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Knitting Traditions 2018: Wings & Keys Cowl

Start your fall knitting with this nature-inspired subscriber-exclusive pattern.

Hannah Baker Jul 3, 2024 - 3 min read

Knitting Traditions 2018: Wings & Keys Cowl Primary Image

Get ready for fall with this stylish nature-inspired cowl from Knitting Traditions 2018. Photos by George Boe

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My roommate, Erin, is an ornithologist. Like, she studies birds for a living. She is an enthusiastic wildlife biologist who gets excited about every little critter or plant she finds out on walks, along the Poudre River, or in our own backyard. Last summer, she found a caterpillar and put it in a jar with sticks and milkweed leaves, and after a few weeks it broke free of its chrysalis and turned into a beautiful monarch butterfly. She found another caterpillar this week and put it in the jar; it has already started to form its chrysalis.

The Wings & Keys Cowl project reminded me of my roommate, with its colorwork butterflies running through the center. It also features a bee motif, representing another critter my roommate would like to have in the backyard, and a key motif, representing the relationship between technology and nature at the turn of the 20th century.

By 1900, science had unlocked many of nature’s secrets, and technology had started to reshape the world with telephones, electric lighting, and automobiles. This unisex cowl from Knitting Traditions 2018, worked in shades of amber, combines bees and butterflies with vintage brass keys.

If you’re a wildlife biology nerd, or if you just like critters and yarn, this is a fun cowl that’s not only beautiful but is also filled with deep meaning that reflects nature, technology, and history.

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