So I will then admit that when I started knitting this next pattern, I was a little scared....no, not scared....hesitant. But I'd seen all these lovely FOs on Ravelry, and they looks so chic and soft and lovely, and a quick knit to boot, I couldn't resist. I cast-on fairly quickly. And since finishing my first ever cowl, I'm happy to say that I've even worn it in public, where there are other people, and I liked it!
The pattern is Spiral Cowl by Keri McKiernan, my version knit in Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk, colorway 139 Peacock. Funny thing to note about this yarn, as I was knitting, my hands started to turn a blue-green color where the yarn sat, especially around my pinky and forefinger where I wrapped the yarn. I was concerned because I didn't want the dye that was leaking onto my hands to also transfer to my neck or other clothing while I wear it. If that were to happen, this cowl (which already had a difficult start) would be much less wearable. I posted a question to the Blue Sky Alpacas group on Ravelry and the response I got said this. This particular color (only 139 Peacock) reacts with some people's body chemistry in a way in which turns your hands the color of the yarn. Not everyone has this issue. She advised that when I go to wet-block my cowl, I let it soak in water to release the excess dye and if that didn't work, to soak it with a little vinegar to set the dye. I didn't need the vinegar. :)
I really like the stitch pattern on this cowl, it's why I feel this pattern is so sleek. If you want, you can fold over the edge and pin or button it down for a different style. Kind of like a fancier kerchief.
I have found the Alpaca Silk to be amazingly soft to the touch, but a bit scratchy on my neck. Not enough to deter me from wearing it, though.
And I found the perfect pin when I was going through my jewelry that was once my grandmother's. The pin is light enough not to drag down the knitting, but sturdy enough to hold the cowl in place. Perfect.