Baa Baa Purple Sheep

Friends, I searched high and low for a pattern that would allow me to maintain my self-respect more than did the Gap-tastic Cowl. It’s a Gap knockoff, it has a stupid name, and it’s just mindless seed stitch — surely there was something out there that was a little more interesting and less corporate. But for this amount and type of yarn, it was hard to deny that this was basically the perfect pattern. And evidently 4,961 Ravelers agree — this pattern is super-popular.

It turns out that there are a lot of cowl patterns out there for about 120 yards of super-bulky yarn, and a lot of cowl patterns out there for 300+ yards of super-bulky yarn, but I had 220 yards and I wanted to use every last scrap. The Gap-tastic Cowl’s simplicity allowed me to just cast on and knit in seed stitch until I was done, and though I was a little short of their recommended yardage I still ended up with plenty of cowl. And it’s fabulous — squishy, textured, snuggly, and everything I was looking for.

Speaking of using every last scrap, this project and I achieved serious mind-melding when it came time to bind off. I guesstimated when the time was right, and when I was done binding off I had four inches left over. Four inches! Just enough to (painstakingly) weave in — it was magic.

The yarn, to remind you, is Catskill Merino’s Super-Bulky yarn, which is evidently called “The Big Easy.” I bought it at the Union Square market in the snow, when I was experiencing serious cowl envy. I don’t anticipate wearing a cowl this bulky very much in southern California, but it’s what I wished I had this winter when I was visiting my family back east, and I expect it and I will be inseparable on next year’s holiday trip. We’ll all still be wearing cowls then, right? Right? Guys?

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