Tag Archive | cowls

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!

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!