I had an idea. (I have ideas all the time.)
I cast on. (With just the vaguest of plans.)
I place some markers and went to work knitting.
I was wowed!
The results are so much better than I envisioned—This is the nicest cowl I think I have ever knit!
Do you like it too? Well-- it will be up on Ravelry, the pattern for sale, before the day is out!
The first example (rose and green) uses a hand painted yarn from a small local vendor—There isn't any of the same available right now, but there are so many small local vendors of hand painted yarn—and this pattern would look good in many color ways. This pattern is perfect for a single skein of special yarn (what better place for a special yarn than framing your face?)
The yarn was a Peruvian wool worsted weight yarn, with 100g yielding 247 yards. The pattern didn't use all the yarn. The second example (bright pink, pale orange and taupe) was knit with a 100g skein of Paton's Classic Wool, (merino) 100g/223 yards—and there was more than enough yarn in that skein. (There were a half dozen or so yards left over—not a scary inch or two!)
I dyed the skein of Patons-- See the previous post for details. But I think this cowl/collar would look also look lovely in a semi solid yarn, or even in a simple solid. Some soft luxury yarn, that you can only afford a single skein of—for example—one that needs a special project.
I added a rose, because I thought the soft red and green color way was similar to the foliage on a rose bush—and I thought a rose was the perfect little embellishment and finishing touch. But it's optional-- I think the second example of the cowl—with out any added embellishment is lovely all on its own.
The pattern for the embellishment is not included—but I do have a free pattern for a similar rose availability on Ravelry.com—it's shown as stick pin, but it's easy to make it into a pin on flower.
And there are several books (including this brand new one—Noni Flowers by Nora Bellows ) with ideas for knit flowers and embellishments. (see a review and previewhere)
The pattern includes both written out and charted directions for the lace, and links: to the free pattern for the knit rose, and to directions for the suggested cast on (Channel Island)--all on two pages. A third page (optional to print out)—includes 4 full color photos. There is a thumb nail image included on the first page.
Cowls are small and fast to knit, and this cowl is no exception. I think I want to knit another, or maybe 2 more. I think I could knit and embellish a half dozen before I got bored. Think how pretty it would be in a peacock blue, (a solid or a color way of the same) with a peacock feather pin added! Or in jewel tones, and a ornate piece of jewelry pinned center front. Oh, the possibilities are endless.