping, enlarging, shrinking, and doing who-knows-what else with it. Suddenly, it doesn’t even look like an L anymore; it’s far more interesting. This is the key to Kyle’s genius: any image, if you mess around with it enough, becomes an abstract graphic that is just itching to become custom knitwear.
This course is brought to you by the letter L.
Kyle shows you how to look at the world around you (or Pinterest, or your favorite architectural website, or whatever) and pull out interesting shapes and details. Next, he shows you how to isolate a simple motif based on an image, then to arrange and rearrange it in charted form until you have a design you like.
He’s not going to just leave you there with a bunch of motifs, though, no matter how handsome they are. His next step is to teach you how to take that graphic element and turn it into a custom cowl. You choose every aspect: length and width, gauge, number of repeats, and what kind of edging you want (if any). To make sure all these things work together, Kyle provides a handy worksheet and walks you through it, but the design is yours and yours alone. And you can do this for cowl after cowl (or hat, or socks, or sweater, once you get the hang of it).
Modern Colorwork Cowls was a really exciting concept for me. It’s a simple, thoughtful approach to design that has a big payoff, and you can take it as far as you like, as often as you like and never get bored. As the old saying goes, “Give a person a cowl, and you keep them warm for a season. Teach a person to design their own cowls, and you keep them (and their friends) warm and fashionably accessorized forever.”
Want to learn more? Check out these resources: