NEW PATTERN: Sashinko Cowl

I am going to start this blog out on a personal note.  This summer has been a bit of a roller coaster for me.  I work as a freelance Stage Manager, which usually means that I flip flop between periods of downtime (also known as unemployment) and periods of insane crazy long hours traveling all over the world without time to even think about the rest of my life.  My boyfriend lives in Vancouver and I live in New York.  So, in addition to an up-and-down work life, I get to enjoy some of my downtime trekking across the continent to be with my man.

As you might imagine, this lifestyle requires a lot of planning and a lot of careful budgeting.  Usually, it all works out fine.  This summer was, however, bonkers.  At one point, I had 3 companies talking to me about work, but none of them actually sending a contract.  I spent about a month not knowing if I’d be shipping off the Turkey, Las Vegas or China.

And then, my landlord decided not to renew my lease.  Stress!  Trying to relocate in NYC with 30 days notice is hard enough, but given my travel and work schedules, it would be nearly impossible.  Very long story short, I appealed and, in the end, we get to keep the apartment.

And finally, I nailed down a work contract (the China option) and things are looking a little more solid for the rest of the year.

The support I received through my online crafty friends has been amazing.  So I want to take this opportunity to say “Thank you” to all those lovely ladies and gents who offered advice and virtual hugs during my crazy times.

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So that aside, I want to tell you about a fun new pattern that I released this month.

In the summer of 2012, my best friend Sharon and I visited Tokyo together.

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It was my first visit to this awesome city.  Japan is visually stunning, sometimes overwhelming so.  Every surface is packed with words and pictures.  I found so many images, characters and colors that inspire my crafting to this day.

One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to the Nippori Town district.  Trust me, it was amazing.  So many fabric and notion shops.  So many unique and colorful fabrics.

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This poorly focused picture shows the fabric that I used as inspiration for this knitting pattern.  I was totally drawn in by the simplicity of the two-color patterning.  Classic curved lines instantly create a sea of waves.  I love it.  I knew I could recreate this effect using brioche stitch.  The two-color vertical lines formed by this stitch could effectively echo the beautiful imagery of this fabric.

A few months ago, Frenchie of ArohaKnits, held a design challenge on Instagram.  One of her inspiration categories was “Ocean.”  It was fate and it was the perfect opportunity to design this long-dreamt-of cowl.

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I created a mood board.  This is also when I chose the name for the cowl.  In addition to dyeing the fabric, Japanese artisans create the same classic wave pattern using a stitch technique called Sashinko.  How cool is that?

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I did a sketch.  See how it looks like the brioche waves look like breaking waves.

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I chose my yarn.  The white main color is Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in “Holi Festival” and the blue contrast color is Skeinny Dipping MCS Luxe Worsted in “Un-TEAL We Meet Again.” This combo could not be more perfect.

I did some swatching. I usually skip this step and I am very glad I did not skip it this time. I was able to discover the proper decrease and increase placement to create the right shape of waves.  Then it was time to knit my sample.

The finished project is a piece of which I am truly proud.

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It’s fully reversible and has a Latvian Twisted edging at the top and bottom.

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I hope have you enjoyed hearing the story behind this design.  You can find the pattern on Ravelry here and Craftsy here.

By the way, that trip to Tokyo in 2012 is when I bought the yarn I used to knit my Fifth Floor Walk Up Poncho.

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One last thing! Check out my Okadaya Hat.  It’s a FREE pattern that was inspired by this same trip to Tokyo.  Blog post here.  Ravelry link.  Craftsy link.

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6 thoughts on “NEW PATTERN: Sashinko Cowl

      1. Cool. I haven’t been to that part. I’ll have to add it to my list. Any areas of Japan that you recommend in particular? (Other than Tokyo/Osaka, I have been to both.)

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      2. Okay. Arigato!! It’s on my list! By the way, I really appreciate your comments and interactions here. If you’d like to take the time, check out my latest blog post. There’s a new knitting pattern AND a giveaway for my readers. Please check it out. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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