Silver Threads

a knitting blog with occasional side trips

A cowl to start the season


March is the beginning of the knitting season around here. Yes, many people spend early winter knitting things for the holidays, which could be an argument for calling that the knitting season, but the holidays would go on even if knitting had never been invented. March is when knitting-centered events get going, starting with a knitting retreat.

This was another fine year for the Great Guild Getaway. The weather was unseasonably warm and there was no snow to speak of although the lakes were still frozen. Indeed, it was warm enough that some people sat outside on the deck on Saturday afternoon and knitted. I did think about joining them, but I was distracted by a massage (aaaaah…) and the temptation to take a walk.

Women knitting on a deck.

The few, the proud, the women knitting outdoors in March.

There was a drawback to the weather, though. Through most of the winter, the temperatures were in the fiercely cold range usual for this part of the state, but the diminished snow cover meant that the ground froze deeper and harder than usual. This impacted the plumbing at the camp. The running water was unaffected—yippee!—but there were signs up on all the buildings warning everyone that the drains might back up.

Warning sign about frozen drains.


I am proud to announce that I bought no yarn either at the retreat or in transit to or from it. I did win a ball of Cascade 220 Superwash Quatro, though. Even though my name was one of the last ones drawn, there was still this one nice ball of blue left among the browns, yellows, and a chartreuse. I see a cowl in its future as well.Cascade 220 Superwash Quatro (blue)

This year, I vowed to remember that this isn’t a very long retreat and that I didn’t need to bring enough knitting projects to last me for a month. That said, hours before we left for Crosslake, I started a cowl. The pattern is from the same person who’d designed the Brush Creek Cowlette that I’d recently finished, and since this pattern uses Aran-weight yarn, I figured it’d be a quick knit and a smidgen warmer to wear. I wanted to use a gradient yarn as the designer had, so I splurged on a cake of Catnip. As you may guess, it was fascinating watching the colors slowly change as the cowl grew. I’d brought along another project, a Daybreak shawlette in Mini Mochi. The Catnip yarn—half silk, half merino—was so soft to the touch that it made the Mini Mochi—all merino—feel coarse by comparison! (Which was another reason I got so much knitting time in on the Waterlily Cowl.) I got about 60% of the cowl knitted at Camp Knutson and finished it the next day at home, so it’s become a commemorative cowl of the retreat.

So, I’m back home now with a pretty new cowl and making plans for the knitting season ahead. I’m skipping Yarnover this year, but there’s still Shepherd’s Harvest in May, and hey, maybe I’ll tackle Knitting and Crochet Blog Week again. Or just enjoy the season by knitting—it’s not like there’s nothing in the queue…


Waterlily Cowl
Pattern: Zuzu’s Petals
Yarn: Twisted Fiber Art Catnip
Color: Waterlily Evolutions
Needles: 7 (4.5 mm)

6 thoughts on “A cowl to start the season

  1. It sounds like you had a relaxing and productive time. I think the Waterlily Cowl is lovely.


  2. That’s a pretty cowl. I love the shape and the way it keeps the top of the chest warm as well as around the neck, where I bet it feels heavenly with the silk content. Lovely!


    • Oh, the texture of the yarn is unbelievable [sighs happily]. I’ve worn the cowl now, and I noticed that this blend doesn’t hold its shape as well as some. It had sagged a bit by the end of the day. But that made it drape more and it was still attractive; it just didn’t hug my neck as much as it had at the start of the day.


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