Back when I was using my Nifty Knitter and making hats that were just "ok" but functional and definitely keeping me from going bonkers on the road, I had the idea that a hat without a top was actually a great neckwarmer. (This was before I really understood or knew about the fashionable accessory called a cowl.) So, I proceeded to make one that would NOT go over my head. Turns out that the bind off on a Nifty Knitter is really tight, and the resulting edge has zero stretch.
But, still I knew it was a great idea.
Flash forward to my current prowess with knitting. I love making hats, and I prefer wearing cowls. And considering that I hate knitting scarves, this is actually not a bad thing. I like my cowls to fit close to my neck rather than be super-loose. I'm just not the kind of girl who is going to dress with lots of fluff or items of clothing that will get in the way of doing things. That said, a cowl, or more appropriately a neckwarmer, is just the thing for me. It keeps my neck warm when I'm freezing outside, doesn't get caught up in the zipper of my coat, and provide a stylish accessory to go with and potentially match perfectly a hat.
Enter the Spin Cycle Set:
I made this hat the day after Daddy's surgery a couple of weeks ago. I think he liked watching me knit on it and asked me about my progress every time I came up to visit him. I finished it that night, and wore it up to show him. Then the next day I cast on to make a cowl out of the same yarn. I knit it almost exactly like the hat, having a shorter ribbing on either edge and making it about 5" wide. The set looks great, is just the right color...and for now was the perfect knit. It is easy to do (only 2 rows of pattern until the decreasing at which point you have to pay a little more attention). Mary over at Hugs did a great job on this pattern and suggested just the right yarn for it (I used Noro Iro which is a nice chunky weight wool, silk and angora blend in the amazing Noro color changes). Noro never disappoints me, but when it's used with the right project (such as a simple stitch like this hat and cowl) it positively sings.
Which makes me happy on this Tuesday morning before a real, serious cold front. I'll let you know how warm it is tomorrow.