Knitty: little purls of wisdom
beauty shot


Living in a New England mill town rich with textile heritage, inspired a handmade tribute to this period of the Industrial Revolution. Cotton and woolens mills (and of course the thousands of mill workers) were the heart and soul of these river towns and produced some of the finest fabrics of the day. Gingham stands out as one of those classic patterns that never goes out of style or season. I love a crisp gingham combined with eyelet lace in the summer. Heritage is a winter version of this pairing, worked in a neutral palette of a sumptuous alpaca/wool blend with a dreamy halo.

A quick project which combines 3-color knitting, lace and knitting in the round, this cowl gives the knitter a chance to perhaps learn a new technique or two. With the slip stitch pattern, only one color is used per round, making this cowl simpler to work than it appears.

The feather and fan edging is another classic which ties the piece together and with only a few rounds, is a simple introduction to lace.

Knitting in the round is one of the ingenious features of our craft: no seams and so symbolic...around and around we go! Our mill at the center of town has been restored and converted to artist studios, offices and a library with WIFI. I somehow find it comforting that even as we journey onward through the Technological Revolution of the 21st century, we have the joy of carrying on a tradition that harkens back to a simpler time and allows us to contribute to the knitting continuum.

spacer model + photos: Karen Semo


Circumference: 19.5 inches
Length: 10 inches



Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino [60% baby suri alpaca, 40% merino; 164 yd/149 m per 100g skein];
spacer [MC] #140: snow; 1 skein
spacer [CC1] #413: fog; 1 skein
spacer [CC2]#418: dusk; 1 skein

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 16-inch US #8/5 mm circular needle

spacer stitch marker
spacer yarn needle



20 sts/26 rounds = 4 inches in st st
21 sts/26 rounds = 4 inches in Gingham Check pattern stitch

[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

Knit from the top down, the natural spread of the feather and fan pattern at the bind off edge may fit the shoulders/neckline better, but can be worn either way.
Bonus: when knitting in the round, the pattern will naturally become jogless.

Slip all sts purlwise.

Do not break yarns until end. Colors will be carried across the back as indicated.

Feather and Fan Edging
Using MC, CO 108 sts. Place marker and join for working in the round.

Rnd 1: K.

Rnd 2: [K2tog three times, (YO, k1) six times, k2tog three times] around.

Rnd 3: P.

Rnd 4: K.

Rnd 5-7: Rep Rnds 1-3

Gingham Check Midsection
Join CC1 and CC2.

Rnd 1: With CC1, k.

Rnd 2-3: With MC, [k2, slp 2 wyib] around.

Rnd 4: With CC1, k.

Rnd 5-6: With CC2, [slp 2 wyib, k2] around

Repeat Rnds 1-6 six more times, and work Rnds 1-3 once more.

Feather and Fan Edging
Cut CC1 and CC2, and continue with MC only.

Rnd 1: [K2tog three times, (YO, k1) six times, k2tog three times] around.
Rnd 2: P.
Rnd 3: K.
Rnd 4: K.
Rnds 5-6: Rep Rnds 1-2.

BO loosely.


Block and weave in ends.


designernamespacer Karen lives in a small town along the edge of the Salmon Falls River with her husband and daughters. She has published designs for Brown Sheep and through her company, Uma Joy Designs. She dreams of simplifying her life but suspects that she would miss the chaos.

You can find her blogging sporadically here and on Ravelry.