Sunday, October 4, 2015

A chevron cowl


Autumn took its sweet time arriving this year. September stayed warm, even hot some days, with very little rain. Well, there was that one day when we got nearly the entire month's rainfall in one afternoon, but other than that, it was a hot, dry, relentlessly sunny and summery month and I wasn't enjoying it much by the end. But here we are in the first week of October with a drastic change in the weather. Friday night brought a major pattern change and now it's cold and wet. It will dry out but it isn't likely to heat up again. And that means it won't be too much longer before I can wear the cowl I made this summer - that long item I crocheted during July and August, when nothing warm was needed. I decided to wait to share it here, to keep it seasonal. As much as I love fall, I never let myself jump the gun in welcoming it. The surprise hot days will feel even more oppressive, I have found. I'm superstitious that way; as in childhood, I still wish on stars sometimes, and when a digital clock reads 11:11. Old habits die hard.


For the stitch pattern, I used an old faithful friend, the One-Skein Chevron Scarf by Dena Stelly (Ravelry link). I have made five or six scarves from this pattern as gifts for other people but had yet to make one for myself. I really love this pattern - it's easy, works up very quickly and makes a nice, drapey and open stitch pattern for a very pretty scarf. This is my first project made with real wool. I'd always thought it would be too scratchy to wear next to my skin so I avoided it, in favor of softer synthetic blends. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my cowl isn't scratchy at all. It's warm and soft, and I think it will be lovely to wear.



You might remember that I waffled about whether to make this into a cowl or leave it as a long scarf. I think most people suggested leaving it as a scarf (thank you for your input), but in the end, I decided to join the ends to make a big, loopy cowl. It was just so long - about 15 feet! - that I couldn't see how I'd wear it as a scarf. It seemed silly and possibly sort of dangerous. I could see myself getting caught in doors, or tripping over it. I crocheted the ends together with a row of single crochet. I put one twist in the cowl to try to make the ends match up better.


I love a nice ripple design, don't you? This pattern is particularly nice, I think, because it includes open spaces between the ups and downs of the design. I've made a fair number of ripple-based projects and while I like all the different styles, I've come to prefer a looser, lacier ripple design over a solid one. I also like the way the sections form ridges, sort of accordion-style. It would be rippled if you looked at the end straight on too. Ripples everywhere.


I haven't worn it yet, not outside the house where I try it on periodically. I'm hoping that I'll need to wear it by the end of the month, almost certainly next month. When I do wear it, I'll wrap it three times. This gives the optimal combination of warmth and shape, I think. I've really started to like cowls and infinity scarves in the past couple of years; what I had always thought would give me sort of a bandit look is actually nicer and neater than I'd realized. Warm and cozy too, which is great because when it does get cold here, it gets really, really cold.


Color-wise, I did something a little adventurous with this project: I used yellow! I really wanted to branch out a bit; most of my clothes are gray or black, with soft pastels and mid-tones mixed in. Lately, though, I've been noticing soft gold shades and even recently bought a white top with gold stripes. I've been using gold in my crocheted blankets more lately too. It's a good color. There are five color sections in my cowl - 36 rows each, for balance.

I like what this project made me do: I put an old pattern up to new tricks, I tried a new fiber and a new color, and I had to be decisive about the form (scarf or cowl). At the same time, it was relaxing and soothing to crochet, as I rippled away through the long, not-so-easy-living summer we just had. It was just what I needed.

Chevron Cowl
from Dena Stelly's One-Skein Chevron Scarf pattern (medium width directions)
I/9 (5.5mm) Clover Amour hook
Yarns: I Love This Wool in Winter White, Smoke, Rosewood and Sungold; Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Seaspray

50 comments:

  1. It certainly is a beautiful creation and looks wonderful on you. The perfect winter adornment for optimum warmth, the colours are a delight.

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  2. Oh, so beautiful. Love the colours you have chosen. And I agree about a lacy ripple pattern, adds an extra layer of, well, rippley-ness :) Hope you get lots of chance to wear and enjoy your cowl xx

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  3. It looks great! Well done! I'm looking forward to wearing the cowl I made this summer, too. I messed up just a tiny bit, but I think it'll be okay! Happy October!

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  4. 15ft wow that is long, I can see why you didn't want it as a scarf. It looks good as a cowl, hope you get to wear it a lot :)

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  5. What a lovely cowl, it really suits you, and it will be perfect for the cooler days, when they properly arrive. CJ xx

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  6. It's lovely Jennifer, the colours are perfect.. the yellow really lifts it!

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  7. You look lovely wearing your new cowl. I do like the colour combination, very feminine I think. I have never owned a cowl, maybe this year is the year I'll make one! Have a lovely week. x

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  8. It's gorgeous, Jennifer. Well done! :o)

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  9. It is gorgeous! And looks lovely on you :)

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  10. Beautiful - You and your cowl! I love all of those colours together - my favs. Have a good week, Jennifer. x

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  11. The cowl came out beautifully, Jennifer, and I hope you enjoy wearing it. I can't remember if I told you that the autumn toned hooded cowl I made several years ago got put through the wash and felted :( Yours would still be ok if that happened, but mine is too snug now so I am thinking about making it into some sort of bag. I'm hoping to post a progress report on my blanket and link up with you today, but may consult you for help on the technical part of the process since it is new to me. xx

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  12. That looks so great on you! What a terrific project to have finished just in time for the cold weather :-)

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  13. I love this one! The pattern, the choice of colors are all great. And I really like it as a cowl too.

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  14. Just beautiful. I love the colors together. :-)

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  15. Your cowl is lovely, I really like the addition of the yellow, I've been getting into yellow lately too, it's such a happy colour! What a great way to try new things with an old favourite pattern, I suppose that's what I'm doing too at the minute with my baby quilt, the offbeat colour combo I had chosen was foxing me a little when I was tring to decide on a patchwork patern as I had decided to give machine sewing another go. Now I've gone back to what I know and love and started cutting out hexagons to hand sew, everything makes sense! Enjoy your cowl when you can! x

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  16. I love the colors that you chose for your cowl Jennifer. And it looks absolutely lovely on you. We're still having a string of very warm days in the 70s and even low 80s! Very unusual for October up here in the mountains. Have a lovely week my friend.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  17. Your colours blend beautifully Jennifer, and it looks very warm and cosy. Perfect for the coming cold, and it appears your weather has turned at the same time as ours. A few days ago I was wearing jackets, and today it is 34 C and quite uncomfortable. It seems summer has arrived!

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  18. oh so beautiful - its perfect for you!
    this week has been so hot! i think somewhere along the line spring got lost and we are now in the throws of summer!

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  19. It is wonderful !
    So nice to see you as well :-))))
    As for autumn, here fall has arrived very early this year... Normally september is our indian summer month, but alas, no such luck this hear...

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  20. It's really lovely and the colours are great. 15 feet sounds very long but as a cowl, it's the perfect length became you can wrap it around three times and that makes it very nice and cosy. Enjoy wearing it!

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  21. Beautiful, and looks really lovely on you! Colours give it such a modern look.

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  22. Love that cowl! The colour combination is perfect. Such a simple item but often quite difficult to get just right. You nailed it! J x

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  23. Fabulous. I love the colour combination, I'm a fan of yellow, I love all the mustard which is in our shops over here at the moment. The weather's changed here too, dark and miserable today, I think the rain is in for the day. It's definitely scarf and cowl weather.

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  24. looks beautiful! you have put it together amazingly, well done
    thanx for sharing

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  25. Beautiful colours... and I agree, celebrating autumn too early is always bound to disappoint. We attended an October wedding a few years ago and it was stiflingly (and unseasonably) hot.
    It's wet and cold here too.
    Have a great week.
    S

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  26. It's a lovely cowl, the yarn looks so soft too. What a great project to have ready for the Autumn :-) x

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  27. It's beautiful and really suits you. I love the colours and it was a good decision to make it a cowl rather than a scarf. Have fun wearing it. xx

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  28. Your cowl is really beautiful and the colours are so nice together. I love working with pure wool but normally find it too itchy to wear as a scarf or cowl unless I use merino wool. I also find quite a lot of the synthetic yarns to be itchy even though they feel so soft to touch.

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  29. Really beautiful cowl !!! I love the colors .... well done !! have a lovely day !

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  30. It's lovely, I'm glad you decided to join it. I feel very inspired to make one for myself, it's certainly cold enough here now xx

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  31. Love the colors. A very muted vintage feel. I love making simple cowls. Have wanted to do some color blocked ones so maybe will try that next. Trying to use up my stash so will have to see what I've got. I'm sweating at the moment here. It's 4:00 pm and 109 F. Ugh!

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  32. It looks like it is so soft and yummy to wear, you did a fantastic job my friend.
    Meredith

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  33. It looks gorgeous on you! The colors are fantastic together.

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  34. beautiful.. everyone is knitting up a storm.. learning how to knit is on my list of things to learn one day.

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  35. I think it turned out great and I like how you tried real wool and how it looks wrapped three times around. Good job! We keep having sunny days... it's just weird and odd. This is Oregon and it's acting like California. Poor Cali is super dry. I hope things straighten out. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  36. Jennifer
    That looks very good and great colours too!

    All the best Jan

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  37. Jennifer
    That looks very good and great colours too!

    All the best Jan

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  38. I think this is one of the nicest things you've ever made. The colours are just divine, so subtle and perfect. They are both wintry and warm at once and make me think of woodsmoke and sunsets. I am having an attack of cowl envy right now. xx

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  39. ohhh sweet lady this is wonderful....it looks nice and light too ..

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  40. beauty in the colors all mingling together

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  41. So pretty, and the pop of gold is perfect. Wool is addictive, you know - next thing you'll be buying merino and Bluefaced Leicester. Then alpaca.... :D

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  42. It's lovely, and you look like you'll be really cosy in it ... the gold is a perfect accent to the more more subdued hues. Nicely done m'dear :o)

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  43. It looks so soft and cosy Jennifer, lovely colours. :) xx

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  44. Gorgeous cowl! I love the colors! Looks like it would go with about anything.

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  45. It really is beautiful and I love the colors! I also love yellow and that you used it. I wish I could use more of it but yellow washes me out so bad. Gold, like the one you used, is passable on me, so it is on my rotation of colors from time to time. :)

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  46. That looks so cosy! I will have to try the pattern - I've been looking for a good chevron scarf pattern for ages!

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  47. Love it! Can I link in with my blanket tomorrow? Will it be too late? Jo x

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  48. Jennifer, this is beautiful! Looks so soft and very comfy. :)

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  49. Jennifer it is really lovely. That pink and brown together - yum! I love pink and brown in combination, I love all the colours you have chosen here, and I like your decision to make it is cowl, it seems to wrap round very neatly and looks so cosy. Wishing you many bright, crisp, cold days to wear it! X

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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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