Monday, 26 August 2013

Fall Prep!

The time has come again! Officially knitting season!

In preparation for this lovely time of year, I have dutifully stocked up on some fun new yarn for myself and gifted items. I recently competed for a higher-level career within my company, which means a half-office-half-cubical space, and lots of networking. This calls for versatile sweaters and cardigans. 

I got an e-mail from Knit Picks advertising a sale on cashmere yarn. Really, the words 'sale' and 'cashmere' in the same sentence should be enough indication as to my excitement. I bought Capra in navy and cream, and although I didn't get a huge amount, I think it will suffice to accommodate my re-emerged nautical taste. A lovely stripped cowl is just the recipe for this. I'm leaning towards "Honey Cowl" by Madeline Tosh (found on Ravelry). 

As I was browsing Ravelry patterns, I stumbled upon "Caramel" by Isabell Kramer, and saw a variation called "Lemon Drops". Let me tell you, my jaw dropped at the beauty and simplicity of this. I IMMEDIATELY searched for yarn. I have to make this - and I have to have this gorgeousness on my body. I decided on Wool of the Andes Superwash (seriously, I'm not into hand washing a cardigan I'm expecting to wear 24/7) in Semolina, Navy and Heathered Gray. I'm actually going to do a gauge swatch for the first time in my knitting life, so hopefully I get this right!

I then stopped by Spun Fibre Arts in Burlington - and although temptation was drawing me to multiple different yarns, I picked up two delicious varieties - both lace weight! Yes, me - the queen of chunky yarn. 

The first is a lovely coral silk/wool blend - which I'm hoping to create an airy scarf/shawl that can give a sheer effect ("Just a Whisper" on Ravelry). I'm normally quite afraid of bright colours (I blame this on my shy-borderline-introverted nature), but coral is my one exception. I love the happiness of the colour, and that it seems to have a mature quality while still being pretty girly.

The second yarn is the most beautiful burgundy cashmere I have ever seen. The yarn was half off (!!!!!!!!), and although the yardage is quite low (I bought two 294m skeins - for lace weight...seriously), I browsed through Ravelry while I was at the store and found a lovely pattern that I'm hoping to knit up for my mom in time for her birthday.

My stash is once again becoming slightly uncontrollable, and I think I've maxed out my yarn budget for the remainder of the year. Hopefully I can manage to knit up some of this delightful yarn, while still meeting my duties of preparing for the much anticipated "Vaughan of a Kind" craft show. I will have lots of City Cowls, as well as headbands up for grabs.

Lots of knitting love from yours truly,

Little Ms. Cowl Co.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Serenely Knitting

Happy Sunday, all!

I have just returned from a week at my cousin's cottage, and got so much knitting done, I felt the urge to share it all with you!

After a botched attempt to head south for a week, my cousin invited me to her cottage near Tiny, Ontario (nestled between the over-hyped Wasaga Beach and Midland). We biked, watched sunsets, tanned and spent our evenings watching Homeland and knitting up a storm.

Sunset over Georgian Bay

After taking a short bike ride to watch the sunset, we brewed up some tea and retreated to the couch for a marathon of classic movies and Homeland. I brought more yarn than I expected to get through, and surprisingly, managed to knit up quite a few items!

The first was the famed "On the Hudson Cowl" by Sandra Singh. A few months ago I won the pattern, eagerly cast-on for the Knit-A-Long (KAL) and managed to screw up so bad that I abandoned the project. I frogged a portion of it a month ago, and decided that this was my opportunity to complete it.

On the Hudson Cowl - Complete

I made a tiny little boo-boo on the pattern - otherwise I am completely in love with it! If you see at the bottom of the cowl, right before the ribbing is a tiny section of dark grey lace pattern. That is not supposed to be there. My subconscious must have made me cast-on the grey colour, so to avoid taking it apart I did one repeat of the lace before finishing with the ribbing. Many thanks to Sandra Singh for creating such a beautiful pattern, and for having the pattern contest!

Next, I decided to begin preparing for the Vaughan of a Kind Show. This is usually held around Christmas time in Vaughan ON, and it's never too early to begin prepping for a Craft Show!

I brought a bunch of yarn for making my bow headband. I will be selling them along with the "City Cowl". They are made of super soft premium acrylic (wool is too scratchy, and the past has taught me that not many people will pay for cashmere or alpaca unless requested specifically). My favourite yarn for this is Vanna's Choice by Lion Brand: her colours are modern, and the yarn washes up so soft, it really is lovely for an acrylic.

My cousin Elisa modelling her grey bow headband

After knitting up a whopping five headbands and bows - I got bored with it, and cast on my next project: The Organic Mushroom Hat.

I knit it up with Lion Brand Nature's Choice Organic Cotton in Macadamia. It is super soft, although quite difficult to work with (like any cotton). It knit up quickly with US 10.5 circular needles, and I finished it off with US 9 DPNs. 

After completing it, I was doing my usual gossip reading and came across a picture of Siena Miller rocking a very similar hat. I love finding photos of celebrities wearing knit items. It somehow validates to the skeptical world that knitting can be modern and fashionable, and isn't just an old lady sport. 

The Organic Mushroom Hat (pattern on Ravelry)

Siena Miller in her strikingly similar knit hat

I can't wait to wear this lovely hat on a fall day. It's feminine and dainty, and still has a bit of an edge. The cotton is super soft, and the detail of the lace pattern is really pretty up close.

All in all, I had a very relaxing week away from the big city, and look forward to keeping up my knitting streak!

Have a wonderful week!

Lots of love,

Little Ms Cowl Co.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Little Ms Cowl Co has some news for you!

Welcome back, darling followers!

I have been M.I.A for quite a bit, but will update you on all the fun of the past few months.

Shortly after my last post, I got engaged! My fiance' popped the question on our anniversary - something he said he would never do (sneaky...I didn't expect it at all!). I have been in full wedding planning mode ever since - hence my absence. I have tried to finish my Work-In Progress(es) throughout that time though, in the vain hopes of giving me sanity throughout the aggressive process of wedding preprations.

*Drum roll please* The boyfriend scarf is DONE! Ok, it became "the fiance' scarf" - but it is complete nonetheless. I finished it with less than 6 inches of yarn left over, so it is as long as possible. Mr. Little-Cowl-Co-to-be loves it, even if it is July. He better, since I'm pretty sure I will never knit him another scarf again. It was one of the most painful projects I have ever endured, however I must say, the pain was worth it: the scarf is beautiful. The material, pattern and texture are quite complimentary to each other, and the scarf looks great on him.

I have picked up my "On the Hudson Cowl" again. I put it on the back burner for a bit because I found an error in my stitches, and did not have the courage to tink it out. During one of my knit nights with my knitting group, I was encouraged and managed to correct the error - while only tinking one part of the pattern.

I'm continuing it - and am happy to say there is quite a bit of yarn left over (enough for another cowl or two!). The colours are beautiful - and I will post a picture as soon as it's complete.

In other news, my dear friend is getting married on the same day as the annual Bindertwine Festival in Kleinburg, ON. I will not have a booth - but will get to witness one of my dearest friends tie the knot! I will be working away on cowls and headbands for the Vaughan of a Kind show, which is usually held around Christmas time. Last year was unorganized (my booth was beside another booth selling knit cowls), chaotic and not a kind experience to me, so I must have hope that this year will be better.

I will post pics of all finished objects (FOs) ASAP!

Much love,

Little Ms Cowl Co.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Spring Caffeine Addicts Swap 2013

Well, darlings. The time has come again! Swap time!!

I have made it a tradition to participate in the "Caffeine Addicts" spring and fall swaps (as you can tell from previous posts).

This year my swap buddy is from New I was anticipating some cool things - and boy did she deliver!

swap package all wrapped up

Starbucks tumbler, Dunkin' Donuts coffee (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), knit flower pin, hand-knit makeup bag (from my Ravelry favorite's list), terracotta candle, chili chocolate (which is lingering on my taste buds as I type), Desert Sun NM roasted coffee, and finally a dangerously small (but most likely powerful) tin of fire-roasted diced green chili peppers.

I am so excited to try it all - and so thankful! This was such a super swap package, I couldn't be more grateful.

For a little hint of what she got in return:

Chai tea, Knitter's Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmerman, City of Vaughan magazine, Lavazza coffee (my personal favorite), friendship blueberry tea, Mustard Scarf, Headband (knit in handspun and kettle-dyed wool), maple sugar cookies, and some green tea candies.

I had such a great time participating in this swap!

Until next time,

Little Miss Cowl Co.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Dreaming of Pantone Contest Winner!

Good morning, Dear Followers!

I'm writing with wonderful news - The Little Cowl Co's first contest winner!

Congratulations to Hollie Schroeder! You have won a City Cowl in your Pantone colour choice "Tender Shoots 14-0446"!

I used to have a colour selected - and I think it's a great choice! Since the cowl is made with natural material, it will be a great addition to your spring wardrobe without feeling too wintery!

To all other followers, make sure you add the blog to your favorites and stay tuned for more news, updates, patterns, contests and knitting adventures!

Until next time,

Little Miss Cowl Co.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

The Never Ending Scarf

I should start this post off with a disclaimer: I am usually not an angry knitter. Knitting is fun - sometimes frustrating - but mostly relaxing. Getting into a rhythm of a pattern, seeing your work unfold, is truly spectacular.

Unless, of course, you are working on something that you have developed an incredible and insurmountable hatred for. This brings me to one of my current projects - my boyfriend's belated Christmas-present scarf.

This whole project started out badly - and I should have taken it as a knitting-omen. I loved the pattern "New York Scarf". It looked like a simple ribbed scarf. Very masculine depending on the colour and material choice.

I settled on Illimani Yarn in Baby Alpaca. I chose an interesting shade of brownish grey - and wound it into cakes the minute I got home. I began to notice that the yarn was quite thin for a worsted weight, but dismissed the thought. I grabbed my US size 6 needles (which is what the pattern called for) and cast on the 35 stitches. I worked about an inch before I frogged because the stitches were too loose for my liking. Ok, lets start round two.

I went down to a US size 4 and cast on 55 stitches - worked an inch and found it to be too tightly knit. God forbid I do a gauge swatch - Heaven forbid! It's a ribbed scarf, what do I need a gauge swatch for?! So I frog the blasted scarf for the second time, and throw the yarn in my project bag. The next day I head to knit night, and realize I have yarn and no needles. I run over to Michaels (since it was around 7pm and I knew any decent LYS would be closed) and pick up a pair of US 5 circular needles. This should work.

I cast on 55 stitches again, and work the pattern up and begin to like what I see. I, the Goldilocks of scarves, am finally satisfied. Except that I hate these needles. The cable is so stiff and has so much memory it is almost impossible to work with. Did I mention that I hate the pattern as well?! The rib is worked up in a K2 P3 on one row and K3 P2 on the second row. This is not normal. Why couldn't it be K2P2 or K3P3 over an even amount of stitches??

Needless to say, the scarf was not complete by my Christmas drop-dead date.

I open up my Christmas gifts and behold! Knit Picks Harmony Interchangeable Needles!!!! I quickly prep the US size 5 and begin knitting the scarf on these new needles. LOVE. I am working quickly, with my mojo primarily coming from the new found joy of gorgeous needles.

This quickly dies, however, as my hatred for this pattern and yarn come back. I knit with the sole motivation of hatred, thinking the faster I knit, the faster I finish. I come to the end of one yarn cake, and quickly have to wind the next one before I lose this motivation.

***insert tangle in yarn***

I want to throw this scarf out the window and drive over it. I want to give it to my boyfriend and tell him to suck it up and wear a short scarf. But no, I love him too much, and take too much pride in my knitting and frankly, am too stubborn to let the scarf win.  I spend the better part of a sunny Saturday untangling my yarn and winding it nicely. I join the new yarn with the end of the last cake, and on I go again.

Then I get bored, go on Ravelry and decide to cast on something else because it's just not fair to me to hate what I knit.

I abandon the scarf, and tend to only take it out when my boyfriend is around. This way, it looks like I spend a lot of time knitting it. I begin to feel guilty, and decide to finish this scarf once and for all. It's been four months since I started and it's just not right.

I have been working on it all week, and decide to bring it to my knit night last night. Everyone (including myself) laughs at the hatred I have for the scarf, and I apologize for giving everyone cut-eye as they ask me details about the scarf.

"I'm sorry, I don't mean to give you cut-eye. I mean to give it to the scarf."

In closing, I'm about 85% complete. There's probably about 30 yards of yarn left. The scarf is quite beautiful despite the pure anger that went into it. I will post a pic as soon as it's done.

Lesson of this posting: If you hate something almost immediately after casting on, do yourself a favour and pick something else. Also, do not tell the recipient on the gift that you are making it. Then the expectation is just guilt on top of your God-awful knitting project.

Until a happier knitting post,

Little Miss Cowl Co.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Dreaming of Pantone - Contest Alert!

I had one weird dream last night.

It's interesting how my dreams stem from simple little conversations I have had throughout the day. The thoughts must stay in my subconscious, and usually turn out weird during my REM sleep. This one however, was interesting-weird.

I had a dream last night that I was back at University of Bologna (insert big music festival in Bologna last night, and a conversation I was having with a co-worker about keeping my options open about going back to school). While I was in Bologna/Dreamland, I was filling out a survey about which Pantone ( colour I would associate with the following:

- Vacation
- Boyfriend/Love
- Best Friend

This is the weird part. I actually chose the Pantone colour by number. Now, in order to write this post I had to verify my dream accuracy. I don't remember the exact number I chose, but I do remember the exact shade.

- Vacation - 15-5819 TCX Spearmint
- Boyfriend - 12-4608 TCX Clearwater
- Best Friend - 15-3910 TCX Languid Lavender

Now, if you're asking "who" or "what" Pantone is - here is a quick breakdown. Pantone is the leading worldwide colour authority for colour. The company has given a numerical code to almost every colour imaginable to the human eye. If you want to paint your car or house a specific colour, just walk into a paint store and request Pantone colour # and voila - your car or house will be THE EXACT colour.

So, back to my story. Since I woke up thoroughly inspired, I decided to host my first ever cowl contest!

The Pantone-Cowl Contest

The Grand Prize will be a City Cowl ($50 value) in as close as possible to one of the Pantone colours you chose).

The City Cowl - more colours to chose from!
 The criteria for entering the contest are as follows:

1. Leave a comment on this blog posting stating your top three Pantone colours - and why. You can search through the Pantone website for this - it's actually much more fun than it sounds.
2. "Like" my Facebook page "The Little Cowl Company"
3. Follow me on Twitter (@thelittlecowlco)
4. "Share" the link for this blog posting on Twitter - and of course link my account!
5. Of course, follow the blog!

The more criteria met, the better your chance at winning! The Contest will close on Monday April 1st at 11:59pm EST. I will chose a winner using and will announce the winner on the blog.

Good luck to all who enter, I can't wait to hear all your feedback!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Fashion over Function

Although this is usually a knitting-only blog, I recently had a fashion experience that I thought I would share with you all.

Ever since I moved into my condo, my Saturday nights have consisted of pizza and a movie in front of my TV. I cherish my calm Saturdays, usually spent snuggled with my boyfriend rather than out and about. I have become a bonafide homebody, and seem to be having a honeymoon with my condo. I don't want to leave!

Before I moved in, I would never pass up an opportunity to indulge in a club or bar downtown, dinner with my friends, hit a patio or two in Little Italy or grab an ice cream in Yorkville and walk around aimlessly. Seeing as I haven't really been to a social outting out of the confines of my cozy diggs in months, I jumped at the opportunity of dinner and dancing with my boyfriend and some friends. Of course, I decided on a cute outfit and couldn't WAIT to wear my delicious new Brian Atwood "Maniac" pumps in Coral calf hair.

I bought them at Holt Renfrew Last Call during a closing sale. The shoes had an original price tag of $695 Canadian, and I paid $89 + HST *insert happy dance*. I love Brian Atwood, and was thrilled to finally be able to snag a pair of his shoes without breaking the bank.

Brian Atwood "Maniac" pump in coral calf hair
 I paired the shoes with a white silk blouse from Aritzia and navy blue skinny pants with blue velvet polkdots. I added some gold stud earrings, Stella & Dot clover long gold necklace, Michael Kors Tortoise & Gold watch, and my favorite Alviero Martini 1a Classe thick bracelet. I looked pretty good, until I stood up.

I couldn't walk: I bought the shoes a half-size too small - on purpose no less. My foot is quite narrow, so when I wear heels my feel slide, leaving a ghastly gap at the back. Usually, buying a half-size too small ensures my foot won't slide and I won't have to worry. In this case, my pinky toe was not happy and decided to swell to the size of my big toe. I tried desperately to heat my shoes under the hand dryer in the ladies room, put baby powder on my feet - all to no avail.

We had to leave the club early as I was literally in tears. I couldn't stand up, sit down, walk, dance or generally think straight. I seriously think I was developing a fever for how bad these gorgeous shoes hurt. When we got to the car, I shed a few tears openly (think Kim Kardashian ugly cry) and spent the rest of the car ride with the A/C on my feet.

Have you ever experienced a fashion-over-function pain? What are your remedies?

I will be try some internet suggested options. I refuse to never wear these again. They are stunning and gorgeous, and I got them on sale. I love them with every fibre in my body, including my baby toe which has still not forgiven me.

Until next time,

Little Miss Cowl Co.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Knitting & Nuptuals

I have a confession to make. Ok, apart from sneaking scoops of Nutella when no one is looking. I have been planning my wedding from the time I was about 8. 

The madness started when I received the "My Perfect Wedding" board game (I kid you not - it existed and it was fantastic). The object of the game was to successfully book your band, flowers, dress, etc with enough money left over to walk down the aisle and get married. The game pieces include plastic engagement rings in four different colors and the grand prize of a yellow plastic wedding band. I think people got sick of me playing it so much, so I played with my dad a lot (insert Father of the Century award here).

By the time I was a tween, my best friend and I would go over what dress we wanted to walk down the aisle in, color of flowers and bridesmaid dresses, and who our celebrity groom would be (I'd like you all to know that I called dibs on Jonathan Taylor Thomas, my friend chose Andrew Keegan and we were both lived happily ever after in our imaginary marriages).

As time went on, I luckily found myself helping those around me as they planned and executed the most important day of their lives. Two of my closest friends got married over the past year, a few more are about to - and now, as I see myself close to accepting a proposal from my boyfriend of a year, I am increasingly looking at the smaller details of wedding planning. Specifically, I'm looking at how my knitting skills/obsession can be intertwined in all of this.

I'm not a huge fan of the "garter" tradition myself - but a hand knit garter is a great way for someone to contribute to a wedding. The stitches are usually quite fine, as is the quality of the yarn used. Hand knit garters take a lot of time and care to create, and therefore can be a great option for a mother-in-law, grandmother, godmother, aunt, or friend to give to a bride-to-be.

Another hand knit item could be either bomboniere (thank-you gifts) for attendees or for a bridal shower. Hand knit doilies, wash cloths, tea cozies, coffee cozies, etc etc. These can be of course be part of a theme (i.e tea-party themed bridal shower, wash cloth for spa themed shower and so on) or just be something special you decided to knit up as a thank you for your guests. If you chose to have a bridal party, you can make knitting nights with them and everyone can have a hand at creating something as well.

There are many benefits to knitting thank-you favors. First, it can be very budget friendly (depending on the yarn used). Cotton washcloths are usually knit up using about $2 worth of cotton yarn each. Second, it can be an effective way to de-stash and use up your free time while still enjoying knitting.

The downsides, however is mainly that some guests may not appreciate the time, talent and effort of a hand-knit item. Depending on the size of the wedding and the number of attendees, knitting up dozens - or hundreds - of favors may be more effort than it is worth. 

All in all, I think I will try to incorporate some of my knitting passion into my future wedding. After all, apart from a wedding being a celebration of two people's love for each other, I think it's important for it to be personal and display personality and taste.

Until next time,

Little Miss Cowl Co.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Swap Shop Eat

So, I'm officially addicted to swaps.

I've participated in three so far, and have to tell you - they are so much fun!

The latest was with my local knitting group - we decided back in September to do a swap, and have been working away at it ever since. We are a group of about five ladies, and have gotten to know each other quite well over the past couple of years. We're all on Ravelry, and all share our favourite yarns, patterns, ideas etc at our bi-weekly knit nights. We decided to have our swap coincide with Chinese New Year so we would have hopefully jumped over the Christmas rush. We planned a downtown date - brunch at my favourite French bistro, Bonjour Brioche (812 Queen St E) and then off for some yarn shopping at the Purple Purl (1162 Queen St E). 

On my way to swap day!

My swap partner likes coral colours and natural fibres, and doesn't like knitting with chunky yarns herself - so I had a pretty good idea of what I was going to make her. This came with it's fair share of hiccups, though. I initially was going to knit her the Gaptastic Cowl (find the pattern on Ravelry). It is an extra chunky infinity scarf in a seed stitch pattern. I thought it would have been perfect for her - until she showed up at a knit night wearing it! Her daughter had made one in a lovely Raspberry chunky yarn, and it looked wonderful on her. I was about a month away from the swap deadline - and beginning to panic.

I decided to knit her the Clara cowl (also a free pattern on Ravelry) by designer Gretchen Ronnevic. It's a giant cable, and ends up looking like a braid. There is an option to double up and make it an infinity scarf, but I thought the beauty of the detail would have been lost, so I stuck to the original pattern dimensions. I used Diamond Brand Baby Alpaca Sport in a Chunky weight. Here's the finished project below:

Clara Cowl in Coral Alpaca

Clara Cowl in Coral Alpaca

I included the Ravelry anniversary project bag and Closely Knit by Hannah Fattig (who I found out, is my swap partners favourite designer!). I also gave her some extra yarn (about a full skein minus a few yards) so she could make a matching headband or fingerless mitts. Thank goodness she liked the gift (she wouldn't take the cowl off!) and I was in awe of what I received.

The first thing I opened was the book - The Knitter's Life List by Gwen Steege. This book is like a bucket list for knitters - yarns, patterns, ideas etc. It is a crucial step in any knitter's path to becoming a capital-K Knitter. Next was Americo Copito Medio yarn (think "Thick & Thin" but way more luxurious) in a gorgeous eggplant/plum colourway. It came with a hat pattern, which is perfect since I need a hat! I save the best for last...she knit me "Celebrating Azzu's Shawl" by Emma Fassio. The shawl was born out of two friends brought together by knitting - PERFECT! It was knit with Madeline Tosh Tosh Lace in Composition Book Grey. Everything about this shawl is perfect - the idea and thought behind it, colourway, superwash, detail, and love put into every knit, purl and YO.

Celebrating Azzu's Shawl
Swap day is here!
Perfection. I am in love with everything!
To close, I hope everyone reading this has an opportunity at one point in their knitting lives to participate in a swap. Giving something you made to someone else who appreciates all the work and love you put into it is priceless. Receiving something directly related to your knitting passion is wonderful, but most of all - sharing the experience with close friends is incomparable.

Happy swapping and of course, happy knitting!

With love,

Little Miss Cowl Co

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Sandra Singh Giveaway!

Hi All!

I thought I would let you, my devoted followers, know of a giveaway going on! There's not much time left to sign up, so read fast and get cracking.

Sandra Singh, a wonderful designer of knitwear and yarns, has posted a super cool giveaway on her blog! She recently designed a cowl called "On The Hudson" - and apart from doing a KAL (Knit A Long) starting February 11th, she has a contest where one lucky winner will not only win the pattern for the cowl, but ALL THE YARN YOU WILL NEED TO COMPLETE IT! Oh my, I checked out the yarn and had a very hard time deciding what my choice of yarn would be.

You can see her yarn at (I chose berry hues: Bollywood Fountain Scene, Midnight Blue, Royalty and my favorite, La Boheme).

You can sign up for the contest by following the instructions from her blog:

Have fun, and post a comment on my blog to let me know how much competition I will have (if you signed up for it, that is).

Enjoy, and happy knitting!


Little Miss Cowl Co

Thursday, 17 January 2013

January Knitting Escapades

January is usually a pretty quiet knit-month for me. 

Last year, I actually took a hiatus from knitting after suffering through most of December knitting cowls for everyone and their mother (literally). This year, I had plans to start and finish a sweater, maybe a pair of mittens...and possibly a chunky scarf. Not so, said the knitting gods. Not so.

As you read in my previous posts, I did not manage to finish my boyfriend's Christmas gift. I was also working on my super-secret swap project (almost done!), but the kicker...I got more orders. I love getting orders for knitwear. I do. I do. I love knitting something for someone and thinking "she's going to be so warm in this" or "this is one slick looking headband". I love seeing people wear items I knit, I love seeing people warm and I love that my little hands made them warm and comfy and stylish. However, I am slowly inching away from mass knit orders, and crawling towards knitting for myself, my friends, family and of course, my boyfriend.

I have quite the queue going on on Ravelry. The projects that are really really getting my fingers itching are:

"Lu" Cardigan by Perl Grey - yarn will be Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester Aran in hand-dyed brown/purple/grey tone

"November Sweater" by Meghan Fernandes - yarn will be Sandnes Garn Alpakka in plum

Thrum Mittens by Fleece Artist - yarn will be Fleece Artist Thrum Kit in hand-dyed mixed-berry tone

Cascade Kid Seta Cardigan by Marelie Hurter - yarn will be Knit Picks Shadow Tonal in blue

Check out more of my queue on Ravelry, and feel free to leave me suggestions of patterns I can hopefully love and admire enough to slave over yarn and needles for hundreds of hours on end.

Until next time,

Little Miss Cowl Co

Friday, 11 January 2013

New Year, New Knitting

Happy Friday morning to all!

I have pledged to not necessarily de-stash my incredibly large yarn stash this year. When I wrote "not necessarily", I mean I pledge to use and enjoy my stash - knitting up fabulous little and not-so-little projects with some of the fabulous yarn I have tucked away safely.

Last week, my boyfriend practically forced me to document my stash. I took a picture and popped everything into Ravelry. I now have everything catagorized not only by weight and colour, but dye lot, quantity, and queued it all for intended projects. I then catagorized all my yarn in numbered bins, according to quality and intention. For example:

Bin #1 is my high end swanky yarn - cashmere, silk, alpaca, llama, wool etc. Lace weight, DK, high hopes.

Bin #2 is all my Michaels purchases - kitchen cotton, various Lion Brand yarns, Bernat etc. This is the slightly embarrassing part of my stash, as I have begun to make a reputation for myself as a bonafide yarn snob. I blame this bin on my fear of screwing up on good yarn, so it's my practice yarn.

Bin #3 is all my large quantities of one yarn. I have five each of Abuelita Thick & Thin in grey, pink, taupe and tweed. I have 10+ of Lang Tosca brown/blue, orange/brown, purple/green. This can be to make larger projects, or potentially for more cowls.

Bin #4 is blanket yarn. I bought a TON of Lion Brand (my favourite affordable not-really-luxury yarn) Homespun and Thick and Quick, and have associated afghan and blanket patterns. I'll get to it eventually.

Bin #5 - also known as the cowl bin - is yarn I have been using for the "City Cowl". It is Filtes King Van Dyck yarn, and although I didn't think I had much left, I still have 44 skeins. I have unabashedly hoarded certain colours to potentially make myself a sweater.

Bin #6 - also known as the headband bin - is all my Lion Brand Vanna's Choice. I use this for making bow headbands. It has the perfect colours, is quite soft for an acrylic, and doesn't irritate the ears like a wool might.

So there you have it. If you decide to join Ravelry, add me as a friend and check out my ridiculous stash. I vow to use it and love it and replenish it and keep it organized.

Until next time,

Little Miss Cowl Co

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Fibre Follies

Hi, and Happy New Year!

As promised, I am back to blogging promptly after the holidays. I got some awesome knitting swag, worked on some projects - and made some knitting plans for 2013.

If you read my previous post, you would know that I was in a mad knitting frenzy before Christmas. I managed to finish the most adorable cowl/hood and the baby llama blue cowl.

The Burton Bear Cowl was knit on US 13 circular needles with Filtes Van Dyck alpaca/wool/acrylic blend in Black. I knit the ears on straight needles instead of DPN's, which was fast and easy for me. I found two medium size buttons that somewhat matched the suggested button in the pattern, and voila. Cutest. Cowl. Ever. I made it in the child/toddler size, but am seriously contemplating making it in the adult size for myself.

Now, as much as I despise "bathroom shots" - I find them vain - I had no choice. I had to document the adorable cowl before I gifted it. So, you will see me wearing a child's size cowl, and will also catch a glimpse of my sweet sweet Missoni hand towels in the background.

On a more sour note though, I did not manage to complete my boyfriend's scarf. The yarn - which is classified as worsted but is more like a DK - is beautiful, but on a US 5 needle, it's taking me forever to complete. I actually had to switch needles (long story), and it's going a bit faster now.

Speaking of said boyfriend, he gifted me with a gorgeous interchangeable needle set from Knit Picks. I *may* have dropped not-so-subtle hints, but hey, it worked. The set is Harmony wood, and just a dream to work with. So, I put the scarf on those needles and it's been a lot more fun to knit up.

My 2013 knitting plans include a few headbands for January baby birthday gifts, and hopefully to finish this scarf, knit up some cute sweaters and cardigans for myself, and try to use up the awesome stash I have. I have a sneaking feeling that 2013 may be a bit of an expensive year.

Have a wonderful wonderful wonderful New Year - and check me out on Ravelry for knitting news, my queue, stash and fibre follies (user name is, you guessed it, thelittlecowlco).

Much love,

Little Miss Cowl Co.