The Gift of Knitting – Green Snowflakes Cowl.

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The Gift of Knitting – Green Snowflakes Cowl.

FO – Green Snowflakes Cowl

Knitting. Fair Isle Cowl

My very first fair isle project is off the needles, blocked and worn! I am so happy that it was a pattern by a good knitting friend, Julie. She’s been such a huge inspiration for me in so many ways. This project is the embodiment of the blog’s name – the pattern was gifted, the yarn I used was gifted and the cowl will be a gift for my dear Granny and for her green eyes!

Knitting. Fair Isle Cowl

I love the cowl’s generous size and how both sides are “public” – all floats are hidden inside. I really enjoy wearing it with my Gallery sweater! But I have to put it away before my trip to my family or I will keep it instead of giving it to my Granny! 🙂

Knitting. Fair Isle Cowl

Project Notes

Pattern. Xanadu Snowflake Cowl by Julie Crawford. I love Julie’s design aesthetics so much! She always creates simple, timeless and beautiful knitwear pieces. This colorwork pattern of the cowl is just striking. The snowflakes are so delicate and airy. When I look at them they also remind me of a starry sky… The pattern is very easy and straightforward.  I did only one modification – 6 full repeats instead of 9. I was knitting with slightly thicker yarn, so the cowl was growing much faster.

Yarn. Palette by Knit Picks. I used 1.5 balls of dark green shade and less than one ball of light green. At first I wasn’t sure how the yarn will knit up in fair isle, but turns out it is absolutely perfect for it. It created such a wonderful fabric – not too thick and very light. I was also pleased to see that the water was pure clean after washing the cowl – the colors didn’t fade at all!

Knitting. Fair Isle Cowl

Design Details

Color. Julie’s sample was knit in light neutral shades and I was afraid that the snowflakes would be too sharp in my version as the contrast between my colors was much stronger. But turned out the pattern is perfect for both color options!

Construction. The tube of the cowl is knit in the round before the beginning and end of the cowl are grafted together. This allows you to have a total control over the cowl’s length, which gives you a great opportunity to use completely different kinds of yarn and not to worry about gauge too much. I am sure it will be great in DK or sport weight as well and I can only imagine how warm it will be! You can also experiment and make it two times longer for a double wrap.

Colorwork Pattern. I absolutely loved “drawing” these snowflakes with yarn. The chart really speaks to you and I did’t refer to it that often. I got into pattern rhythm pretty fast and only occasionally checked the chart. I could easily knit and watch a movie at the same time. I have a good visual memory though, so I can’t speak for everyone.

Knitting. Fair Isle Cowl

Here are the techniques I used and some of my tips that you might find helpful for your project.

Helpful Tips

  • Magic Loop. I don’t knit accessories that much and I don’t have any circular needles with a short cord, so I had to use my usual 31″ cord circular. If not used properly, this method can create very noticeable unevenness in the fabric. Here is the video I found that gives very helpful tips on how to work fair isle using the magic loop method – Fair-Isle Knitting on DPNs and Magic Loop.
  • Needles. I started my project on 3 mm ADDI click metal needle, but several weeks ago I needed it for another project and I have only one set. I changed it for 3.5 mm wooden needle and there was no difference in gauge. The gauge on the metal needles is usually slightly looser than on the wooden ones, as the stitches slip more easily (at least for me).
  • Blocking. I was worried at first that my tension is not perfectly consistent and I would end up with a lot of bumps in the fabric, but Julie assured me that blocking will work for fair isle just like for lace – it will make wonders to the fabric. And it did! My cowl’s fabric was far from perfect, but wet blocking made it almost impeccably even!
  • Grafting. The video for the grafting technique to refresh my memory – The Kitchener Stitch – Grafting your Knitting 

This project has been with me for more than three months and I am kind of sorry to let it go… I really loved this technique and I am happy Julie inspired me to try it! Off to new projects!

Knitting. Fair Isle Cowl

I hope you will have a wonderful Sunday!


By | 2017-01-08T08:56:29+00:00 April 10th, 2016|Finished Objects, Knitting|45 Comments


  1. Andrea @ This Knitted Life April 10, 2016 at 8:27 am - Reply

    Aw. Happy happy. I want to knit a cowl using that construction technique. Still need to try fair isle…. Lucky granny.

    • Alina April 10, 2016 at 9:16 am - Reply

      Thank you, Andrea! This cowl is perfect to practice fair isle!

  2. pat April 10, 2016 at 8:53 am - Reply

    It came out great! I’m sure your granny will love it.

    • Alina April 10, 2016 at 9:17 am - Reply

      Thank you, dear Pat! I know, my Granny will love everything that came from my hands 🙂

  3. Melissa April 10, 2016 at 8:54 am - Reply

    I love the color work and I’m still *working* up to trying it again with my fair isle blanket. I love this cowl, though, and may try a version of it before going back to try any larger projects! Thanks for the tips and tricks!

    • Alina April 10, 2016 at 9:17 am - Reply

      Fair isle blanket sounds like such a huge project! But I am sure it will be so warm and cozy!

  4. Andi April 10, 2016 at 8:54 am - Reply

    Oooh, love this cowl. Such beautiful color choices! I have this pattern as well and started working on mine.
    You are spot on Julie is a beautiful, inspiring and talented designer.

    • Alina April 10, 2016 at 9:18 am - Reply

      Thank you, Andi! Loved this design so much and the project was really relaxing to work on!

    • Julie April 12, 2016 at 5:14 pm - Reply

      Aw, thanks Andi!!!

  5. Katrine Birkenwasser April 10, 2016 at 9:29 am - Reply

    What a beautiful fair isle project! The last fair isle project that I knitted involved a Spiderman, so you can’t really talk about these projects in the same day. I need to get a nicer one on the needles as well 🙂

    • Alina April 11, 2016 at 6:22 am - Reply

      Spiderman fair isle… It sounds intriguing! Thank you so much for complementing my cowl!

  6. Zeta April 10, 2016 at 10:40 am - Reply

    A great cowl! Julie’s design is lovely and your color choice made the snowflakes pop! A perfect fit for your granny’s eyes to wear on a snowy day!

    • Alina April 11, 2016 at 6:22 am - Reply

      Thank you, Zeta! I know, it will so good in the snow, can’t wait to give it to her!

  7. akiba April 10, 2016 at 11:02 am - Reply

    Alina – I did not think you could get more beautiful but I was wrong – you are simply gorgeous. Love, Akiba

    • Alina April 11, 2016 at 6:23 am - Reply

      Oh, Akiba! You made me blush… Thank you so much. Love you and miss you!!!

  8. Christine April 10, 2016 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    This cowl is so pretty. Your Granny will love it. I too, am a big fan of Julie’s patterns as well as her blog.

    • Alina April 11, 2016 at 6:25 am - Reply

      Thank you, Christine! Julies is amazing, isn’t she!!

  9. Becca April 10, 2016 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous! I like the green/cream combo. Fair isle is so addicting – you gotta be careful or it’ll be the only thing you knit 🙂

    • Alina April 11, 2016 at 6:26 am - Reply

      Thank you, Becca! I know! I’ve never been drawn to color knitting, but this project definitely changed that!

  10. steph April 10, 2016 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    beautiful….simply beautiful….your cowl, of course, but the staging for all your photos. Perfect. Hope you’ll take a photo of your Granny wearing it!!

    • Alina April 11, 2016 at 6:27 am - Reply

      Thank you, Steph! I really hope to take photos of my Granny and her work as well when I visit!

  11. Elise April 10, 2016 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    What a gorgeous gift, I bet your gran loves it! 🙂

    • Alina April 11, 2016 at 6:33 am - Reply

      Thank you! She hasn’t seen it yet, but I hope she will wear it with pride!

  12. sustainablemum April 10, 2016 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    It’s beautiful. I love the pattern. I hope your granny loves it.

    • Alina April 11, 2016 at 6:33 am - Reply

      Thank you so much! Yes, the pattern is wonderful!

  13. Becki April 10, 2016 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    Your Granny is going to love this cowl, Alina. The snowflakes are beautiful!

    • Alina April 11, 2016 at 6:33 am - Reply

      Thank you so much, Becki!

  14. Iliana April 11, 2016 at 2:08 am - Reply

    I follow Julie’s blog and you’re right, she is great! This design is beautiful and your version is gorgeous. I wouldn’t have thought to make it in shades of green but they go so well with the pattern. Your granny is going to love it!

    • Alina April 11, 2016 at 6:36 am - Reply

      Thank you so much, Iliana! I had this yarn is stash for such a long time, I am so glad I finally found the perfect project for it!

  15. Katherine April 11, 2016 at 3:50 am - Reply

    Beautiful cowl – I love the snowflake pattern! With the green it makes me think of snow falling amongst trees – is it like that where your Granny lives in winter?! She will treasure it whatever 🙂

    • Alina April 11, 2016 at 6:37 am - Reply

      Thank you, Katherine! I love your vision of the snow among the trees!

  16. Lisa April 11, 2016 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing all the tips with us! I may have to try this one soon – I love your color choice. I feel like the snowflakes lend themselves well to being in a high contrast pattern.

    • Alina April 14, 2016 at 7:26 am - Reply

      Thank you, Lisa! I am glaf you found my tips helpful! You will enjoy this project!

  17. Amy Caroline April 12, 2016 at 10:24 am - Reply

    Gorgeous work!!!

    • Alina April 15, 2016 at 5:19 am - Reply

      Thank you so much, Amy!

  18. Julie April 12, 2016 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for your kind words, Alina!! And your cowl is utterly beautiful- your grandmother is one lucky lady!!

    • Alina April 15, 2016 at 5:20 am - Reply

      Thank you, Julie! It was a joy to make!

  19. Chris April 12, 2016 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Love it! I have that one marked, just need to find some leftovers to work together to make it.

    • Alina April 15, 2016 at 5:20 am - Reply

      Thank you, Chris! Yes, the project is so perfect for leftovers!

  20. Carmela Biscuit April 13, 2016 at 8:14 am - Reply

    Excellent cowl, looks cozy and beautiful!

    • Alina April 15, 2016 at 5:21 am - Reply

      Thank you, Carmela! It is so light and warm and squishy!! Can’t get enough of it!

  21. Tien April 13, 2016 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    Beautiful! The colors are so lovely and I’m sure your grandmother is going to love it! Palette is one of my favorite yarns for fairisle colorwork. The color choices are amazing.

    • Alina April 15, 2016 at 5:25 am - Reply

      Thank you, Tien! Yes, Palette turned out to be absolutely perfect for it!

  22. karen April 14, 2016 at 6:23 am - Reply

    Gorgeous cowl and a very gorgeous you! love the colors you paired together 🙂

    • Alina April 15, 2016 at 5:25 am - Reply

      Thank you so much, Karen!

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