Is Starshower the new Honey Cowl? Only time will tell (but it looks good).

Baby I’m Cowlin’ For You

Dear Ann,
Let’s start with a mood-elevating YouTube shall we?

Every time this song shuffles up on my iPod, I can’t stop smiling. Makes a girl want to move to Nashville, break in a pair of Frye boots, and stalk some musicians.
But our subject remains: cowls.
honeycowl5.jpg
In a last-minute personnel change, Honey Cowl 4 was gifted to niece Kristin. SuperPal Lisa saw me knitting it and I gleaned that she did not think it was brown enough for her brown coat. Niece was feeling a bit undercowled, so I made a switch. Knitter’s prerogative. What the knitter knitteth, the knitter can taketh away.
Honey Cowl 4 taught me something very important: the Honey Cowl is a dish that is best served wide. You want a width of at least 12 inches. This gives it a more flattering, sculptural fit when double-wrapped around the neck. Honey Cowl 4 is my best effort so far, because of the width and the amazing Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester yarn. The color seemed a bit murky as I was knitting on it, but when worn, it’s a subtle, interesting neutral. Very pleased with it. My trust in Fleece Artist is stronger than ever.
honeycowlred.jpg
Honey Cowl 5, in red MadelineTosh, is on the needles, but I am also working on Something Completely Different That Is Still However A Cowl:
supercowlWIP.jpg
This is a cowl that I am knitting for Carrie on a design-as-you-go plan, in Twinkle’s Baby Chunky merino. As readers have pointed out, the high-style cowls on the street right now are the mega-cowls; they are almost laugh-out-loud bulky. Cartoonish proportions; if you can see your feet, your cowl is too small. Niece Maggie has a white cowl from Top Shop that, when worn in the fully wrapped position, makes her neck nearly as wide as her shoulders. THAT is the look that I am hoping to approximate with 3 skeins of Twinkle Baby Chunky. (I don’t mind telling you that the Top Shop version is not made in yarn that is anything like as nice as the Twinkle Baby Chunky. It’s not merino. It’s not even near-ino.)
supercowlstart.jpg
I started with 1 skein worked up in a reversible cable pattern adapted from Melissa Leapman’s wonderful book, Cables Untangled. I started it on Sunday and bound it off as they were parading the Lombardi Trophy at the conclusion of the Super Bowl. (Wasn’t that weird the way all the players touched it, as if it had healing powers? I expected Moses to appear and demand that they melt it down.)
Now I’m nearly done with Skein 2, a ribby side panel. I will not pretend that I love working on Size 11 US needles, but the yarn is divine and it’s fun to see a project take shape so quickly.
What will I do with Skein 3? Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion of Super Cowl. I’m hoping it will have healing powers.
Love,
Kay

Tags: ,

46 Comments

46 Comments

  1. I’m cowl-ing for you, right? Agreed on the song-tastisticness. Bought it from iTunes, who also recommended Matt & Kim Good Old Fashioned Nightmare, which makes me consider just buying everything from Matt & Kim and blowing out my eardrums and dancing legs in a totally age-inappropriate fashion.
    Now double-glad that I finally cowled myself this year, keeping up with you and all, though also wondering why I didn’t just use the whole dang ball of yarn. I left, like, just enough to not do anything with. I figured I had gotten it big enough, but… what? It would have been too big? Nonsense.

  2. Um, ok, and yes, I made the pun you made without seeing you made it already and I’m feeling siiiiiilly.

  3. Love the design as you go cowl! Although, my hands ache in sympathy over the US 11 needles.

  4. All right! I’m very excited to see this new cowl!

  5. Your cowling days are huge! Part of me wants to join in (especially on the mega cowl), but my hands strenuously object to needles that large!

  6. Oooh, supercowl is going to be amazing! I can’t wait to see it!

  7. Just to check that you know the Black Keys are from Ohio. I love them dearly and have all their records, but I’m almost 100% sure they’re originally from Akron.
    Having said that, I give in. I too am going to start a honey cowl. So weak…

  8. “Near-ino” – Hee hee! I think that’s what most dept store sweaters are made of these days.
    Delicious cowls!

  9. I’m with you on the trophy adoration thing. And I felt a little queasy when they all started kissing it – and taking pictures of themselves doing it. Yick.

  10. Nice cowls, and a good illustration of the improvisational possibilities of knitting and knitting gift-giving. And by the way, doesn’t all hand knitting have healing powers? : )

  11. LOVE and ADORE! I am digging all the giant cowls I’ve seen. This one looks extra special though what with that gorgeous cable. Speaking of large and delicious, isn’t the Twinkle Baby Chunky? I made a giant shawl thing (which I have yet to wear) (I don’t want anyone to touch it) out of three skeins. I will add that the pattern required three sizes of giant needles. All of which I now own. Should you wish to borrow. By the way, the quilt is an enchanting background. I am mesmerized.

  12. Thank you, Kay, for another wonderful post. The part about Moses was laugh-out-loud funny–and I’m at work. :0
    I’m with you on the size 11 needles, though. My WIP (OWLS sweater) uses circular 11s for the body, which was okay. However, the DP 11s for the sleeves are killing me!

  13. I believe you have to look like Carrie or your niece to carry off the extra bulky cowls. I love the look, but fear for looking like a reverse Michelin girl or something if I try one!
    As for the post, love the near-ino, and my husband and I both had the same feeling about the trophy, never saw that before. Ick.

  14. Hmmmm. My feet are so wide they’re essentially square, so I think a laughably chunky cowl that obscures them from my view is probably the *exact* right size.
    Thank you for the dose of Black Keys. I nevernevernever tire of them.
    And that makes this a uniquely exclamation-point-free comment from your devoted admirer
    Max

  15. Holy Cowl, Kay. You’re a rock star. I will finally give in and start one of these delicious cowls forthwith.

  16. “I expected Moses to appear and demand that they melt it down.)”
    If you didn’t knit, I’d still read you. I am way behind on my cowl quota, having done two so far, with one in the wings. None for me yet, but that will come. So far I’ve cowled my more fashionable younger sister, my daughter, and I’ve got a request from my niece.

  17. I am also hooked on cowls, having done 3 gaptastic cowls in a row. Very interested in trying the Honey Cowl. However, I am bogged down in Hitchhiker scarves (currently on #4), which are a HUGE hit with my daughter and her 7th grade friends.

  18. What is the name of the pattern for the edges, or is it an original? I’ve grown weary of my plain, boring cowls :}
    ENTRES NOUS

  19. WHOA!!!
    Thanks for the heads-up Kay, I was just about to start the last three rows at only 9″ of Honey Cowl but will continue on to and do three more inches…
    Whew that was close
    Love the colour in that brown one. I”m doing a gold like yours..
    donna

  20. I love “near-ino”!
    I am waiting for my LYS to get in more MadTosh Pashmina, which I have decided I MUST use for a Honey Cowl. But now I fear that one skein (360 yards) may not be enough, if the ideal width is 12 inches. And I really can’t afford two skeins of Pashmina…

  21. Chunky chunky cowl looks great! It’s not cold enough here to wear one without sweltering (50 today, again), but I’m sure winter will return. I’m ready. I’ve got cowls!

  22. I’m lovin’ these cowl updates. If it was anything remotely like winter this year, I’d be casting one on. (But taking notes for next year…)

  23. You are the queen of cowls. I get that gigantic look simply by wrapping last year’s superlong scarf around my neck 17 times, but it’s a pain to take it off quickly, especially if I tied a flippant knot somewhere. Middle-aged lady untangling 10 feet of scarf, while holding grocery bags etc… Maybe I should make a cowl.

  24. That’s a super Squooshy cable!!! And the Fleece Artist on Cowl 4 is gorgeous.
    (((hugs)))

  25. There’s no need for cowls here, but I want one anyway. I may have to cast on one – once I get a handle on the shawl, scarf, and baby blanket currently on my needles. Love “near-ino”.

  26. Lovin’ the Keys… and the cowls! I have a special fondness for the chunky double cables. Now where are those #11s? :)

  27. I just love it when you add Snippets. I always look to see if there’s a new Snippet. I love Snippets….

  28. Love the cowls and the Keys!

  29. The boys and girls in second grade just gave me a strange look as I laughed out loud at the computer screen — your take on the Lombardi Trophy weirdness is spot-on! I felt the exact same way about that touchiness!! The cowl looks lovely – I am trying to get myself ready to get the knitting needles out of hibernation to tackle a Honey Cowl of my own — I have been busy handquilting this strange winter.

  30. I’ll be psyched to see final proportions of the Colossal Cowl!

  31. I love your post title so much! That’s a great song and those are some nice cowls!

  32. This came up as a twitter link in the UK – thought a wider audience might also enjoy it a lot – judging character by their wool stash
    http://chopkins2011.blogspot.com/2012/02/we-havent-met-but.html?spref=tw

  33. It maybe because I loved 105 so much, but is Kris in front of 105? I’m recognizing those pillars behind Mrs. Stone, or am I seeing things? Do tell big sis :-)

  34. You did the right thing giving the cowl to Kristin. It’s clear she is delighted with it.
    I will be making my first Honey cowl during my quarterly parent-visit to Colorado this month. I hope my niece Courtney will be equally tickled to receive it.

  35. This may be a better link -it is for the 7th February entry
    http://chopkins2011.blogspot.com/

  36. “its not even near-ino” I LOVE that. Beautiful!

  37. Cowls, “a dish best served wide”. Maybe this stylist started it all?? Ran across it tonight while looking for something entirely dif… from July 1968,beautiful(copyrighted)photo, yet funny in “our” context here: http://www.condenaststore.com/-sp/Vogue-July-1968-Prints_i8486150_.htm

  38. Thanks for sharing the great music! I needed something to get me going this morning.

  39. I am TOTALLY making a tag for this pair of socks that says ‘Knit with love @ the indoor skatepark’! Surprisingly, am the only knitter here. (Geeking out & also watching Webs-produced knitting vids.) Much love to you both!

  40. I just made my first honey cowl, but alas, it is too short to wrap around my neck twice (I used 2 skeins of worsted weight and #8 needles, but cast on only 150 stitches). I loved knitting it and will definitely make another one, but will have to be sure to increase the number of stitches. Thanks for the inspiration.

  41. I just made my first honey cowl, but alas, it is too short to wrap around my neck twice (I used 2 skeins of worsted weight and #8 needles, but cast on only 150 stitches). I loved knitting it and will definitely make another one, but will have to be sure to increase the number of stitches. Thanks for the inspiration.

  42. You had too much fun writing this post! And I had too much fun reading. Moses! ROFL! Thanks.

  43. I love the cable cowl,but alas am not really good at creating patterns for myself as yet. Any chance you can post your pattern for it?
    Also does anyone know of a good place to find patterns for larger women? Thanks.

  44. looking really really good

  45. Ahem 50 something spinster here with a just completed malabrigo cowl, counting the days to the Portland (maine) Black Keys Show I HAVE TICKETS, I will be wearing my cowl with black jeans and turtle neck of course.

  46. Please consider publishing the Supercowl when you are finished. It looks very intriguing. I have the Melissa Leapman book but of course I can’t even narrow down which cable you modified out of the book!