Saturday 4 February 2012

The Story of a Cowl

I have an incredibly lovely knit friend. She's the friend you've read about before, that you've heard in the podcast and extremely knit worthy


I live in fear of knitting for her. 

There's no reason other than my own self doubt. Struck by her own knitting prowess and in awe of how much I care for this friend makes it hard to feel happy with anything I knit. I try to make it really personal but small and achieveable because the longer that her project is on the needles, the faster my self doubt grows. In the past I've knit a hat as she stated she didn't have any she liked and a joke scarf (long story). For her last birthday I made Monster Chunks and photographed them getting up to no good all around London. This then became a book. 

When I come to deciding her project, I always start too late, losing time with anxiety and self doubt. It is so silly, I LOVE wrapping the people that I care for in knits but this one cripples me everytime. I wear the shawls that she has made me with such joy and feel like I'm receiving a hug from my dear friend, who lives too many miles away to make us able to see each other more than once a year, tops. 

This Christmas was no exception. In a flash of bravery, I decided that I would accept a challenge. PJ thinks that there is no such thing as a warm cowl because they don't stay around your neck. She has a point doesn't she? How many have you tugged at in sheer frustration? 

So I made her the Tuesday Night Cowl from Malabrigo Rios. I even chose a daring colour as her love for purple is bipolar to say the least; she has a very love/ hate relationship with purple. I then set about working out the exact combination of squoosh and stiffness in order to be sure that this cowl sat neatly around her neck. 

I was aiming for thoughtful. I found vacant I think.
I used a trick.

The pattern calls for a slipped stitch edging on both sides to make it smooth but also stretchy. I pulled one side tighter so that this could be worn closest to her chin and would help it stay up. 

I would say I had some success.... she tells me she's worn it all week which makes me a very happy friend indeed.


Krystal said...

Great job, the cowl looks beautiful! I know what you mean, I am knitting a belated Christmas present for one of my best friends who is also a knitter, and I worry that she would have chosen a different yarn, or could have done a better job. But knitters love knitted things the most, because we know what work (and love) goes into making them!

Blithe Spirit said...

I agree about the cowls and not staying put. I don't mind when it's not cold out as they substitute for necklaces in my mind, or add some texture or colour to the black that I wear far too often. But if I DO want a cowl for warmth, I either knit one long enough to wrap around my neck twice as you can usually pull the inner layer tight, or I use buttons and put them on in a few places to allow for inevitable stretch.

Your cowl looks very cozy. I'm sure your friend loves it and the time and love put into it.

Amber said...

And now you know why I fear knitting for you two. :P