Sometimes you spend a long time trying to find the right thing to do with one skein of yarn. And then, finally, while wandering through Facebook, another friend shows you the answer.
This skein was a random skein with no name that I purchased at Michigan Fiber Festival from the Fold. Muted blues, greys, browns and purples. Totally not my usual colors, but I loved it. And even better, it was $14. How could I leave t there?
I think I bought it around the time Zosia was born... so it sat for at least 5 years or so. The yarn with no name that I loved.
And then Cara at January One posted on Facebook about her wonderful Willow cowls. If anyone can find good ways to use Socks that Rock, it is Cara. I had a Eureka! moment and pulled up Willow in Ravelry. It really did seem perfect for the yarn. I decided to follow Cara's suggestion (which is in her notes for the project) to start with fewer stitches (140 instead of 160 and decreasing down to 90 instead of 110 at the end.) to create a narrower, less slouchy cowl, which seemed a good call for both me and the yarn -- but otherwise, I didn't change anything in the pattern.
Willow is a funny thing when you see it like this. It looks much better on. But at least you can see the colors. Very winter water color!
Willow shows herself to her best when she is worn. I love the STR Medium weight for this scarf, it adds just the little bit of stiffness (without being stiff) that is needed to keep this cowl from being too loose and floppy. The picot edges are a brilliant touch to hold the collar bone and neckline edges in place.
Mine also has a little surprise that you can just see a hint of in the picture. A little girly touch necessitated by running out of yarn a few stitches before the bind off.
I chose a soft pink yarn in a similar gauge and washability to complete the knitting, the bind off and to sew down the inner edge with. A special little secret -- the last splash of pink at the horizon before the sun goes down over a winter landscape.
After a day of wear, it's maintaining its structure and its warm without being cloying. STR also seems to be one of those yarns that I can wear against my skin without having an itching fit, so that's a bonus, too! But the best surprise was that it got a thumbs up from my 9 year old niece who seems to be developing a knitting habit. It would be fun to make a couple of smaller ones if I could figure out the right starting stitch number.