Cowls and I, we just don’t get along. I know they’re fashionable and cool. Heavens know they’re in all the shops. And I have tried to get on the bandwagon. I have tried on countless ones in shops, and I have knitted a few. But I still don’t get it. As far as I’m concerned, they mess up your hair when you’re putting them on, they never fit close enough to the neck to prevent the cold wind from creeping in there (naturally, as otherwise you couldn’t get them over your head), and if you double them over they create a big weird lump in the back, making you look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Case in point: look at the big gap between Maja’s neck and the cowl. And now imagine an icy cold wind resting on her exposed neck instead of the sunshine.
But anyway, I keep trying. And sometimes the patterns just look too damn cool to miss out on. And I always think: this might just be the one to finally reveal to me what all the fuss is about…
My latest attempt was the Serafina Cowl, from the well-established team of Carrie Bostick Hoge and Quince & Co. The pattern attracted me immediately with its interesting and original combination of garter stitch and cables. Nobody can deny that it looks lovely!
The pattern as written seems to be too big for most knitters, though, so following their advice I took out one pattern repeat (CO 140 st instead of 168) and went down a needle size. In retrospect I could have cast on even much less and still would have had plenty of width.
The execution itself was not particularly enjoyable. For some reason knitting this caused me physical discomfort. It wasn’t pain, but it wasn’t happy relaxed knitting either. It was probably the combination of endless rounds of knits/purls and a not-so-elastic yarn (Spud & Chloë Sweater, 55% Wool, 45% Cotton) that caused it.
In conclusion, the final result is beautiful and lush, but in my view still not very practical. So for now, my reaction to cowls still remains – a scowl.
I completely agree with you. I’ve been taking a look at cowls on Ravelry but I always find the same problem (and the same for some swaters): the knowledge that my neck is going to get cold anyway :( In those cases I don’t even try…
I always had the same problem until I made the Chickadee Cowl, but much longer (taller) than the pattern called for. I saw a couple of beautiful versions on Ravelry and decided they looked much more cozy and likely to keep out the wind and cold than the usual cowls. And it does! It is my most useful / most worn project to date because of this. http://www.ravelry.com/projects/CoriDawn/chickadee-cowl
Nice cowl, beautiful pics.
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i love cowls. i love knitting them, and i actually find them a little more wearable than shawls or scarves. BUT! i really dislike these smaller, single loop cowls that you have illustrated here (though that doesn’t stop me from knitting them occasionally). i like longer cowls that you can loop twice or three times. like my gap-tastic, which wraps three times, which leaves my neck quite cozy and won’t slowly work itself out like scarves do. i have thought about trying to take a pin to my smaller cowls to try to get it more snug, but i’ve only ever thought about, haven’t actually tried it yet.