Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Potterphiles - BEWARE!

This has been a very long time coming...and it is finally here. My first Harry Potter themed cowl!

I had a request from a colleague to knit up a cowl for his daughter's birthday. He asked if I was familiar with the Harry Potter books and movies. I instantly reddened, thinking to myself, "if only he knew". I politely nodded, and said, well "yes, of course". He asked me knit up a cowl in one of the house colours. Now, your instinct might be similar to mine. I thought he would want a Gryffendor cowl for his daughter. No no, he corrected me. His daughter falls under the He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named catagory of fans. Yes, my little cowlards: he wanted a Slytherin cowl.

Feel free to substitute the colours I mention for those of your favorite house. I personally like Hufflepuff just because the colours are cool - but will always be Gryffendor.

Here's the pattern for the now-infamous Slytherin Cowl:


US 15 (10.00mm) circular needles
Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick - Charcoal
Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick - Pine


Cast on 50 stitches with Charcoal
Place marker, and join in the round
K1 P1 and repeat for 4 rounds

Knit the next 4 rounds in Charcoal
Switch to Pine, and knit 4 rounds
Switch back to Charcoal, and knit 4 rounds
Switch to Pine, and knit 6 rounds
Switch to Charcoal, and knit 4 rounds
Switch to Pine, and knit 4 rounds
Switch to Charcoal, knit 4 rounds
K1 P1 for the final 4 rounds

Bind off!
If you want to get really creative, you can stitch in the "Dark Mark" for added evil.
Simple, no?

Monday, 12 December 2011

The Giveaway is finally here!

Greetings to all my lovely followers (not sure on the number, it could be one and it could be one million, nevertheless, I'm just happy you're here and reading).

There is a wonderful giveaway being offered by "Whatever, Eurotrash" - an innovative, intelligent and well researched fashion blog focusing on Canadian, vintage and designer fashion and fashion culture. The giveaway is quite simple: read the blog, name the Eurotrash mascot (see the girl looking like she's going to regurgitate last night's Campari/soda, yup, that's the mascot). You'll be automatically entered to win . One of the prizes included in the giveaway is a custom made cowl by yours truely, The Little Cowl Company.

Here's the direct link to the blog:

Don't forget to check out her other blog postings. You will laugh, be informed of the latest happenings, and of course, want to run out and buy/rock/wear one of her outfits. I try to control myself every time I read her latest posting.

Happy reading and of course, as the Italians bocca al lupo (good luck)!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


Happy December everyone! I hope everyone is feverishly knitting up warm and cozy presents, or buying a special present for the special knitter in their lives.

Since Christmas is just around the corner, I am so happy to mention a wonderful giveway being presented by my good friend at

The contest is "12 Days of Eurotrash Christmas" and entering is easy.

Simply go to: and name the "Whatever Eurotrash" mascot girl. In addition to the wonderful things included in the prize pack is an exclusive cowl knit by "The Little Cowl Company" (aka me!). The cowl is 100% Italian wool, in a lovely colourway of charcoal, grey, and cream.

Good luck to all who enter!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Craft Shows & Fairs

Happy Sunday to all you lovely readers. I have been going crazy with cowls and work...that I have temporarily abandoned my blog! Accept my most humble apologies as I now jump right back into it with a tiny little commentary on a craft show I recently attended.

In an effort the protect the privacy of the person I am about to blast, I will not name the craft show I attended over the past weekend. However, if you dig hard enough (or if you may have attended) then you know which show I'm talking about. I decided to browse the various tables and booths to get an idea of what was being sold, how it was being sold, prices, displays, customer service, and the type of crowd to expect. Needless to say, things were very different through the eyes of a possible vendor rather than a consumer.

Since I specialize in knitting cowls and other warm fuzzy accessories, I was drawn to booths of the same genre. There were about 5 or 6 booths with an array of different knit and crochet items (hats, scarves, wrist warmers, doggie gear, baby gear etc). Many were lovely, with a gorgeous assortment of designs and items. The products were different, well made, well priced and well displayed. It made me so happy to see people interested in the craft (well, in particular, the yarn) world.

There was one vendor who slightly irked me. She was a cute little old lady, sitting in her walker and with a breathing tube no less. She was selling lovely scarves and cowls, and so naturally, she got my attention right away. If you, my yarnaholic knitting freak of a reader is for whatever reason standing up as you are reading this: SIT DOWN NOW. I warn you, the words I am about to type will possibly enrage you. This cute little old lady was selling the most lovely ruffled small stitch scarves....3 for 10 dollars. Yup....3 scarves...for $10. That's $3.33 each. That's not even enough to cover the cost of yarn used (one was made of a yarn I have seen at Michael's that sells for $6.99 plus tax).

I don't know if I'm proud or not of the fact that I told the lady off. Anyone that is in the business of selling knit items knows that non-knitters tend to not understand the work, effort and dedication involved in knitting something by hand. So when a scarf is priced at $3.33, a non-knitter would think "Hey, what a great deal! Why is the lady at the next booth over selling it for $30?!". I told the lady that it wasn't fair or right that she was selling her items for such a ridiculously low price, that it did not do justice to the community of knitters and that she wasn't being fair to herself (for the amount of work she put into the items) or to the other vendors trying to sell similar products.

Let me conclude this blog post by stating one thing: I will be at that craft show next year, and I will sell my cowls for the price that I think is fair for a consumer and for myself. I will do justice to myself, and to my fellow knitters. I will do justice to the quality of the work involved, the yarn being used, and will not sacrifice drawing in people with low prices in exchange for short-changing myself, my passion for knitting, and all other knitters and crocheters out there.

If you are reading this and you are a non-knitter, and maybe you have looked at my products (or other people's products) and thought that the price was a little steep, let me humbly clarify some things. To knit a cowl (for example) takes me anywhere from 3-6 hours. It physically strains the fingers, wrists, elbows, upper back, neck and eyes. Yarn costs money (the better the quality, the higher the price). Knitting needles cost money. Cards, bags, gift wrap, and business fees cost money. Patterns take time to develop and perfect, mistakes are made, costing more time. At the end of the day, the profit margin is not high...but I do love what I do.

Someone who sells scarves that are hand knit for such a ridiculously low price has one (or all) of the following things underestimated: themselves, their effort, the quality of the scarf, or the intelligence of the consumer. So although that little old lady may have possibly sold all the scarves she toiled away at knitting, I ask you, reader, what is your opinion?

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Ravelry = Heaven

I noticed that I tend to start my blog posts with "so...". I just realized where it came from. Ever watch "Clueless"?! Cher tends to start all her debate speeches with , "so, ok, like...". I think I may have watched that movie a few too many time. Not like I know the dialogue like the back of my hand. Anyhoo, I digress from my intended blog topic...RAVELRY!

Ravelry is like facebook for knitters. It is splendid in every way, shape, and formI joined Ravelry a few months ago on the advice of my boss. It has since changed my life. I find fellow knitters from my community, check out sales, knitters in other countries, knitters with my interests (um, chunky yarn anyone?). If anyone reading this blog has not tapped the infinite resource that is, please do so. Now.

Let me give you a few examples.

Example 1. When I was in Italy this past summer, I hit the lovely little town of Bergamo (I was on my way to Milan to check out a very high profile concert at San Siro stadium), and came across a lovely little store that sold Tarn (t-shirt yarn). As I was sitting and having my super expensive cappuccino and brioche, I noticed many young women carrying purses crocheted with this gorgeous material. I go on ravelry, find a group based out of Bergamo, and BOOM, I have begum my journey of finding out more about this tarn, how I can knit this purse, and be happy.

Example 2. Yarn swaps. There are hundreds of groups designated to yarn swaps. What is a yarn swap, you may ask? The moderator of the group partners you up with someone with similar interest, then you swap yarn and other goodies. How cool is that?! SUPER cool, if you ask me!

Even if you are not a knitter, but want the perfect knit item, check out ravelry for pics, patterns and ideas. Then send it to your favorite knitter (Nonna, mother, aunt, sister, friend, or commission someone to do it, someone like, maybe, The Little Cowl Company).

Happy Ravelling!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Cowl Trend

So yesterday I was driving around downtown Toronto. I much prefer the summer, but that's not the point.

As I was stuck in traffic waiting to get on to the highway, I had nothing else to do other than listen to some Italian music, curse the cyclists touching my car, and people watch. I noticed a gorgeous array of (mostly) women wearing splendid cowls. Long, short, and bulky, these cowls colouring the streets of Toronto made me so happy.

It was a bit curious, as I have had to explain to many people what, exactly a cowl is. So to see so many people wearing them made me kinda excited. They're becoming mainstream!!

If you, my lovely reader, was wondering what a cowl is, let me break it down for you again (in the words of Lauryn Hill). A cowl is a neckwarmer. Ever looked at or bought a sweater or top with a "cowl neck"? It's kind of a slouchy neckline, with the fabric gently draping over the chest area. It is not v-neck, or scoop, or it is not structured. It usually hangs at or below the collar bone, and tends to be quite flattering.

A cowl, therefore, has the same draping effect, but it's goal is to warm the neck and upper chest in a non-structured and effortless way. There are a million and one different types of a million and one different types of fabrics. It's just a matter of finding one that suits you.

Check out my website: for an idea of what types of cowls I create!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

In search of the perfect super bulky (6) wool

So I'm a yarn snob.

I turn my nose up to *shudders* acrylic, polyester and any other 'cheap' feeling yarn. I like warm, cozy, natural fibres. If it's organic, naturally dyed (or in it's natural colour, even better), I'm a happy camper.

Problem with this? Price. God, the price. Spending $20 per 50g skein is a tad insane in my books. I get quality vs. quantity and all that jazz...but I'm young, single, and have a lovely mortgage that sucks the life out of me. I do not believe that one should have to pay an extravagent amount of money for a simple, classic wool. If people have been knitting it for centuries, why is it so hard to come across now?!

Therefore...I'm on the hunt for the perfect skein of bulky wool in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA for all you non-GTAers). Sheep farms, yarn shops, expert and novice knitters, farmer's market, you hear me?? I need you. Now.

Allow me to Introduce myself...

Happy almost Friday to you all & welcome to my blog!

Let's get this party started off on the left foot (I'm left handed so I work that way).

I knit. I love it, I crave it, I need it in my life. I started not too long ago with the classic beginner garter stitch scarf, and soon found my passion to be cowls. I quickly found them to be not only addictive to knit up, but to, as well. Every cowl has such a wonderful story, and I follow Michaelangelo's famous words (paraphrasing of course): "there's a wonderful cowl in each ball of's just a matter of me setting it free". Ok, well he said that about sculpting out of Carrara marble, but you get the jist of it.

I'm 26, enjoy a stereotypical night of greasy chinese food, romantic chick flick (or action movie depending on the company I chose to keep) and my snuggie. I do enjoy the occasional night on the town, and have been ever-so-politely told that my knitting might be getting in the way of me finding a husband. It's a wonderful dose of reality, really. Thankfully though, I have a wonderful group of friends who give me kinder reality checks: "If I catch you home on a Friday or Saturday night because you have to knit, I'm going to come over and pull you out by your pajama pants". It's a fantastic scare tactic, and thankfully my friends have not had to resort to that as of yet.

I started a small, word-of-mouth and Facebook based company in which I hand make custom knit cowls. I've truely found my calling, and would have much rather figured this out before I spent 6 years in university toiling away at a Masters degree that soaked up all the blood, sweat and tears I have to offer. But hey, way she goes, right!?

Anyhoo, keep up with my blog for info, tips, tricks, pics, and patterns of my various knitting adventures!