Tuesday, 15 January 2013

A Chunky Knit Cowl



I meant to say on Sunday, but was so tired and scatterbrained I totally forgot - I really did enjoy reading all your comments on how you banish the winter blues. So many good ideas and lots of common sense too; crafting, stocking up the freezer, reading seed catalogues (I loved that one!), bringing spring flowers into the house, fairy lights, adding plants and greenery, an early morning walk, patchwork, cosying up with books and films, drinking up the leftover Christmas Baileys, casseroles, puddings, hot chocolate, bowls of hyacinths, pre-spring cleaning, walks in the snow, a post-Christmas treat or indulgence like new perfume, bunches of daffodils and, finally, bird watching. Wow. I feel happier just thinking about all those things! And what I like is that none of those ideas is expensive or difficult, not like booking a sunny holiday or starting a crazy new diet and exercise regime, they are just simple ways to make the most of winter on the greyest of days.

Thanks also for your comments about Adventure Ted, and the "tyranny" of these nursery/school toys. I'm so glad I'm not alone in my snooping tendencies. I was relieved to hand that bear back to the nursery staff yesterday, I have to say!


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So, to today's business...I have knitted a cowl, and I have to say I am rather happy with it. It is not without it's imperfections and the odd loose stitch, but I think it's the best thing I've knitted so far. Mainly because when I put it on, I think...oh! That actually looks quite nice! I just love the bumpy moss stitch. If I make any more I will definitely buy (and learn how to use) some circular needles. My cowl is a long rectangle sewn together (I know, the shame) but I think it would be practically perfect if I could figure out how to knit a seamless version.

For those interested, I used UK size 12 needles and one and a half balls of Rowan Big Wool in 100% merino wool. I cast on 24 stitches then knitted in moss/seed stitch for approximately 88 rows or until the scarf was about 76 cm or 30 inches long. 

And, now that we've had some snow and the temperatures have dropped, I am wearing my chunky, cosy cowl every day, tucked snugly inside my ski jacket and can report that it it toasty warm.



Edited to add: When I said I used UK size 12 needles what I should have said is I used size 12mm needles. A kind reader pointed out to me that UK size 12 needles are in fact very fine, and definitely not what I used here! I will get the hang of this knitting thing eventually...

42 comments:

  1. I love the cowl! I'm always impressed with anyone's knitting as all I ever learned was to make a scarf...the little class I took did not teach the terms only how to do the scarf. I hope to see a class come up one day to really teach me to do other knitted pieces and then I can try a cowl!

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  2. I can't even knit a straight garter stitch scarf so I think your cowl is fabulous.

    I really enjoyed reading that list of simple post-Christmas pleasures. I think I probably do all of them except finishing up the Baileys -there's never any left.

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  3. i also love how the moss stitch turned out. adds to the cosiness factor very much.

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  4. I love this! What is there to be ashamed of? I too create a rectangle and then stitch it together, it's just easier! :) Pop over to my blog when you have a moment Gillian, I've passed the Liebster award on to you and your beautiful blog :) x

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  5. Love, love, love the cowl. Oh and lovely to see a picture of you too. I am currently learning patchwork and loving it. I have ordered a walking foot for my mums machine. I think that January is the longest month for me too.

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  6. Oh that cowl is beautiful. And loving your look lady! I'm very jealous of all your crafty talents. The Adventure Ted post took me back to Year One and my boy had the same thing to do. It seemed everyone in his class took it to McDonalds. We didn't! x

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  7. Your cowl looks beautiful, Gillian, and I really like that stitch. It looks snuggly and cosy, perfect for a dreary January. There are lots of great ideas there though to brighten up the month. x

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    1. I deleted my comment due to appalling spelling! Love the cowl - inspirational - I love the stitch and could almost be persuaded to attempt knitting again if only someone could taech me moss stitch...hint hint!

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  9. Lovely Gillian as always. You are so talented...I always sew up too.

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  10. It's great, very snugly! Just perfect for the weather we have at the mo! :) x

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  11. it's a lovely cowl, nice colour and stitch, looks cosy! Nice picture of you, Heather x

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  12. It's really gorgeous, and you've knit it just in time for the wintery weather to start, and stop being so hard on yourself, there's no shame in sewing a rectangle together.

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  13. Well done it looks very cosy! I love all those ideas and will be using some of them myself, I done like January much February a bit more then when we get to march well...spring is here! I can't wait! Xxx

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  14. That looks really cool or should that be warm!! Endless talent you have, well done!
    Ivan :)

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  15. Love the bumpy texture too - wish I was this skilled xo

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  16. 0-0-0-0-0- that would be a good homeless project for me to do this year!!

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  17. Gorgeous cowl Gillian ... I would love one to snuggle in ... pardon my lack of knitting knowledge but what does moss stitch mean? ... Bee xx

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    1. Hello Bee!

      Sorry, I should have clarified. You knit one, purl one across the row until the end, and then when you come to do the next row you knit the purl stitches and purl the knit stitches. Hope that makes sense!

      Gillian x

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  18. Hi Gillian, thanks for the welcome back it"s great to hear from you.
    Love your cowl, just perfect for this cold snap!
    Essie x

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  19. Nice job Gillian, it looks great with your striped top too, just perfect. Is there no end to your talents lady? x

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  20. Your cowl is absolutely gorgeous! I love the colour and it looks great on you! I'm doing something on circular needles for the first time and I love the idea that there is no sewing at the end. I wish I had tried earlier as it's really not too hard (just a 2min youtube video about joining) but I was scarred after trying something on 5 double-pointed needles and failing miserably. Oh look at that beautiful snow. Very pretty :-) Mel x

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  21. Ooh I love a good cowl. And yours is excellent. And you look lovely in it too. Can't say better then that!! x

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  22. It's gorgeous!
    I used circular needles for the first time around this time last year. I knit my mum in law a hand muff as she'd had a operation on her fingers and couldn't wear her gloves! Thought I would never get the hang of circular needles! I found the shorter needles were better for me and I also used the You Tube tutorial! xx

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  23. The cowl looks great! Well done. You look lovely and warm wearing it.

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  24. Your cowl is beautiful! Nice job. You look great in it too! I really need to learn how to knit. I find it very confusing.

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  25. It's lovely! And you look so warm and cosy wearing it!

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  26. Clever you - it's super! And just right for this cold, snowy week! E x

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  27. Fantastic cowl, looks snuggly warm and just what you need for those snowy days! I suppose you don't want to know it's shorts and t-shirts weather over this side?!!

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  28. Wow, it looks so snuggly! Enjoy the snow - I'd love to live somewhere that got some snow! Kellie xx

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  29. That is very beautiful and just in time for this weather! x

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  30. It's gorgeous and looks very cosy! I could do with some of that snow as it is too hot here today. x

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  31. Ooh, winter white, my favourite! It's lovely Gillian :)

    I'm just catching up here - after the TN I'm desperately behind with me blog reading ... fairy light withdrawal ... me too!!!

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  32. Hi Gillian,
    I'm old enough to remember when we used needle sizes in the UK and still have lots of needles in the old sizes. UK size 12 needles are very fine so I assume you used 12mm needles to knit your cowl; these are very thick and just the thing to use with the Rowan big wool.
    Well done for making the cowl - it looks great.
    All the best,
    Gillian (yes same name!)

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    1. Hi Gillian,

      Thank you for correcting me so nicely. You are quite right and I've amended the post to correct my mistake.

      Gillian x

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  33. What an excellent idea and I love moss stitch too. I think that I have some upstairs that would look great too.
    x

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  34. I don't know how I missed this post ... I looooooove this cowl and will most definetely make one for me this coming winter ..." Already wrote on my "want " book.... :)

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