We're in the midst of a cold snap where I live, with a wind chill taking the feeling of most temperatures low enough that kids go straight into school when they arrive, none of this mucking about in the snow nonsense.
Ten minutes outside, your cheeks are bright red: the other day when I was on my way to the trainer's a very grownup lady actually started saying Ho Ho Ho! Meeeeerrry Christmas! and tapping her tummy with her mittens when she saw me. (at first I thought maybe she was still recovering from a Christmas party the night before, but then I checked the mirror at Carol's and saw Mrs. Claus looking back at me.)
In these circumstances I always think about knitting warm hats, because I am always freezing, and this time, I got obsessed with cowls. You know, the long kind that you can wrap twice around your neck and still pull up like a hood?
I very quickly decided on the gorgeous Marian cowl (again, this is free at Ravelry) and my super chunky Cascade Magnum. Winding that into a skein was an adventure, let me tell you; the ball winder was full to overflowing just after the halfway point, and I was thrilled to find a knot a little beyond that so I could stop handwinding onto the cake:
I didn't have the recommended 15mm needles, but Trish had some in close to the right length in 12.75 with which I was able to get gauge, so I got straight to work and - feeling I must say like I was using the Giant's sock yarn and needles after they were shimmied down the beanstalk by Jack - finished in about two hours from cast-on.
Isn't it fabulous?
It came out to exactly the diameter the pattern calls for, and I was able to go a little longer in the height department because there is so much yardage in one skein of Magnum. In fact, I still have quite a bit left over. All good, yes?
Not so much. Problems:
Glam as it is, it's too wide to hold heat next to your body in a cold snap, and too narrow to wrap twice.
In spite of trying, I failed to achieve the twist that would have made it a stunning yet warm necklace.
Folded close to retain heat over my short neck, it looks like a puffy neck brace.
It makes an awesome shawl you don't have two worry about the ends of dipping into the dishwater, but the Cascade sheds like nobody's business, so I wouldn't be tossing it on over my usual black Ts.
Also, my body shape no longer cries out for a horizontal, flat band of colour across my upper region.
So into the frog pond it goes. I will make it again, either narrower to be a stand up collar I can tuck my chin into - the Magnum is super soft and cuddly - or wider for the foldy option. or both! Because I have some super chunky black wool from a different company that I bet would look awesome paired with the underspun green of the Magnum.
News You Can Use:
When you work with super huge bulky yarn at loose gauge, you don't need to think about threading a needle to work the ends in. Just poke the ends through the holes in a weaving fashion with your fingertips, then separate some fibers to push the last little bit through where they will, wool being wool, get stuck.