Buinne – A Winding Current

A mannequin displaying a long brioche cowl with dark and light blue vertical stripes and a faux cable patternBuinne had a tricky start in life, it has to be said. Choosing the yarn was easy. I was looking around for a single ply yarn and I came across this absolutely stunning Fresh Water colourway from FruitfulFusionDyes and I knew it would go beautifully with this Indigo from Cosmic Strings. And with these two yarns the only choice was a water theme. I’ve frogged a lot of the unsuccessful swatches from this design, but you can see some that survived in the second slide. Right from the start I knew I wanted to have both the light and dark yarns showing on the same side of the cowl – a bit uncommon but gorgeous! My original idea was to have the two colours of yarn twisting together in a cable. I loved how it looked but I was struggling to find a cable that gave me the effect I wanted without pulling in too much. My next idea was faux cables but with the light and dark colours worked together. I really love the effect on this one, and it’s something I’m planning to come back to in the future, but to get everything sitting nicely I was inventing whole new decreases, and the plan was really to make a simpler cowl than Cailleach-Oidhche, a more gentle introduction to brioche knitting, not a more complicated one so I set the idea aside (the bottom left swatch is now living on my pinboard until I have more time to look into it!) This brought me to the centre swatch. I loved this one, but as soon as I started knitting it I realised it was very similar to Cailleach-Oidhche and all I was seeing was owls again, so I tweaked it slightly and got the bottom left swatch! There were other difficulties too – like the number of patterns I had to give up because they were impossible to size for both a small and large cowl – but they mostly didn’t reach the swatching stage, and spreadsheets are as photogenic!

A close up on a brioche cowl with yellow and grey vertical stripes showing the cast-on and bind-offI like to show my cowls in two sizes (if they have them) and while I was at Perth Festival of Yarn I picked up another two skeins – a stunning neon yellow from Mrs Lam Yarns (KallokShekEllen) and a moody dark grey from TréLiz who were on stands next to each other! I love how the faux cable meanders back and forth like a river past it’s banks. The name Buinne means rapid current in Scottish Gaelic. If you’re new to brioche this is a great pattern to start with. It uses just one increase and two decreases, but it has a huge impact and tutorials for every stitch are included in the pattern for easy reference! If you want to check out the tutorials before you buy, just head over to my tutorials page (some of the tutorials there are for Cailleach-Oidhche, check out Buinne’s page to see which stitches you’ll need).

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I’m Liz and I'm a Scottish Knitwear designer! I design and write knitting patterns for accessories, produce tutorials and write about what I do!

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