It's supposed to be in the mid-80s here today, so I'm sure the last thing you want to think about is putting wool around your neck and on your head, but I have two new designs making their debut today (and hey, the holidays are coming and now would be a great time to get a head start on gifts!).
The first is the Arsalis Cowl, which is part of the Malabrigo Quickies program. Patterns in this program are meant to be small items that knit up quickly using only a skein or two of Malabrigo yarn. The stranded colorwork pattern in this cowl is based on a doodle I used to do in the margins of my class notes when I was in high school. It was enough of a repeating theme for me that I had to see how it would translate to yarn -- and I'm happy to say that it translated very well!
The cowl uses two colors of super soft and squishy Malabrigo Rios. In the sample, I used Azul Profundo for the main color and Sunset for the contrast. This knits up very quickly (it took me maybe two or three evenings total), and the stranding makes it extra cozy. This is one of those cowls that you can fold over and tuck into your coat or pull up over your face on those blustery winter days.
When I finished the cowl, I had enough yarn leftover that I knew I had to make a matching hat. I switched the colors up for the Arsalis Hat, which is a pretty basic beanie with the added band of colorwork.
Both of these patterns are fairly easy, using only knit and purl stitches (and, in the case of the hat, simple decreases). If your stranded colorwork experience is limited, these would be a great way to practice, as I find that stranding is a lot easier to get the hang of when you're working with a fairly thick yarn. The patterns are available separately as well as grouped together as an eBook (and you'll get a little bit of a discount if you buy them that way, too). I really had fun knitting these up, and I hope you'll enjoy them as well.