Double Knitting – Spots Cowl

It only took two cast-ons but I’ve done it! (I first cast on 20″ circulars, and then decided 16″ would work better, which thankfully it has). I have started my first double knitting project, which will be a double-sided cowl.  I purchased a kit last spring from Knit Picks that included four skeins of yarn and the Spots Cowl pattern.  The yarn included is two skeins Knit Picks Capra Cashmere in Fairy Tale and two of Knit Picks Swish DK in Eggplant.   The Capra is 85% Merino Wool and 15% Cashmere, which makes it not just beautiful and soft, but springy ot the touch. The Swish is slightly sturdier, made of 100% Superwash Merino Wool, and is providing a little more structure to the garment, even though I’m only four rows in so far.

Not only is the Merino wool a joy on the needles and in my hands, but it is also makes me hum a bit, as it connects me back to Spain, and particularly the regions that were originally part of the Kingdom of Castile. I spent a lovely spring in in Toledo in my youth, which today is a part of the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha. I’m glad the Berbers were the ones that likely brought Merino sheep into the Iberian Peninsula, and that there is documentation of how they were cross-bred purposefully with English sheep for desired wool properties.  This wool was later exported to wider Europe as Spain began to globalize its economic opportunities, especially as Spain spinners were creating an excellent product.  Merino sheep are also well-known for their adaptability and foraging skills, traits most successul knitters develop over time. (Ahem, using a crochet bind-off when there isn’t enough yarn for any other bind-off. Who, me?)  Today, Merino wool provides knitters like me a bit of luxury without breaking the bank.

So stay tuned — I’ll post some pics once this cowl is recognizable to anyone other than myself!

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