When the Moon Is In the Seventh Cowl
January 20, 2012
O Baby! What a darling baby is Woodie. And how efficient were you to get her cardi made while she’s still small enough to have to roll up the sleeves? My sympathies on Boreal’s second sleeve. Git R done, asap, or that thing is going to die just one sleeve short of glory.
But enough about your knitting. What about my knitting? I got a lot of solitary knitting time in trains, planes and automobiles last week as I jaunted around France and Germany, on a mission of business and pleasure.
First up: world’s least imaginative “design” for a scarf: Cast on 55 in Rowan Felted Tweed. Slip first stitch of every row to add that Eileen Fisher finesse to an otherwise pedestrian piece. I was only about 30 garter ridges in when I became utterly bored. To amuse myself, I started doing (6 stitch by 6 ridge) intarsia windows in Rowan Kid Silk Haze. I quite liked the effect, although intarsia with Kid Silk Haze adds a new dimension to the phrase “pull from the tangle.” A sticky, ultratangle-y dimension. To be able to do this in a high-speed train and/or on the Autobahn, I developed a technique of clenching the ball of Kid Silk Haze under my left armpit so that it wouldn’t come into contact with the 2 strands of Felted Tweed also in play. You had to be there, but it worked. The only place it didn’t work was in Seat 36H on the plane home. Seat 36H lacked both leg room and armpit yarn storage room.
I love this scarf, mostly because of the Felted Tweed. Tweedy but not itchy, light as a feather yet warm. Next time, not so much garter stitch.
Next up: Honey Cowl, using my treasured skein of Tess’ Designer Yarn’s superwash merino, scored at Rhinebeck. I lost the label so don’t know the shade, but I’m calling it Muskrat Susie. I love the way this slip stitch pattern, with its woven effect, breaks up any possibility of pooling or streaking, but preserves the subtle striping of Susie’s pelt.
Tess’ Designer Yarns gets my highest praise for the beautiful job they did with this yarn. I hesitated to buy it, despite loving everything about it, because of the “superwash” label. I do not like the soapy, coated feel of most superwash yarns. This yarn does not have that icky feeling at all. It has an almost cottony hand. Love it. Pre-washing/blocking, this Honey Cowl is 10 1/2 inches wide and 47 inches long; I expect it to grow some with washing, but what do I know. I’m on to my next Honey Cowl!
This one is in Socks That Rock Heavyweight, in a melange of pale blues.
So. Why a series of Honey Cowls? Because–wake UP, Ann!–cowls are What’s Happening Now. The teenage girls in my life are living in cowls, indoors and out. This year’s cowl is easily distinguished from last year’s infinity scarf, which was looped loosely about the neckline and collarbone, almost like a necklace. This year’s cowl is bulky and wide, and wrapped fairly tightly around the neck in multiple layers. Fashion accessory, or cervical collar? Yes! One thing is certain: a girl in a cowl is in no danger of chewing off any sutures.
Full disclosure: I made Aunt Kathy cast on Honey Cowl 2 during the Giants game last Sunday, while I was working on Honey Cowl 1. She looked like she needed something to do. Once again I have to brag on Aunt Kathy’s skillz. Kathy hasn’t knit for herself for decades. Here is what I told her: Cast on 220, join without twisting, and knit 3 rows. She did that and said, and now? I said, slip 1, purl one all the way around, knit around the next row, then alternate the slips and purls on the next row. And she said OK and did it perfectly. I think that kind of casual savoir faire is extraordinary. It reflects very well on the Bronx High School of Science.
Full disclosure. In the last 24 hours I have laid in supplies for 2 more Honey Cowls. Honey Cowl don’t take no crap! Get on the Honey Cowl train!