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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Off the Needles /// Bulky Annie Cowl

I have a to-do list that's about a mile long with some tasks dating back years. The funny thing about knitwear design as a profession, is that you'd be surprised how little time there is for knitting and designing. There are SO many other things that go along with the job that there isn't always time for everything on the list. 

Today I got to cross something off my list. A few Christmases ago I designed the Annie cowl from a very special skein of Alpaca that I scored at the Cowichan Fleece and Fibre Fest that year. The cowl was buttery soft and oh so luxurious but in DK weight it wasn't quite an instant gratification knit. Since then I'd always had it in my mind to knit a bulkier Annie, I just needed to find the time and the perfect yarn!

And finally, I did. 

The yarn I chose was Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Bulky. This was my first time working with Swans Island and although I'd heard endless good things about it, I wasn't fully prepared for how deeply I would fall in love with it. 

No word of a lie my friends, every time I brought this project out in public, knitters were immediately drawn to the yarn, dying to know what it was. Lots of oooos and ahhhhs were shared over the squishy skeins as I would reveal the ball band proudly, knowing that I was working with something very special.

You see Swans Island Natural Colors Bulky is 100% organic Merino wool. Now I don't know if it's because it's undyed, or because it's organic, or simply because it's Swans Island, but this yarn is so smooth and buttery soft, with no itch or fuzz, and with a perfect matte finish (no sheen! ...possibly my favourite thing about it), that knitters were surprised that it was 100% wool.

To make a long story short, this yarn is something special. And now I want to make everything out of it; sweaters, mitts, hats, more cowls, I'm hooked!

...which brings us back to where we started. If I had all of the time in the world, and my only responsibilities were knitting and designing, I would cover myself head to toe in this yarn. 

And if you would like to knit yourself a squishy, bulky version of the Annie cowl, the pattern is FREE!!!

Happy knitting friends!


  1. Thank you for sharing this! It's beautiful.

  2. what a stunning, amazing cowl! It looks beautiful on you, and the yarn sounds amazing- and how awesome is it that it's organic?!

    1. I know! Organic certainly isn't a requirement when I'm selecting yarn but from my experience, the organic yarns have the most incredible hand and are always exceptional to work with -- it makes the knitting SO enjoyable!

  3. Gorgeous babe! Can't wait to knit one up!xo

  4. Thanks, Jane, for the gorgeous pattern ... I promised myself to keep my projects (and stash) down but I'm much too inspired by your cowl to obey!

  5. Thank you how generous of you. Just what I need another WIP. ;)

  6. Hello Jane,
    Thanks very much! :) It looks wonderful! I'm also a big fan of squishy soft (proper) wool, you can always feel the difference.
    I recently started knitting a shawl with Alpaca Boucle and it feels amazing! :)
    Ingrid xx

  7. The description of the yarn makes me want to order it immediately! Thanks for the pattern too!

  8. Oh so pretty - I just love the soft, natural colour, and the fiber sounds divine :) Thank you bunches for the pattern - I've been wanting to make a cowl like this for ages - not that I need anything else on MY to-do list either - haha!! :)