Capucha del Desierto by Millard Fontenot
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Capucha del Desierto

September 2010
Bulky (7 wpi) ?
14 stitches = 4 inches
in stockinette stitch
US 9 - 5.5 mm
US 11 - 8.0 mm
600 - 750 yards (549 - 686 m)
One Size Fits All
This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download

Have you ever deamed a yarn “hideous” and “unusable,” then opened up a magazine or website only to discover something amazing knitted in the exact same yarn? I sure have! You then reach a very humbling resignation--the problem wasn’t with the medium, but with the lack of your imagination and creativity. I drew from that learning experience when I recently found a few skeins of ribbon yarn in my stash I had purchased several years ago on clearance post the big novelty yarn phase. I was determined to challenge myself--to push my design abilities to the limit. The end result was something I love and I’m excited to share!

I’ve been inspired by all of the man shawls, cowls and wraps I’ve seen everywhere lately! It’s nice to witness a broadening of traditional masculine garment boundaries. I wanted to design something unisex in the similar vein to a mawl, but with a little more versatility that one could wear with jeans and boots or a business/dress casual look. The capucha can be worn in several different ways depending on how much slack you allow in the icord ties and it is a lot of fun to knit. It almost serves as a knitting sampler of sorts packed with several knitting techniques (i.e., icord bind-off, applied icord, cables, ribbing, eyelets, paired increases/decreases, short rows, etc.) that could be practiced and developed for use in larger, more advanced knitting projects. It’s also a great stash buster!

The main body is knit with ribbon yarn, but can be substituted with a bulky weight wool. The patterning includes vertical cables and eyelets which serve as channels for the I-cord ties to be laced through. They add functionality and versatility to the accessory, as well as contributing to the overall esthetic. The ribbed collar is knit in a soft merino in a 2x2 ribbing with a few short rows towards the corners. When loosely laced, you can wear the Capucha as a wrap or mawl. When the ties are cinched you have a beautiful cowl. An applied button loop adds to the function and helps abate cool winter winds.