i made a cowl


(First: Thank you, everyone, for your comments on my last post. I’m still heartbroken and angry and afraid, but it is good to know that I am not alone and that we are going to fight for the good of our country, our world, and our collective future, together. Thank you.)

I cast on for a cowl last Friday, and just over a week later, it is finished. As you may remember, I’ve been on a mission to increase my supply of “neck adornment devices” this year, and I’ve been working on an Imogen Cowl since this summer. But in the wake of the election, I just did not have it in me to keep track of the delightful but complicated stitch pattern on that project, and decided that I needed something far simpler to keep my hands busy while my mind reeled…but I still wanted to end up with a cowl. I had a beautiful skein of MadTosh Twist Light, so needed to find something that would work with fingering weight yarn. Scanning through my Queue on Ravelry, I spotted the Willow Cowl pattern, and thought it might be just right. And it was.

I love my Willow Cowl! (Yarn is MadTosh Twist Light in "Mandala")


Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: Willow Cowl
Yarn: MadTosh Twist Light in “Mandala”
Needles: Size 5 (I think? I should check – they might’ve actually been 6’s) 20″ circular
Time to knit: 8 days

This was absolutely the perfect knit for me right now…the pattern was delightfully simple to follow, and the knitting experience was as meditative as I’d hoped for. The construction of the cowl is very clever…there are stockinette sections between the eyelet sections that sort of “sink away” when the cowl is worn, letting those eyelet sections stack gorgeously.

Showing off the neat construction


It was cracking me up, while I was knitting, watching how long the cowl was turning out to be, but it lays so perfectly once I put it on.

New Willow Cowl! (With Little Wave Cardigan)


I love the way it matches my Little Wave cardigan, though it also looks nice with just a long-sleeved tee:

Cowl sans cardigan.


It was too chilly to be cardigan-less for long, though! With Winter on its way, I suspect the “buttoned up” look is what I’ll be sporting more often:

All buttoned up with my new cowl.


The “Mandala” colorway is so gorgeous! It matches a lot of what I tend to wear, though of course now I’m wishing I had a bunch more colors of MadTosh Twist Light to make even more of these cowls. But I’m pretty firmly committed to buying as little yarn as possible in the coming year; I’ve got enough yarn to happily knit sweaters and shawls and cowls for me and for M for probably two straight years, so if I can stop getting distracted by every shiny new pattern and yarn, I’m all set. I’m also wanting to focus my energies on making donations to groups that are doing good work in this frightening new future we are headed towards – the ACLU, the SPLC, Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, RESCUE.org, the Sierra Club…goodness gracious there are so many, and then there are the groups right here in my own community that could use both my money and my energy. I don’t need more yarn. I do need to be able to support groups that I care about, and work towards building up more of a cushion for my own family’s finances. So I’ll be working on finding (or making up) patterns to go with all of the yarn that I have, and gradually working down my stash.

I also plan to integrate crafting and my values in another way, through stitching. I’ve long wanted to do an embroidery series where I stitch words representing my values, and I feel like I’ve been spurred into action on that front now. So expect to see a different sort of stitching appear from time to time, along with posts unpacking what those words mean to me.

3 thoughts on “i made a cowl

  1. Kathryn Corbett

    I love the neck adornment idea! I’ve never made a cowl; just many, many scarves. I’ve recently decided to give away most of my scarves to an organization helping the homeless. Some of them are truly beautiful and we all need beauty in our lives, especially when the world offers us so little of it. But I also have a lot of yarn and a cold neck. And frankly, I like to have more coverage given my children’s habit of grabbing my shirt or attempting to hide toys in my cleavage (it’s not a luggage rack!). And yes, we understand your fear. I’ve been having a gatherings once a week for parents to discuss how we manage our own anxiety while parenting through times like these.

  2. Libby Carswell

    Love the cowl. And appreciate your plan to contribute to organizations that help us all in our uncertainty. We all benefit. SPLC is my new choice.

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