The Noro Cowl

Materials:

Noro Hakone, 1 skein (or any super bulky weight yarn)--roughly 108 yards
Tapestry needle (for weaving ends)

Pattern (written in US terms):

Loosely chain 18
Row 1: starting on the 3rd chain from the hook, DC across (16 sts). Chain 2. Turn
Row 2: DC across (16 sts). Chain 2. Turn.
Repeat Row 2 roughly 28 times until 24 inches long (or desired length).
Hold starting chain and final row together and line up stitches. SC ends together.
Weave in ends.

NOTE: Using the SC will create a thick seam on the inside of the cowl, which I wanted. If you'd prefer little to no seam, I'd suggest using a slip stitch to join the rows together.





The Wordy Bit

In 2018, I had the privilege of joining a crochet community that offers online classes and patterns for a monthly subscription. Part of the sign-up was an opportunity to receive a box of luxury/designer type yarns. Now, to be perfectly honest, these are not the type of yarns I would have ever thought about buying. But the price was right, and I was curious--so I went for it. A lot of the yarns I received were wool, and I've loved all the ones I've experimented with so far. My favorite traditional wool yarn from that bundle was the Noro Hakone. This Japanese wool yarn is super colorful and heavy as all get out. Since I only received one skein that was about 108 yards long, I didn't have too much to work with. At the time, I was also working on a failure-in-progress (more on that later), so I was stuck in a crochet trudge. I decided to wind the hank of funky wool into a ball one night and freehand-ish (I mean, it is simple) a cowl--which I had never made before. 

I knew I wanted to show off the color changes in the yarn, and I wanted it to be long enough to be wearable. I also wanted it to be fairly open and have some airflow to it...that may sound counter-intuitive, but I live in North Georgia. It gets cold here, but not that cold! I opted then, for a large hook size and a double crochet. It's simple, but beautiful, and I adore it!

You wouldn't believe how quick this worked up! I think it took me less than two hours to complete. In all honesty, I think winding the yarn into a ball took longer than crocheting the actual cowl! Granted, at this point in my crochet journey, I was just learning how to wind balls of yarn by hand. Now, I have a handy-dandy cake winder. This one, in fact. And it has made life a lot easier!

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