With Christmas fast approaching and my health still in a tentative state, I needed to come up with a fairly easy item to make for my Mum. A knitter herself, I wanted to give her something that was both practical and pretty and made in the nicest yarn I could afford. Enter the Gothic Lace Cowl by Tin Can Knits, a beginner level lace pattern that looks striking but is easy to execute. Knitted in Worsted/Aran weight yarn, this would make for a quick knit that wouldn’t tax my brain too much whilst looking stunning. As this was a lace project, I wanted to choose a yarn that wouldn’t overpower the lace. I was browsing a couple of my favourite yarn stores and hit upon Drops Big Delight, a budget friendly 100% wool yarn that comes in a range of vibrant colours.
I hesitated for a while. I was looking for a tonal yarn when I hit upon Big Delight, which is self-striping with a lot of contrast between the stripes. Eventually, I threw caution to the wind and ordered it anyway, opting for the Lava colourway. I figured that it would cheer up the dreary days of winter, plus red really suits my Mum. For needles, I couldn’t find my 5mm needles, so I ordered some Knit Pro Spectra Trendz interchangeable tips.
Now, I’ve used these tips before. Back when I was a new knitter, I had heard the wonders of interchangeable tips so I ordered a Knit Pro Comby Set. This set contained a pair of 4mm Nova tips, a pair of 5mm Symfonie tips and a pair of 6mm Trendz tips. I didn’t really care for the Novas, but I can get along with them and I loved the Symfonie tips. (Well, until one broke on my Mum, but that’s a different story!) The Trendz produced quite a different reaction – I may have threatened to hurl them at a wall at one point. I think this was because I was using plastic needles with acrylic yarn, which made everything about a million times harder than it needed to be. I decided to give them another try, as the yarn I had chosen contained no plastic. They worked out OK, but the points are a little blunt for lace. They look pretty, though!
Back to the Gothic Lace Cowl – this was a superb pattern that was really easy to follow. The repeats are quite short and using Aran weight yarn makes the knitting fly by.
This pattern is written for beginners and it would be a great choice for new knitters or those who are a bit rusty with lace. You’ll need to know basic increases and decreases and you have a choice of written or charted instructions. I used this patterns to practice my chart reading skills which I haven’t used in anger for some time! With this pattern, you have a choice of a cowl (which is what I opted for) or making a longer scarf/ double loop cowl. For this shorter version, I used up almost all of my single ball of Drops Delight.
Another cool feature of the Gothic Lace Cowl is the buttons. There are eight required in all and I used 15mm buttons, which was just about right. You could probably go up to 20mm buttons without too much issue, but any smaller and the buttons won’t, well, button. There are three options here: you can sew the cowl shut or do one of the two options for the button band. I went for the crochet band option using a 6mm hook, which was a bit too big, but I couldn’t be bothered to get up and fetch my 5mm hook!
I went for the buttoned option because some people aren’t too fond of things being close to the neck, so it’s a bit more flexible.
I ended up stretch blocking the Gothic Lace Cowl, as I didn’t have the time to do a full wet blocking. I enlisted my husband and we pulled it as hard as we dared, getting it pretty close to the right size. In future I would totally do a full wet blocking, I just need to plan things a little better! I sewed the buttons on using red Perle cotton, hopefully well enough to withstand hard wear.
Overall, the Gothic Lace Cowl was a great knit and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is lace-curious or someone who just wants a nice relaxing knit. I would also recommend the Drops Delight Yarn in general as well as specifically for this project. It has a lovely texture and despite a slight halo, it has remarkably good stitch definition. But, the main thing is that the recipient was happy and that’s all that matters 🙂
Thanks for reading!
The Gothic Lace Cowl is a free pattern offered by the awesome Tin Can Knits, who have many lust-worthy patterns in their collection. You can find the Gothic Lace Cowl on Ravelry here.
You can find my Ravelry project for the Gothic Lace Cowl here.
All of my supplies for this project came from Wool Warehouse,