Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Café Crème Cowl

Hello, all :)
Remember this?
I didn't say what I was planning on doing with these at the time because it was intended as a gift for my younger sister, who sometimes reads my blog.
I made her a big fat cowl to keep her warm in the Paris winter.
Cowls and big textured knits are all the rage ATM, especially in camel/cream colours; my sister is more fashion-forward than I am, so I try and look up what's in when I want to make her something.

Oh, and you see, I love these colours - cream and tan - but they are absolutely not hues my complexion could pull. The good thing with having a sister that's an "Autumn", is that I still get to play with these gorgeous shades, for her. See how well it matches her tawny hair, hazel eyes - and her brown coat!

And - miracle of miracles - these pictures were taken in my home town, here in Southern France. I've been living here for a year and a half, but my sister is the first in my family who actually came to stay for a weekend, a couple of weeks ago. I am so glad my sister finally came to visit; we had the best of times. We used to be very close as there's only one year's difference between us, and I've missed this connection so much.
(Coat isn't handmade as I had an emergency last year and all my handmade coats were still in Northern France, but underneath I was wearing my little crochet dress)

She had just bought this coat when she came to visit, and I gloated inwardly when I came to meet her at the train station and anticipated how well the cowl would accent it.

The wonderful yarn, Glen by Debbie Bliss, is a mix of Merino and Alpaca wool (and Acrylic), which are among the softest wools out there. However, the cowl was still the tiniest bit itchy when I'd finished it and tried it on - not really that rough, but I have super sensitive skin, especially at the neck (I used to get a lot of eczema at the neck when I was younger). To remedy the problem, I soaked it in conditioner. Wool is animal fibre, after all. I mixed conditioner with lukewarm water in my sink, gently immersed the cowl, and let it sit there for half an hour. I then refilled the sink with clear water to rinse, gently squeezed out the excess water, and laid the cowl to dry on a towel. It worked wonders to make it perfectly soft. Just make sure you don't use a fancy condish with silicones in it as it may coat the wool and make it all weird (and hey, silicones are really bad for the environment so I've long given up on them anyway ;) ).

The pattern is another freebie - Convertible Cowl by Stephanie of The Crimson Owl.

11 comments:

KarenV said...

What sweet photos of your sister Isabelle! The cowl looks so gorgeously warm and suits her perfectly.

Tracy said...

Such BEAUTIFUL sisters! :o) The cowl your knit for your sister is WONDERFUL--so chunky & rich in texture--LOVE it! She will keep warm with that, and made with love... couldn't be better! ;o) We travel to the US on Friday to be with family for Thanksgiving and celebrate birthdays & visiting for two weeks--very excited! It's been cold though, so packing warm things... Happy Days, my friend ((HUGS))

Margaret said...

What a lovely gift and such great pictures of two of you. Glad she came down to visit you - what fun to share your new surroundings with a dear sister.

Amanda S. said...

What a sweet sister you are! I love the picture of the both of you together. Great job on the cowl too.

Moushka said...

Such a perfect gift for your lovely sis. My mom handknits socks for us. My dear son calls them "hugs for your feet." Your sis now has a hug for her neck, with love from you :) I'm sure she will smile every time she wears it, and remember her happy visit.

Shashi Nayagam said...

That is a beautiful Cowl and as you say it suits your sister so well. You have such a good eye for these things.

Cathy said...

I love that photo of the two of you! And I know what you mean about family that won't visit, it drives me crazy.

Jennifer said...

What lovely photos of your sister and you. Love the cowl! They are all over the magazines here and I'm wanting to knit one for myself. I am always cold, especially as the Winter comes I have tons of yarn suitable for this. Now, to find the time and the energy........

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Such a lovely gift! To see my family I must travel to visit them as well, although I live in a wonderful city to visit. It is a real treat when they come to DC rather than me having to go to Texas every time.

Lisbei said...

Hello my dear friend !
Qu'est-ce que vous vous ressemblez toutes les deux ! Je t'envie ce temps passé avec ta soeur, la mienne vient de donner naissance à une petite fille, loin, à Berlin, et je ne les verrai certainement pas toutes les deux avant le printemps voir l'été prochain ...
L'écharpe est très belle !
Gros bisous !

Tany said...

You two look so well together! She surely deserves such a great gift from you!