Friday, 17 November 2017

A November Cowl


Some crochet projects require a lot of planning, some a lot of yarn, some a lot of money. Most require a good amount of time. And then sometimes, a wonderful little crochet project pops into your head that requires the smallest amount of planning, a little yarn, no money (yay!) and only a short amount of time and, since it's an easy project, it's the most relaxing kind of crochet that can be done in front of the TV when you've had a glass of wine or two and you're actually a bit sleepy and really should go to bed, but, you know, just ten more minutes....


I began this project a couple of weeks ago when I was going through my stash of yarn. While I haven't exactly been on a yarn diet this year, I have made a massive effort to reduce the amount I buy and, particularly, to use up or give away half used balls that I know I don't want to use again. While sorting the yarn out, I came across a bag full of cashmerino scraps (I never throw that stuff out - too blooming expensive!) which I had collected and added to when my mum gave me a load leftover from a cushion she made. Mostly grey, with some pink, yellow and pale blue, they weighed together around 200 grams, the same as four new balls. Definitely enough for a project.


I decided on the simplest of patterns, a granny square cowl. I used this pattern from the brilliant crochet blog Annaboo's House as a starting point, but shortened the starting chain quite a lot, and used my own colour selection.


I don't know why, but I find it inordinately satisfying when a project uses up every last scrap of yarn. It's so pleasing, and with this in mind I decided not to break the colour changes at the end of each row, as you usually would, but to continue them up into the next row, and use them until they were completely finished, knotting in the next colour as I worked. 


This brings differences in the colour play, as some colours are next to each other for a short amount of time before another is introduced. The only real planning I did was to make sure I kept back enough black yarn for a final round at the end of the cowl to balance the black starting chain and first round at the start.

I love it. It has just the right amount of drape and the colours all came together really nicely. Plus that cashmerino is a dream to work with, and to wear, and it's neither too light or too chunky.


The colours feel quite November-ish to me, dark and grey with the odd pop of colour, but nothing too light or bright, just rich autumn tones. I think of it as my November cowl. 

27 comments:

Kristin said...

It is absolutely gorgeous. I love the colors. My mom tried to teach me to crochet when I was young, but it didn't take. And I sat in on a knitting session once a few years ago, and realized I'd need a true teacher if I were ever going to learn to do that. You are really tempting me to learn to crochet.

Christina said...

It is beautiful and you look very happy and beautifulI wearing the cowl (and your knitted hat). I am impressed and a bit envious that you used up all of a ball even if it meant to have partial rows! I would love to be able to do that but I don't think I could bear the stress of it (silly, I know). I'd end up buying more yarn.....Have a lovely weekend, hope you get to walk where this photo was taken, it looks like a perfect piece of nature. xx

CJ said...

Nicely done, and perfect for this time of year. Beautiful photo of you wearing it. Well done on using up all the leftover yarn, very satisfying I imagine. Have a lovely weekend Gillian. CJ xx

Brenda Fricke said...

Such a pretty cowl Gillian! You are so industrious! Where do you find the energy to do all the things you accomplish? Hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend on your side of "the pond"

Anonymous said...

Looks fab!!! Thanks for the inspiration.

Jenny Larking said...

That is lovely and I agree about the pleasure of using up yarn. Not quite the same but I was very lucky yesterday because I was knitting a very long row in a complicated pattern and didn’t notice I was nearing the end of the ball. Usually I would not take any chances but as I was three quarters of the way through the row I just ploughed on. I finished with 2” to spare, just enough to weave in. Silly things please me.

Lilbitbrit said...

I think it looks great and the colours are as you say very Novemberish. May have a go with all my left overs.

SandyShoes Cornwall said...

It looks even better when you're wearing it! x

Susan Smith said...

Lovely Gillian & definitely a great idea for using up leftover. I hate waste too. Have a great weekend & take care.

Jennifer Hays said...

Pretty! It feels great to use up yarn, doesn't it? I've just started a stashbusting project and I feel like I'm working faster and happier than usual, knowing I'm burning through old yarns. :)

Hooks and Needles said...

It looks great on you. Well done with using up your yarn, love the hat matching x

VeggieMummy said...

Gorgeous cowl and a lovely photo of you. A great stash buster. xx

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Librarian said...

It is gorgeous - looks gorgeous, must feel gorgeous (who does not love cashmere!), and the colours would work also very well in spring, what with the pale blue, pinks and yellow.

galant said...

That is lovely, Gillian!
Margaret P

Claire C said...

Love that the rows are uneven - it really breaks up the pattern. Gorgeous, and as you say so satisfying!

Lanniesmum said...

Love the zingy yellow/greenish pips of colour. Beautiful peice of work and the length is perfect. Catriona

handmade by amalia said...

Looks lovely on you. I love the colors.
Amalia
xo

Jo said...

This is definitely my kind of project. It looks really great with the mix of black and colour, I made a blanket once with those colours in and although black isn't for everyone in crochet I really like it. Great pic! Jo xxx

Crafty Kestrel said...

Gorgeous scarf x

mrsrobinson said...

I do love your November cowl... And yay to using up every last scrap. I have had so much fun doing that this year, and the bits that I have left which are either too small for a project or perhaps not the nicest of yarn (!) are going into various blankets

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Elizabeth said...

Very nice

Penny said...

What a gorgeous cowl, and it is a good size too, looks so cosy and suits your colouring perfectly. X

Gail said...

I love your cowl - the colour combo and stripes remind me of liquorice allsorts.

Kate-Em said...

Love the colours, it looks pretty, cosy and squishy, so perfect!