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O'ahu born and Rockville bred, both Maryland and Hawai'i are home. Middle-aged knitter (believe me, my 40 is NOT the new 20) seeking the courage to live consciously, each and every moment. Now if I could just remember where I put my keys...

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Cowl Me Not (or, even this Cowlgirl gets the blues)

The BeeGees are crooning and being sold in Starbucks.

Christian Dior has models sporting legwarmers.

Cowls are back.

Ai-yi-yi, what is this world coming to?

I was at Looped Yarn Works yesterday, and the cast of characters at this visit were Janie, Susan (Janie's business partner/co-owner), Jessica.  Cowls were being discussed.

Janie & Jessica for.

Susan & Jann against.

First off, Jessica is built like a jeans model and could probably wear legwarmers as cowls, and cowls as skirts, and manage to be too damn hot the whole time.  Plus, she's still in her 20s.  (I think about my 20s.  I'd wear just about anything - hit this for one of my past fashion role models, and I'm NOT kidding - and had the (probably misbegotten) impression it looked REALLY cool.)

Janie is the cutest woman you'll ever meet and if she wants to wear a cowl, it will like her so much that it will behave any way she wants.

Susan tried a couple cowls on while I was there and she is definitely able to wear them, but like me, they just don't FEEL right to her.  On her, I even thought a nice red cowl looked like a scarf - high, high praise indeed.  Until it started drooping.  Started off with a nice rise around her neck but after 3 minutes it had flattened out.  I remembered this from my cowl experiences of yore, and the constant fiddling I did to get the right height and hug to my neck. (As noted above, Janie would never have this problem.  And if she did, she'd just out-cute it.)

Cowl Girls: The Neck's Big Thing to KnitI've seen cowls and been seduced: in O magazine, in Cathy Carron's lovely book "Cowl Girls", the samples knit up (or crocheted) at LYS.  Browsing fellow bloggers' sites, I came across Lucy's adorable example of Cowl Done Correctly (linked here).  Last year, I had a frenzied weekend where I blew through a cowl in 1.35 days with some yarn I had no clue what else I was ever going to do with.  The thing is, when I finished the cowl last year, it looked better on Chester than it did on me.  Seriously.

But with cowls on my mind, I decided that I'd try to wear the cowl to work today.

I found it, in a box of scarves and hats that are too experimental to gift (and that's saying something, I'll give away almost anything I make and manage to look proud doing it).  I shook it out.  I put it around my neck (wearing my bedshirt and undies).  It looked... ok.  Not great.  But I'd try it again.

Then I got to the hard part:  with what?

I went through my closet.  I'm a tallish girl with broadish shoulders.  (And hips, and a belly, and a nice padded arse, in case you had a hankering to get jealous.)  I found the shirts I can wear scarves with - mostly buttoned, collared shirts - and I was stymied.  Do I wear the cowl inside or outside the collar?  I'll spare you the details - neither looked good.  Then I found the shirts I can wear shawls with - mostly collarless v-neck jerseys.  Oh, my.  I felt NAKED!  There was something around my neck but nothing around my middle.  I went to do a shawl toss (think of how the girl with the best head of hair in high-school flipped her hair around - I've perfected that as the shawl toss) and nothing was there!

So, I've come to the conclusion that, for me, ANYTHING around my neck that's more than a scarf and less than a shawl doesn't belong there.

Meanwhile, Chester rocks the cowl - don't you think?


Ravelry posting on the cowl.



  1. OMG, you are hilarious. I have the same feelings about cowls. I just don't understand them. They are in the category of dickies to me...

  2. LOL!! I think you rocked the braids btw...

  3. To cowl or not to cowl? You're right... what do you wear them with?! I think Chester really likes it ^..^

  4. snork!
    You are a brave soul to come out against the cowl.
    Chester does rock it. Samson and Baru would never put up with it. They always go au natural.

  5. Wow - thank you for the linkage love, a massive compliment :) I actually think that Cowl looks rather amazing on Chester, he is a very lucky boy indeed! xxxx

  6. Totally agree about cowls. I am trying very hard to like them since they are in fashion but the oversized ones look like something a horse would wear.