The week before VK Live! Chicago was crazy. I posted three new patterns that week! Two are for sale on Ravelry, and the third is my free striped hat pattern available here, Stiall. One of these patterns made a splash at VK - the Gait's Haire Cowl & Wrap.
If you check out my designer page on Ravelry, you'll see that I've had several published designs using different techniques to create a classic woven fabric, plaid, from a knit fabric. I enjoy it because I love working with color, and the geometry of the plaid is very graphic and modern.
Somewhere my designer's brain came up with the idea of working the plaid in a lace weight mohair and silk blend yarn. (That place was probably my shower, since that I have more brainstorms there per square foot than any other location in my home.) I love the virtual weightlessness of the fabric, especially in contrast to the heavy fabric it would be in a woven wool plaid. And, I love how the two colors of yarn blend so beautifully in their mohair halos. Apparently a few knitters agreed with me, because the hard copy patterns were sold out shortly after noon on Saturday.
Be warned! This is not a beginner, or even an intermediate level pattern. Mohair yarns are challenging to work with, and in this pattern we've got multiple strands of them. Whether you use bobbins or (like me) play dangerously and work with short lengths that tangle relentlessly, you need patience. But, the pattern is a simple repeat which is easy to memorize. And, the results are amazing.
Interested in a scarf rather than a wrap? Just follow the directions for the wrap but only work two repeats of the pattern.
I am still so enchanted with the concept that I am continuing to play, and am working on a four color design. Watch for that.
Oh, and why Gait's Haire? According to my on-line Gaelic dictionary, a 'gait' is a goat. So, the name literally refers to the primary fiber - goat's hair. (I added the 'e' at the end for romantic embellishment.) But, in a clever twist brought to my attention by the aforementioned internet dictionary, the term also describes a type of fluffy cloud. Since this so aptly describes the finished accessory, the name couldn't be more perfect.
(The wrap and purple/butterscotch/gold cowl are knit in Shibui's Silk Cloud. The green/cream/red cowl is in Rowan Kidsilk Haze.)