This cowl design started with the colors of the wool, specifically a natural gray, a heathered blue, and an orange. I was digging through the new basket of Tukuwool Fingering at my local yarn shop – they had recently started carrying this yarn and I wanted to check it out. The first thing that caught my eye was these gorgeous heathery colors, both the natural undyed grays and the dyed colors, and I just thought these three colors played nicely together.
Meanwhile, I have lately been collecting books on fair isle, both vintage and new. A motif in A Shetlander’s Fair Isle Graph Book had caught my eye. I saw the combination of stitches and immediately thought ‘cowl’, so I drew it out, bought a fourth color of the Tukuwool, a beautiful dark brown, and began swatching.
The image I had in my head was a gray cowl, that is, I wanted the background to be this lovely natural light gray shade. But when I swatched the motifs using that as the background, they just didn’t pop. And so I selected a few smaller motifs and tried again, swatching with both dark and light backgrounds, but I just couldn’t get the proportions of the colors right. However, I was really intrigued by the small Norweigan star motif with the darker background – only I still wanted a light gray cowl! So I swatched again and settled on a gradation from light background to the motif in the center with the darker background, back to the light background. And so Rionnag was born (Rionnag means ‘star’ in Gaelic).
The Tukuwool Fingering is a beautiful wool for colorwork. Though it is woolen-spun, it has just a tiny bit of a sheen to it that really highlights the depth of those heathered colors. It’s well worth searching out for this cowl.
Rionnag is available here. From now until March 15th, 2018, any two cowls in my shop are 25% off, no code needed.