rescue cowl

Two weeks ago I finished up with knitting the last of my Christmas presents. I’m always a bit behind, which is why I only get around to knitting for myself in late winter. It’s not often you mentally calculate the list of people-to-knit-for and come up short… so! I have two months of winter left and I want to make myself some cozy things as quick as possible.

In my dream world, I’d start with a sweater. I last knit myself a cardigan 5 years ago and I could do a much better job now.. I’d love to knit Woodstove Season or snuggle up in the woolly warmth of Walpole… But time is of the essence so I have started with what I have. I have a lovely stash of beautiful yarns, which I select one skein at a time, thinking they would be perfect for a hat or a pair of socks. You know, useful things. Certainly not enough for a cardigan.

mission falls wool

Knitting runs in my family though so occasionally I’ll get a mysterious parcel in the mails with miscellaneous extraneous balls of yarn, or if I’m very lucky, an aborted sweater. Well I was given one such sweater this fall… That’s the bottom half of the back there, and what I think could be the cuff of one of the sleeves. And then there’s the big tangle of bits where I think my auntie channeled all her frustrations before popping it in a bag for me. Lucky me!  She’s has an amazing eye for colour and I was admiring the evenness of her fair isle, thinking it would be a pity to pull it out…


…when I realized that this project didn’t need to be frogged when it was halfway to a nice little COWL for me. So I untangled all those scraps of wool and took a good look at the pattern to see what I could do with it. Most sweater backs are between 19 and 25 inches wide, depending on the size. These are the PERFECT dimensions for a cowl. My aunt had gotten about 6 inches into the pattern before changing her mind, and most cowls are between 9 and 12 inches high. It would be a good height if I could turn those scraps into another 4 or 5 inches of knitting. It didn’t take long to improvise a pattern repeat and I am after a delightful evening knitting away obsessively on my project of creative-reuse. Now, any one else have any half-knit sweaters out there? I recommend giving up on the sweater and making yourself a cowl! Here’s mine where it belongs on the coat rack, ready for the next wintry walk.


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  1. I had to look up what a cowl was! Good idea.
    Looking at your notebook makes me realise how complicated knitting is. I reckon knitters and mathematicians would get along.