Back on the Needle(s)

It's cold. 

I broke down and turned on the heat last week. Most Wisconsinites try to make it to November 1 - it's a source of pride if you can tough it out that long - but I gave in. I simply can't sit around my house in a hat and coat... I want to be barefoot. And, if I'm a little cold, a blanket on the sofa should be enough.

Of course, with the cold weather comes the desire to knit. Since I prefer to knit wool over all other yarns, summer is a low-knitting time for me. But, once the temperatures drop below 50 degrees for any extended period of time, I get the itch to get back on the needles.

For about two months, I've been staring at this gorgeous skein of yarn that was gifted to me when I was sick. It's a hand-dyed, rough-spun Cascade - which I didn't even know they made. It's also variegated, which is normally something I dislike but the colors are fantastic - black, grey, and white.

Ah... the joy of breaking out the needles!
So, about a week ago, I started looking through my patterns to find some one-skein thing to make with this beautiful yarn. I wanted something cozy, so I focused on scarves and cowls, and I landed on a madelinetosh cowl which you may recognize from the stitch pattern. Three years ago, I learned this stitch pattern from someone who was making this exact cowl and I used the stitch for a hat and "gator".

The Honey Cowl
The madelinetosh Honey Cowl is a stunner, at 42" long for the large size with an easy, but beautiful stitch pattern. On Ravelry, there are over 1,200 projects for this pattern and each one looks great - even the ones done in variegated yarn. ;)

Sadly, my one skein of Cascade wasn't enough for the large size so I decided to alternate rows with the variegated and a flat, black DK wool. Every other row of this pattern is knit - I think it give some space between the rows so that the slip-stitch pattern stands out more. It made sense to use the flat black for the knit rows and, honestly, I think this ends up making the pattern really pop.

The cowl so far.
I've made a couple of mistakes in the pattern (I think I may be a bit rusty - or just lazy), but you really can't tell with the variegated yarn so I'm not going to worry about it. I love the way it looks and can't wait for it to be done so I can wear it!

42" is a LONG cowl...
I'll be sure to post pics when it's finished. Also, the Honey Cowl is a free pattern on Ravelry. Hope all our knitting readers are making something cozy and winter-appropriate too. :)

- Alex

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