It always seems like the first half of the year drags by and the last half goes too quickly. I’m not sure why, but the sheer number of events/holidays at the end of the year may have something to do with it. I’ve been sitting on a secret for almost half a year now, and I am so excited to finally let the cat out of the bag!
This, my dears, is the Cady Cowl, which has just been published in the December issue of I Like Crochet Magazine. The Cady Cowl is written for just about any yarn/hook and is also written in multiple sizes. So no matter what yarn you have on hand or who you are hooking for, you’re covered.
Crochet is outside my normal comfort zone, since I am primarily a knitter, and bubblegum pink is way outside my comfort zone, as my mom will tell you. But somehow I really, really love this cowl. I can’t wait to pair it with my royal blue coat to keep stylishly warm this winter.
I highly recommend taking a look through all the patterns in the December issue – if you’re especially interested, I Like Crochet is giving away yarn to make several of the patterns!
As a designer I always have too many ideas and not enough time to knit them. This also applies to all the patterns that are already written – I want to knit them all, but I have limited time and yarn money. About a month ago as I was scrolling through Instagram I saw the most beautiful cowl. Annie Lupton of Boho Chic Fiber Co. was looking for test knitters for her new pattern, the Vintage Damask cowl. I immediately emailed her and felt so lucky to be chosen as a test knitter.
My original colour combination didn’t work as well as I hoped it would. Medium grey and burgundy just looked like a sad rainy day, and this pattern deserved better than that (Pro tip: swatching is not just to check your gauge – it’s also a chance to make sure your colours/yarns work well together). I rummaged around in the stash a little more and unearthed this beautiful skein of hand-dyed yarn that looks like the sea. Perfection.
I happily began knitting, making sure I left my floats loose so the cowl wouldn’t be too bunchy (this is only my 2nd time knitting colourwork). Halfway through the pattern I realized my gauge was off. Instead of going up a needle size from my swatch I had gone down. The cowl fit over my head, but it was not the intended 24″ that the pattern stated. I frantically emailed the designer to see if it was ok for my cowl to be a bit smaller (when you are test knitting a design it’s important to follow the directions to a T and not make alterations). Annie was so nice and said that as long as I was happy with the fit, there was no need to change it. Whew! I happily finished the cowl and was so glad that when I blocked it the cowl grew a little.
All in all, the Vintage Damask cowl was a lovely knit. I can’t wait until it’s cold enough to wear it!
I’ve been eyeing the Fingering Brioche Bandana Cowl by Lavanya Patricella ever since it came out last year. Early last month I finally took the plunge and bought the pattern. I wanted clear but moody colours, so I used Hedgehog Fibers Sock in Nutmeg and Knit Picks Stroll in Midnight Heather. The beginning of the cowl was a challenge as I re-learned how to work brioche and how to fix mistakes. Once I figured it out, though, I brioched night and day!
The pattern directs you to knit the top of the cowl 5″ long, but I wanted mine extra warm and snuggly, so I knit mine 8″ long before starting to decrease for the bandana. I’ve never worked decreases in brioche before, so that was a learning experience. All in all, I very much enjoyed this knit and I want to knit more brioche. All the Brioche!! It’s so squishy and snuggly!
And brioche is reversible! I prefer the Hedgehog side because it is more colourful, but the navy blue side is quite pretty as well. You see it a little in the bottom of the second picture.
There are so many pretty brioche patterns out there. Do you have a favourite? What do you think of brioche knitting?
Will you just look at my finished cowl! It’s gorgeous! I used True Brit from Cathy Carron’s book Cowlgirls as a template, but really this cowl is nothing like the original pattern. Do you ever do that thing where you look at a pattern and you like it except for this, that, and the other thing, and by the time you’ve finished knitting it, it is a completely different object than the designer intended? I like my version much better. Unfortunately I can’t keep it. It is a gift for a friend.
The collar is just big enough to be worn flipped up or down for more or less warmth.
I realized right after I bound off that I picked up stitches for the cowl on the wrong side of the blue section, so my beautiful seaming that I was so proud of is stuck inside the cowl. Oh well. Maybe next time I will remember to look first!
It’s still beautiful, though, and I love it. And no one but me (and you) will know it was a mistake. You will keep my secret, right?
My Baby Flax was chugging along until I stopped reading the directions and missed the sleeve decreases 2″ back. So now it’s in the naughty pile until I make time to rip back and re-knit it correctly.
My True Brit is coming along nicely. Since I took this picture I have finished binding off the first piece and seamed up the edge. I need to block it before I can swatch for the gaiter that will be attached to it.
And as always I am making gnomes.
If you are as overwhelmed by the gnome cuteness as I am you can follow my progress at The Gnome Gallery. I try to take pictures of all my gnomes as I make them.
I try to stick to the knitting queue that I have established. I (mostly) keep my WIPs to a minimum. I start a project, and then I work on it. Sometimes, though, I just need to break out of the box and start a project on a whim.
I’ve had this book for a while, and this cowl has been on my list to make for a few years. The yarn is some of my oldest stash (and I plan to use some handspun as well). Over all, I think this is a pretty responsible whim.
What do you do when “the plan” is no longer working for you?