Well, here we are–into the Mayan apocalypse, over the fiscal cliff, right on into a brand-new year of handknits and whatnot. We are not going to talk about guns today. Anybody who wants to talk about guns can go find one of the many, many websites where you can rattle on all day about them.
Hope everyone had a pleasant New Year’s Eve. We laid low last night, with me dragging down the frivolity level 100% due to the flu. At this point I feel like I’m under house arrest. I don’t know what all these shoes are for. I sit at the window with the housecats and stare at the birds. It was sunny the other day, and I had to draw the curtains, it was so bright.
Just about the only thing I have accomplished, shockingly, is knitting. I can knit through a mental brownout, it turns out. Let’s go to the videotape. Ordinarily I would give you a loving rundown of every impression and thought about these cowls, but I’m on the tail end of my Dayquil so I’ll just go until I burn out.
First of all, the thing to notice here is that these are ALL COWLS. The mania started, as manias do, with a Honey Cowl. It was for my friend Frannie’s birthday. The minute I finished that one, I momentumed right into another one to use up the leftover Malabrigo that I’d used for Frannie’s.
Shade: Aguas or Iguana or whatever.
It’s a tapas-sized cowl. A full Honey Cowl is basically a blanket, when you get right down to it. It’s housing.
When the Malabrigo ran out, I went straight for Belinda Boaden’s London Cowling, which had a nice texture to it and also some MOSS STITCH edging, which I’m always a sucker for.
This used the Hiwaseee Creek Dyeworks yarn I scored in Hot Springs with you. Yarn name was Winter Sky or Dank Glimmer of Hope or some such name for a gray yarn with dim pale blues and greens in there.
(JIMINY WE HAVEN’T EVEN TALKED ABOUT HOT SPRINGS. What a fabbyfantastic trip that was to the Arkansas Fiber Arts Extravaganza. I haven’t even unpacked my bag from that trip, literally and philosophically. Those knitters gave me a whole new love of knitting. They reminded me that knitting is a simple thing, and the best thing in almost any situation, and certainly a reasonable excuse to ditch life two weeks before Christmas. It was the highlight of my knitting year, talking with all those yarnmakers and knitters and yarn shop evangelists.)
At certain points in my cowling, I felt tremendous tenderness and love for the designers of the cowl patterns. Oh, BELINDA. Your London Cowling is so textured. So mercifully straightforward.
Hubbo instantly claimed it for his own. That never happens.
Next up was a trip into the mind of Amy Christoffers, a designer whose Savory Knitting is the website I’ll visit whenever I’m looking for a classic pattern with brainy twists. Say, for example, another cowl pattern.
Amy, of course, delivered with THREE cowl patterns, Homard Cowls Collection. (She is having a 25% off New Year’s sale TODAY, I just noticed. All her patterns are gorgeous.)
I went straight to Cowl à la Provençale (AMY YOUR DIACRITICAL MARKS WILL BE THE DEATH OF ME).
I know you will recognize this yarn as the fluffy product of Henrietta, the sadly departed alpaca owned by the neighbor of Dr. Mel, everybody’s favorite Maine vet/knitter/utilikilter.
Henrietta lives on, people, in the form of this feather-and-fan cowl.
I veered from that directly into Amy’s next diacritically challenging pattern, Cowl à l’Americaine.
This yarn is unspeakably wonderful. It’s Lost City Knits, High Country DK. (Another Hot Springs acquisition. The nicest folks you’ll ever meet.) It’s superwash but very squishy and lush. The shade is Potbelly Stove or Pellet Stove or Stovetop Dressing or whatever. Here’s Chris’s story of his pot-bellied stove. Yarnmakers are good at telling the stories of their yarns.)
Gray yarn is my favorite yarn, and this shifty gray makes it look like it’s shining.
Or maybe that’s just the Dayquil talking.
At any rate, the weird thing about this stitch pattern is that it’s basically a 4 x 2 rib that shifts every four rows. But it looks like a sort of cable stitch. Or something. I love it. And everybody. The world is a beautiful place. Go look at these Hubble space telescope pictures if you want to think about how gorgeous and immense the universe is.
I can’t believe I’ve lasted this long. Thank you for your everlovin’ patience.