Test knitters wanted!

Introducing the new Swainby Cowl! This cowl idea stemmed from me wanting to make something squishy for around my neck using three strands of yarn together, but also not wanting to leave much (if anything) left over. I pored over stitch textures and options for ages as I knew I wanted something fairly simple which would allow the marled colours to shine, but also which wouldn’t be too boring to knit. There are already loads of (lovely) patterns in traditional fisherman’s rib so this is a different take on that. The full-sized cowl is designed to loop three times snug around the neck if you’ve got really cold weather, but it’s also really nice to wear in two loose loops.

The pattern is very easily adjustable to make a two-loop or one-loop version - you would just need to make it either two thirds of the given length, or one third of the given length. It is made using three strands of yarn and a 5.5mm needle so works up really quickly. A one-loop version would make a quick and cosy weekend project. 

This is the full-sized cowl wrapped three times around my neck (it was cold, windy, and raining!): 

Swainby Cowl by Victoria Magnus

And this is the same cowl but looped twice around my neck - this is how I usually wear cowls:

You will need 3 x 100g/360m skeins of Coniston Fingering (or other 4ply/fing) yarn for this test, as three strands are held together. Six 50g balls of Milburn 4ply - two each of three colours - would also work, OR three 100g skeins of another 4ply yarn if you fancy it. We don’t mind if you use a smooth, non-mohair yarn for this, but the fluff does aid the marled effect a bit as it diffuses the colours. You could also opt for two smooth yarns and one skein of fluff, for example. It is a nice quick knit with being made on pretty large needles, and it's a very memorable and relaxing pattern. 

Coniston Fingering used for the Swainby Cowl

This is a great opportunity to play with colour as marling three colours together will give a completely fresh effect. Note: although selling yarn is our livelihoods and we appreciate any sales, we don't expect you to use ECY yarn for this test knit!

Testing details:
• Sign up before Friday the 11th of March by emailing us at info@edencottageyarns.co.uk (or via our contact us form) and joining the ECY Pattern Testing group on facebook HERE
• Test patterns to be sent out via email on Friday the 11th of March
• Test knit to be completed by Friday the 9th of April (ie four weeks including allowance of time for any UK yarn purchases to be delivered)
• Special tester discount available - 10% off our 4ply/fingering weight yarns to be used for this test knit valid until Friday the 18th of March. The discount code will be sent to you in an email once we have everybody signed up and organised.
• You will need to post queries in the ECY Pattern Testing facebook group.
• You will be sent a copy of the final polished pattern.


Note: if you're worried about completing it in time (although honestly three weeks should be plenty) don't be put off - we can cope with some test-knitters taking longer, OR you could opt to make a shorter cowl. 
Close up detail of the Swainby Cowl
CHOOSING YOUR COLOURS
Ok, so this is the fun bit. You'll need three colours, which might seem like it has potential for that crippling indecision a lot of us get. So here's my advice! Either choose one colour that you really love, and then pick two more to frame it, OR pick a palette then choose three colours that create that.
To elaborate on the first option: say you have a beautiful rich blue that you really love and want to use.. stick with that (don't get distracted by the other pretties!), and then you want your other two colours to not wash it out. So you might want to go with a lighter blue to enhance the blueness of the whole thing, but then your other shade could be something like a cream or a light beige which would lift the whole palette, making the blue stand out. Or perhaps you love the blue but you want it to be a fairly muted over all look, so you might pick a grey or charcoal instead the lightest colour. Maybe your blue is a warm shade and you fancy playing with contrast, so you could pick a red to go with it, and then either grey (for a muted shade) or beige (for lightness) to go with them. 
To elaborate on the second option, which is what I did for the cowl in the photos: you have an idea of an overall palette you like, or you have two skeins that go well together. In this case I had a darker pink and a medium reddish pink that I like together. I could have chosen another even lighter pink, for sure. That would have worked well. Or I could have gone for a much darker aubergine, like Black Tulip. These would have given me that overall palette of pink/red. You might want to go monochrome - that would look really cool. Or perhaps you love green and you want three shades of green. You could go for two semi-solid shades of green (maybe one more saturated than the other) plus one speckled. For the cowl in the photos I eventually settled on Bark for the third colour, as it is quite muted but also has enough contrast to show off the pinks. Again, a cream or beige would have worked well to lift the palette; or charcoal to mute it more. 
I hope this helps but do ask if you're not sure! 

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