Cowl Girls: The Neck's Big Thing to Knit
by Cathy Caroon
Cowls are the new knit accessory craze; warm as a scarf but without the floppy, draggly ends to deal with. I agree with this craze! I knitted a simple cowl recently, basically I knit a flat piece on the bias and then grafted to make a seamless tube. It's easy to pull on over a sweater and it pulls up like a hood if need be. Versatile, comfortable and stylish. Yep, I like cowls!
Cowlgirls has 41 patterns, from plain jane to colorwork and there will probably be one that appeals to your fashion sensibilities. I happened to really like four in particular: the "wrapture" which covers the shoulders like a shawlette-cowl combo, "Seed Stitch" which is simple and elegant, Cabled Cowl which has elegant textures and pleases the eye, and Neverending Story, a looped scarf that can be wrapped as a cowl and has attractive colorwork.
There were not a lot of lacy cowls in finer gauge yarn, so if you are a lace knitter, you might not like the thicker yarns used. On the other hand, if you are a handspinner of worsted-weight yarns or dk yarns, you might like the book a lot; cowls are relatively yarn-sparing compared to long scarves and sweaters or shawls and can adapt to unique handspuns.
Here's an issue; the weight of the yarns that are used was not given, just the name of the yarn. But using sleuthing on the web from various sites such as wiseneedle or ravelry, you can figure out the gauge/weight/yardage requirements and sub your own yarns. And, because cowls are mostly not as gauge-sensitive as a sweater, you should have some ability to adjust without a lot of worry.
I like this book and I am sure it will give you a lot of knitting pleasure as well as ideas for cowls of your own. It's a good book and worth owning.
Reviewed by Joanna Daneman
Joanna's twitter page can be found at http://twitter.com/jayelldee where you can see what she's reading now.