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Caitlin Hunter Cowl Class

This Newbie Knitter was fortunate enough to score the last spot at a class with Caitlin Hunter, aka: The “Miles Finch” of knitting, at Central NJ's wonderful LYS Do Ewe Knit. The class was named  “custom cowl design,” with an end goal of students leaving the session with their own design.  Supplies: Yarn, needles, markers and a willingness to expand your horizons.

Folks, THIS CLASS WAS AWESOME. Now this Newbie is usually not in the market for cowls (I don’t really know how to rock them) but this was a great project choice to explore the basics of design because, as the wise instructor obviously knew, the cowl is a small time commitment that conforms to a uniform rectangle. Which allows the concept of “design” to be relegated to an even geometric exchange.

Being Newbee Knitters, we put knitting designers on a pedestal. How can they EVEN do this??? Though we happily follow their patterns for the challenge of mastering techniques and the enjoyment of playing with yarn, we truly envy the ability to be the author of one’s own creation.

Caitlin’s class blew the lid off that thinking, taking me one giant step forward in the understanding of knitting patterns as structural designs based on grids that are then made real, stitch by stitch. As a recovering needlepointer, this was a familiar, yet major lightbulb. She also suggested getting the stitch bible. Another lightbulb: Who knew there were public-domain stitches? (Though this makes perfect sense.)

Below are pictures of the finished cowl. The class gave the basic structure, a 96-stitch in the round cowl, and how to lay in a choice of motifs that would divide into that number. CH provided several motifs of her own design including a super cute flower and simple girl, and we sketched designs using a few of them. I then went off the grid, using the stitch bible for some open work to give the piece a little more textural dimension.

In all, a great way to spend a Saturday, and explode my views on knitting design. This Newbee feels a little bit knit-wiser. Thanks, Caitlin Hunter.

Blocking is beautiful.

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