Cowl of Attrition

Here’s an update on a project you never knew I was making (unless you’re me. Which you’re not).

For a while now I’ve had my eye on the Big Herringbone Cowl by Purl Bee. It looks like a big hug in the form of a knitted accessory and epitomises the kind of casual chic I *wish* I could carry off, ever. Plus, it adds a skill to my skillset in the form of herringbone stitch, which looks like it’s really simple to do and comes out with a lovely woven (i.e. non-knitted) texture.

I gather they have made theirs in Blue Sky’s Worsted yarn which is a fine merino/royal alpaca blend.

I have not used this yarn to make mine.

herringbone cowl progress picture

I have used some plastic yarn (which is actually quite nice & soft) which I acquired from Wigan indoor market to make Lily’s poncho with, along with an array of exciting primary colours. There was plenty left, and I thought the flecks of primary colours against the “natural” base colour would add a spark of interest.

Can anyone see yet, why the effortless chic is such a goddamn stretch for me?

I started out using the bamboo needles I got a few years ago – one of a set of various sizes costing 99p plus P&P from China. Generally they’ve been good, but when they’ve failed it’s usually that they split at the point where the needle meets the plastic circular wire. And, of course, they usually fail beyond being able to cope with the failure (I’ve tried sellotape and insulation tape – the red looks *awesome* against pretty much any knitting) in the middle of a project. I got to the point above, and it became clear that they could no longer take the strain (cap’n). So I sent off for a new pair. I searched in amazon for the relevant size, and was excited to see an Addi pair listed for only a fiver. I jumped on them, and looked forward to renewed vigour on the herringbone cowl (not that I was espcially lacking vigour, but the threat of all your stitches suddenly flying free is quite the dampener) once they arrived.

This pattern requires 10mm needles. I had ordered 6mm needles. Oh, the disappointment.

Did I send them back? Did I heck – I’ve held on to them for I now know that Addi needles are a thing of beauty and loveliness. I’m now looking for a project that requires 6mm circular needles to use them on (answers on a postcard, please!). And have sent off for some slightly cheaper 10mm ones, I checked the size twice, and everything, and surely to goodness they arrived a couple of days later.

They may be a little short for this project. I’m going to apply the Ostrich solution until this is undeniably proven to be the case, though.

One other thing I’m applying to Ostrich solution to is the curliness of the bottom edge.

curly bottom edge

I’m hoping that, in spite of the quality of the yarn, blocking this once it’s finished will stop this from curling back on itself quite so violently. Plan B, when my ostrich self has been proven to be a freakin’ idiot, is to tack a hem round it.

In the meantime I’m going to pretend that none of this is happening and carry on knitting around and around in the pretty new stitch I’ve learnt. And also pretend it doesn’t feel like it’s growing like the slowest slow thing ever, hence the title.

Watch this space!

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