Valfières cowl


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Enveloped by towering stone walls, I hike towards the end of the steephead valley.

The elusive forces of water sculpted this landscape, meticulously dissolving rocks over eons.

At the heart of this geological wonder lies a tufa waterfall, like a hidden jewel. Its water slowly deposits minerals, shaping rocky draperies as it passes. Mosses, nature’s delicate embroideries, embellish the rock with their emerald hues.

The Valfières cowl is inspired by the steephead valley and tufa waterfall of Baume-les-Messieurs. The cowl artfully combines lace and cables, dancing across the cowl like rimstone pools and waterfalls. The gradient yarn is an ode to Baume-les-Messieurs’ nature too, with its blue waters, ocher earth, and verdant mosses. Join us on this refreshing journey!

The cowl name is a wordplay on tufière, tufa waterfall in French, and valley. Reculée is French for steephead valley.

For best effect, use a round yarn with good stitch definition. Yarn weights ranging from Fingering to Worsted would be suitable. As for colorways, I would recommend solid or semi-solid yarns, a single-skein gradient, or a self-striping yarn with a very long color repeat.

Do you like the Valfières cowl? You might like those patterns too: The Viomée cowl, and the Aquilō cowl. For endless fun with lace and cables! Check them out!

Fierce Fibers Gold Cache (Fingering; 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Gold Stellina; 366 meters / 400 yards per 115 grams); 1 cake; sample uses 111 grams in color Tide Pods.

3 mm (US size 2.5) 80 cm / 32 inches circular needle or size to obtain gauge.

27 stitches and 37 rows = 10 cm / 4 inches in Stockinette stitch, unblocked.
19 stitches and 31 rows = 10 cm / 4 inches in stitch pattern C – Tufière & Reculée, blocked.
Note: obtaining the gauge given is not crucial but will affect the finished size and the yardage needed.

Removable stitch markers: 1 in color A (beginning-of-round marker), 7 in color B (optional). Cable needle. Tapestry needle. Blocking pins. Blocking wires (optional).

One; easily customizable.

Final measurements
Circumference (c): 118 cm / 46.5 inches, maximum height (h): 34 cm / 13.5 inches, minimum height: 27 cm / 10.75 inches.

Skill level
Basic stitches, increases, single decreases (knits and purls), double decreases, twisted stitches, cable stitches. Stitch pattern requiring some attention. Patterning on all rounds. Dealing with changing stitch counts. Elastic BO.
Video tutorials are provided for the stitches and techniques used.

Pattern notes
This pattern is worked in the round. The stitch count varies throughout some of the stitch patterns. Suggestions are given to customize the pattern.
Charts and written instructions are provided, as well as clear video tutorials for the used stitches and techniques.

Pattern support
For questions about this pattern, please PM me on Ravelry or send me an email. Contact details are provided.

Thank you note
I’d like to send a big thank you to my truly awesome test knitters on Ravelry: canopycraft. Thanks a lot for your time and dedication, for helping me make this pattern even better and for showing how the pattern would look like with different yarns!

Yarn ideas
Do you need ideas for gradient yarns? Here you go!
Here are some suggestions for a few specific yarns in varying yarn weights (and in no particular order). Choose a round yarn without halo or fluff and good stitch definition. Please plan your substitution and check the put up and fiber content before buying (cotton and alpaca are heavier than wool, for example):

  • https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/knit-picks-stroll-gradient
  • https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/lang-yarns-ayumi
  • https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/lang-yarns-puno
  • https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/hikoo-by-skacel-concentric-cotton
  • https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/wendys-wonders-merino-nylon-sportweight-75-25
  • https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/schoppel-wolle-zauberball-cotton
  • https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/schoppel-wolle-zauberball100
  • https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/scheepjes-whirl
  • https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/scheepjes-woolly-whirl
  • https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/lafeefil-merino-nylon-light-fingering-gradient
  • https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/squirrels-yarns-noisette-fing-500
  • https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/squirrels-yarns-tourbillon-noisette-sport

Indie dyers who make a lot of gradient yarns:

  • https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/brands/fierce-fibers
  • https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/brands/knitwhits-freia-handpaints
  • https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/brands/bilum-hand-dyed-yarns
  • And more here: https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/search#ya=gradient%2Bhand-dyed&sort=best&view=thumblist
  • And even more on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/search?q=gradient%20yarn

More gradient yarns on Ravelry, per weight:

  • Worsted: https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/search#ya=gradient&weight=worsted&sort=best&view=thumblist
  • DK: https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/search#weight=dk&ya=gradient&sort=best&view=thumblist
  • Sport: https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/search#ya=gradient&weight=sport&sort=best&view=thumblist
  • Fingering: https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/search#ya=gradient&weight=fingering&sort=best&view=thumblist
  • Lace: https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/search#ya=gradient&weight=lace&sort=best&view=thumblist

If you’d like to use a gradient yarn, I’d suggest using the following options to work the pattern:

  • 1 strand from a large skein of yarn with one continuous gradient
  • 1 strand from two 100g skeins with one continuous gradient and use them “head to toe” (for example: light to dark then dark to light, forming a double gradient)
  • 2 strands held together from two balls of light-weight yarns, starting at exactly the same color for both
  • one gradient yarn completed at the beginning and end with the matching colors to transition in and out of the gradient
  • a set of gradient skeins from your favorite local brand or dyer. If you are using a light-weight and two strands, you can even fade them at the color transitions (for example: two strands in color A, then one strand in color A and one strand in color B, then two strands in color B, etc.)
  • you could even try to dye your own gradient yarns
  • or you could dye the finished project to have full control of the color transitions (please practice dyeing before you dye your project!)
  • of course, you can use a lighter-weight yarn, like lace held single to knit the pattern. In that case, check your gauge to maintain good measurements (and most probably add some pattern repeats). The yardage will really depend on whether you want to maintain the measurements.
  • and you can use a heavier-weight yarn, like DK or Worsted and make the pattern larger. In that case, check your gauge to maintain good measurements. You might even want to add some pattern repeats to make the pattern much larger.

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