Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Summer Knitting – Quick Cowl/Gaiter/Neck Warmer

It probably will not have escaped you that my interest in knitting seems to have faltered a bit during my sojourn in Canada. I have noticed it too. Pondering this, I was curious to find out whether my inclination to knit might reappear upon my return to the UK. So, I packed two travel knitting projects to take with me to the UK and, strangely enough, my interest in knitting did return while I was there.

Actually, it started on the plane somewhere over the Atlantic. In the last hours of my flight, I found myself reaching for my knitting and my i-Pod. I started to work on the back of a small toddler vest, which I will share when the project is finished and dispatched to its gift recipient in the UK.

However, it really started when I was back in London and over my jetlag. I found myself waiting to catch a train. I boarded, sat down and before I had realised what I was doing, my project bag was out, neatly clipped to the seat in front of me and I was thumbing over an error that I had made on a halted sport-weight hat project in Vancouver. I continued to work on it whenever I was travelling and during my return flight to Vancouver. Again, I will share this project when it is finished as I still have the crown to complete.

Then, during a visit to my mother in Hereford, I helped out at her gallery during a 3 day yarn sale. As it happened, there were some lonely looking balls in a box that looked like they were being overlooked. As two balls had lost their labels, I asked my mother if I could use them to whip up a little something to give people a project idea for the yarn. This was the result:

Quick Cowl

A little cowl, gaiter or neck warmer (as you prefer) that was inspired by the Knit.1 Gaiters that I made a year or so ago.

Project Statistics

Yarn: 2 Balls of Adriafil Charme
Duration to Knit: 3 hours or so (by a medium-slow knitter)
Worked: The Small Gallery, Hereford
Pattern: My own but inspired by a 2007 Knit.1 Cabled Cowl (Gaiter)

A very efficient knit as this was all the yarn that I had left over at the end:

Quick Cowl Leftovers

It is quite a funky little number. Although the yarn does not stand out when you walk into my mother's gallery (it is tricky for it to compete with all the lovely hand-dyes that she stocks), it was perfect for this project. It gave the cable good definition plus it was soft and extremely cosy. In fact, I could wear it against my skin – a small miracle!

I was almost sad to leave it on display in my mother's gallery window. Although I did write up the pattern for my mother so I guess that I could make another one! Except...

...I am home again now and my interest seems to be leaching quietly away again. I am a bit worried about it as I enjoyed my knitting over the summer. I have even been avoiding my local knit night over the last few weeks. I am trying to hold onto my interest long enough to finish the hat and the toddler vest but at this rate? I think that it is going to be a stretch.

My observation is that public transport and progress on my projects seem to be very strongly linked. You know how there are results knitters (knit to obtain the finished object) and process knitters (knit for the love of doing it)? Well, I think that I might be a 'situational knitter'.

Without a commute, my knitting rarely makes it out of its project bag. My head doesn't seem to be able to conscience sitting and knitting as a standalone activity in its own right. Not at home and not at the studio either (interestingly enough). While I can just about spin, I have never been able to knit and watch TV successfully. I cannot do it in just the same way that I cannot iron clothes and watch TV at the same time either.

As a result, unless I can find a way to overcome this problem (open to ideas that do not involve me setting up camp on the new Canada Line train carriage for two hours each day), it might be the case that knitting may only make an occasional appearance on this blog until I have obtained residency status and I am allowed to work in Canada.

Assuming no problems, I am hoping that this will only take another 3-5 months and that I will be able to find a job here. Clearly, from a knitting perspective, I have my fingers crossed that I will be able to find a role in a location that gives me a logical Public Transport commute!


Team Knit ! said...

Very cute neck warmer!! I love the contrasting buttons. My husband is from the UK, and we are in the residency process now, waiting for the visa so that he can legally work. It does take a while, that's for sure! Good luck!!

- Julie

Lara said...

... and while you are waiting, you
COULD regularly visit a dear friend in Burnaby by taking the #10 & #25 bus combination giving you, easily, 45mins of fab knitting time. Just a suggestion :)


Lara said...

BTW ... according to your post on Saturday, 18 August 2007 entitled
The (Slow) Commuter Knitter, you already acknowledged your knitting success to commuting.

Gabrielle said...

L - it's good to know that I am consistent! Is there a way to get out to your place by train rather than by bus as I'd love an excuse to catch the Canada Line down towards downtown!

Gabrielle said...

Julie...doesn't it ever take time?! We started the 'Out of Canada' rather than the 'in Canada' process back in May. It took two months, after we were married, to compile all of that paperwork and evidence of our relationship(do you remember that film Greencard?!). The Fella's application to sponsor me was approved in July, so my visa application paperwork is now in London being processed - we have been advised that this part takes 6 - 8 months. Gx

Lara said...

There is a way by train. Take the Canada Line from Cambie/41st downtown to Waterfront (I haven't yet been to that station so I don't know where it is relative to the orig Waterfront stn). Tsf to Expo Line to Broadway/Commercial (this train only goes in one direction). Tsf to Millenium Line & get off at Brentwood station. Reason that I did not suggest this route is that it may be interruptive to the knitting process :)

Roobeedoo said...

That's a very funky little neck-device which would make great last-minute-present-knitting. Thanks for your comment on my blog. Yes, it is a "neutral" set of news, but at least gives FL the prospect of another month of golf and whisky!

katty said...

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kimberly said...

I consider this blog very interesting, most of all because i would like to lean kniting, i think is a good activity that i can practice in my free time. In fact now i will have a lot of free time for me, because i will get a house throw costa rica homes for sale and i really liked the style that i chose.

Anonymous said...

Hi, could you please tell me how many stitches i need to cast on? Thanks so much!

Gabrielle said...

Hi Carla,

The pattern is available as a free download on Ravelry if you would like the full pattern. The Ravelry PDF download link is in this blog post:

Otherwise, you can obtain the pattern (Quick Cabled Cowl) from Ravelry:

I hope this helps,


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much!