Each day I don a sweater jacket or my Peruvian tunic in the morning only to shed it by midday. Yet I am not disappointed; it is finally getting colder here in the Mid-South! I've been eyeballing my sweaters, telling them it won't be long. I've even taken the time to create a new Pinterest board called Sweaters!. I think I am psychologically endeavoring to usher fall weather in.
And yet, despite the floundering temperatures, I am trying to think in cold terms anyway. Thus the creation of this new, brilliantly regal cowl.
Most of the time creating patterns begins with a design idea and the materials you choose to use are based off of that. But on occasion, I find myself buying a yarn that I don't have anything in mind for. Usually these are discount or clearance novelty yarn.
Such is the case with a skein of Lion Brand Landscape yarn. I had never used this yarn before but when I saw it in the clearance basket at Joann's the other day, the orange-red color of their Pumpkin shade just grabbed me. As a general rule, I do not like or wear red. One reason is because I don't look good in your average blue-red. My shade of red is more orange, like this yarn, and it is rarely available in clothing lines. But another reason is how bold red is. They say it's a power color, and I don't care to exhibit that much power.
And yet, when paired with white, or off-white in my case, red is the perfect choice. I love the wintry scenes featuring some object of red on a snowy background. A cardinal in a snow covered tree, for instance. Or someone wearing a red scarf (I think of the Fleet Foxes song, White Winter Hymnal). Therefore, it is no surprise that for the last two years I have been in love with the Scandinavian Christmas theme. But I'm digressing.
Back to the subject at hand, I had an exciting time designing this cowl. It was relatively easy and I only had to rip a few times. Previously, I had created a handful of cowls for Crochet Spot that are just as simple but normally longer (for instance, Démodé Summer Cowl, Wildflower Cowl, and Hyacinth Cowl). This time I had an inspiration for a shorter but taller cowl, one with an average drape and a picot border.
At first I was going to select a simple stitch pattern and incorporate a unique stitch on top and bottom, with a row in the center. Only I couldn't find a satisfactory stitch pattern. So instead I selected the Spatter Pattern (page 51 of the Ultimate Crochet Stitch Bible), and created my own shells and picots border.
One thing I have learned along the crocheting way is that if you want a piece to feel as loose at the beginning as it is at the end, you will need to use a bigger hook for the beginning chain. I really despise creating a lovely cowl but the bottom is more resistant to stretching because of the tight foundation chain. To prevent such an effect I chose hook size L (8.00mm) and chained 72. I joined the chain to form a ring, the base of the cowl. This part is always interesting since I always work into the bottom ridge of the chain instead of alternate methods like the front, back, or two chains. But it works out just the same. For round 1 and the rest of the cowl I used crochet hook size J (6.00mm).
I worked the Spatter Pattern for the next 14 rounds in no time. Since I wasn't happy with the border suggestions in the book, I decided upon a simple 5 double crochet shell with a 3 chain picot in the middle of each shell. The result was very pleasing. It gave the piece an old kingdom air so that I was tempted to call it Spires and Parapet Cowl, only I was sure this was too wordy. Out of the list (see here for my list of possible names) I chose Charlemagne. I don't know about you but I think it really gets across the feeling of knights and maidens, castles and kingdoms.
It took so little time to create I could have posted it right after posting my Snappy Fedora pattern, but I always pace my posts, a little this, a little that. Besides, since I am so fond of this design I wanted to take the time to get good pictures for it.
My sister took the pictures for me, like she has done often. But then again, on most occasions I use her as the model and take the pictures myself. She makes such a good model, doing what I tell her to do, wearing what I tell her to wear, allowing me to try crazy hair/makeup tricks on her, etc. I train my sisters well.
Anyway, the pictures turned out well and I am trying not to think too hard on the fact that they are actually pictures of me. I in turn regard them as product pictures.
Are you interested in the pattern? I hope so! Here it is:
Skill Level easy
Finished Size 11” (28 cm) long and 8” (20 cm) wide, laid flat
Medium Weight Yarn (approximately 147 yards or 1 skein of Lion Brand Landscape – Color Pumpkin in the picture)
Crochet Hook J (6.00mm), and L (8.00mm) for beginning chain
6 sc = 2’’
6 rows = 2’’
Gauge Swatch: 2’’w x 2’’h (5 cm x 5 cm) ch 7.
Row 1: sc in second ch from hook and in each ch across: 6 sc
Row 2 – 6: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across: 6 sc
Picot: ch 3, sl st in previous st to create a point.
Round 1: with larger hook, ch 72 and sl st in first ch to form ring (careful not to turn chain), ch 1, * sc in next ch, skip 2 ch, (dc, [ch 2, dc] twice) in next ch, skip next 2 ch, repeat from * around, sl st in first sc: 36 sc
Round 2: ch 5 (counts as dc and ch-2), turn, dc in first sc, * skip next dc, sc in next dc, (dc, [ch 2, dc] twice) in next sc, repeat from * around, skip next dc, sc in next dc, (dc, ch 2) in beg st, sl st in 3rd ch of beg ch-5: 36 dc
Round 3: ch 1, turn, sc in nextst, * (dc, [ch 2, dc] twice) in next sc, skip next dc, sc in next dc, repeat from * around, instead of last sc, sl st in first sc: 36 sc
Round 4 – 14: repeat Rounds 2 – 3
Round 15: ch 1, * sc in next st, skip next dc, (3 dc, picot, 2 dc) in next dc, repeat from * around, sl st in first sc: 60 dc
See? It's quite simple and won't take any time at all to work up. If you would like a personal copy of this pattern then you can purchase one at Ravelry or Etsy (just follow the links).
But I am dying to know, what do you think?! Do you like the pattern? the stitch choice? the color? Any ideas or thoughts are greatly coveted, just leave me a comment below!