Monday, March 8, 2010

Scarves No; Cowls Yes

Like most beginning knitters, I made a lot of scarves while I was learning the basics. Back and forth, row after row, I'd get out my tape measure after only two feet to see how much was left to go. I like wearing scarves, but knitting them got old fast. I've become a fan of the cowl, a more entertaining solution for cold necks. I love knitting in the round; I can really get on a tear when I don't have to turn my work at the end of each row.

The pattern for this Crofter's Cowl is available for free on Ravelry. Instead of working two halves in the horseshoe lace pattern and grafting them together, I knit six pattern repeats and called it a day; all my horseshoes point in the same direction, and there was no pesky sewing.

I am not overstating things when I say I am in love with this cowl. I can't stop looking at it. I can't stop wearing it, even inside the house. It's so soft and so purple I almost want to eat it.

Whence comes the inspiration for this lovely and practical Crofter's Cowl? According to the Scottish Crofting Federation, a crofter is a tenant farmer in the Scottish Highlands. I like to imagine hearty crofting matriarchs sitting before a peat fire, knitting up wee lacy cowls for the men out working the soggy hillsides. Spring in Maine can be like the Scottish Highlands—relentlessly windy and damp—but a flash of purple keeps my chin warm and my spirits up.

It doesn't get any better than this.


  1. Cuteness! I've never even heard of a crowl, but I like how it doesn't have any hangy-down pieces that get in the a scarf.

  2. that looks like something i'd never want to stop wearing either. how cozy!

  3. I love that sapphire blue color! And your photos are adorable. You somehow manage to look innocent and mischievous simultaneously. ;-) Which made me realize this cowl would come in handy should you ever decide to oh, say, rob a bank and buy swords! LOL!

    (I was exploring your archives the other day, and this post in particular just deserves to be dusted off and paraded around a bit.) ;-)

    P.S. Many years ago I lived near a town in New Mexico called "Cloudcroft," which inspired me to learn what a "croft" was. I've always thought it would be a great name for a wee farm in a high, craggy, misty place, but that it was weird that New Mexico - about as far from the Scottish highlands in look, feel and culture as you can get, would have a town with that name!

  4. I agree that the cowl is beautiful. I have a sweater that looks kind of like it and I think it's gorgeous. (No, I didn't knit it. I bought it on sale.) I was tempted to make a cowl instead of a scarf but I like the extra warmth of the scarf across my chest. For spring, though, a cowl would be perfect!

  5. you are such a cutie pie!!! a super cozy cutie pie!

  6. Oh, it's gorgeous! I've been wanting to knit myself a cowl for ages, but somehow projects for other people keep getting in the way. :( Lame.


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