A Cowl for all Seasons

I’ve been asked more than once “How many of those things do you own?” I usually answer “more than is normal, less than is crazy”.  In my opinion,  the cowl is the perfect knit accessory.  They’re warm, fashionable, easy to make and fun to wear. My new mantra:

The cowl is to the scarf what the muffin top is to the muffin.  -me.

Okay, my love for cowls may be verging on crazy.  I’ve recently started justifying shoe purchases by knitting cowls to match them.   

Example #1 – These little green ballet flats.  A fun color, but with a netural wardrobe, I wear them surprisingly often.  Well, I’ll be wearing them even more often this fall with this matching cowl. 

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It’s the Ridged Lace Cowl by Elinor Brown.  I knit it in the luxurious Angora Bamboo yarn by Patons.  It’s lacy and soft without being bulky.  The perfect compliment for these dainty little flats.

Yeah, it’s hard to imagine how a pair of bright pink knit boots will fit into your wardrobe.  That is, unless you know how to whip up a matching pink cowl in two hours or less.  These boot/shoes are by one of my favorite shoe companies, Simple.  They use great ecological manufacturing processes like non-toxic glues, recycled tire soles, natural and organic materials.

Their perfect compliment? – another one of my 50 stitch cowls.  (Actually, this one’s 46 to be exact).  Lion Brand Thick and Quick yarn, size 13 circulars, knit til you’re out of yarn. And Voila! A simple, sporty knit cowl to match those Simple sporty knit boots. 

So go ahead, find that piece in your wardrobe that you love but never wear and see if a matching cowl doesn’t move it to the front hanger.

Feelin’ Scrappy Mitts

Grab your leftovers and whip up these scrappy mitts in no time.

On vacation in New Mexico this summer, I stumbled into a great yarn and weaving gallery – Weaving Southwest in Taos.   I bought a skein of hand dyed thick and thin wool (available online here).  I try not to buy yarn without a plan, but this was too pretty to pass up.  When it came time to start knitting, I turned to my old faithful: the 50 stitch cowl.  It never fails.  Throw 50 stitches of any super bulky yarn on a size 13 circular needle and knit to the perfect length (mine is 12″). 

Cowl finished and never one to let leftovers go to waste, I started working on these aptly named mitts.  I used the remaining thick and thin yarn from the cowl and the leftovers from the garter snake purse to whip up these super quick matching mitts.  Here’s how I made them:

Yarn:  leftover thick and thin wool and super bulky wool

Needles: Size 13 straight needles

Cast on 18 stitches of the thick and thin yarn and knit in stockinette stitch for 5 inches.

Switch to the solid bulky yarn and knit in a 1×1 rib for 3″.  Bind off in pattern. 

To finish, just seam them up leaving a 1″ hole for your thumb about 1 1/2″  from the top edge. 

Voila!  Who says leftovers can’t be exciting?