Spadina Avenue

A while back, I started playing around with purl ridges and came up with a simple stitch pattern that I really love.

What is it about this texture that grabs me so? I have no idea, but I find these graduated purl ridges deeply satisfying, no matter how many times I work them (and you are going to see them a lot in the next few releases). While noodling around with the ridges, I tried drawing a column of slipped knit stitches through them, and I liked that version, too.

I looked at the result and could picture it as a cowl: a big, generous cowl in a soft, lush yarn that would be as much of a pleasure to knit as it would be to wear. This design would be simple without being boring: a design to work on a lazy weekend, in stolen minutes during the day, or whenever you feel like knitting something satisfying and are not in the mood for a challenge.

I’d been wanting to work with Blue Sky Fibers for a while, and their new Eco-Cashmere was exactly the yarn I was looking for: quietly lovely; airy and warm; springy enough to hold its shape; so soft that you’d want it around your neck all the time. I was delighted when they loved the idea as much as I did, and were happy to provided yarn support for the design.

The name, Spadina Avenue (with a long ‘i’: looks like ‘Spa-dee-na’, sounds like ‘Spa-dye-na’), comes from the way the slipped stitch columns run the length of the cowl, through the stockinette section and the graduated garter stitch at the top and bottom, which reminded me of the vibrant, bustling thoroughfare that runs from Bloor Street almost to the lakeshore in Toronto, where I grew up. It also seems appropriate to name this warm, chest-covering cowl for a place that gets seriously cold and windy in the winter, even without the Polar Vortex.

The pattern for Spadina Avenue is now available on Ravelry and Loveknitting (Loveknitting also carries the yarn, which is extra convenient). Spadina Avenue is the kind of design that could work in a lot of different yarns, though—I’m thinking of making myself one in some handspun CVM wool—so if you’re stash diving for this project, look for a soft, lofty DK to light worsted weight yarn that gives a solid (but not stiff) fabric at the pattern’s gauge of 18.5 sts to 4 in/10cm. About 295 yds/270m of yarn should be enough for your own Spadina Avenue.

Modeled photos by Gale Zucker.

4 Comments

  1. Kristin Fletcher

    Beautiful!

  2. I love it – and the slipped column covers the blip where you switch between knit and purl. So smart!

    1. You have spotted the secret feature! (Which I really should have mentioned as I was pretty pleased with it, so thank you for pointing out that detail.) Yes, the slipped stitches hide the end of round jog, so if you weave your ends in carefully, no-one can tell where the rounds begin or end.

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