I am extremely excited about my latest pattern release, the Pub Crawl cowl in the Deep Fall 2015 issue of Knitty magazine. When the submission started, I only had the "I heart beer" cowl, but I had planned on a wine version. Editor, Amy Singer, suggested a cider version, based on her preference, and soon there were three options.
As I said, the first cowl I worked up was the beer version, and it was inspired by a sweater I saw in a shop window. Driving through Westport, one of the main bar and restaurant districts in Kansas City, and I saw this sweater that said "I Love Beer", I immediately knew that I needed to knit something with a similar sentiment. The inspiration sweater was in block letters, and a very traditional red, white and navy blue color scheme, but I decided to be a little more playful with these cowls.
When I started sketching, this starburst thought bubble popped up, as did a scripted font idea, and from there, I was all about charting the design. The color choices came next, and if you are familiar with Malabrigo Merino Worsted, you know I had a stellar lineup to choose from. The beer cowl was inspired by the local university, UMKC. It is probably obvious, but the wine cowl was inspired by a nice bottle of red wine, and the cider cowl took on a palette of autumn and hard cider.
The cowls are worked flat, and then seamed together in the back. The charts are worked using intarsia, though I think you could do the lettering with duplicate stitch, if you chose. The cowl is designed to fit close, and the fabric is soft, warm and cozy, perfect for keeping warm on a night out.
When I took the beer cowl to knit night, several of the women there were interested in the design, and two were kind enough to help me out by knitting samples and testing out the pattern. Kelsey (kelseyleftwich on Instagram) knit a very lovely second sample of the beer version in the hometown baseball team, the Kansas City Royals colors.
Kourtney was an early advocate for the wine version, and agreed to knit the sample, just as soon as I could get it charted. I love the way the colors work together in this version, and it certainly makes me want a glass of red wine.
There were two other women who helped out with this design, modeling for photos. Thanks to Beka (tickledpear on Instagram) and Melissa (theundonesweater on Instagram) for modeling and helping me out with these photos.
I think there are tons of possibilities for these cowls, whether you are knitting for yourself, for a college student, sports fan, or beer lover. Is there a chart you would like to see in the future? Something that you want to declare your devotion to with your knitting? Pop your suggestions in the comments, and you could get your wish.