a tale of two cowls

A couple of months ago, my cousin Steph came to visit. She lives several states away, so seeing her is a real treat for everyone, kids included. This particular visit was because she was presenting at a conference in town and brought some friends along, so we got to meet them too, though briefly.

You have to understand that Steph and I are as close as sisters, though we've never even lived in the same state for more than a few months at a time (I think a year and half in college was our longest stretch, and I was going through a very prolonged and shitty breakup at the time, so I don't even know how much of that even counts as me being present anywhere...I survived, obviously, and so here we are.) 

My point is:  a friend of Steph's is a friend of mine. So when I met her friend - let's call her "A" - I was utterly charmed and decided she was knit-worthy and got it in my head to knit them both a little something. 

Cowls. You can't go wrong with a cowl. I believe a person can't have too many cowls and they are utterly superior to scarves in that they won't slip off your neck and drive you crazy or fall off and get lost. Cowls are the new black. 

So I made one cowl and then another and I honestly wasn't sure which cowl should be for who. But really, Steph knows her friend A far better than I do so I packaged them both up and put the decision in her hands. Here is the email I got earlier this week:

"So, I got this AMAZING package in the mail just now...wow. gorgeous. Thank you! I'm bummed that A took off yesterday to spend Christmas with her partner and now I can't get this to her until January. But I'll send her a picture so she can decide which one she wants. Because honestly, I think they're both amazing and I have no idea which one to choose."

Yeah, I think both these fine ladies are knit worthy, don't you? 

Anyway, here are the cowls I made. The first is called "Jet Set", I knit it in about three days over Thanksgiving with my family, and it was the perfect sort of pattern for a family holiday: easy, repetitive, no problem doing while you're drinking a glass of wine and carrying on a convo about heritage turkeys and the perfect pie crust recipe.

I often look skeptical. It's a natural expression.
I used just under one skein of MadTosh sock in a color way I don't remember, but I know I bought it because it reminded me of Kentucky Wildcat blue.

The second cowl took a little longer. I started it more than a month ago and worked on it slowly up through the beginning of last week. The pattern is Tonic Water by babycocktails, and it's perfect TV knitting once you've done one or two repeats. (I knit this through several episodes of The Sopranos...I can't stand anyone in that show but I have to know what happens, so I keep watching - did anyone else have this experience?) 

This is such a weird pose.

The yarn is Cascade Venezia Worsted, two skeins that I had stashed forever. I don't remember why I bought the yarn or from where or for what project but it turned out to be perfect for this cowl. Once I wet-blocked it, the lace pattern just stood out. I'm tickled pink how well it turned out. The orange is a bit of leftover plain wool.

So it's up to Steph and A to decide who gets what. I'm glad she's pleased with the cowls and I hope A is, too. I'm looking forward to hearing who chooses what! 

I haven't done any holiday knitting otherwise. This fall has been brutally busy with my new teaching schedule and more playing work. Don't get me wrong; it's good to be working! Still, now more than ever I'm feeling my family responsibilities and professional responsibilities pulling against each other. Right now, I honestly wouldn't have it any other way, but it's really hard to keep everything in balance. (Then somebody throws up at school and my whole system goes out of whack! But that's a story for another day...)

What holiday knitting are you doing? What's your favorite quick project? I want to know! I'm also trying to destash some yarn so maybe I'll do a giveaway soon.


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