It could be said that my knitting tends toward the staid and conservative. Which may be why the Eldest Niece gifted me (well, actually all of us Stitches types) with this for our party bags last August.
That's another story, except for the part where it inspired me to try something different.
This is Mountain Colors Moguls. It has been sitting in my stash for longer than I care to remember. It arrived with my second abortive attempt at an Ab-Fab blanket. It was supposed to fill the slot held by the Colinette Zanziba. I'm actually attempting another one and was convinced that the Moguls would be perfect. I was wrong. While the yarn looked anything but maroon in the skein, context is everything. Sandwiched between layers of Colinette mohair in Tapis, it presented as red. Not what I thought it would do.
So here I am, stuck with this incredibly active yarn and no place to put it. It's years and years old and, even if I could convince my over-active conscience to return it, I have no idea where it came from anymore.
What to do? What to do? It's only 65 yards per skein. And it's busy.
I went looking at and for cowls. Cowls must be boring to knit, because pretty much everyone introduces some type of stitch pattern or design element. With everything that's going on with this yarn -- Mountain Colors describes it as lumpy and bumpy; I would like to add that it's also curly, thick and thin and variegated -- the last thing it needs is a cable. Or Kitchener stitch.
I gave up and invented my own. The most basic, unimaginative, ordinary knitting I could think of. Ribbing for the top and bottom borders and stockinette for the body. Anything more and my knitting would cross the border into Art and I hate knitting that is Art.
I have two more skeins of this in Pheasant (very similar colorway, minus the orange and yellow). Lest its very simplicity renders it un-rememberable, I'm recording what I'm pretty sure I did.
Recipe for a Cowl in the Afternoon:
2 skeins Mountain Colors Moguls ( this is Sunburst).
Needles Addi Turbo 24" circulars. US 15 (a.k.a. big honking needles).
Cast on 56 stitches (or whatever multiple of 4 will get you the diameter you want).
K2P2 for 1 round.
Join to knit in the round and place a marker to mark the beginning of the round. (Careful not to twist, which is much easier when you've done a row of knitting (thank you to Graphica of Inspira Cowl fame.).) (Can one nest parentheses like that? Must check my Chicago Manual of Style someday.)
K2P2 for 2 more rounds.
Knit (and knit and knit and knit) to the end of the skein
Count your rounds so you'll know when to stop knitting the second skein and start K2P2 ribbing (I think I had 26, counting the 3 rounds of ribbing).
Spit splice skein 2 (unless you really want to weave in those two extra ends).
Knit (and knit and knit and knit).
Count rounds until you have the same number as the first skein, less the three for the ribbing.
K2P2 for 3 rounds
Bind off (I used Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off).
Weave in the two ends (start and finish).
Here's the kicker. Turn it inside out, which emphasizes the funky element, but avoids Art.
Call it done.