Cosy Cowl

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‘Knit this up in a weekend…’ yeah, right! You can see how this is going to go…

Back in October, we went off to Cardiff for half term. I packed this project, knowing that I’d have my Mum on hand if I got stuck. I was really pleased with myself: the pattern was from an ancient Molly Makes magazine, and delving into my yarn stash, I spotted three balls of this lovely, soft cashmere / cotton yarn I’d originally bought to make up a baby cardigan for my son. Yes, he’s now nine! Let’s just say I’ve had it a while…

My Mum patiently started me off on my circular needles knitting up the picot edge Β and then handed it over. Mmmm…. while the pattern itself wasn’t too complicated, it involved a lot of careful counting and concentration as each of the thirteen lines shifted slightly each time. And when I say careful counting and concentration, I actually mean silence! Yep, the perfect pattern for a busy mother of two, I get oh, so much silence in my life πŸ˜‰

Anyway the process went like this: I’d knit roughly 5 or 6 lines before I went wrong, then I’d have to wait until I saw my Mum again, who patiently unpicked 3 or 4 of those lines, before I could start again. Lordy, it took all of my patience and was the most frustrating knitting project I’ve ever made! I made on average something like 4 or 5 rows’ progress a week. My Mum kept offering to finish it off for me, but I was determined to see it through. I think it’s what’s called ‘a stubborn streak’.

I copied the pattern out onto separate paper, a few rows at a time, in an attempt to simplify it, with tally charts and post-its carefully marking my place every time I paused. Gradually, it was understood that no one in the room could speak when it came out πŸ˜‰ There was a lot of eye rolling from various members of my family. Eventually, four months later (take that, ‘weekend‘ project!), it was time to hand it back to my Mum to finish the picot trim, leaving me to finish up all the ends.

To say it was a relief to finish it would be an understatement! Probably even more so for my Mum. And there’s no way I’ll be attempting anything like this again, anytime soon. But it is lovely πŸ™‚ I’m not sure I can take the credit for it at all, as without my Mum on hand, I would never have finished it. I probably ended up knitting about three quarters of it at most, but still, I tried. On the plus side, I know this will get loads of wear. It’s pretty, beautifully soft and a good,neutral colour. It’s also warm, but with the added bonus of looking actually quite fresh and Spring-like. Almost worth the blood and tears…

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34 thoughts on “Cosy Cowl

  1. Your cowl is beautiful! I get all nostalgic when I see knitting like that because my mother was a master knitter. She would have finished that in a weekend or less! Well done, if I had attempted that cowl, it would have landed on the UFO pile long time ago!

  2. So worth the effort though – different to any cowl out there that I have seen. Good old Mum! I would have unpicked and made it plain so all credit to you for persevering:)

  3. Looks stunning, so brave tackling it in the first place! Your mum is very clever… Which side of the Pennines does she live, she could start knitting lesson..,sign me up! I’ve never attempted any lace work πŸ˜€

  4. So worth the blood, sweat and tears! I love the colour and it’s so pretty. Big well done to you, I wouldn’t have known where to start.

    • Thank you! It does seem to go with a lot of stuff so far, though because I have to pull it on and off, I do have to be careful not to get it covered in make up! Certainly don’t want to be hand washing it all the time…

  5. Its a really beautiful cowl! Its incredibly impressive that you were determined to knit it all by yourself despite have someone there offering to do all the work! Also I think you should win award for the “Best Use of Stash Yarn that is Nearly a Decade Old” πŸ˜‰

    • ‘All by myself’ might be exaggerating it slightly πŸ˜‰ A joint effort might be more accurate: lots and lots of knitting on my behalf and lots and lots of unpicking on my mum’s behalf πŸ˜‰

  6. It is beautiful! I have been knitting half of my life and lace is hard. You are correct in saying it need to be very quite to concentrate on the pattern πŸ™‚ But the end results are worth it. Bravo!

  7. It’s beautiful and you are very lucky to have your mum at hand to help you out with the tricky bits x I think you will be spoiling her on Mothering Sunday!
    It was terrible when my mum used to teach me knitting as a teenager because she was left-handed (whilst I’m right-handed) we used to get into such muddles… I eventually re-taught myself to knit at art college in the ’90’s but haven’t really done any since then! I don’t think I have your patience to take it up again..

  8. Beautiful work. Well done for finishing! I think I’ve forgotten how to knit. Trying to knit socks at the mo and have had to start over for the third time because i keep going wrong. Since I’ve discovered sewing I’ve hardly done any knitting at all because I like the quick fix that sewing gives me.

    • Sewing has definitely taken over for me too. So much easier to get the fit right! I do like knitting in the evenings though, my eyes are rubbish at sewing in unnatural light these days…

    • Thank you, that’s really kind. I think it’s like most things, pretty easy once you get the hang of it. It was the counting and the constantly moving pattern (rather than the pattern itself) that proved difficult on this!

  9. It is gorgeous and will go with practically everything. I am SO with you on how annoying those make it in a weekend/afternoon/spare hour while you’re having your nails done sort of claims. I started a lacy cardigan last spring (similar colour to your cowl actually) and it has been (temporarily?) abandoned. It has taken so many frustrating hours – I really can’t decide whether to cut my losses and declare it over or to press on for the sake of those hours already given – feel a bit like Macbeth in terms of decision making angst! Have a good weekend.

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