Tag Archive | cowls

Wood Sorrel Cowl

My latest FO happens to be a project I test-knit for a new pattern designer, Laura Cameron. I don’t volunteer for a lot of test-knitting because I just don’t have a ton of time, but I was really glad I made the time for this one. I ended up with a gorgeous new cowl!

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Laura’s pattern is called Wood Sorrel and is available on Ravelry now. It calls for 450-500 yards of DK or light worsted weight. She used a beautiful hand-dyed merino in a shade of green that perfectly complements the leafy lace pattern. Since I’m trying to curtail my yarn-buying, I shopped from my stash and came up with two skeins of Berroco Fiora in Tybee (aka gray).

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It’s a long cast-on but once I got that done and joined, it was smooth sailing. The lace pattern was complex enough to keep it interesting through four repeats, but not so complicated that I got confused or frustrated. As long as I mostly paid attention, I was fine. I did watch TV through a lot of it, and that worked out well enough — just don’t pick something you have to actually watch most of the time!

The pattern was attractively laid-out, well-written and clear, very easy to follow. I love that she included the written instructions as well as the chart, since I’m not a huge fan of charts.

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I followed the pattern exactly as written and used 430 yards, and my cowl is a big, wonderfully wearable double-loop scarf. I think it’ll be great for cooler spring and fall days, since the Fiora has a good amount of cotton. But I wish I’d done like Laura and chosen a pretty squishy merino in green or brown. And wool seems to have better stitch definition than this cotton blend, although I do think it turned out lovely. Don’t be surprised if you see this pattern show up again in an earthy-colored wool!

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You can see Laura’s other patterns on her Ravelry page, check out her blog here, or see what handspun yarn she’s got for sale in her Etsy shop here.

Pretty in Pink

Do you know how hard it is to photograph the color pink? It’s really hard. It might even be harder than red. I have two FOs to show off today, but I struggled to show the true beauty of the pink. It’s one of those that’s really best in person, but still, I’ll try.

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The pattern is A Noble Cowl and it was lovely to knit. Interesting lace without being too difficult. I used one of my yarn treasures from our Colorado excursion, my Baah! Sonoma in Pink Tourmaline. I love this yarn. It feels so nice in my fingers and is just firm enough to cooperate perfectly with the needles, plus it blocks out wonderfully. The colors are stunning too.

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I ran out of yarn and couldn’t do the full pattern, but I think it blocked out plenty tall enough, and I love the scalloped edge.

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My other FO is a delicious shawl.

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The pattern is called Frisson and I’ve already worn this one a couple of times.

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The yarn is Manos del Uruguay Fino, which is a merino/silk blend that is simply heavenly. I wanted to knit on this shawl every day because the yarn felt so good in my hands. And wearing it is just as delightful because it’s soft and lightweight despite its impressive length.

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That’s even one point shorter than the pattern! The knitting of this one wasn’t as easy as the cowl; I had some difficulties as I was getting started (you can read my Ravelry notes here) but once I got used to it, it was a smooth and pleasant process.

Today I’m hoping to finish the cowl I’m test-knitting, though I won’t be able to show that off for another week or so. Happy knitting, friends!

Wonder Woman cowl

I finished this cowl several days ago, and actually blocked it last weekend, but I didn’t get around to taking photos until today. It started with one of those skeins that seem almost too special to use, you know, the kind that need the “perfect pattern” before you can knit with it. But it also kept calling my name, and finally I gave in.

I wanted a long cowl, an infinity scarf I could wear doubled. At first I thought I’d just use the one variegated yarn, but I saw it on the shelf next to a solid red, which gave me ideas.

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I looked at so many patterns trying to decide on one, and finally chose the Hogan Infinity Scarf, which I’ve made before.

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It was faster to knit than the last time I made it, which was two years ago, so that makes me feel like I’m a better knitter than I used to be, and that’s a good feeling!

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I modified the pattern by doing garter stitch edges instead of stockinette, and by added two extra repeats of the lace pattern in the middle. I wanted to use as much of the Wonder Woman yarn as possible, but in hindsight I think it might have been a more wearable width had I just done one extra repeat. I don’t know how often I’ll wear it, since they aren’t colors I wear often, but I love how it came out, and I really enjoyed making it.

Since I finished that, I’ve mostly been working on my cardigan. It’s going well, very smoothly. I counted my stitches before I put the sleeves on waste yarn and was quite pleased that I had the right number! Now I’m increasing the fronts and then I’ll just have to knit it as long as I want it, and then do the sleeves.

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I’m looking forward to the sleeves, honestly. I love knitting in the round! So far this has been a good experience for my first sweater, but I foresee getting a little bored. My next sweater might have to have a little more detail to it.

My little sock is coming along, too, though I haven’t paid it much attention in the last week or so.

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You’ll notice it’s still on DPNs. I tried my tiny circs and didn’t care for that at all. It surprised me, because I’ve used them for baby hats before and didn’t mind them. Part of the problem is that it seemed like there were too few stitches for the needles (64) and the stitches were stretched out too much. But mostly it just felt awkward. So I’m back to DPNs, my short DPNs this time, and it’s fine.

Hopefully you all are enjoying weather as beautiful as we are, sunny and 60s! Happy knitting, friends!

Two New Cowls

Today’s a holiday = I have the day off = you get a bonus blog post! I finished a cowl last night and I’m kind of proud of this one. I’m very much a pattern knitter. I pick out a pattern and I make that pattern. I rarely make modifications, but I had to this time. I knew I wanted a long gray cowl, one I could wear doubled. I picked yarn from my stash (Berroco Lustra in a dark silvery gray) but couldn’t find a pattern I liked. Nothing matched what the yarn wanted to be. Finally I found this Lush-ious Swirl Cowl pattern, which kind of looked like scales to me. But it was a short cowl, and I wanted a long cowl. I went through all the cowls I’d made in the past, trying to figure out a good stitch count to cast on, and I cast on and ripped out two attempts before settling on 200. I also didn’t want the wavy edge that looked like it might roll a lot, so I added ribbing on either edge. Then I was off to the races!

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This was a really fun, quick knit for me, and so satisfying to have it turn out just like I wanted! I’m not sure it needs to be blocked, because I don’t want to lose the texture of the swirly scales, but I’m a little worried that the Lustra might be kind of itchy and am wondering if a Eucalan bath might help? I’m pondering that. I’ll probably do a test-run first and see how it feels. I liked the pattern enough that I could definitely see myself making one per the pattern as well.

That’s not my only new cowl, though. I finally got around to blocking my Simply Tonks cowl and I like this one too.

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Aren’t the colors gorgeous?? The yarn is a color called Don’t Call Me Nymphadora in Supernatural Yarns’ Harpy DK. I loved knitting with it: it’s a firm yarn (if that makes sense), not limp or droopy. Great stitch definition. And did I mention the colors? She also makes fantastic project bags (I have two) so you should definitely check out her Etsy shop! Oh, and the pattern is Simple Yet Effective by Tin Can Knits. This was perfect mindless knitting.

Finally, here’s one last photo of my Hitchhiker Beyond so you can see more than just the tails. Between the colors and the shape, I’m guessing I’ll wear this one a lot.

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I seem to have entered a phase of Finish-itis, so it’ll be interesting to see which of my five WIPs will get done next: socks (I’m on the first sock), two shawls, a cardigan, and a blanket. Hm. I might need to add something simpler to the mix!

Frogging Time

I frogged two projects last weekend. Two completed, lovely projects. Maybe some of you are shocked, wondering if I’m crazy. Or maybe some you (knitters/crocheters) are nodding in commiseration. WHY did I do this, after spending hours carefully making pretty things? I swear it was for a good cause: I was rescuing the yarn. In both cases, the yarn was gorgeous and expensive, and I wanted to be able to wear it and enjoy it.

The first project was my Hill & Dale cowl. It knit up beautifully, showcased the colors nicely–but I could not get it to look or feel right around my neck. One loop was too big. Two loops made a giant mass of fabric that felt suffocating and looked ridiculous. Plus I couldn’t get the ribbed portion to lay neatly like it does in the project photos. I tried to wear it twice and both times took it off before leaving the house. It’s very possible mine came out slightly shorter than theirs; I didn’t measure. So I don’t blame the pattern at all. It’s a beautiful pattern, makes a lovely cowl. Just not right for me. That was two full skeins of Malabrigo, knitters. I did NOT want that to go unworn in a drawer. So, I frogged it and now I have that yummy yarn to play with again!

The other was an older project, a little shawlette I called Chocolate Cherries. The pattern is Find a Penny, and again, the pattern is fine. Well-written, lovely shawl. I’d bought two gorgeous skeins of cherry chocolate yarn that made me think of my dad and his love for chocolate-covered cherries, and this shawl used one. It was beautiful!

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Sadly, it was also too short for me, too short to wear around my neck like a scarf. I even blocked it as much as I could and while it helped, it wasn’t enough. I might revisit the pattern and see if I can use both skeins to make a long version, since the reason I chose it was for the round eyelets reminiscent of cherries. Or I might pick something else completely different! Right now the yarn is happily resting in my stash, waiting for its time to come.

Have you ever frogged anything that looks beautiful but isn’t what you expected?

Two Button Cowls

I have two finished cowls to share today, both with fun buttons. I like them both and am disappointed with both. Let’s start with the older one.

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I finished knitting this last weekend but just sewed on the buttons today. The pattern called for 60 yards and some of the project pages mentioned it was a little small, so I added in a second color to hopefully stretch my 60 yards. However, I didn’t do it logically or scientifically, so it still came out smaller than I wanted and I had more yarn left over than I wanted. I should have cast on a couple more stitches and weighed the black yarn after doing the first three rows so that I’d know how much I could knit in the center black section. Instead I winged it. I mean, it’s fine. I do like the buttons I chose for it, but they’re a tiny bit too small for the buttonhole so they’re more likely to come out. But it’s cute, it’s wearable, and it was a good choice for the one 60-yard ball of bulky yarn I had in my stash. Pattern is Mochi Neck Cozy.

Okay, so the second cowl I finished knitting last night at the girl’s choir concert. This morning I sewed it together and added buttons. The yarn is Malabrigo Rasta and is GORGEOUS. Love love love these colors. It knit up quickly, it’s soft and will be super warm, and I really like the matte pewter buttons I chose.

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So what’s the problem with this one? It’s taller and snugger than I was expecting, so it’s a bit harder to wear. It’s a tight enough gauge that it doesn’t drape very much. I think at this point I’m going to give it a bath in some Eucalan and see if I can loosen it up. Still, that’s a pretty small problem. This pattern is Comfy Cowl. I love how you can sew it together however you want; off-kilter like the designer did, or with the edges matched up evenly.

The weather here has been cool and gray and rainy lately and I’m afraid it’s affecting my mood. Hope things are brighter where you are!

Two Cowls

Of course the projects I actually finished were newer ones, started after Christmas with new yarn. Of course I couldn’t bring myself to finish a poor old WIP. Well. Maybe that’ll be next.

Yesterday the girl had a District Orchestra performance so I had driving time knitting and concert time knitting, and I was able to bind off the Hill & Dale cowl on the drive home. I don’t think it even needs to be blocked.

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I do love the drape and the colors but it’s kind of hard to wear. Every time I put it on the mannequin, it looked kind of dumb, like this:

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Finally, I got this, which isn’t as lovely as it looks in the pattern photos, but still wearable.

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Pattern is Hill & Dale Cowl, yarn is Malabrigo Rios in Archangel. I used almost all of two skeins.

Then last night, the girl, who is fighting a cold, wanted a movie night, so we settled in for The Sound of Music and I pulled out my Gothic Lace cowl. By the time the credits rolled, I was weaving in ends. I love this cowl!

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Those are crochet button holes. I need to get buttons for the other side so I can show how pretty it will be all buttoned up! I’m thinking silver buttons with a vintage look. I used all the yarn and wish I’d had more to make it a bit longer, but it will be fabulous as is too. But first I do actually need to block this one to open up the lace and just get it all evened out and straight. That’s on my list today. This pattern is Gothic Lace Cowl by Tin Can Knits (don’t you just love their designs??) and the yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage, which is my favorite Madtosh yarn so far. I kind of find Madtosh to be a bit splitty. So even though I love this cowl with this yarn, I still love Malabrigo more. I can’t help it. Malabrigo is my favorite. What’s your favorite yarn?