Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A Very Long, Very Chunky Cowl



I wasn't supposed to be making a cowl right now, especially a heavy, woolen one at that. But a few weeks ago I met a friend at the wool shop and found myself inexplicably drawn to the chunky wool section, stroking and squeezing different balls, inspecting labels, holding them up to the light. Before I knew it I'd bought two balls of yellow yarn and a 10 mm hook and that was it, I was off. No plan, not pattern, just an urge to crochet something chunky. This naughty project rudely jumped right to the start of the WIP queue, pushing other, more seasonal plans aside, and demanding my full attention before the weather grew to warm to wear it.

I wasn't sure if it was going to be a scarf or a cowl. I just knew that I wanted it long and loopy, so I could wear it loose or wrapped around twice. The cowl won, and I've modeled it awkwardly for you below. I think it's really hard to visualise how knitted or crocheted garments look if you can't actually see them being worn; it's all well and good to see it arranged on a table, but it doesn't really give you an idea of scale or how it looks on a person.


Turns out two balls wasn't enough and I had to go back for a third. Before I joined the ends together it was 6 foot or 180 cm long. I crocheted them together using slip stitches which looks like this on the "right" side:


And this on the "wrong" side.



The fabric feels stiff and structured to begin with but very quickly softens. I used Rowan Big Wool, which I've used a few times in the past. It's not the cheapest brand, and you could save money by buying a wool/acrylic mix yarn, but I like it. It's incredibly warm and solid-feeling.

Should you want to make one, here are the details:

You will need around two and a half balls or 250 grams of very chunky yarn and a 10 mm hook. If you are shorter than me (I am 5' 11") and don't want it quite as long, two balls will suffice.

Make a foundation chain of 14 stitches (12 plus 2 chain which will be the "13th" stitch) then just crochet back and forwards in rows of 13 half trebles until you reach the desired length or run out of wool. Crochet or sew your two ends together so that you have one big loop, and darn in your ends. You shouldn't need to block this, the weight of the yarn does wonders to keep it straight as you work.

But you might want to do the sensible thing and make it in autumn.

49 comments:

  1. Wow, that looks lovely and quite easy. I'll admit, that mine would have to be shorter as I'm only about 4' 11". Love seeing your latest creations. Take care.

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  2. It's lovely, it looks so warm and snuggly. Just right for standing outside watching small boys play football I think. I'm a bit obsessed with that colour at the moment, it's great. Hope you're having a good week with the little people, especially now that the rain has stopped. A small bug is passing this way at the moment, but as soon as it has gone there'll be no stopping us. CJ xx

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  3. Love it, and the colour is great. So nice to see your smiling face away from behind the camera. Elaina xo

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  4. It's lovely (I saw it on instagram too!). The colour really suits you. I made a chunky cowl, hat and mittens earlier in the Winter (an alpaca and wool mix) but it's really not been cold enough to make use of them!
    I have a heap of WIP at the moment, and aren't sticking to anything in particular. I've no idea why - I must have a finishing frenzy soon.
    Hope you enjoy your Easter holidays. Sara x

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  5. Lovely! And lovely modelling shots!

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  6. Sometimes its good to go with your gut or heart rather than common sense. :) Why did I decide to start my first sweater in March - an wall wool cardigan for my little babe? (granted it is just a cap sleeve) Just because I wanted to! She'll only be able to wear it for 1 1 /2 months before it gets too hot, then hopefully it will still fit in Fall. Your cowl looks lovely - pretty buttery color.

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  7. The colour is gorgeous and looks great on you. I couldn't wear that colour, sadly. Hope it gets plenty of wear!

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  8. Aren't you so gorgeous with that lovely cowl draped around your neck. Sometimes you just need chunky, soft yarn to play with. I love it and at 5'10" I think I might have to make one that long, too.
    Meredith

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  9. Well done! I love it, and I love the colour - it looks great on you! One of the few advantages of being only 5 feet tall is that I save money on yarn - I'd probably only need two balls max! ;-) Chrissie x

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  10. What a fantastic cowl and such a beautiful colour. If only I could crochet! :-) You'll get some use out of it yet...it's still a bit parky out there even if the sun is shining!! xx

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  11. That's fab, gorgeous colour and looks great on you!

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  12. Really gorgeous and I love the colour,
    Kate x

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  13. I love it, Gillian. The color is great for you and it will be super warm when it's all wrapped around your neck. You did a great job with it.

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  14. oh nice to see your face!!! Love the colour of your cowl too of course! x

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  15. I just love this. I adore the colour and the stitch.

    Have a super break away!

    Vanessa xxx

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  16. Very long, very chunky, and very nice colour ! It's a very pretty cowl !

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  17. I love this colour Gillian. You model the cowl very nicely I think! You can never have enough scarves and cowls, British summer evenings may require one sometimes. Personally, when I have an urge to make something, I know I'll be wearing it for a long time. x

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  18. I'm just so drawn to that colour at the moment and I think the cowl looks great. Just the thing for a chilly spring day!

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  19. It's looks nice and cosy and the colour is lovely. Perfect for today's cold and windy weather. x

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  20. It looks so snuggly, I love making quick things using bigger needles - looks fab xx

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  21. Oh this is lovely Gillian. Perfect colour and looks very snuggly. You wear it well too!
    Marianne x

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  22. Hey Gillian,

    It looks near perfect for your forthcoming Cornish adventures. That Atlantic wind can still bite in summer xx Gorgeous shots of you too. xx

    Leanne xx

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  23. 5' 11"" Gillian, wow that is a gorgeous height, I am 5'7" and wish I was taller, I wore my high heel sandals out to dinner on our anniversary on Saturday and it felt grand as Andy s 6'4" x love the colour you chose and what a divine pleasure this must of been to hook away at, I bet you didn't want it to finish. I am keen to do some chunky crochet sometime soon. You look fab and well done for modelling for us, makes a difference when we can see what it really looks like x

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  24. Sometimes the wool just demands to be made! Lovely pics and lucky you being an elegant height instead of a shrimp who has only barely fallen over the 5ft mark! Chunky wool is just so satisfying to use as it makes up so quickly.

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  25. I agree, its nice to see a garment on a person rather than flat on a table. Lovely cowl and gorgeous colour.

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  26. You've been busy again Gillian. Love it, looks great on.
    Jacqui x

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  27. Your cowl looks wonderful as do you! very stylish and you are absolutely right, it can be difficult to see how things work in wear if you can't see them on a person. It looks fab with your stripy top and dark trousers and I guess you'll get some cosy wear from it even though it's Spring - the mornings and evenings are still pretty nippy, here anyway. E x

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  28. Well done you, it's fab! And that colour suits you just perfectly. There's something about lovely soft chunky yarn that just draws you in, isn't there? Mind you, pretty pastel cotton yarns seem to have the same affect on me too! Happy Wednesday,
    Xx

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  29. lovely to see you in your new cowl! It seems to take a real heatwave for me not to have a scarf or cowl on! Enjoy it, nice colour too, Heather x

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  30. Looks great Gillian and the colour is perfect for Spring! Happy holidays!!! Mel x

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  31. Lovely cowl, we could use it here as the temperatures have fallen significantly!

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  32. It looks great! The colour is lovely and so pretty with that top you're wearing. I'll be needing one of those soon since winter is heading our way. x

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  33. That is a cosy looking bit of crochet lady! Well done! Jo x

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  34. It looks fantastic! I love the colour, it really suits you. Having said that, hope you're enjoying the sun and not having to wear it on your seaside outings! x

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  35. It's beautiful! I am still wearing my cowl in the wee morning hours to take Puppy outside for a walk. They really are wonderful, aren't they? :)

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  36. That is one long scarf and you've worked it beautifully Gillian, AND you look great in it! Joy xo

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  37. Lovely and it really suits you. I'm not sure but this might be the first pic of you I have actually seen! Like your stripey top too! Are you thinking of going to the Minerva meet up?x

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  38. It's lovely, and looks very warm. It's a great color on you.

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  39. You look lovely, as does your cowl. The colour suits you very well.
    Lisa x

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  40. Your cowl looks fabulous. Sometimes, you do indeed just need to do as the wool tells you!

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  41. Lovely Gillian, I love the colour and it looks great on you. Enjoy the rest of your week.
    Jane x

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  42. Looks fabulous, Gillian! And it is Autumn here, so I guess no excuse not to make one!!

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  43. Gorgeous colour and the half trebles make a lovely pattern. I think a lot of other people have said that it's a really good colour on you - it's true! x

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  44. It certainly look happy with it, and I'm not surprised, it's lovely ... and the colour is perfect for spring :)

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    1. Oops, meant you look happy with is ... and you do!

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  45. It's fab! I love the simplicity of it and the colour is gorgeous. It looks really great with your navy stripe top too.

    S x

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