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Cashmere Cowl Season is here.

Cashmere Cowl Season - Is it a thing?

For me, yes. When the weather gets chilly, I don a cashmere cowl and literally wear it All. Day. Long. . . and oftentimes, all night long, too - especially when it's cashmere. That's the beauty of this fiber - it's lightweight, warm but also regulates with your body heat so not too warm, and when I wear it around my neck, it keeps me toasty and comfortable. 

Knitting a cashmere cowl

I designed this cowl so that it could be knit from just one skein of our DK weight cashmere. It's a fun, satisfying weekend knit, meant for all knitters. I opened up the cashmere fabric by using a US size 6, 16" circular knitting needle. My design process was the papa-, mama-, baby-bear scenario again aka third time's the charm.
  • Design 1: I didn't like the placement of the cable-like motif (which isn't cables at all by the way - simple lace and purl stitches make up this cowl).
  • Design 2: I saw some knit stitches I wanted to remove and realized after wearing the cowl for a while, I needed to taper it slightly at the top so that it wouldn't droop. Cowls have a tendency to flop onto themselves; I wanted this one to stay a bit more upright and close to the neck while still being loose fitting.
  • Design 3: Removing 10 stitches was all it took to reduce the circumference from 21 3/4" down to 19 1/4", and that was enough to achieve my goal. Designing is a process of do and redo; one day it can feel like all your work was a total loss and defeat, except that it was the necessary means to the end of what you hoped to achieve. 

Here are my three samples - shown in Pumpkin (Design 2), Moss (Design 1), and Aegean (Design 3). I took this photo before I ripped out Design 1 to re-use the yarn for something else (which is an amazing aspect of this yarn - you can knit with it, unknit, reknit, and it still holds its integrity. . . when we say it's made to last, we mean it!). If you look closely, you can see that the lace motif is positioned differently on the Moss sample than on the Pumpkin and Aegean samples. I took the photo, though, to show different color samples on our product page. 

Washing and blocking cashmere

Another aspect of our cashmere yarn is what happens when you wash and block it. We say that your project is not complete until you have washed and blocked it the first time. That is when the stitches even out, the yarn blooms, and you get the full impact of the knit design. See what I mean comparing these two photos:


All-day Cowl finished but unwashed and unblocked.



All-day Cowl washed and blocked.

Wow, what a difference! The result shows us why swatching is important - and washing and blocking our swatch is absolutely necessary to give us accurate gauge. Some knitters skip this step but I can't figure out how anything ever fits correctly if one jumps into knitting the project without truly checking gauge. I admit, I love to swatch. For design work, it's creative magic to me. When swatching for gauge, it's a chance to learn the pattern stitches, work out the bugs, and center myself into the project. I keep a notebook of those swatches, a thing of beauty in its own right in my opinion. 

So there you have it - the making of a cowl and the encouragement to embrace Cashmere Cowl Season from now til spring. I'm pretty sure you won't be sorry. 

Find our kit here: All-day Cowl kit

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Until next time, find joy in making with our yarn.  -- Amy

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