I have a tendency get hung up on stitch patterns like a high school crush. I’d seen Jacquard Stitch around and I liked it, but I didn’t, you know, LIKE like it. Then one day it walked out of Barabara Walker’s Second Treasury and into my life… and suddenly it. was. everything. We played together in different fibers of different weights using various tensions to explore its personal versatility. We were totally getting to know each other and having a great time… and then I striped it… and it was love. When you change color in this stitch pattern, stitches from the previous color are still slipped for two more rows creating this fantastic effect of the two colors being woven together. Killer.
I immediately needed a striped sweater from this stitch (and I made one), but it wasn’t enough. I was daydreaming about this pattern in a heavier wool for winter accessories.
Malabrigo Twist is a go-to yarn for my personal winter accessories. It is always soft and warm, wears great, and comes in a ton of gorgeous colors. I grabbed three skeins from my stash and worked up the sample for Western Auto Cowl on a road trip with my family.
Western Auto Cowl uses the same construction as my best-selling Zuzu’s Petals cowl. It begins with a garter tab cast on, like a top-down triangular shawl, and is knit flat until the selvedge edge is about 22″ long. Then it is joined and knit in the round to the bottom edge where it ends with a purled bind off on the right side for a very clean finish.
As Western Auto Cowl was born at a time when I was neck deep in Midwestern Knits I thought it right to give it a proper Kansas City name. This is a photo of its architectural namesake, the landmark Western Auto building in downtown KCMO. Using the colors for inspiration and the circular, chevron points, I think the name was done justice.
Of course Jacquard wasn’t done with me yet. All the while knitting the cowl I was imagining what it would be like in earthy tones of a rustic wool that would hold the scent of a campfire long after the fall weekends were over. Western Auto Shawl is knit from three sheepy colors of Blackberry-Ridge Woolen Mill 2 ply Worsted. The thickness of the color blocks are slightly varied from the cowl (where the last two blocks are of equal thickness) into a pattern that emphasizes the ombré color arrangement. Notes are given in the pattern on how to adjust the thickness of the color blocks to suite your own taste or yarn amounts. The icing on the cake of the sample shawl is the Noro Kureyon fringed hem. It takes this shawl from something simple to something really special. You could achieve a similar effect with small amounts of a special handspun or variegated yarn added to the edge of a neutral shawl. I can’t wait to see your personal interpretations of these pieces.
But as much as I have enjoyed my time with Jacquard Stitch, its quirks I used to find charming are now on my nerves and our infatuation is a thing of the past. Autumn is upon us and this summer fling is over. I will fondly remember what we made together as I wear my knits for years to come because crushes are fleeting but good wool lasts forever!
I’m giving away a copy of both these patterns on Instagram! Please follow me on Instagram @carinaspencer for all the details and because fall knitting is in full swing, use code HELLOFALL for 15% off any of my self published patterns on my site or at Ravelry all weekend long!