I love cowls. I remember knitting my first cowl out of my very first skein of Malabrigo Worsted. After wearing it once, I was convinced they would always have a place in my wardrobe.
Recently I read about cowls being the “lazy knitter’s scarf”. I don’t know if that is true for everyone, but it is true for me. Honestly, I have knit exactly one scarf in my entire knitting career. It was my third project. Thankful my husband likes it and still wears it because he isn’t likely to get another. Cowls on the other hand, I can knit them as the day is long. They can be complex or very simple. They can showcase a beautiful skein of yarn or a great stitch pattern. Best of all, you can knit them in the round or from end to end.
Of course, you can also call your cowl an “infinity scarf” which I find ironic because I think it takes an infinite amount of time to knit a full length scarf. But if you shorten that up and sew it together, viola, infinity scarf.
Since there is still winter left here in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn is approaching in the Southern Hemisphere, here are some cowls to inspire you. I have paired them with yarns available from PolkaDotSheep. We also stock all the cowl patterns at PolkaDotSheep.
A simple pattern of knits and purls and sport weight yarn make this cowl both functional and fashionable. As an additional bonus, the stitch pattern is totally reversible so there is never wrong side showing. The pattern is written for two lengths.
This cowl is beautiful with delicate reversible cables. Wear it as shown in the picture as a lovely accessory or knit it up in a cozy plump wool and wrap it around your neck. I love this cowl, it has the versatility that I love in cowls. Jennifer, the designer, says the name Nechama means comfort in Hebrew. What more could you want in knitwear than comfort?
Knit in a lattice lace pattern, this cowl would be an elegant addition to your springtime and summer wardrobe. If you want to give lace as try, this pattern would be a great first project.
The stitch pattern in this cowl is gorgeous. All the details are formed with twisted stitches so there is only knitting and purling. You will only need 100 to 150 yards of worsted weight yarn so it is perfect as a one skein project. Twisted stitches are so much fun. If you have never played with them, the Rowan Cowl is a great project to try. When you are finished with the cowl, you can try the Creme de Noyauz Mitts or Creme de Noyaux Gloves by Dagmar with twisted stitch designs as well.
Hopefully, you are feeling inspired by these cowls and infinity scarves. This is a great time in the knitter’s calendar start a new project. I always find that I have startitis (urge to start new projects without finishing other projects) in March. My reason is that I live far enough north that I can’t start gardening but want that newness of the seasonal change. How about you? Do you have seasonal knitting or crocheting urges?
Remember the Cassis Sweater KAL continues until March 15th. The Ravelry thread will continue to be at the top of the discussion board for a few weeks after the finish date. It will still exist on the board even after it is no longer at the top. We don’t delete threads and it can always be found by searching.
Sweater knitting is a different experience for me personally. It is my knitting growing edge for sure.
There are several reasons sweaters or more properly garments for adults are my knitting growth edge. First, because they are large projects, I get bored with them. No surprise there, I am a knitting project starter more than a finisher. Because garments for adults get worn much longer and not outgrown like children’s garments, my brain tells me it is more important to get them exactly right. Now this is slightly silly since I have purchased plenty of garments that aren’t exactly right and I am okay with that.
So, once we get to exactly right land, I have a challenge on my hands. My standard operating procedure for this situation is to freeze up and not move on. You know, deer in the headlights effect. While you might not have this challenge with knitting sweaters or in knitting in general, my guess is that you too have run into this phenomenon somewhere in your life. So this is what the Cassis KAL is for me, an opportunity to push past that frozen stance and actually knit a sweater. Who knew knitting could teach you so much about yourself and how you approach life?
My progress isn’t terribly spectacular. I am also knitting a sweater for my daughter. However, I am optimistic I will finish by the end of the KAL, March 15. Some participants have finished. You can see more in progress or finished sweater pictures over in the Ravelry thread.
The above picture is the Cassis KAL class held in the Knit ‘n Needle Yarn Shoppe itself (home of Polkadotsheep.com). At the end of this post I will tell you what yarns in the background.
As you move towards the end of your sweater, here are some consideration to think on.
- Your bind off at the bottom of the sweater and at the cuffs. The pattern directs you to bind off in pattern. As you work, be careful you do not bind off too tightly. The fronts of your sweater will not drape as you might hope if your cast off is pulling inward.
- Remember your gauge may be a bit tighter as you knit in the round on the sleeves than the body flat. I know that this can be the case for me. The reason for this difference is many people purl looser than they knit. Just be mindful and keep it relaxed.
- Your sleeves decreases. The rate of decreases may be a bit quick for your arms especially with long sleeves. I encourage you to try on your sweater when you have one sleeve knit to just above the elbow to judge the fit. If it is too snug, consider slowing the rate of decreases to one or two more rounds between decreases. For example, if you are decreasing at every 5th round, try decreasing every 6th or 7th round.
- Be willing to rip out something that doesn’t satisfy you. I have learned that designers may spend more time unmaking a design as making the design. Knitting is super forgiving. There isn’t many things in life that are as easy as knitting to take apart and put back together again. In sewing you will need more fabric to cut new pieces, in cooking, you will need all the ingredients again, in golf you can’t get a stroke back. Embrace this wonderfully little perk of working with yarn and needles (or hook, it is true for crochet as well).
As promised, the yarn in picture of Knit ‘n Needle
- Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky – upper left hand corner
- Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted Cotton – center back hanging on pegs (also my favorite cotton of all time)
- Wide selection of sock yarn (fingering weight) – upper right looking through the door to back room.
Tell us about your Cassis progress or finished project in the comments or in the Ravelry KAL thread.
What has knitting or crocheting taught you about yourself? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Happy yarn loving!
~ Angela M.
Other posts in this series: