cowls.

I know I’m way late to the party on this one, and I have to give Hilary credit — she was talking about knitting cowls out of all of the warm, beautiful yarn we were petting at my LYS, and suddenly I was buying this gorgeous skein of Manos to make a cowl for a friend. Over the weekend, while soup was being prepared, I made some serious progress on cowl #1. (So nice to be able to knit in the kitchen — not something you can do by yourself.)

Apologies for my dirty mirror. Here’s another shot:

I followed the worsted weight mods for the Dolores Park Cowl, but didn’t pay much attention to gauge or needle size (I used US 9s), so it turned out a bit more slouchy than I was expecting. It looks enormous on the table! I wore it around the house for a bit yesterday, and I’ve decided that I like it this way — with a sheepier yarn, perhaps it makes sense to go for something slouchier to improve comfort and create the right amount of warmth. I’m convinced now, but I NEEDED to make another just to make sure. I had some extra Malabrigo laying around, so I cast on 72 st, using the 9s again, and roughly followed the pattern, though I threw in a decrease row about 8 or so rows before the second purl ridge.

This is perhaps a tad snug — perfect in Malabrigo, but perhaps it would be annoying to a non-knitter in a different yarn? Also, this confirms for me that cowls should be bright! I think I’m going to hold onto this one, as it has already come in quite handy for keeping me warm while Boh takes care of his morning business. I’d also like to note that I began knitting this cowl yesterday, after beginning work on a paper for this afternoon, and that I completed the cowl last night. The paper is still only half written…

Also, I’m super excited to link to a shot of one of my pinwheel blankets in real life. Remember that wedding I went to in California last month? The one where I was weaving in the ends to the green pinwheel just before the ceremony, and thus had no picture of the finished product to share? The newlyweds in question purchased a house this year, and have been posting pictures of their progress as they turn it into “home”. Check out that blanket draped over a chair in the living room! One of these days I’m going to need to make a pinwheel blanket to keep, though I imagine Boh will fight me for it.

another convert…

jills-hat.jpg

This gorgeous hat was made by its wearer — in just over 24 hours. The dear friend I was staying with in NYC asked if we could get her some knitting materials on Sunday evening. We made our way to Purl, and with 15 minutes before closing time, she made her decision: a very full red color of Manos del Uruguay, and some size 9 16 inch circulars. I helped with the cast on, and soon she had inches of ribbing completed. We decreased during the televised MLK Democratic Party debate on Monday night, made the pom-pom before bed, and it was ready to be worn on Tuesday morning.  She did a great job on this hat, and it looks beautiful, particularly with her all-black wardrobe (just kidding, JP).

Time to share a few NYC yarn acquisitions:

cashmere-merino-yellow.jpg

This is a super soft cashmere/merino/mohair blend from School Products — about 500 yds of it. I am thinking this may be perfect for the Chevalier Mittens (ravelry link). I also picked up a few skeins of Koigu — too pretty to pass up.

koigu.jpg

Also, though I have not yet entirely articulated my 2008 goals (soon, I promise), socks are quite central. I even joined the Yarn Pirate Booty Club in December to further inspire me to learn new techniques and try more complex patterns. I just received the January installment — my first — and while I will not post any pictures or details just yet (nobody wants to be a surprise spoiler), this yarn is every bit as gorgeous as the hype!