The Urban Collection: Armour Road Socks and Hunter Street Cowl

As March continues to, well, march on, it’s time to update you on the full complement of March patterns in the Urban Collection! (Ravelry link) the Water Street Cardigan got things off to a good start earlier in the month, and I’m pleased to add a couple of spring accessories to the mix as well. As always, these patterns take their names from cities I’ve spent time in as a knitter, and Peterborough, Ontario streets are up this month.

First, allow me to introduce the Armour Road socks (Ravelry link):

Socks5

I have a confession to make. When I first started planning this collection, I gave myself a rule: no socks. I figured, heck, I’ve done a lot of sock designs in the past, so why not push myself towards other ideas? But then I got to thinking and couldn’t resist a pair of quick ones. I’ve lately been enjoying reaching for the DK or sport-weight yarns for socks every so often, since they make for relatively quick and very comfortable socks indeed.

This pair uses 1-2 skeins of Tanis Fiber Arts Yellow Label DK (the line between 1 and 2 skeins is around a Size 10 Ladies’ foot, with ankle circumference of 9″ or less. Those knitting for a longer foot or wider foot/ankle circumference should grab a second skein for safety), and also shows off a lovely and simple twisted stitch pattern running down the instep and the back of the leg. They are shown here in the ‘Dove’ colourway, but would be beautiful in just about any colour you like, I think.

Socks3

These are worked in the round from the cuff down, on 3.25mm needles or your preferred needle size for 6 sts/inch. I quite like the way these show off the twisted stitch motifs, because they look sleek and elegant enough that you’d hardly know they are a slightly bulkier sock than normal. I could see these becoming an easy pair to reach for instead of slippers, on a chilly morning, or worn inside clogs or boots when out and about.

Socks2

One of my goals in for the Urban Collection was a set of garments that would give the knitter a diverse enough wardrobe of knitwear to dress for any occasion. I also wanted to use a variety of yarn weights, since Tanis has several beautiful yarn lines to choose from. (There are one or two yarns that haven’t popped up yet – you might take a guess from there as to what you’ll see in the April patterns! ;) ) So, this meant taking a crack at something using laceweight yarn.

Laceweight wool yarn is, no doubt about it, one of the best ‘bang for your buck’ yarns you can get. A skein of TFA Pink Label laceweight costs less than a skein of sock yarn and has yardage for days. On the other hand, I wanted to avoid using this for a shawl pattern, since I know laceweight shawls can often be intimidating, and since I’ve pulled out several cabled patterns already in this collection, I wanted to make sure I left one or two towards the simple end of the spectrum. And last year I remembered seeing all these girls on campus wearing these loose lacy cowl/scarf things, and thought heck, that’s what I want to do with this yarn.

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Worn ‘single’, the Hunter Street Cowl (Ravelry link) has the appearance of a loose scarf, and worn ‘double’ wrapped around the neck it collapses and scrunches a bit into a comfier and easy accessory. Once again, this piece is shown in the ‘Dove’ colourway, but I could see it being pretty fantastic in a lot of colours. In fact, I might just snap up another skein of Pink Label for just this purpose when I cruise Tanis’ booth at the Knitter’s Frolic next month.

HunterStCowl4b

In thinking this pattern though, I played around for a bit with some all-over lace patterns, but in the end I decided to simplify it even further than that. What resulted was the light and lofty accessory you see here. Worked in the round with a few vertical lace panels placed on a field of stockinette, this is believe it or not a pretty speedy pattern. Completing this one (to a height of 8 inches) took me about a week, and before I’d cast it off I knew I was going to start a second one. It turned out about how I wanted, but I definitely had some leftover yarn. I thought to myself, “dude, why didn’t you just use the whole skein? So I’ve started another one (what with a fit of start-itis this past weekend), and man, this time I’m not stopping until that whole 1000-yd skein is used up. (And I include notes in the pattern about how you can do this to, and still make sure you’ve got enough to use in the final edge and bind-off.)

HunterStCowl5b

Thanks to Bridget for obliging me with cowl photos this past Saturday “on location” in Peterborough, and to Austen (model) and Jane (photographer) for photography help once more with the socks. Thanks also to Kate Atherley for technical editing and to Tanis once more for the collection yarn support.

And thank you, knitting friends, for your interest in these patterns! Working on this collection has been a great project and I will almost be sad to unveil the final 2 patterns in April. (Well, except I will also be happy to show them off, heh).

Happy knitting this fine Tuesday! I hope spring is treating you well so far.

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23 Comments

Filed under accessories, design

23 responses to “The Urban Collection: Armour Road Socks and Hunter Street Cowl

  1. I really want to try making the cowl. It’s lovely!

  2. So cute! I think I’ll definitely need to get the set of these sometime soon. Or at the very least those socks; I’m such a sucker for DK weight socks :)

  3. barefootrooster

    gorgeous. especially that cowl. what a perfect thing for spring!

  4. I really like the pattern on the socks! And I love the cowl.

  5. i have to say that i absoluetly LOVE all of your patterns!! I’m not sure how you have time for all of this knitting but I am obviously doing something wrong because my list of things that I want to knit (mostly from things you’ve done) grows everyday!! I visit your site like 3-4 times a week hoping for a new post…..continue on!!! I love it all!!

  6. Oh, how pretty! I especially like the cowl — so light and airy. Congrats on the pattern collection.

  7. Love those socks. Very pretty. May have to be my to do list.

  8. both the socks and cowl are beautiful!! I’m particularly drawn to the cowl, I can’t ever get enough of them. This one is stunning!

  9. Lindsay

    Beautiful as usual! Both now on my ever growing list!

  10. DK and sport socks are my favorite; they don’t seem as endless as fingering weight, and I don’t have to go down to US size 0 to get gauge! Lovely lovely socks. Just bought the pattern!

  11. I wished I lived in a cold climate so I could sit and knit myself some of your beautiful designs. I’ve never knitted socks so am thinking of starting on a pair. I have in mind a very unusual pattern of yours with cables and beads. May as well go for broke and be adventurous! xo

  12. Linda B

    LOVE those SOCKS!

  13. Jules

    Those socks are to die for! Seriously amazing!

  14. Your socks are lovely but the cowl took my breath away. I will await it’s unveiling.

  15. Caitlyn

    I have a curious question about socks: do you ever find yourself bothered by heavily textured socks when you wear them inside shoes, socks like your bobbled Marching On or beaded Companion patterns? I know that the purl bumps inside my only pair of hand-knitted socks keep me from wearing them for long (although that may be due to the quality of the yarn). Perhaps those patterns are geared more toward around-the-house wear rather than in-the-shoe wear?

    In any event, I continue to be enchanted by the unveiling of each new pattern, and I love how easily the cowl wears with Water St. cardigan. Mission accomplished!

  16. kbn

    no those socks are just down right cool. great ideas!

  17. It’s like Christmas whenever I get a new email announcing an update to this collection! Love, love, love. I want to cast on for that cowl right now!

  18. I am so excited by the idea of designing a collection, both for the knitter and the wearer! I am inspired to organize my projects with this in mind.

  19. Candice

    I found your blog a few months ago and liked it so much I went back to read all your posts in the archive ~ sounds daunting ~ nope it was so entertaining and worth it! Today I finally caught up. Yay! Oh wait now a have to wait for the next post like everyone else :( I’m definately a beginner knitter and had a mild interest in knitting when I stumbled upon your blog, now I’m so excited to knit I am getting ahead of myself. I want to knit socks, sweaters, and mittens…except that I only know how to knit and purl :)

  20. The cowl is truly gorgeous!

  21. I particularly enjoyed hearing about your thought process regarding yarn choice in this post. It’s so interesting to know a little about how a designer’s brain works. Thanks.

  22. I love your two new designs, especially the socks! :)

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