A first cowl

December 16, 2013

Photo credit Heather Hands

As the weather gets colder, there is nothing like the cozy feeling of a great scarf. The end of the fall/beginning of the winter is the perfect time to wrap yourself in one, snuggle with puppy and a blanket, enjoy a good book and dream of a fireplace. I love cowls because I don't like dealing with the ends, bunching up under my coat or catching in the wind. To be honest I wear scarfs most of the wear, the lighter and looser ones in the warmer months, and the thicker and tighter ones in the colder months. 

As I was finishing my beginner knitting class a few months ago, I bought a few balls of this great Autunno Italian merino yarn that was so soft, without a clear plan in mind for its use. I started using it to make a cable pillow, and got distracted. Mostly, I think that the nuances of grey in the yarn didn't work so well at highlighting the cable pattern, and I lost interest.

When the air got crisper, I finally knew what to do with the yarn. I didn't look for a pattern and instead decided to just play it by ear. On those colder fall and early winter days, I never seem to get warm enough. A lot of cowls seem too loose around the neck, so I improvised. I wanted my scarf to be very tall so I could fold it in half if I wanted it to be warmer, or let it fall naturally for a looser look. I casted on 60 stitches, which was my chosen height, and just knitted in garter stitch (alternate knit row and purl row in the round) until I had the right length. I used 3 1/2 skeins of Autunno Merino wool and size 9 24" circular needles. I finished by joining the ends with the mattress stitch, and was done. 

A scarf is a great beginner project, and a great way to build muscle memory making the stitches over and over. It is somewhat time consuming, if you are using smaller needles and lighter weight yarn, but with as simple pattern it doesn't require as much concentration or counting of rows, which makes it perfect for a relaxing evening project or to pass time on a car ride. For my next one, I'll probably venture out into some new stitches or pick up a fun pattern. But I am very pleased with my first cozy scarf.

Photo credit Heather Hands


  1. Love this cowl. I am thinking about making one for myself, once I can figure out how to knit ;)


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