Recently, we’ve noticed a trend with our stash – an over abundance of mini skein sets. Whether a complementary color pack or gradient set, we can’t resist the perfectly packaged, petite skeins. They are a great way to get acquainted with a new yarn brand, but for us they serve more to appease our indecisiveness. Picking a colorway can be tough, but with a mini skein set you get to take home 5 or 6 colorways!

We’ve been wanting to include a mini skein set in one of our kits for awhile now, but it wasn’t until we discovered Backyard Fiberworks that we made it happen.

When we met Backyard Fiberworks, Alice O’Reily, the mastermind behind the brand, won us over with her colorways. From shocking neons, to exciting variegateds, to rich neutrals, she had it all. Then she wowed us with her Six Pack of Sock that she loving refers to as “color stories.” Without hesitation, we knew this would be the pack we would send!

Each curated pack contains six, 133 yard mini skeins of 100% superwash merino, fingering weight yarn. The yarn is tough enough for a pair of socks, yet lightweight and delicate enough to become a favorite transitional shawl. It holds color in an unbelievable way and knits up effortlessly.

We chose 3 color stories to send:
Graphic Pop – a rich blend of neutrals, with a pop of magenta
My Old Friend the Blues – a fade worthy collection of blue hues
Dove In a Plum Tree – an unexpected mix of colors that are simply made for each other

These special skeins deserved a pattern worthy of their amazing color, but there aren’t many patterns for mini skeins (maybe another reason that our mini skein sets are so often relegated to our stash). Sure there are the amazing patchwork memory blankets, and mini skein projects that call for an extra, full skein of yarn. But an accessory pattern strictly written for a mini skein set it hard to come by. That is until designer Kathleen Dames was put on the project.

The knitwear designer, mostly known for sweaters and shawls knit with bold texture and understated femininity, went to work creating Urchin Plumes, an on-trend cowl that combines repeating stripes with classic, lace accents. The cowl features several elements – a unique construction, a not-so-common cast on, color changes, and lace work – that challenge knitters to learn or practice a skill, while keeping the pattern exciting and engaging. It’s written in two sizes, small and large, which take a half or a full pack of yarn respectively.

The end result is a head turning cowl that looks great worn open and long, as well as wrapped around the neck for extra warmth.

Even though we packed 6 (mini) skeins in the box, there was still room for a few additional goodies. Of course we had out favorite ChiaoGoo needles tucked inside (a US 3 Bamboo Circular in 32″ length for this project!), a cool pair of pop up snips (you know, for all those color changes in the stripe section), and a sticker of our favorite K2tog emoji girls.

Want to see this project kit in action? We go through the box (and say “fun” entirely too many times!) for a more interactive reveal in the video below:

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