Thursday, January 05, 2012

Crochet a Cowl

Last year my good friend Kelli gave me a wonderful skein of yarn that she hand spun for me, a unique creation of four different shades of purple, each in long sections. I looked and looked at this skein of yarn for months trying to decide on a worthy project. I wish I had gotten a picture of the little cake with its bulls-eye appearance before I greedily worked it up, but one day last month it just came over me the exact thing that this skein wanted to be and I had it on my hook before you can say "snap a picture!"

In a couple of hours I had not only a beautiful version of my Learn To Crochet Cowl, but a little headband and a flower for embellishment. You can see in the picture the three spare yarn bits left from using the entire skein. I love it when that happens.
The flower motif is from Edie Eckman's Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs (page 39), and the headband was made by working just the first 10 rows of the cowl pattern. I wish you could feel how soft this is. The yarn is a single-ply merino and has sort of a thick-and-thin thing going on. It was smooth and fun to crochet with it. Now that I've gotten decent pictures and have shared them with you I can't wait to wear it. Thanks so much, Kelli!

The next part of the story is that after doing those hat and headband liners in the earflap hats (seen here), I wanted to try the same thing on this little headband. I will tell you my foibles so that it may save you from the same fate.

I went to the local craft store and got me some Dylon purple dye because it's a little less expensive than Rit dye and it's been a long time since I tried to dye fabric (think tie-dye in the 60's and its resurgence in the 80's). Also, I knew I only wanted to dye these two little pieces of what were white polyester fleece (left) and natural color wool felt (right). The package tells you that the dye works best on cotton, linen, and viscose, and that it will yield lighter shades on polyester, wool, silk, etc. Home test complete--the package does not lie! The polyester was only slightly changed, while the wool felt soaked it up in a somewhat mottled manner. I think I will line the little headband with the fleece. The wool felt still seems to be letting go of some of its purpleness and I do not want a purple forehead, thank you very much.

As an aside, I have just recently discovered (while balancing up the 2011 books and generating all those telling sales reports) that the Learn to Crochet Cowl is getting about 70 downloads a month. I love that! If you haven't downloaded your free copy of my cowl pattern, well go and grab it. Whether you already know how to crochet or have been wanting to learn, this is a fun project.

Oh, yeah, and Happy 2012 already!!


Pumpkin said...

That flower is adorable! That is the main reason why I want to learn to crochet, to make pretty little flowers like that.

GirlAnachronismE said...

The cowl looks great, and I love the matching headland as well

Kelli said...

OH! I'm so honored you used the yarn for a special Mirth project. It's lovely - I must learn to crochet! Thanks Jen :)

Natalie Goza said...

@Kelli, I have really been itching to learn crochet too lately. Must jump in and do it. lol

fig said...

Thanks Pumpkin! Little flowers are the most fun way to start, especially when you can use them to embellish your knits! Girl, thanks for stopping by and for the compliments. Your yarn was so fun to stitch with. Both you and Nat certainly should get hooking. :-)