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This cowl was inspired by three things. I wanted a scarf that would keep my neck warm in the upcoming months of cold, but that would lay flat in my pea coat… or maybe not have to be tucked into my neckline at all. The issue though is that little area on my neck that my coat doesn’t quite cover up, but a scarf wrapped around my neck will not either, so tucked in it goes… adding more bulk to my already bulked up winter weather form. So that was inspiration number one. The second inspiration came from my own stash. As always, that question of what to do with skeins of yarn that are 25g or less. Especially when you have 20+ of them. I dug around in my bin and realized that for a cowl I would have even shorter yardage if I bulked up the yarn, several 25 skeins together. I wanted a little fuzz, but not a ton, so I settled on Rowan kid mohair, Catalina 4 ply alpaca (the little bit left over from the shawl I just finished, the leftovers from my last pair of socks, and some random nubby tweedy vintage wool. I chose the yarns based on color and texture. Soft, thick, fall, september blue skies. The result is the Aceraceae Cowl, the family that the red maple comes from.

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Download the pattern here (pdf).

You can see more pictures in the Craft Leftovers Flickr Pool.


In other news:
Yesterday I was so happy to see the knitty digest pop into my mail box, because that means the fall issue of Knitty is up!!!!!! I like this hat pattern (but i’m worried it might be too floppy), and these socks and these and these. Haha, isn’t that all their sock patterns this issue? Plus this article on blending yarns is really great (like what I did today with the cowl and the vest I just finished up). I actually just read it after I finished up today’s pattern and was thinking, “well that’s perfect to go along with today’s pattern for sure”. I wind mine into little cakes and then pull from the inside so they don’t get all tangled up together. Another way you can do it is just wind them all into one cake. Just slip knot all the yarn ends together and wind away. This is really nice if you have more yardage, it just keeps things easy.

And speaking of the vest again, I completely forgot to tell you all where I got the patterns/what yarn I was using!

The vest: I’m not really sure. I saw a picture of this mohair blend vest I liked that was similar, but didn’t have the right yarn nor access to the actual pattern so just kind of went off my own gauge/size. Then I messed up the top by switching to continental causing my gauge to increase a ton. It became a vest for a friend who is a bit more, umm… busty. Then I messed up the arm holes so I ripped it all out and followed the instructions for the arm/neckline shaping in the Honeycomb vest on knitty.com. I might just make the honeycomb vest now, I really like the pattern. The yarn is actually 3 yarns off spools that I wound into one big cake. I think one was linen/flax, one was a fine wool, and one was mohair/wool. They were just randomly picked off the cone. haha. Big help that is.

The shawl is a bit easier to explain where it came from, it’s a SpinCraft Pattern called the Wrap Around Shawl. There are a few mistakes, but it’s not too hard to get through, it just takes some patience and a few times ripping out. The yarn is Catalina baby alpaca 4 ply. It gets quite a bit longer/more open/less ruffled once blocked.

Another thing really quick, just to remind you: Craft Leftovers Monthly will be going on sale on Sunday. I’ll post again with some pictures and details and a link. It’s going to be a great issue. I’m going to go to an orchard tomorrow to pick up some apples and test out some recipes and some gourds to do final testing on some projects ideas. The kit and vintage goodies are really great for this month too. I found some great scores at a garage sale and a thrift shop, you’ll love them!

And with that, it’s off towards weekend fun (a little break to knit and then working on the cover of clm for this month!).

Happy Crafting!
Kristin Roach