With spring just around the corner, we still have time to accessorize an outfit with the textures and colors of a crocheted cowl. I have considered crocheting cowls for awhile, but suddenly I had a window of time between projects. Since each of the cowls in the article can be completed in a day or two of full time crocheting or a week of sparetime crafting, these pieces fit right into my schedule. I began by surfing the internet or scrolling through Pinterest or Ravelry for pictures of pieces that were attractive, relatively easy to execute, and which would use only the wool and hooks that I already had on hand.
The first photo that caught my eye was the Frosty Forest Cowl, a free pattern from 5 Little Monsters (https://www.5littlemonsters.com/2019/01/frpsty-forest-cowl.html). The pattern instructions call for 4 shades of yarn in the same color family from dark to light and an I hook (5.5mm). The texture of the double V stitch was appealing. I followed the basic design, but made a few changes. I did not have 4 shades of one color on hand, but I decided to dig into my large piece scrap pile for 4 colors that would compliment each other. I ended up with 4 rows of Frostberry from left over from a shawl, 3 rows of Sparkly Silver left over from a child's ballet shrug, 3 rows of white, and 4 rows of yellow. While I made the initial chain with 90 stitches using the I hook, I switched to the H hook for the body of the cowl. I did try using the I hook throughout, but I did not like the presentation of the stitches. Using a slightly larger hook for the initial chain kept the piece from being too tight at the bottom.
If you prefer crocheting a flat piece, you can crochet a rectangle and then sew the short sides together. In this case, chain 90 +4.
Row 1:Make the first double crochet in the fourth chain fromm the hook. Crochet another DC in the same chain. Skip 2 chains. In the next chain stitch, crochet 2 DC, Chi 1, 2 DC in the same stitch.( This stitch is called a Double V Cluster.) Skip 2 chain stitches.* When you are 3 stitches from the end, skip 2 chain stitches and crochet 2 DC in the last stitch. Turn your work.
Row 2: Chain 3. Dc in the same space. Crochet your first Double V cluster in the chain 1 space of the cluster from the previous row. Continue across the until you get to the las 3 stitches. Crochet 2 DC in the same last space.
Rows 3-14 Follow instructions for row 2.
If you wish to change colors, you will make the change by stopping the final DC of the row when there 2 loops on the hook. Lay the contrasting yarn across the hook and pull through the loops to complete the DC. Turn your work Chain 3 with the new color and proceed with instructions for row 2. Leave tails of about 4-5 inches of old and new yarns and tie together. Then you will weave in ends when the piece is finished.
My second piece was the "Layer Cake" Lace Cowl from Kirsten Halloway Designs. I chose a multi-tone self striping Cozy Merino Wool(Driftwood Multi) with an H hook (5.0 mm) . The cowl comes in many sizes, but I chose to start with a 120 stitch chain to crochet the piece in the round. The set up sequence includes 8 rows of different stitch patterns that achieve the lace effect. Then you repeat rows 3-8 four more times before ending with the scalloped row 3. The piece was interesting to crochet end not too difficult to follow. If I were to use the pattern again, I would like to try a solid or a tweed so that the stitches instead of the color would be the focus of attention.
I saw the photo for the final piece before I located the pattern. I really liked the style and use of sttiches and texture. This was another cowl crocheted in the round on an H (5.0 mm) hook. I decided to wing it and figure out the stitch and row combinations as I went along. My yarn was another skein of Cozy Wool Merino but with shades red, plum, and lavender. My basic attempt included a 120 stitch beginning chain, followed by 3 rows of HDC and then 4 rows of Front Post Double Crochet alternating with Back Post Double Crochet. By changing off sections, I had 4 sections of HDC and 3 sections of the vertical stripes of the Front Post Double Crochet/Back Post Double Crochet. Eventually I found the pattern from the photos. Brooklyn Cowl by Demi Sharpe is a paid pattern found on Ravelry. It includes sizes toddler through adult and is accompanied by a matching headband. This cowl is larger than my version as it begins and ends with the Front Post Double Crochet/ Back Post Double Crochet sections.
Although I am wearing a white long-sleeved t in the photos, I can easily enhance the look with a black or colored t shirt or sweater. The project was engaging and called on me to be creative. While working with these crocheted cowls, I was encouraged by the positive remarks of my friends to work on knitted versions. Please look for my knitted cowls in a future post.
As always, I appreciate your feedback and reflections. I welcome you in doing me on my stitching journey.