Enter here to win the Heirloom Chevron Throw kit: it could be you!   |   Coloring Book for Knitters, here.

Cowl Plus Skirt Equals Scowl

scowl rumpled

Dear Kay,

It has been great to see in you in New York—a welcome respite from my yarn vigil at the front door back home. I felt like a fisherman’s wife, keeping an eye on the horizon for my Plötulopi yarn to arrive from Iceland.

To fill the lopiless hours during my travels, I’ve been deep in a cowl-to-skirt conversion project. We’ll call it a scowl because I don’t know if this is actually going to pan out.

To recap: this all began as a cowl that didn’t behave the way I hoped it would. I pivoted to making the cowl much simpler than the original pattern, with the result being a blankety swath of merino moss stitch.

OK. Fine. A lot of cowl.

A lot for a neck to take on.

In a late-night delirium, I thought it looked like a moss-stitch pencil skirt.


This thought didn’t go away.

I realize you are deeply skeptical of this project, but you are someone who will knit fifty Honey Cowls in a row, so I can understand how you might not be interested in a project that morphs from cowl into not-cowl. Change is hard! Please just go back to gloating about the fact that you got your lopi yarn and I didn’t.

The scowl took a turn in Chicago last week when I ran into a wall of Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Worsted.


Contrasting border! Must make! This incredible shade won the Facebook insta-poll choosing between fuchsia (shade Mondawmin) and taxicab yellow. Thank you for your votes, America. This is the sort of caucus I can get behind.

I finished the border.


I adore this yarn. It has such a twinelike twist to it, yet it’s got a nice bounce. Really great.

Now, it’s time to figure out the waistband. If I’d begun this project as a skirt, I would have built in shaping from the waist to the hem. I would have cooked up a tidy tube at the waist into which I would have threaded elastic tape. It would have been so pfaffing beautiful.

scowl waistline

Unfortunately, I’ve got a cylinder that’s 40” around at the waist.

scowl cylinder

My waist is around 30”. I’m not sure I want ten inches of bunched-up moss stitch around a zone as threatened as my waistline. The phrase “moss stitch dirndl skirt” comes to mind. Yikes! On the other hand, don’t we all want a nice and snuggly midsection covering for these cold winter days? It’s like a cowl for your waist. A wowl.

The right thing to do would be to perform sewing machine surgery on this cylinder and take out the extra fabric.

I don’t have a sewing machine, number one, and number two, it just feels like cheating. Surely there’s a knitterly solution to be found using the ancient ways of olde.

What do you think? I could use a little advice—except from you, Kay, who has already weighed in (pointedly) (clearly) (loudly) that it makes a fine cowl and move on, hon.




Tags: , ,


Recent Blog Posts

February 4, 2016 |

Bang Out a Sweater: Strength for the Journey

Dear Ann, Our Bang Out a Sweater knitalong only officially started three days ago, but somehow this week has felt very full and long. It certainly feels full when you look at the mighty sweater-cranking that has been going on. I worry about whether...

February 3, 2016 |

Giveaway! Heirloom Chevron Blanket Kit

Dear Kay, It’s safe to say that we like a blanket. The blanket radar is on at all times. You never know when a great blanket pattern is going to come along and knock you out. We took a peek at this, and our blanket radar erupted. Dead...

February 2, 2016 |

Bang Out a Sweater: SUCH FUN

Dear Ann, Although some–like you, for example– are still waiting by the mailbox for their yarn, our Bang Out a Sweater knitalong of Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Stopover sweater was in full swing on Monday, its first official day. There...

February 1, 2016 |

Bang Out a Sweater: It’s ON

Dear Kay, It’s a NASCAR green flag! Disney World rope drop! Black Friday at Walmart! It’s Bang Out a Sweater Day, so we hope that you’re starting your Stopover today, or yesterday, or tomorrow. Or whatever sweater you’re...

January 31, 2016 |

Lazy Sunday: Are You Ready to Rumble?

Dear Ann, It is Sunday. In the Jewish world, we would say that this particular Sunday is Erev Bang Out A Sweater, or Bang Out a Sweater Eve. Are you ready? Is everybody ready?  Yarned up? Swatched up? Fired up? If you’re waiting for yarn (and...

January 30, 2016 |

Bang Out a Sweater: A Trip to Iceland

Dear Kay, You have mentioned (often) (sincerely) (comprehensively) your deep love of the Icelandic lopi sweater. Somehow I’d forgotten that you’d hatched this fever while in Iceland. For anyone craving a quick trip, here’s...

January 29, 2016 |

Snippets, Swatches and Scratchiness

Dear Ann, First a couple of snippets. In Case You Missed It: Knitting Is Healthy Everybody I know is emailing me this blog post by Jane Brody for the New  York Times. For those of us who knit, it’s kind of obvious–knitting relieves...

More Posts