Introducing our latest free pattern, the Cecelia Cowl! This beautiful knit uses almost an entire ball of Freia Super Bulky Ombre so there are minimal leftovers, plus it’s extra cosy! Make sure to read to the end of the post to find out how you could win one!
Created exclusively for Loop by Rachel Atkinson, designer, tech editor and long time friend of Loop who was inspired by Cecelia Campochiaro’s book ‘Sequence Knitting’ – hence the name!
Many thanks to Rachel Atkinson for the pattern, Susan Cropper for styling and Kristin Perers for her stunning photography.
Rachel’s inspiration for this pattern began back in Spring 2015 when she met Cecelia at fibre arts trade show TNNA (read more on Rachel’s blog!). Rachel remembers Cecelia, “brimming with infectious enthusiasm for the sequence knitting technique… there are so many possibilities with it and the directions it can take and I was immediately hooked!”
Haven’t heard of sequence knitting? Who better to explain it than the fabulous author of said book, Cecelia Campochiaro. We caught up with her to find out more about the project and about her upcoming visit to Loop.
How would you explain sequence knitting to someone who had never come across it?
“First, I ask if they are knitters or at least understand the concept of knit vs. purl. If they don’t, I look for a nearby sweater and explain knits and purls – ribbed cuffs help. Then I say to take a sequence of stitches, like K3, P2 and repeat them over and over again using an algorithm. Depending on the sequence and the algorithm, a fabric happens. This explanation works for my technical friends, who immediately harken to self-assembled structures in nature or to the use of algorithms which are used extensively in technology and computer science. If the person is non technical, but a knitter, I just say to take a sequence of stitches like K3, P2 and repeat that sequence again and again in some pre-planned way and a fabric will happen.
You’ve spent years working with advanced machines that analyse computer chips, how do you think this as inspired your knitting? (and vica versa!)
Looking for patterns in my early scientific work as a spectroscopist or looking for patterns of problems on computer chips both informed the development of Sequence Knitting. For example, I am sure that the idea of the serpentine method came from the way machines scan wafers in a serpentine pattern, because that is the most economical way to cover an entire wafer quickly (Think about trying to clean a film of charcoal off a dinner plate with a pencil eraser).
In terms of Sequence Knitting affecting my technical life, the learning has been more about how to market a new product. My technical products have always been pre-established factory equipment, so the marketing is about selling incremental improvements to stay on Moore’s Law. A self-published knitting book by a complete unknown, especially a big hardcover on a new concept, is a completely different challenge. Now when I meet someone in the technical world, I am more thoughtful about asking how much they understand and considering different ways to explain why a product might or might not help them improve their work.
We’ll start by learning the definition of Sequence Knitting, when and when not to use it, and some of the interesting properties that are unique to Sequence Knitting. In parallel, the class will work on swatches to illustrate 3 of the methods for repeating sequences. We’ll also cover how to read charts. Charts are not needed for Sequence Knitting, but they are a hugely helpful tool and are a little different for Sequence Knitting than for traditional knitting.
The most fun part comes next: students will have a chance to think about a project they’d like to do, and to begin swatching for that project. We’ll discuss gauge, colour, texture, fibre, variegated/solids, and how these properties all work together to create a fabric with a look and feel to the knitter’s choosing.
Most importantly, we’ll have a nice day. This is all about having fun!
Any yarns you are looking to seeing (or purchasing!) when you visit the shop?
This will be my fourth visit to Loop. Whenever I am in London I always make a trip to Islington to visit and usually find a few things that are hard to get at home (like Wollmeise) plus some of my favourites (Brooklyn Tweed, Woolfolk, Freia,…and many others). Loop has a truly extraordinary selection. I’m also excited to see some of the British yarns. The renaissance in British wool is really great. I’ll be attending the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and can’t wait to meet some of these small producers in person.
Thanks Cecelia! We are looking forward to your visit.
The Cecelia cowl takes just one skein of Freia Super Bulky Ombre in the colour Nautilus. (More Freia is on its way to us and will arrive Tuesday 23rd February!)
As Rachel said, her inspiration for the pattern started at TNNA, but also the choice of yarn, “At the same show Susan met with Tina of Freia Fibres who was previewing her incredible new super bulky yarn and, as they say, the rest is history!”
“Inspired by both the book and the yarn I designed the Cecelia cowl using a basic form of sequence knitting which works so well with the gradient and shaded colourways of the Freia Fibers yarn.“
We also found time to squeeze in a chat with Tina Whitmore, founder of Freia Fibres!
Hi Tina! How did Freia Fibres start?
Freia Fine Handpaint yarns was an offshoot of Knitwhits, my knitting pattern and kit company (Loop stocks several Knitwhits patterns too!). It was originally a foray into creating the yarns I wanted to knit with, in the colors I wanted, that I was unable to find in the market. The offshoot rapidly grew and overtook its parent and is now far larger than I could have ever expected.
You obviously have an affinity with colour, what is your process and inspiration for the amazing gradients your create?
I’m quite slow at developing new colours, I usually mull on my ideas for at least 6 months to a year before releasing them. If I still am infatuated with a colour concept a year from when it first sprouted in my consciousness then I’m fairly confident that it’s a keeper. I take inspiration from random things that I come across or a feeling or experience. Colours are more visceral than intellectual for me.
We’ve fallen for the shade Nautilus which we’ve used for the cowl, do you have any favourite Freia colours that you find it hard to part with?
I’m very excited about the spring 2016 colours. We have two new muted shades, Canyon and Vintage, and two very bright, overly saturated ones, Vamp and Aloha. I can never pick a single favourite. It’s one of the most common questions you hear in the studio “what’s your favourite colour?”. I would also say that I never really part with any of them and when the fancy takes me I just come up with a new one.
Have you chosen your favourite colour of Freia? Well we’ve got one ball of our favourite Nautilus up for grabs! To enter our giveaway, simply leave a comment on the post saying who you’d love to make this cowl for and gain extra points by following the instructions on our Instagram account LoopLondonLoves (and if you do enter on Instagram too, let us know on the blog in a separate comment)
Make sure you get your comment posted by midnight Wednesday 24th February. We will pick a name at random and announce the winner on next weeks blog.
Cecelia Cowl is a free pattern. All images and text are copyright of Loop Knitting Ltd. It is for personal and non-profit use only. This means you can knit it for yourself, as a gift or for charity. You may not sell a garment made from this pattern. You may not reproduce this for sale. Please ask if you wish to translate it or use to teach a class. Thank you.
I would love to knit with autumn rose. The name and the colour are perfectly expressive.
I would choose Valentine – beautiful splash of colour and keeping warm? What’s not to like?
I love Autumn Rose and would like to knit the cowl to give me an insight into sequence knitting.
Lovely cowl. I’d make it in Ember for my daughter.
Lovely, lovely cowl, I would knit it for myself, I am always knitting for my children so I think a little bit of selfish knitting is in order!
I want to say that I’d make this lovely cowl in Amaranth for my daughter – but I admit that it would more likely be Cloud for me!
Ice Queen would be my choice. Shades that will carry into the chilly Spring days and brighten early mornings. A treat for myself.
So beautiful… pattern and wool. While it would be most tempting to knit this for myself, with Mother’s Day coming soon I would knit it for my Mum
I would knit one in Autumn Rose for my mother so she could be both stylish and warm when gardening.
I’m afraid I’d be very selfish and I would make this beautiful cowl for myself! I would choose the shade “Amaranth “.
I have also entered the giveaway on Loop’s Instagram account. Thanks for the chance to win.
pls give me a idea how can i buy?
The cowl is a free pattern! If you mean the yarn, all the highlighted orange words will link you to the shop page! let us know if you have any queries.
Amaranth is seducing me. I would knit this for my daughter who lives in a frigid climate!
I would knit this gorgeous cowl for my mum. It’s her birthday in April and she always loves a hand made gift!
From the first peek at this, I loved the Nautilus colorway as, to me, it perfectly fits both the pattern and the concept of sequence knitting–reminiscent as it is of the sequence of whorls and ridges in an actual nautilus shell. Makes a stunning statement!
I like valentine
I’d choose Cloud – for my daughter who is a bit of a wolf girl.
I think my Goddaughter would love this cowl
I am really feeling the cold this winter therefore would knit the cowl for myself! Sorry sisters.x
I’d make this in Nautilus for my sister. She loves blue and white/cream – she has a lot of blue and white crockery – and she’s going through some tough times at the moment. I’d love to make her a yarny hug!
I would make this for my friend who is always cold!! I love the Nautilus colour, and also Ocean and Amaranth.
Thanks for the chance to win.
I would have to knit three cowls! I would knit one for myself and then one for each daughter.I really love this pattern and yarn combination. I dream of visiting your shop someday.
I also entered on instagram. :)
I would use Amaranth and knit the cowl for my friend Charlotte to keep her warm on her morning dog walks!
This cowl would be just right for my daughter!
I’d love to make this cowl for me dearest sister, in color Valentine :) Pink and fuchsia are her favourite colors <3
I would make this cowl for my daughter Izzy as she feels the cold but likes to look stylish!
I would make this for my lovely friend Nicola, who’s having a really rough year; she deserves the equivalent of a snuggly perma-hug!
As my last to finished projects have been gifts I’d love to make this enchanting cowl for ME!!!
I am so intrigued by the concept of sequence knitting and would love to make this cowl in the equally intriguing blend of Nautilus; it reminds me of snuggling up inside the nautilus shell to keep warm.
I would make this cowl in Nautilus for one of my daughters ….. but then of course I would have to get a skein in another colour, probably Autumn Rose, for my other daughter.
Nautilus looks like the beach- perfect balance to a bulky snuggly winter cowl.
I will make this for my young landlocked friend in the desert that still has a year of chemo left to stay cancer free. Really low body temperature is a side effect so she has developed an affection for wool.
I would knit the cowl in Nautilus for my husband. And if I am lucky, he will let me wear it, too!
Thank you for the giveaway
A very intriguing cowl this will be, I will knit it for me, when I wear it it will take my mind off the cold and into binary coding, sequences, algorithms and all the great stuff that the people who knit think about…
The colour Nautilus is lovely and very appropriate, the inside of the nautilus’ shell being divided into camerae sequenced in a logarithmic spiral…
Hmm, can’t wait!
I’d choose Amaranth – my favourite purple shades, so definitely for me!
I’d love to make this cowl for my sister-in-law, an electrical engineer, who would totally get the concept of sequence knitting. :-)
I’d choose Ember and I’d knit the cowl for my niece who has just been operated on for thyroid cancer.
Lovely. I’d make it in Ember for my mum. Xxx
Is it wrong to say that I would love to make this cowl for me in the “valentine” colorway? : ) Thanks for a fun giveaway.
I love them all, but Autumn rose is perhaps my favourite.
That’s easy: Lucas is my favourite colourway. And I would knit a Cecilia Cowl for my sister in law for her birthday.
The colour mix looks very nice in all balls, difficult to choose. I would knit it for my friend as a birthday present in Ice Queen colour as she has blue eyes.
That yarn is beyond gorgeous … And I have the Sequence Knitting book – a real education :)
I am completely in love with the “Amaranth” colourway, it goergeous. After hiding the yarn in my stash for a little while, I would dreamily make a cowl for my grandmama, the one who taught me how to knit…
Please delete my previous comment as I had the wrong email address. Let’s try again …
I’d be very tempted to keep it for myself but might give it to my lovely hairdresser who has a cowl obsession at the moment.
Reposted on IG too as soozyj
Gorgeous! I would probably make it for myself in the shade Amaranth. Maybe for my sister, looks like a nice gift
Can’t choose between Freia Amaranth and Freia Expresso. Both will be perfect to knit this cowl pattern. Thanks for this giveaway.
I’d make this for my Gran <3
Reposted on Ig too. I’m @thetalesofgem
My mum has knit me so many things over the years it would be nice to knit something for her in return!
I would love to knit the cowl in cloud, my husband would really enyoy this color andere the beautiful pattern!
This would be great for my mother-in-law! She’s always chilly and is happy and willing to wear anything I make her!!
reposted on IG as butwherestheyarn
I love this cowl and would love to make it in Valentine, just love the deep pinks X X
Entered on Instagram
I would make a cowl for one of my best friends that has been there for me through the years. I would use the Amarath color.
Love this cowl and the Yarn. I love the Blue Velvet colorway. Thanks for the chance.
So many pretty colors, but I really do like Nautilus
Autumn Rose just for me, myself and I !!!!!
I would be thrilled to knit this cowl for myself in Nautilus. I also love Ice Queen and Valentine. So many lovely colourways!
I would love to knit this for my Sister in Love. She would Love Nautilus. I would love to use several of the other colors for my sisters. Such beautiful yarn!