Outlander Claire Fraser’s Cowl

A couple of months ago I started to read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I fell in love with the story immediately. Even before I finished the book, I started watching the tv series and fell in love all over again, this time with the costumes. Claire’s costumes are amazing. And that knitwear, to die for.

As I am want to do when I find new knitwear I love, I jump on Ravelry and look for patterns inspired by series. One of the items I definitely wanted to knit was that delightful cowl Claire seems to wear often.

Claire_Fraser_(Outlander_TV)I immediately found the pattern by Shelli Westcott for Ravelry Outlander Claire’s Cowl Pattern. When searching for suitable yarn, I found that Westcott owns a store named Knitterly in Petaluma, CA and they sold a Knitterly Claire’s Outlander Cowl Kit for the cowl. Happy days! I quickly snapped up the dark brown + grey kit; once it arrived, I grabbed by size 35 needles and set to work.

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The pattern and kit call for 3 skeins of yarn, but I found I only used 2 to make the 30 inch cowl. (Oh what to do with that full last skein?) The knitting only took two days (it would have taken one but I started in the evening) and was real quick since it’s all garter stitch and large needles. As usual, the needle size took a toll not only on my hands but my shoulders as well; it takes a lot of strength and effort to hold yarn onto size 35 needles.

Blocking flat took some time as well since a) I have a mischievous cat that wouldn’t leave my cowl alone unless I closed the bedroom doors and b) the yarn is held double so it’s thick and takes longer to dry.

Next I think I’ll try my hand at one of her many fingerless gloves or one of the knitted shawls she wears. So many choices!

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Teal Cowl

Christmas is a holiday I enjoy, but I don’t generally give gifts. If I find something for someone, I certainly won’t pass up the chance to bestow a gift on someone. However, it’s not the part of Christmas tradition my family generally participates in.

This year, I participated in a Secret Santa event with some friends. The name that was drawn for me was that of my friend Chiki; I was sent her contact info along with a link to her Amazon wish list. Of course I could have just bought something on her list, given it to her, and called my job done. But that’t not really the person I am. So, instead, I decided to use some lovely Knit Picks Galileo yarn I had been hoarding and knit her a lovely lightweight cowl.

The pattern I chose was the Lazy Knitter’s Cowl because it was an easy pattern to memorize and used the exact sport weight yarn I had. The cowl was started just before Thanksgiving; since I was going to be away for the holiday, I took the cowl with me and knit at night in the hotel. It was finished just after I returned the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

The cowl was knit to a total of about 22 inches; once completed, it was wet for blocking, and dried in my closet (up high away from inquisitive cat paws) for about a week. After it was dry, the ends were woven in and two toggle-like buttons were sewn to the cast-on garter stitch edge.

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As I anticipated, it is a lovely lightweight cowl. With the large eyelets and toggle buttons, the cowl can be worn different ways.

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The pictures show it as nearly a black color, but the yellow lighting in my home distorts the actual dark teal color of the Galileo yarn.

The cowl took less than a full skein, and I still have 4 full skeins of Galileo yarn left. I am more than certain that there will be more projects with this yarn in the future. I have a lot of lovely, deserving friends. 🙂

Bofur’s Scarf

I might have mentioned one of my best friends to you before. In case you are new or you missed it, I have two best friends who have been with me through thick and thin for over a decade. Shannon has a passion for history (except American history, she loathes American history); she lives the closest so we attempt to get together as often as we can, but having opposite work schedules makes it difficult. Holley lives around the DC area; she’s the more outgoing one of us three and doesn’t hesitate to start a conversation with anyone. We have similar interests in all things Tolkien, comics, cosplay (at least for me and Holley, Shannon just admires), and cuddly things (we can never go anywhere without all of us buying the same plush animal).

Holley often asks me to make her things since she shares my cosplay love but isn’t a crafter (she wants to be but finding time is difficult with her work schedule). Recently, due to the cold weather, she asked me to knit her Bofur’s scarf from The Hobbit movies. I was reluctant at first because scarves take so long to knit. But after finding a suitable pattern that was simple, I agreed.

Bofur_NesbittWeta has a knitting kit using the Stansborough yarn (the knitters for the movies). However, I have heard the scarf is knit at a ridiculously loose gauge doesn’t hold it’s shape. Plus the kit isn’t cheap. Instead, I went with a simpler pattern on Ravelry and Knit Picks City Tweed DK yarn in Porpoise, Obsidian, and Blue Blood.

The scarf is all garter stitch on size 11 needles. It was so easy and quick I found myself done in three days…and with two extra skeins of each color left over. Not one to waste yarn, I decided to knit two more scarves for myself and Shannon. I loved the loose gauge and light airy feel of the scarf while knitting, and I don’t have a light spring scarf that isn’t made of cotton or polyester. Also, Shannon had a birthday coming up so what better gift?

After washing and stretching, I sent the scarves off. Both Holley and Shannon loved their scarves; Holley loved it so much she all but demanded we bring the scarves to her wedding for a photo…which is in September. Until then, this is the only photo I have of the scarves hanging over my bathroom door to dry.

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I wear my scarf every day. For something at such a loose gauge, it is surprisingly warm and not as bulky as some of my other scarves. Because of the neutral-ish colors, it goes with everything. I think this may be one of my best knitting projects ever.