Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Knitting Pattern - Greyhaven (Part II)

I am so thrilled with the response I've received to my new knitting pattern, Greyhaven.  Hundreds were downloaded in just a few days here and on Ravelry, and I am excited to see the beautiful cowls people make with it. Several people have expressed interest to me in knitting it up in their handspun which sounds gorgeous.  

Thank you everyone, for your kind comments on this pattern, I appreciate it and I am so glad you like it.  It is my pleasure to share it with so many talented people!

The purple version above was one of about a dozen Greyhaven's I made during the design process.

I guess I can be sort of picky, but I couldn't let the pattern go until I felt it was just right and knit it successfully myself several times and had it tested.  That's partly why it takes me forever to get my designs up as PDF's.   

Malabrigo Merino Worsted is a 100 % wool, lofty singles yarn with a larger gauge than some of the others I used which were mostly various plied, wool/ alpaca blend yarns.
Many people want a cowl to be cozy, but I think the Mal would still be soft and warm if knit up a tad looser.  The flip side of that is that this yarn fuzzes and pills easily, so I usually recommend knitting it slightly firmer to help avoid this problem.

I think this version might be slightly improved if knit on a larger needle size to open up the lace pattern slightly.  I guess it comes down to personal preference, and size desired.  Of course, knit up on a larger needle, this cowl would be a larger size. This version used about 65 grams of yarn.

My Pomeranian is such a ham, she is always nosing around the things I am trying to photograph, so I let her be a model for this one.  She is so tiny, the cowl almost covers her completely!  

An earlier version of this cowl was made straight, with no shaping and a heavier garter stitch border.  I like the clean look and simplicity of that version, but I was not happy with the way it sat around the neck, especially at the bottom.  My sister is modeling this one.

There are many, many straight stitch pattern cowls available and they certainly are easy to design, easy to knit and many people I've seen on Ravelry don't seem to mind if their cowl flips up at the bottom or curls at the top of the neck, but it bugged me. I kept wanting to fuss with it and smooth it out, so back to the drawing board Greyhaven went!  

The resulting final version was modified to have a more sculpted base.  This was only a little tweak, to give it some subtle shaping, without making it overly complicated.

At the same time, I definitely appreciate the desire many knitters have for a super-simple project, especially if you need a gift in a hurry, or are new to lace knitting, so if you prefer to knit the straight version, please do!   

To make it, you would cast on only 90 stitches, work the garter stitch border to your desired length, begin the three full lace repeats starting in the main Greyhaven lace pattern row 1 with NO decrease row, work your top garter stitch border and bind off according to the pattern.  I knit four garter ridges, or 8 total rounds for these cowls. 

I would love to start posting your projects made from Greyhaven and any of my other knitting patterns here on this blog, and hope to start doing that soon. PM me on Ravelry if you have made something from a Robin Ulrich Studio pattern that you would like to share. 

CONGRATULATIONS to Elise, who was the first person to post with the correct answer in response to last week's pattern giveaway contest question about the inspiration for the name Greyhaven!  She deduced that the name was referenced from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings books.  In this work, the Grey Havens was a seaport built as a departing point for elves leaving Middle Earth for Valinor, a place some people interpret as a version of the afterlife.  Elise chose a free copy of the Fontana shawl pattern as her prize.

Speaking of my patterns, I am over-the-moon excited that one of my favorite Ravelry groups, the Anthropologie Group, chose my Brandywine Falls wrap pattern for their Fall KAL!   

This makes me very happy because the folks in that group are not only super-talented and creative, they share with me an appreciation for the quirky, unique style that is central to the fashion and home retailer Anthropologie.  I'll hopefully have some photos of the KAL'ers finished wraps to show here, but you can always hop on over to Ravelry yourself and join the KAL for a lot of fun and encouragement!

I promised to share about my New Mexico trip and yarnie adventures, so today I thought I'd start with our time in Albuquerque.

My sister lives in a smaller town north of Albuquerque, so it was a short drive to most places we wanted to visit including a running/ hiking trail in the Bosque along the Rio Grande River (beautiful),

Old Town (nice but touristy), and Corrales (home of the Casa San Ysidro Museum and loads of quaint shops).  
I couldn't go to Albuquerque (also the home of Fiesta Yarns) without visiting the Village Wools yarn shop.

Village Wools is located in an obscure office warehouse district, but it is worth the trouble to find.  The store is bright, spacious and very well-organized, and known for a large selection of yarn on cones by the pound from many companies, including Jamieson's Shetland.  

The back wall is loaded, and includes value yarns and locally-produced yarn.

While in the area, we also enjoyed lots of mountain hiking at Sandia Peak (my nephew J is a little to close to the edge for my comfort!) and

Cibola National Forest to see the aspens turning gold.........

A little excitement stirred one morning as we watched a hot air balloon crash-landing across the street from my sister's home.  No one was hurt and the crew had the balloon down, loaded in the chaser truck and gone in about 15 minutes.

I have a LOT more interesting yarn, fiber, shops and wool show exhibits to share, including from Santa Fe and Taos (where I met Ravelry's Mary Heather Cogar!), but this post is already long, so I'll save that for next time. 

Until then, peace, blessings and happy stitching to you!


  1. Lovely pictures, Robin! I am very glad for you, congratulations with your pattens. The sideways purple vest is beautiful! Is it your design? What yarn did you use?

  2. Thank you Anna, it's a small start, but at least I made some progress this year. I've had so many patterns I've given away or never published that I needed to just get busy and do it! The purple vest my design? - I wish! No, that is a Vogue Knitting pattern from a year or two ago. :)

  3. Would love to see some more photos, especially of Taos Wool Fest. Wish I could've gone this year!

  4. I'm looking forward to knitting Greyhaven. Haven't chosen a yarn yet.

    Love the NM pictures!