Tag Archive | cowls

Trenches Cowl

I’m continuing my trend of knitting things that are not socks, and enjoying it quite a lot. After I finished a project on the first day of the year, I thought I needed to start a new project on the first day too. And not just any project, it was going to be a Wonder Woman project! I had a skein of Holiday Yarns Super Sheep DK in the Wonder Woman colorway from a recent road trip to True Blewe Yarns, and I was eager to knit it into something I could wear.


Choosing the type of project was easy. I don’t wear hats, I just made new mitts, and I didn’t have enough yarn for a scarf or shawl. But I wear a cowl almost every day. I put all the filters into Ravelry to narrow down my choices (don’t you just adore Ravelry??) and discovered a new pattern called Trenches, just published on December 31st. This is how my mind works when picking a pattern: Trenches…hmm, there were trenches in World War I…Wonder Woman fought in the war in the movie, and was in the trenches for the amazing scene at No Man’s Land, so yeah, this is the right pattern! It might be a bit of a stretch, and it’s not really the best yarn to show off the ridges in the pattern, but for me it’s also about the connection between the yarn and what it’s becoming, and this connection pleased me.

It was a fun pattern to knit. Simple but not boring, easy enough to do while watching TV. There’s quite a bit of purling, but I don’t mind purling, so that was fine. Really, it was quite comforting to knit something that didn’t make me think too hard. The only modification I made was to do 10 rounds of ribbing instead of 12 on either end. I wanted to make sure I had enough yarn for all the pattern repeats. And in the end, I had plenty of leftover yarn and could have easily done the full 12 rounds.

I blocked this one pretty aggressively to smooth out the “background” so the trenches might stand out more, and also to shape it evenly. The yarn responded well to the Eucalan wash and the blocking, and it drapes nicely. I’d like to make this pattern again, but in a solid tan/light brown or olive green next time to highlight the texture. But for now, I’m on to another non-sock project!

Knitting, but not Socks

After my Christmas sock-knitting frenzy, I’ve needed a break. The other night, I wanted to binge on the last three episodes of Big Little Lies, and I wanted some knitting to go with it. But I didn’t want to work on socks. I’ve made a lot of socks, I like to make socks, and I’ll keep making socks. But I needed something else. So I poked through my stash and pulled out two skeins I’ve had for over two years. I love the yarn but was never able to find the perfect pattern for it. It was time to decide on a pattern, perfect or not. After perusing Ravelry for a while, I finally settled on the Urchin Cowl and cast on. I modified it slightly so I wouldn’t have to purl as much, so mine doesn’t look much like the example It knit up quickly and I finished it the next night, and I’m quite pleased with it.


The original was designed so you can wear it over the shoulders as well, and I suppose mine could be, but I prefer it as a big, fluffy cowl.


I used two skeins of Plymouth Yarn Wilde, an acrylic/alpaca/wool blend that’s lightweight and airy but still warm and snuggly. I’m so glad I finally bit the bullet and cast it on.

That was so satisfying that this morning I pulled more yarn from my stash and cast on for a pair of fingerless mitts. I chose Cozy Thermal Mitts and paired it with my silver Cascade Yarns Spuntaneous Worsted. Since I’m fighting a cold and there was a Harry Potter marathon on TV today, I was able to get them all done, and they’re perfect.


Okay, not quite perfect: they’re a bit big for me, but still wearable and perfectly warm and cozy. They were so fast and easy to make, and I love that the palms are stockinette. And they really are the same size; the right one just looks bigger because I finished it first and wore it while I made the left one!

Now I have two days left in my holiday weekend and a skein and a half of the Spuntaneous left. Think I can get an infinity scarf done in that amount of time?

It’s Easy Buying Green (Yarn)

The other day I had to leave work early for a doctor’s appointment. It took a while, so there wasn’t really time to go back to work afterward, so I got a bit of fun time. I went and visited my youngest nephew, who I don’t see enough. After that, I wanted to go to the yarn store, but I was going to be good and go get a passport photo taken, since Missouri doesn’t have the Real ID yet and we would need passports to fly starting in January. And in January and February, it’s time for music school auditions. At least three of the girl’s colleges are far enough away that we’ll have to fly. Thus, I needed to get this passport process started ASAP.

As I was driving away from the yarn store neighborhood, I was flipping through radio stations and landed on one I never listen to. It was news, which I never listen to on the radio. But as I listened, the story switched to one about the Real ID, and how Missouri had just gotten an extension through October. I didn’t have an urgent need for the passport photo after all!! If any of you are like me, you know exactly what I did: I turned the car around immediately and drove to the yarn store. It was a sign.

I came home with a single skein of green Plymouth Grande Glow Baby Alpaca, which immediately became a Squishy Soft Cowl within two days. It’s such a lovely pattern, simple and mindless yet not boring to knit or look at. It’s especially nice that you don’t have to keep track of the rounds; no stitch marker needed!


I love this yarn so much, especially the little bit of sparkle woven through. I haven’t decided whether to keep this one or gift it.


My other purchase that day was three balls of Classic Elite Yarns Magnolia, which is a luscious merino/silk blend, in this gorgeous green. (I know: green?? No purple? I can’t explain it. I was apparently in a green mood that day. Christmas spirit, maybe.)


I think this needs to be a shawl/scarf type thing that I can wear during the holidays when I’m feeling festive. But I won’t add any red, because I don’t want it to be exclusively Christmas-y. I’m thinking I might choose the Be Simple Variation for this yarn.

Best thing about these yarns? They were both from the sale section! I walked away spending only $25, and that’s pretty darn good. It probably helps that Christmas is coming and I always hope for a bit of yarn.

This morning I’m home waiting for a couch delivery (more on that soon) so I’m going to take advantage of the time to pull out my yarn and needles! My tender finger is feeling better but I don’t want to rush it, so I’m going to save socks for the weekend and work on something else today. Maybe a Be Simple shawl??

Finished Cowl

Last night was my girl’s last halftime show. They’ll still perform at their competitions, but it’s a wrap at football games for her. She went out with a bang, too: it was an awesome show. I’m actually glad I still have the boy in band so I can still go to the games for shows. But even after four years of high school football games, I still don’t like or understand the game, so it’s always knitting time for me. Last night I was able to finish my Basketweave Cowl.


It’s so soft and squishy! It’s going to be perfect if/when fall actually hits here in the midwest! I cast on 200 stitches on size 8 needles and kept going until I was almost out of yarn.


With that done, I need another mindless knitting project. This morning I tried on that sock I’m not liking, and it was too big anyway so I frogged it. I’ll probably just start a new, simple sock for all my band-related knitting this weekend.

Happy Saturday, friends!

Zuzu’s Petals

I started the week on a high note, finishing my Zuzu’s Petals cowl on Sunday. It was a fast knit, but not quite simple enough for lunchtime knitting. I could definitely see myself making another one. It seemed a little small at first, but then, through the magic of blocking, it became the perfect size, and quite magnificent!

I love the lace, the points, the colors. I love how easy it is to wear, giving you the look of a shawl with the ease of a cowl. This was the perfect way to use this special skein, a souvenir yarn from our first college visit with the girl.

Pattern is Zuzu’s Petals. Yarn is Ella Rae Lace Merino DK, in color 206. I used about 3/4 of the skein, and that was adding two rows at the end too. I’m not sure I’d make it any bigger.

Something else fun: when I finished this project, I officially had zero WIPs! It was the craziest feeling. It was satisfaction in a job well-done, plus the exhilaration of knowing I could cast on for whatever I wanted with no guilt. I don’t know if I’ll ever experience it again, and it didn’t last long: I cast on a new sock Sunday night, so I’d have it ready for Monday lunchtime knitting.

Have you ever finished all your WIPs at one time?

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!


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).


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


My other FO is a delicious shawl.


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


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.


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!