2 Fleece-like Improvised Cowl FO's

Pattern: 2 Improvised Men's Cowls
Yarn: Rowan Brushed Fleece (one ball per cowl)
Source: Eweknit Toronto
Colour: Peat
Needles: 6mm circular
Start: December 12 Finish: December 21, 2014

Before he left for London last Spring Number One Son grabbed a couple of basic black fleece cowls from the "just in case" collection at the bottom of our familial ski bag and took them to wear under a light jacket against the British chill.

I'm sure I don't need to tell you, how painful it is, to see a loved one wearing fleece where some wonderful knitted item could be doing the job so much better and more beautifully!

Nonetheless I knew making something he'd like as a substitute meant I'd best respect the fleece aesthetic and minimize knitterly flourishes. So I picked up a wonderful (new?) yarn called Brushed Fleece by Rowan.

I've likened this yarn to knitting with warm air. Soooo light and soft and once knitted up, soooo warm! I've many an idea floating around in my brain for future projects with this lovely stuff.

As you can clearly see just above, the yarn deadens the affect of knitted detail, without obscuring it with fuzziness - especially so in this darkest grey colour. Knitted flat, as the name implies, it handily conveys a look similar to polyester fleece. One ball yielded a stockinette tube 8" high.

I used a provisional cast on in case he favoured a double layer cowl planning to graft tube end to tube end but it was big enough to alternatively go over his head as knit should he prefer a single layer. I put the live stitches at the top on a string and had My Beloved try it on  to see how it fit before our traveller returned. The trick was though, I wrapped it up for My Beloved and put it under the tree with his name on it.

Next I wrapped a second ball of Brushed Fleece, labelling it for Number One Son and looked forward to Christmas morning with something for him to try on (Beloved's finished cowl) and hearing what he might want while My Beloved would be surprised at finding the first knit cowl was actually for him!

My Beloved wasn't the only one who got a surprise though. Number One Son surprised me with a request for Braided Cables on his cowl. He wanted them closely spaced all the way around and he'd like 1x1 ribbing top and bottom please.

I didn't explain the yarn wouldn't give him the crisp kind of cabled look I think he imagined. I've learned non knitters rarely care to hear such granular detail.

Instead I got to work seeing just what the yarn could handle. Tight, 6 stitch braids crossing every three rounds came out looking like weird puckers. Loose, widely spaced braids of the same size had the appearance of stubborn wrinkles. Between these extremes I found a nice middle ground. I knit the ball up using that approach, pirating a couple of rounds worth of yarn from the first cowl to make the ribbing symmetrical after working my little improvised chart 3 times.

He's very pleased with the result, as am I. Interesting to see, if you look at the first photo above, how much smaller the cabled cowl is than the stockinette version while taking a bit more yarn to complete.
And check out the finished ensemble of finger less "Charcoal" mitts and "Peat" cowl together! (Try to ignore the crazily short rolled pant legs - I'm told its part of the "look" in London - it'll probably be a while before it makes it across the Atlantic but when it does remember you saw it here first!)


Brendaknits said...

Thanks for explaining the rolled pants. I was wondering. I know London experiences lots of rain, but flood pants?

Lorraine said...

Marie- My son adores his fingerless mittens, but I have yet to get him on board with a cowl.

Clearly, your boy is much more hip and stylin', as well as smart to keep warm.