Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spiral Cowl

It's taken me awhile to warm up to the idea of knitted cowls.  There's a woman in town who has knit some cowls, but the ones I see her wear always look a little...funky...  And I know I've heard people say as she walks by "What is she wearing?"  And not in that good, I-want-one-too, kind of way.  So I think that's where my prejudice first started (keep in mind, I'd seen this woman's knits before I knew how to knit).  But as time goes on, there are so many neat cowl patterns out there, I started having a hard time resisting the urge to mark one as a favorite, or take a closer look.  I was afraid that if I knit a cowl, people would think the same about me, and although I generally hold to the belief that my own self-esteem is more important than what others think, I didn't want to look silly as this aforementioned woman did.  
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. 


  1. It's gorgeous!! I've also been hesitant to knit cowls, but this year for Christmas I'm making both my Mom and sister ones. They seem like such a good idea and now that I've seen yours turn out so beautifully I'm looking forward to starting them! I may even make myself one in the process!! lol

  2. It's beautiful! Great job!