First Cowl Scarf

ilhiker's picture

Hi Everyone. I just finished my first cowl scarf using soft, soft wools and silk yarn. After receiving advice on blocking vs. flat drying without pinning, I dunked the piece into the cold water and hoped for the best. The stitching relaxed and settled into beautiful alignment and it acquired a much more natural drape to it. My son is seen here proudly sporting my handiwork. Thanks to all for excellent suggestions.

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Comments

TomH's picture

Beautiful, Tom. Glad you

Beautiful, Tom. Glad you posted about the blocking. I knit a lace cowl out of some beautiful wool and wasn't sure if I should block it or not. And if I do, should I just dunk it water, smooth it out and let it dry. Since it's circular, I don't think I can pin it. What did you do to block exactly? Any comments or suggestions are appreciated.

ilhiker's picture

Hi there. Actually, I'm

Hi there. Actually, I'm Mark, not Tom. :)
All I did to block it was hand press it on a towel after soaking it for 15 minutes in water with a bit of detergent (Dawn) in it, then 15 minutes in a clear water bath. Then I put it on a drying rack that came with our dryer...lots of support so there was no drooping during the drying process. Nature took care of the rest. It wasn't quite dry about an hour before my son came over....it had dried overnight...so I put a small fan in front of it and that did the trick.

TomH's picture

Maybe I'll do as you did.

Maybe I'll do as you did. But just let it dry on a towel rather than using the dryer. I'm not in any hurry. It's a belated Christmas present. So a bit more belated won't really matter.

ilhiker's picture

Hi Tom, I didn't use the

Hi Tom,
I didn't use the dryer, just the drying rack....it looks like a very very large ice tray divider with 2" open squares, perfect for drying sweaters and, in this case, the cowl.

TomH's picture

Oh, OK - thanks for clearing

Oh, OK - thanks for clearing that up for me. I couldn't imagine putting the wool in the dryer, LOL!

WillyG's picture

Oooooooh! Lace?

Oooooooh! Lace?

Heheheh...you're in for a treat if you haven't blocked lace yet. For the most part, lace lives to be blocked. It was made for blocking. There's a number of ways to do it, I imagine, but pinning it should work just fine. Come to think of it, most of the things we wear are round. Even if it's seamed, we still have to find a way to block an item such as a sweater once we go to wash it again. Here's a thought off the top of my head... if you don't have blocking wires, how about using two dowels to stretch the cowl to the desired amount of openness, and using pins to secure them (on either side of the rod)? The diameter of the dowels would help lift the top layer off the bottom a smidge, if that helps you feel better about it. Then it'd be a dowel cowl. *Slapping knee and thinking I'm hilarious*

Alternatively, use a balloon. Or a bucket. Or whatever objects you want to cram inside to help it stretch to the right size. And that was not an invitation to the peanut gallery.

TomH's picture

I've blocked quite a few

I've blocked quite a few lace projects but they are lace shawls (circular and triangle). So blocking a tube is a new experience for me. I'm leery of using anything to stretch it at either end in case that would give me an edge when it dried. Here's the patter of the lace cowl I knitted:
http://www.emilykausalik.com/2008/08/pattern-a-noble-cowl/

- Tom

Kerry's picture

Well done Mark, the cowl has

Well done Mark, the cowl has a very nice drape.

ilhiker's picture

Thanks Kerry. The drape is

Thanks Kerry.
The drape is what impressed me the most as well. The slight sheen was a nice byproduct as well.

Interestingly, I am making another cowl out of 80% acrylic and 20% wool...Lion Brand Wool-Ease Worsted Weight. It's nice and soft but not AS soft as the other one. It's also knitting smaller than the wool/wool/silk I used on the black one. I guess the acrylic may be keeping things a bit on the tight side, even though I am using the nickle-plated circular needles from Knit Picks. I was hoping this one would be for me, but perhaps for the little boy who lives a couple doors down from me. He now has a blue scarf that he loves, so this would be great to keep his neck warm too...and kids don't look for stitches that get messed up!

Mark, You did a great job on

Mark,
You did a great job on that cowl. And, the silk really gave a wonderful drape to it. Good choices! I really like the color. Thanks for the idea. Who would have thought? Oh, and how proud your son seems. Do you want another son? I am a little on the brown side, and you would have been 8 when you fathered me but... LOL

GreggC

ilhiker's picture

If I could order up another

If I could order up another son like the one I have, I would most definitely order one more, even on the brown slide. He is my life and we are absolutely the best of friends. In fact, we have started this weekend turning our thoughts to a road trip down to Florida to visit my 86-year-old mother. We used to do road trips all the time when he was also off for the summer. I am a teacher. But since he is now a world-class Web designer/developer in Chicago, his off time is rather limited. He's one of the best there is and his company treats him very well. I love going downtown to abduct him for lunch now and then and I get to see his fun co-workers and bosses. I am proud of his him an he is proud of my work with kids; teaching inner-city high school in Cleveland to middle level teaching here in the burbs of Chicago. He says he is also proud to wear what I knit. A couple in his office are closet knitters until they learned about my knitting and now they have emerged and are much happier about things. I am going to make some cowl scarves to take down to them after the BIG winter storm rolls through. I'll use the good wool/silk combo again. I think I'm spoiled now.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Mark

Mark, You did a great job on

Mark,
You did a great job on that cowl. And, the silk really gave a wonderful drape to it. Good choices! I really like the color. Thanks for the idea. Who would have thought? Oh, and how proud your son seems. Do you want another son? I am a little on the brown side, and you would have been 8 when you fathered me but... LOL

GreggC

Tom Hart's picture

Wow! Beautiful! Really

Wow! Beautiful! Really well done. Your son looks very pleased with it! As well he should be. It really looks great. Nice job, Mark.

ilhiker's picture

Thank you, Tom. It was

Thank you, Tom. It was really fun to make. It knitted up fast and felt delicious in my hands. He wore it home tonight instead of his heavy scarf I made him for Christmas. I am going to make myself one, but not with such exclusive yarn. I'm just going to make an 80% acrylic and 20% wool. If I find it too scratchy, then I'll make myself one that is better. I am trying to use up the yarn I got for Christmas.

Stay nice and warm...hard to do that here in Chicago. Brrrr!

Be well,
Mark