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.