Knitting Pipeline is sponsored by my Longaberger home businessn and Quince & Co.

Knitting Pipeline is sponsored by Quince & Co. and Knitcircus Yarns

Friday, August 22, 2014

Episode 180 Upstairs Downstairs: A Cowl in Three Sizes

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Upstairs Downstairs Cowl Small Size modeled by Emily and photographed by Nils Fuessle.

This episode is sponsored by my Longaberger Home Business and Quince & Co. I am also a Craftsy Affiliate. This means that if you click from the Craftsy ad on my website and purchase a class and/or materials, I receive credit for it. It is an easy way to support the show. Thank you!

Quince & Co wool yarns are sourced and spun in the US. Known in the trade as "territory wool," our wool comes from Merino, Rambouillet, and Columbia-based sheep that roam the ranges of Montana and Wyoming. All our wool and wool-blend yarns are spun in New England mills with venerable histories. By sourcing our wool in the US and manufacturing our yarn locally, we minimize our carbon footprint. Find Quince wool and the other Quince fibers at
You can find my Longaberger Home Business at
Ravelry Group
Pipeliner Notes
David and Gene from 2 Guys Yarn Co.
We have our Sister Bay KAL in progress. We are starting the Bonus Week now if you are following the Progress Chart. 
This week I am featuring Rabbitlady’s Sister Bay in Camel and Bird’s Egg for which she won a Blue Ribbon!  Congratulations. Also Benji9 SB in Crocus and Lupine. Great colors, and Luciaknits Test Knit in Iceland and Egret.

Rabbitlady's Sister Bay in Camel and Birds Egg, complete with Blue Ribbon!

Luciaknits Sister Bay in Iceland and Egret

Benji9's Sister By in Crocus and Lupine

Tag your projects sisterbaykal. Prize Drawings September 1, 2014.
I will be donating Quince & Co yarn and Leslie Wind has generously offered 3 $40 gift certificates! (I didn’t even ask—she’s that nice!) thank you, Leslie!
Nature Notes
I wrote this essay a week ago one night about midnight when I woke up and listened to the night sounds.
The sound of the August night is like no other. It pulses and beats. Tiny maracas and kazoos rise in syncopation of life. I hear a pack of coyotes howl on the other side of the woods. My friend, the Barred Owl, calls out above this insect chorus to let me know he is out there, a sentinel of the woods, perhaps with an eye for food that will sustain him through the night and day. I match my breathing to these sounds and feel at one with the mystical chorus. The owl call is closer now, a loud whinny descending in the night. There is enough moonlight from a waning ¾ moon to wash the edge of the woods in pale gold. As I sit by the window with my knitting, a Luna moth, pale green and larger than my hand, beats its wings, flutters, and flails against the screen. This amazing creature is attracted to the light then retreats to the darkness of the woods.
During the day the butterflies lead the dance. It is a silent pulsing of wings as they move from zinnia flower to butterfly bush, and back to zinnia. Great Spangled Fritillary, Easter Tiger Swallowtail, Silver-spotted Skipper, Painted Lady, Red-spotted Purple, Black Swallowtail, and many smaller skippers are partners in the rhythm of late summer. Early morning bird song is scarce and consists mostly of single chirp call notes.
Insects are reigning now, starting intermittently in midmorning, building in the afternoon and reaching their peak during the night. The cicadas, crickets, and grasshopper chorus ebbs and swells. It is the heartbeat of summers end. I think of the myriad of small creatures of which I know so little. I feel sleepy. A tune comes into my head. It is Pachelbel’s Canon in D. The insects are a perfect metronome for this composition. As I sing the tune in my head, the cicada chorus becomes a metronome. I go to sleep to August’s symphony.
 Needle Notes
Upstairs Downstairs: A Cowl in Three Sizes  is available for $3 for a limited time. Regular price will be $5.00. No coupon code needed.

Upstairs Downstairs, Emily, and Ollie

Upstairs Downstairs is knit in the round from the bottom up. It is easy and fast. I knit the small size in a day. It is suitable for any sport weight yarn, including variegated and handspun.The cowl has a band of garter stitch, a band of lace, a middle band of garter stitch, another band of lace, and a final band of garter stitch. If you do not like knitting garter stitch in the round you can visit my You Tube Tutorial I have linked to in the pattern for knitting garter stitch in the round without purling.
I LOVE the spread sheet style format which is similar in style to that of Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. There are percentages of knitting accomplished so you can keep track of your yardage as you go.  A digital scale would be handy if you intend to use this feature of the pattern. If you have never done lace, Upstairs Downstairs, would be a great introduction. There is only one row to memorize and you will have it in no time. It is easy to see where you are in the pattern and mistakes are not hard to fix.
I named the cowl Upstairs Downstairs because if you flip it over it is the same. So not reversible but there is really no top or bottom unless you can tell the difference between a cast on and a bind off.
There is a small, medium and large size. You will need Approx 250 (350, 500) yd [229, 320, 457] m sport weight yarn such as: Leading Men Fiber Arts or Quince & Co Chickadee
I am usually asked questions about yarn substitution. If you are going to substitute yarn I would tend to go up in weight to DK or worsted instead of down to fingering. The reason is that in general a cowl is going to look a little better larger rather than smaller. It is then warmer too. I know we all have those skeins of fingering weight yarn that we just couldn’t resist.
The Blethering Room with Bob
Upstairs Downstairs turned out to be somewhat of a family affair. The first weekend in August we traveled to NC to visit our middle son and dil. I took the sample knit with me and Nils did the photography with our DIl Emily as the model. Now they have a job to do for me whenever there is a pattern to be published. I should have taken a lighter colored sample, which I did have, because the stitch pattern does not show up as well as it might but I think it is simple enough that you can see it. Also behind the scenes Bob usually ends up helping me with some of the numbers and Excel formatting. He also summoned up his creative side during the photoshoot.
Little Sister Resort brochure from 1935

In the Pipeline
  • BLT’s : Toast Rye bread, bacon (thick is my favorite), mayo with olive oil base, homegrown tomatoes, fresh basil, thinly sliced red onion, iceberg lettuce. Cook bacon in oven at 400 deg for 15-20 min.
  • Buttermilk Ranch Dressing from The Barefoot Contessa
  • Grilled Romaine from All or Alton Brown

Grilled Hearts of Romaine, grilled red peppers, crab cakes

 Thanks for your support! Haste ye back!


loel said...

Paula, I just downloaded the cowl pattern. I love the simplicity of it with just a touch of lace. As for photographing it, at least you photographed it with a light background (white turtleneck/T-shirt) so the pattern shows through a bit.

Jennxpt said...

Oh, Paula, it's so fun to see the Little Sister Resort brochure! A good friend of mine is the great-granddaughter of Grant Anderson (and her brother is named Grant after him)! I was taking a nighttime walk through Sister Bay with my dog, listening to your podcast, and it was so fun to hear about that! I finished my Sister Bay shawl yesterday, and love the new cowl, too!

Anonymous said...

I was/am so excited about the release of your new pattern. I downloaded it immediately and can't wait to cast on. In addition, I'm so happy to hear how much you enjoyed Jesmyn Ward's Salvage the Bones. That book is one of my favorites from recent years. Her most recent book Men We Reaped is also excellent. It's full of more beautiful and powerful prose.
All best, Jill

Jane said...

Your essay on the sounds of August is lovely. I reversed the podcast so I could listen to it twice. The cicada chorus in southeast Nebraska is in full swing. This last week temps were up in the high 90's so my tomatoes are now ripening. We had a cool July so they are late. We finally enjoyed some bacon, spinach, and tomato sandwiches on rye. Thank you so much for the tutorial on garter stitch in the round. I have a question about the technique. Does it matter whether you start on the wrong side or the right side of the work? Perhaps that depends on the pattern and where garter stitch should appear? What are your thoughts? Jane, Prairie Poet (Rav)

stephigordon said...

Love your new pattern - just purchased it, thank you! Enjoyed the shout out and seeing a knitted cowl while watching Dramatic Knits! ( :

Anonymous said...

Paula, this tutorial for no-purl garter stitch in the round is awesome! I've designed a baby/toddler hat in my head, but have been putting off trying it out in real life because it's going to involve garter in the round, and I wasn't looking forward to the purling. With this technique, I'll be much more likely to cast on and put my design to paper soon. Thank you so much!

-KnittingDaddy Greg

About Me

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I play the Great Highland Pipes, knit, observe nature, and read. My name on Ravelry is PrairiePiper. Find me on Instagram as KnittingPipeline.