Sunday, December 6, 2015

Cowling All Knitters...and a book giveaway!

I recently wrote a mini-article about the stress of holiday knitting, and how we knitters should think about making ourselves something, along with the procession of gifts for others. Then I went back to my holiday to-do list, hypocrite that I am.

My preferred knitted gifts these days are cowls. Done on larger needles, anywhere from size 9 to 15, they go very quickly and are a great way to use stashed yarns. Moreover I've discovered that I actually prefer wearing cowls with much of my heavy outerwear (cold is a way of life in New England!), because they don't lump up inside the jacket and create the Michelin Man look, and they can also be pulled up in the back, if they're sufficiently wide, to serve doubly, as both neck-warmer and hat. When I make a cowl for a friend, I don't feel as if I'm giving something just for the sake of giving, because I actually wear these things myself, plus I have the satisfaction of creating space in my stash for cramming in new purchases. Amen.

So, when a book about cowls crossed my desk recently, I was extremely interested to peruse the patterns, which are plentiful, and dream of future cowl projects.

As my devoted readers will recall, I am particularly fond of "60 Quick" series, published by Sixth and Spring Books. It's not just that there are enough patterns included to make all in the series very reasonable buys, but also that the patterns come from a range of experienced designers, so they're all distinctive and attractive. Moreover, since the designs in this series--whether for cowls, Baby Essentials, Quick Knits, Luxury Knits, etc.--are smallish projects, they offer useful opportunities to learn different stitches, techniques, and so forth, without intimidation. When you knit a cowl that involves beautifully complex cables, it's just not as daunting as doing an Aran sweater. I think of the cowl patterns in this particular book as small canvases that let you trial new techniques, yarns (all the featured yarns are from the Cascade Yarn Company), and stitches.

This beautiful, if unfortunately named design, gives you lots of cable practice without locking you into the months (years?) that a comparably-patterned sweater would entail, and when you're finished you've got this classy hybrid cowl-capelet that's both gorgeous and super-warm. (This is definitely on my to-do list for moi). The cover illustration, similarly offers coin stitch and applied I-cord practice, and looks like it's a lot of fun to work up.

So, not only am I going to recommend this book to you, gentle knitters, but I'm also going to offer a free copy, courtesy of the publisher, to the first reader who correctly identifies the following lines:

...I like a cowl;
I like a prophet of the soul;
And on my heart monastic aisles
Fall like sweet strains or pensive smiles:
Yet not for all his faith can see
Would I that cowléd churchman be.

To enter the contest, which will close on 6 December at midnight, please leave your answer in the comments section of this post, then make sure to check my next post for an announcement of the winner. In some past contests, the person who has won has not responded to my request for contact information, so that the publisher was unable to award the prize.  NB:   If you want the book, and your answer is correct, then please stay tuned.

NB:  We have a winner, Bonney, and a runner-up already, and it's still 6 December.  So, contest closed for the nonce.  Bonney, will you please email me via the button on my profile with the address to which you want the book sent? I need it by tomorrow midnight (12/7), else I move on to the next runner-up.  Happy Chanukah to all.


  1. It's The Problem by Ralph Waldo Emerson!

  2. The Problem by Ralph Waldo Emerson fyi, all comments/replies go to my email

  3. That was easy, huh? Just do a quick search on the internet, et voilà,

  4. Okay, Crafts on the Go, you're the runner up and the book is yours. Please contact me by email (use the button on my blogger profile) by 12/9 at midnight with contact info so the publisher can send the book to you. Thanks!

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