Tag Archives: cowl

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I finished up my second Honey Cowl.

I prefer to call it the Morse Code Cowl.

honeycowl coverup

I like this pattern best in two colors to make the dots and dashes pop.

honeycowl chair

I haven’t found a good spot to photograph things in the new place yet.  And this “chianti” Lamb’s Pride yarn is difficult to capture – it’s more of a cranberryish burgundy.  And you’d never know that these walls are either a seemingly sickly nicotine-stained yellowish greyish beige or a depressing cold blue that once in awhile becomes an interesting periwinkle, but usually just stays stand-offish and sullen and needs to be covered up ASAP.

honeycowl dashes

Both sides are right sides (it still needs to be blocked).

honeycowl dots

This is a big one too – very cozy.  The colors aren’t quite right for me (or most of my clothes) either, but I suspect I’ll wear it a lot anyway.

(Morse Code translator found here)

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Yell-eew

I’ve never had an all-time favorite color.  I went through a shameful lavender and pink phase as a young tween which sharply questioned my tomboyhood.  Then I chose all colors at once, or no color at all, in my punk/grunge/post-hippie  “alternative” years.  These days if asked my preferred color, I usually say greens, or browns, or oranges, or greys since I like nearly all of the varieties of these colors, whereas I’ve established that I’m finicky over others.

yellowish honey

But all along, I’ve generally preferred the secondary colors over the primary – maybe it’s the underdog name or their need to be blended to exist.

I’ve been reading Alexander Theroux’s The Primary Colors over the last decade or more.  I can only read a few lines, or maybe half of a page, in one sitting.  I’ve also misplaced the book in a few moves (including now – I’ve no idea of its whereabouts) and go a few months or years without opening it.  I’m occasionally irritated that the book tries to sneak in secondary colors at times, but I also feel relief to see my old friends green and orange when it happens.  Unfortunately, I also just read that there’s some controversy with the book due to some bits of plagiarism, yet with the fact-listing style of writing, I can almost accept the author’s excuse of sloppy note-taking, but bad editor, bad publisher!  Theroux next wrote a book on the secondary colors, but I don’t have it yet, nor am I sure I want to commit to another decade-long read.

But after reading about yellow, I found myself considering the color more often, and a specific nasty bilious yellow has been tugging on my sleeve lately.

My main thoughts on the color are quite negative – it reminds me of pus, snot, stomach bile, infection, illness, sulfur, poisoned water, smoggy air, insanity, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper, tarnished things, slimy things, pissy snow, stench.

yell-eww slug

But it also makes me think of wheat fields, green-golden light during magic hour in the late afternoon, summer turning to autumn, gilded things, tarnished things, slimy things, mosses, eyes, and old flannel shirts.

yell-eww portland

So with my mind in a mildly insane yellowish haze, I whipped up a Honey Cowl out of Dream in Color Classy Strange Harvest (my dye lot is more green) and Cascade 220 Birch Heather (my dye lot is more gold).

Yell-eww long

This was one of those projects I felt like I had already made, and more than once actually looked for it to wear – especially with my plaid jacket.

yell-eew covered face - cropped

But now I actually have it.

I liked the pattern and might make another eventually.  However, for the first time ever, I twisted the round when I joined and accidentally turned it into a mobius (maybe it’s not technically, but I don’t know).  I left it that way because I don’t have a twisted cowl yet and thought I’d like to play with the different draping possibilities.  But it’s a little disconcerting that I’m making a lot of rookie mistakes lately that I never made in the beginning…

But back to yellow.  I had this awesome mustardy-saffron merino sweater for a year or two (you can see just a peak on the left).

yellasweater

Before I shrank the hell out of it.  And how could I possibly make the mistake of shrinking a sweater?  I really don’t know how it happened.  And I also don’t know where it is now, but I know I saved it to turn it into something else.  The scarf is a Drop Stitch Scarf – I really love it, though I don’t wear it as often these days, but it has a bit of gold in it too.

My favorite yellow project was the shawlette from last winter.  I wear it often, and still think about making it bigger.

Pears bandana

And people are calling grey and yellow “grellow” these days.  I hate color fads, but I like grey and yellow.  This is an opportunity to fess up to another UFO – a sweater I cut up, re-sewed and I’m knitting the cuffs and trim in grey.  Or rather I started to, didn’t like the gauge, re-started and still didn’t like the gauge, and then put it aside for the last year or so.

cardi3 - Copy

Maybe grellow is also green and yellow.  This has been a favorite color combination of mine for vintage-inspired kitchens like this one:

kit-yel-vintagedeco1-435

(Pic from here).

And influenced my purchase in New Mexico last Spring:

New Mexico yarn

And some spinning from a year ago that I need to finish.

(Also one of my favorite color combos in Fiestaware).

yella&greenyarn

And an early natural dying attempt with saffron, turmeric, coffee, and god knows what else on bulky yarn frogged from a hand-knit thrift store scarf.

z dye

I’m still not sure if I can wear yellow though, sometimes I think I can pull it off due to my own semi-sallow complexion, sometimes it gives me a surprise ill-like pallor.

I remember my beloved high school teacher discussing The Yellow Wallpaper and vehemently denouncing the color as sickly and maddening; at the time she was wearing a beautiful buttery colored pair of paints and coordinating sweater.  When someone pointed this out, she was mildly shocked to discover it was true that even she liked some of the yellow family members.

Such is the sneaky dual nature of yellow – I’ll continue to let it tease me a bit.

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Neck stretches and why I’m not an archaeologist

waneka-no face detI can now reveal my Waneka cowl by the fabulous and fun designer Annie Watts (aka Wattsolak).  I used my recent Kool-Aid dyed yarn for a super bulky version and totally love its gargantuan squooshiness.  The pattern is easily and brainlessly adaptable to any weight of yarn – thinner yarn = more coils, thicker = fewer.  And it looks great with gradient dyed yarn – a perfect one-skein project especially for the thousands of beautiful indie dyed hanks out there at wool shows and in webworld.  I also made a  worsted weight version out of the maligned Lion Brand Amazing, and though I love the colors and the pattern, I still hate the feel of the yarn.

Waneka-with lamb

And I actually prefer my obnoxious-hued, still slightly noxious-smelling version.

waneka-no face

I can even wear it on my head.  Aging old-time Hollywood actress turban-chic.

This has had me remembering my youth (yet again – I guess I’m doing some mid-life thing) and the countless hours I spent traveling via National Geographic magazine.  I couldn’t stop thinking about neck rings worn by Kayan and Ndebele* women while I was knitting.

 400px-Kayan_woman_with_neck_rings ndebele1

Of course Waneka won’t ruin your collarbones or require marriage…

But as a child, I was utterly fascinated about the rest of the world – especially cultures that seemed unchanged or little changed for thousands of years.   When not reading or playing with animals, my other favorite pastime was digging up old sh*t – fossils in the creek, arrowheads in the field, or broken saucers, rusted scissor halves, and bottles in buried trash heaps in the woods.  By the age of nine, I was quite certain I wanted to be an archaeologist.  Luckily around that time, we had a class assignment of interviewing someone who was what we wanted to be when we grew up.  We lived in the sticks; I have no idea how most people were employed around there apart from service and functional jobs – teachers, undertakers, auto repair persons, farmers, and the like.  I don’t remember what my classmates wanted to be (and most girls were destined for early motherhood and possibly marriage anyway).  But my parents actually found a relatively local archaeologist at a university in the closest thing resembling a city 40 minutes away.  I was nervous about interviewing this professor – it was like meeting Indiana Jones or glimpsing into my certain glamorous and fulfilling future.

At first glance, his office was full of books and sunlight was streaming down on piles of Very Important Documents about Very Intriguing Finds.  He was (and yes, I could be making this up) cloaked in a brown corduroy blazer with worn elbow patches, mussed with unclean hair and a lack of a shave, and sporting a timeworn look of fascinating experience and adventure.

Then he opened his mouth.

I don’t know much about children, but I know that up to a certain age you should deceive them into thinking that life is ok.  If you study and work hard you can achieve whatever you want within reason.  Money should matter less than happiness.  It’s best to do something you love and the world will embrace you and appreciate your effort.

But instead of encouraging my little sh*t self, he launched into an epic and exceedingly bitter rant about the profession.  It boiled down to: don’t do it because the pay is sh*t, the days are long, hot, and tedious to the point of self-immolation, your projects won’t be funded or so severely underfunded that you will pay out of your own pocket, you will have to resort to teaching and you will not be respected at the university and will have to sell your soul to campus politics, tenure games, and administrative delirium, you will loose your marriage, your kids will despise you, your dog will run away and you’ll die stinking in the streets.

So today, though I work somewhat in the history business, I am not an archaeologist.

Trash from woods

I still occasionally dig up old broken sh*t in the woods though… (when not knitting of course).

* Pictures (that aren’t mine) yanked off the web from here and here.

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