Friday, November 22, 2013

Cool Twist Cowl





I'm a scarf person. I feel that any outfit can be enhanced just by throwing on a scarf. Consequently, I have a fair number of scarves. Most are simple woven-cotton ones, which I wear to compliment an outfit. I love these scarves but they aren't practical for wintertime. They just aren't warm enough. I have several fleece scarves that are warm but not very stylish. With all the crocheting I do, it's probably surprising that I had not yet made myself a scarf. I'd made them for lots of other people - men, women and children - but never myself. I decided to remedy this for the coming winter, especially since I've been so happy with my new Slouchy Daisy hat, which I made in September. There have been lots of beautiful cowl designs around Ravelry and Blogland lately and I really like them but wasn't sure how I felt about wearing one. I decided to start crocheting and see what happened; maybe it would stay a scarf, maybe it would become a cowl. In the end, it's a cowl with a twist, and I'm liking it very much.

My cowl is simple. It requires very basic crochet skills. I crocheted a piece in long stripes of half-double (hdc) stitches, using Bella Dia's Vintage Vertical Stripe stitch pattern, which is easy and makes such an interesting fabric. I made this piece about 36 inches long and eight inches wide. I wanted it to be warm and cozy without being bulky. I happen to live in a place where the brutally cold days are pretty few and far between, so I didn't feel I needed a very wide or bulky cowl, but this is so easily adapted to anyone's taste, so make it as wide or narrow as you like. Then I made one twist in the center of the piece and sewed the ends together with the long tails of each stripe. If I were doing this again, I would weave in all the tails at one end of the scarf before sewing the ends together. I left them all unwoven because I wasn't sure how many tails I'd need to make a good join. One end's worth would have been plenty.


It's not the neatest join ever but I think it works. It's only minimally lumpy and it lays pretty flat, which is good enough for me. I would recommend leaving your tails quite long, about 8 inches or so, to be sure you have plenty of length for sewing together. Of course, you could crochet the ends together instead of sewing them.

For my cowl, I used Stylecraft Special DK acrylic yarn and a G (4.00mm) hook. I was tempted to dip into my stash of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, but for my first try I decided to go with more utilitarian stuff. I have so much of this yarn now after collecting it for over a year that my color selection is vast and I was able to put together a palette I really like. For this item, I used the following colors: Graphite, Gray, Silver, Grape, Pale Rose, Violet, Bluebell, Lavender and Wisteria. They're placed randomly and I tried to keep similar colors spaced a bit, but I also wanted a blended look here and there and I think it was achieved. I chose my colors with both my usual wardrobe and my new gray slouchy beret in mind. I wear lots of grays, blues and purples; bluish-purples are my favorite colors of all. My favorite jacket to wear in cool weather is soft black pinwale corduroy, slightly fitted with gently puffed sleeves, big black buttons and a hint of peplum. I love the way these cool tones look with black. Cool colors plus a twist = Cool Twist Cowl.


I'm happy with it. It's warm and soft and doesn't feel bulky. It's easy to throw on over a sweater or I can tuck it inside a jacket's collar for more coverage. It worked out nicely, I think. I'm really enjoying getting better at this craft, the stitch techniques as well as the execution of visions for projects. This cowl is a very simple idea and it's certainly not original or unique, but I spent years feeling very frustrated by crochet and believed I'd never master it (even shamefacedly dropping out of an adult-education crochet class in my early twenties) so it's pretty thrilling to be able to bring an idea into creation. You might say I'm hooked; I have grown to truly love crochet.

49 comments:

  1. It's really beautiful. I love the soft heathery colours, they seem right for November somehow. Love the stripes too. X

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  2. What a lovely cowl, you are sure to love it all through the colder months. It is a great feeling when you are able to take an idea and crochet it into something special :)

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  3. That is one pretty cowl! The colours are so lovely all together, well done! Chrissie x

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  4. That's a gorgeous cowl, Jennifer I really MUST learn to crochet!

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  5. It's stunning the colours are just gorgeous together, think I might be coming down with a case of the wanties
    Clare xx

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  6. I love your cowl Jennifer, such a pretty array of colours.......I'm very tempted to crochet one for myself.....utterly lovely.

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  7. That's a stunning cowl and thanks for the link to the blanket tutorial. It looks easy enough for me. I'm still at the beginner stage. I went to a crochet class as well. I didn't leave early, but I didn't learn much either. Hey ho.

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  8. Wow, that's an eye-catching cowl! You're doing so well at crochet! I need to finish Caleb's blanket so I can do something more fun! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  9. Its very pretty Jennifer. I have loads of scarves too and they are nice to accessorize an outfit.

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  10. Looks lovely. I hope you enjoy wearing it. :)
    Have a great weekend. xx

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  11. Beautiful! I made that magic cookie recipe a few minutes ago for a party at some friends' house tonight. Thanks for reminding me of this easy, great recipe. Mine is a little different with butterscotch and chocolate chips, and pecans instead of peanuts.

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  12. Very pretty! Turned out absolutely lovely. =)

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  13. It is awesome when you can visualize something and make it come to life! Outstanding job friend! It is gorgeous...the colors and the simple lines make it a very striking piece!!! I am shocked that you have not made more for your wardrobe because it rocks!!!! A happy weekend you!!!

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  14. Hi Jen, what you have made is brilliant.I love everything about it,the colour the pattern.You will be lovely and warm now x

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  15. I love scarves and this one is very cute!

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  16. Beautiful! Love cowls and yours is very striking with all of the colors.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  17. This is really beautiful Jennifer. I love the colours too.

    Leanne xx

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  18. Well done Jennifer, I could use one of those in cold Ottawa. I like a good scarf in the Fall/Winter. I also like your slouchy daisy hat.

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  19. What a great job you've done Jennifer - it's looking very smart indeed, and the colours go perfectly together; this will really brighten up any outfit and warm you on cool days! Hugs Joy xo

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  20. I love this one. It would probably work well for the "chilly" weather we have here.

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  21. It's absolutely lovely Jennifer, clever you. I'm just in the starting phase of a little crochet thing. A very plain cushion. But it's nice to have something simple to work on when it's late and I'm tired and I don't want to have to concentrate very hard. I hope you guys all have a really nice weekend.

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  22. Well done you - it's just lovely.
    Happy weekend, xx

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  23. You certainly are mastering the crochet. This looks great and your choice colours is simply superb. Love it!!
    Rosie

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  24. It's just beautiful… I love the color combination! It looks really nice over your black top. I hope you have a great weekend!

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  25. Wow -- it's GORGEOUS!!! I LOVE the colors!

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  26. Jennifer, I think your cowl looks absolutely marvellous and the colours are fabulous. Congratulations on a beautiful creation. I'm sure you'll enjoy wearing it and receive many compliments. xoxox

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  27. Gorgeous colours and a really pretty cowl!

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  28. It's so beautiful Jennifer, love it.

    Have a great weekend!!

    Lluisa x

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  29. Well this is beautiful, I'm so glad you're finally hooked, welcome to the club! :) x

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  30. It's really lovely, it looks really warm and cosy. The combination of colours look great together.
    Marianne x

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  31. Love it! Really bright and cheery. It's going to be all warm and lovely too as well as being stylish xx

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  32. A beautiful cowl Jennifer and I love the colours you chose. The stitch looks interesting too. Well done!! I know what you mean by doing your last, I was in the very same boat this year and thought hey hang on I would actually like one too. Enjoy wearing it with pride. I also have to confess that I am a complete hat and scarf addict and you can't see the wood for the tree when you walk into out house as the hat rack is conveniently covered in scarves and hats. Thanks for linking in your bake, you didn't have to alter your post, that was very sweet if you. Enjoy your weekend. Xoxo

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  33. It's really lovely. You've chosen such pretty colours which compliment each other perfectly.

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  34. Hi Jennifer,

    Love the scarf and that it will keep you warm in winter.
    happy weekend
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  35. Hi Jennifer, It's beautiful and I love the colors!!! Well done!!! What a quick and easy make!!! Have a fab happy weekend!!!
    Love
    AMarie

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  36. Hi! I really like your cowl. Hoping to make one for myself too when I get the time.
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Marion

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  37. Jennifer, your cowl is so beautiful. I have made many of them the last few years as gifts and I just love them. I love your stripes, that is not something I have tried yet.

    Well done,
    Meredith

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  38. It's beautiful Jennifer! Love all the sweet colors, you can wear it with almost anything.

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  39. It looks lovely and warm, I like the combination of colours.:)

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  40. Your cowl is wonderful! Hopefully it will keep you nice and warm this winter. It's cold enough to wear scarves/cowls here now, too. I have lots of scarves but only one cowl. I think I need to add a couple more to my wool chest.

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  41. Yay ! Another hooker in the team!
    Love that cowl.

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  42. Hey Jennifer, your cowl is just so pretty!! i love the choice of colours, and i'm always super impressed by any pattern that is made up by someone! so clever! Cate, x

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  43. Beautiful colour combination, Jennifer! I like the fact that it is not bulky, as that can be uncomfortable when trying to button up a coat, and can see that, indeed, it rests very nicely on you. Glad you finally gifted yourself with this pretty cowl; it suits you!

    Poppy

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  44. I am hooked too, Jennifer!!!
    Love all the colored stripes...but...I am way too lazy to keep changing colors like that...Great job!
    Stay warm and cosy!
    Enjoy your weekend♥
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  45. I have just dyed a load of stuff purple and that would be a great addition to my wardrobe. Great scarf Jennifer. Jo x

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  46. That turned out beautiful! I love the colors :)

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  47. I love the colour combo that you have worked out on this Jennifer, so pretty. Hope that you enjoy wearing your cowl, and that there "just enough" cold days! xx

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  48. Looks like you've mastered it to me - your new cowl is beautiful, and the colours you've chosen are lovely.

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Thank you for leaving a comment. It's so good to hear from you! I don't always have time to reply but I try to answer questions when I can.

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