Monday, October 28, 2013

Taking It to the Max: Outdoor Testing of Evergreen Sprig Cowl and Headband

You’ve heard it claimed, I’m sure, “there is nothing as warm as wool.”  “You’ll freeze without your wool!”  “Those itchy warm woolies won’t bother you in freezing temperatures!”  Or my favorite, “Stop arguing with your mother, wool stockings are a must for every young girl in a corduroy dress.”  
I'm the one in the pink dress and afflicting wool stockings. 
Love to my big sister beside me.
Don't let that cute smile indicate differently, I was miserable! 
I'm sure the man behind the camera conned me by waving a cute toy.

I’m here to debunk those claims and have photos to prove it.  While wool is still the old-faithful for warmth in freezing temperatures, if you’re allergic or simply looking for a soft alternative, look no further than Blue Sky Alpaca’s organic worsted and multi-cotton.

Originally designed over a year ago, the Evergreen Sprig motif was inspired by the blue spruce right outside my office window.  Its slight change of color to touch of steel blue, made me ponder how to recreate its beauty in a pattern.  Puddles, my Great Dane puppy, helped keep the inspiration at the forefront of my mind.  His favorites are coniferous trees, and as resident branch manager, he rarely walks without carrying one in his mouth.  Once designed, I knew I had to put it to the test to see just how warm it really was.

But how cold does it really get in North Carolina?  
Actually, pretty cold, but not for long durations.

Yes, the freak snow storm provided a great occasion for testing, but I wanted sustained day in and day out testing.  So I could say with absolute certainty, cotton does compete!
Yes, this is North Carolina (January 2013). 
Here's my own branch manager, Puddles, helping clean up from the storm.
He LOVES evergreens too. 
His love of evergreens must be commended as partially inspiring the motif!

A trip to Toronto in January 2013, presented a prime opportunity.  With “heat wave” highs of 11 degrees Fahrenheit, I needed something to keep me warm.  
Do you see that - 11 degrees!

So I put my Evergreen Sprig Cowl and matching headband to the test.
Only the picture is over-exposed.  I'm completely comfortable!
Besides being here today to recount the story, I more than survived.  I enjoyed the experience!
High Park

Ontario Place

Hey, I'm not the only one out in this weather! 
I wonder if he's wearing organic cotton to stay warm, too?

Walking down the practically empty streets, I was comfortable, warm, and stylish, if I do say so myself, in the Blue Sky Alpaca organic cotton accessories to my down coat.

So next time you hear, “wool is the only way!”  You may reply, “no sir, no ma’am, Lindsay at Eco Chic Knits proved cotton can compete!”

The Evergreen Sprig Cowl is available on, Ravelry, Craftsy, Patternfish, and Etsy.  The advanced beginner/ intermediate level pattern – requires knit, purl, color work, and button abilities.  The tech edited pattern includes written instructions, charts, a glossary, and pictures.  1 skein of each color is enough to create both the cowl and the soon to be released, headband, but that is another story for another day.  Happy knitting!

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