• Dwynwen at Loch Ness Knitting

The Cosagach 'Cosy' Shawl

One of the most rewarding things about dyeing yarn for Loch Ness Knitting is that I am making a material for someone else to use in their creative endeavours. It is the highlight of my day when a customer takes the time to tag me in a social media post or send me a photo of the finished project, made using my yarn. I keep save these photos in my online album and look at them when I need a boost.

As a keen knitter, crocheter and designer myself I have my own ideas about the kind of projects that suit the yarn, and suit me.

So it is always interesting to see other peoples interpretations, especially when it is another designer.

Clare Crouch, designing as Nourish Nurture Knit had been in touch early in my business journey with Loch Ness Knitting to offer support.

When she shared her ideas for exploring and expanding her range of knitting patterns I was delighted to be included.

We discussed the properties of the two dye ranges, the Cafe Collection and the Woodland Collection. In order to create a result that would be consistently repeatable, including during the Winter months, we decided to work with the Cafe Collection.

The finished design features 3 colours from the Cafe Collection, all hand dyed by me using materials from the local Loch Ness Cafe that would otherwise be kitchen waste.

The Loch Shawl, designed by Kate Whiting was already on sale at this point and I'd had great feedback from customers purchasing the kits from me during their visits to Drumnadrochit.

One of the points that had come up was visitors returning home to warmer climates who may not have as much use for a heavy weight shawl, lucky them!

This helped Clare and I to focus on a lighter weight and eventually settle on the DK.

Using DK gave a good meterage or yardage for making the shawl with only 3 skeins of yarn. This would also keep the weight down for posting packages out to online customers.

We also wanted to offer a different shawl shape, although I'm not much of a shawl knitter myself lots of my customers are and I was learning about their preferences to drape and wear shawls in a variety of styles. The final shape for Cosagach uses two rows of increases throughout the piece so that the finished shawl drapes beautifully around the shoulders. It can be worn underneath heavier jackets and coats, or as an indoor layer that is quick to pop on and off.

For many visitors to me in Drumnadrochit their yarn purchase was about creating a lasting memory of their visit to the Highlands. Many of them were completely new or inexperienced knitters. So the pattern should be accessible to them, and I think Clare has done a wonderful job with that. We both love the idea of being part of someones knitting journey, it's a real honour to help open the door to this creative process. With this in mind we felt that offering the shawl as kit, with everything included to get started and knit was a great option.

The name Cosagach was chosen because it roughly translates as 'cosy' in Scottish Gaelic, a language that is spoken in my household. I hope you agree that the finished kit is a beautiful cosy item and if you have made one at home I'd love to see a photo of your finished project.

#knitting #shawl #Gaelic #Highland #Scottish #knittingkit #sustainable #natural #handdyed

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