Color Infusion is a reversible cowl, worked in three colors, using Fair Isle techniques. The cowl is a great project for knitters who are looking to learn stranded, two-color knitting, because the pattern is very repetitive and predictable, the floats are short, and the striping nature of the design makes it feel like the knitting is quick. In addition, because the design is made in a long tube, folded in half, and seamed, the floats are hidden on the inside, so anything messy will never show.
There are a couple of questions that I am often asked about the pattern, so I'll take a moment to answer those here. First, many knitters wonder about the choice to finish the cowl with a whip stitch, rather than beginning with a provisional cast on and closing with a grafted (Kitchener) seam. I made this choice for two reasons: first, because with the seam falling right at a fold line, the need for an invisible seam was minimal, and second, because this pattern was intended to be for less experienced knitters, so eliminating this more challenging finishing technique and the more advanced cast-on made it more appealing to my intended audience. Of course, if these are skills that you already have, it is certainly something that can be changed.
Second, many people wonder if this is double knitting. While something very similar could be created with double knitting, this is a tube that is folded in the middle and the cast on and bind off edges are seamed together. Knitters who have double knitting skills could adapt the pattern to create a double knit reversible cowl, but instructions for that technique aren't included in the pattern.
Taking a look at the projects on Ravelry, there are many great cowls, with tons of fun and interesting color combinations. There are variations on the pattern, and ideas for making it your own. Below, I will feature a few projects that stood out to me.
Here Natalie shows off a great pattern feature: a blank chart that you can color with your chosen colors. The pattern has a chart in the colors shown on the pattern photos, which also prints in greyscale to make it easier to read, but a blank chart is included to allow the knitter to really customize the pattern to meet their needs. I know that I when working with color charts, I really struggle if the colors on the chart don't match, especially if I have switched out a lighter shade for a darker one, so this option really works well for me.
Natalie worked her cowl in The Plucky Knitter Bello, which is a Merino wool and cashmere blend. This pattern was originally released as part of a Plucky Knitter kit, and I really cannot say enough wonderful things about their colors, yarn bases, and the company in general. I'm sure Natalie's cowl is as cozy to wear as it is beautiful, with this yarn.
Judy worked her Color Infusion cowl in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, and made a simple modification that I really like. Instead of working the second side of her cowl in a two color chevron pattern, Judy knit in three color stripes. I think it makes a big difference in the look of the cowl, making the side that is on the inside more similar to the outside. The other advantage to this change is that it uses each color more evenly. The main color is used a little more than the contrast colors since the main color stripes are a bit wider than those in the contrast colors. This means that any leftovers can be coordinated to make another small item, like perhaps a pair of mitts, or a striped hat.
Maria (Butterflybrain on Ravelry) knit her Color Infusion is a color palette that is a little bit different than what I would normally envision. When choosing colors, I often do a neutral, paired with two contrast colors, but this is a pairing of three blues, in light, medium and dark shades. I think the look is stunning, and I'm pretty sure that Maria agrees, since she said that she hasn't stopped wearing hers since it was finished blocking. I think this color combination was a kit that The Plucky Knitter envisioned, and I am also fairly sure that it is the one I bought. I haven't cast on for mine, but now that I have seen Maria's I am more and more tempted each day.
Maria made another change to the pattern, and I think it is really a smart one. She worked the garter stitch turning and seaming rows in a needle that is one size smaller than that used for the main part of the cowl. Many knitters find that their tension is tighter in Fair Isle knitting than in one color work, and this change will make the piece not flare out at the turning ridges, as some knitters have experienced.
If this in depth look at Color Infusion has convinced you that this cowl is your next project, clicking the Buy Now button will take you to Ravelry and get this into your library.