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.
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