Earlier this year I started a Pinterest board for my knit-worthy family members to pin things they’d like me to make them — primarily knitting, but there are no rules … and no guarantees. I got the idea from my friend Tiffany after hearing that another friend of hers started a shared board for people to pin things to that they wanted Tiffany to make for them. Tiffany obligingly follows through, good soul that she is.
My Make for Me board is a lot of fun for me to look through. It’s interesting to see who is pinning to the board and what is catching each person’s eye. If you are on Pinterest, I recommend setting up a shared board or three. Matt and I also use a shared board for recipes and that has worked out well.
One of the items on the Make for Me board is the Purl Bee‘s Shawl Collar Cowl. If you’ve been reading here during the past twelve months, this pattern will be familiar; I tried to make one for my brother last December and tragically ran out of yarn.
But the idea wouldn’t die. Matt decided he really wanted one for himself.
That gave me the perfect excuse for a tiny yarn bender last month when Abbey and went to Ewe-Nique Yarns in Brighton for a little therapy shopping. I knit this cowl out of Cascade 128 Superwash in loden green and beige (not the official color names).
Let me tell you, this this li’l fiction of garter rib and stockinette is no stroll in the park. You might think it’s an easy-peasy pattern. Or you might think the tricky part is the cross over. No, no, no.
You know what kicked my ass? The increases. I’ve been knitting ardently for twelve years and I was nearly felled by the four different M1 (make one) increases in the tightly knit stockinette liner. I got holes, I got stitches slanting the wrong way, I missed increases entirely — it was a hot mess. Repeatedly! After ripping and re-knitting the first half dozen rows three times, I wrote out every row on scratch paper, along with a shorthand description of the increases, and then I was able to make progress.
During this ten day adventure, I got a message from a fellow knitter on Ravelry who found my in-progress cowl and asked me how my project was going and if I was having as much trouble as she was with the dart decreases. First time in seven years on Ravelry I’ve had a message like that. Oh the pathos!
She found her way out of the woods, as did I, but I’m here to tell you that, while the Shawl Collar Cowl pattern looks modest and unassuming, it’s actually rather spicy and takes some attention to accomplish. Lesson learned: stick to basic socks for mindless knitting.